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Monday, 16 October 2017

Liar Episode Six Review: The finale of the ITV drama offers up a Surprising Conclusion


There's a moment just a few minutes into this finale where the words "three months later" flash up on the screen and it plays like an instant mood killer. Until that point things had been bubbling up
nicely. Andrew's (Ioan Gruffudd) confident facade about not being caught soon fades as he tearfully crawls to his son, begging for an alibi and he dutifully promises to give one. It's needed as the very next scene Andrew is walking into work only to be confronted by police officers, only for us to be confronted by those three words.

The momentum feels lost. There's palpable fear that so many questions will remain unanswered. That Andrew has been locked up off screen and the remaining time we have with Laura (Joanne Froggatt) will be her moving on and getting on with her life, which is great for her but from a dramatic viewpoint, televisual deadwood. We're transported to a date between Laura and her mysterious man from the Edinburgh hotel (Kieran Bew) and the staples such a meeting that entails, like awkward small talk and gentle flirting. It feels flat but Harry and Jack Williams have thankfully lulled matters into false sense of security. Befitting of his sinister omnipresence, Earlham is spotted outside with another woman and we soon learn that the charges didn't stick second time round either. While Ian is a gentleman and kisses Laura goodnight before heading to his hotel bed alone, Andrew is using that trademark creepy charm on a lady named Charlotte (Laura Aikman).

With regards to the side stories, there are some unresolved issues. Katy (Zoe Tapper) steals Andrew's phone from his locker because Laura asks her to but a reconciliation seems far away. That's not the only thing that's still up in the air for her. Liam (Richie Campbell) is in their house with her kids and it's not looking like he wants to give the relationship another chance. These are the little loose ends that don't really have a conclusion but it's not a major issue either way because Liar will ultimately be judged on how the Laura versus Andrew story is resolved because that has been the selling point all along.

In the middle of the night, Andrew not only phones Laura but does it while loitering outside her home saying totally unreassuring things like "you sound scared. Don't be, because if I wanted to have you
again don't you think I could have you whenever I wanted". But in a rare moment of guard dropping let's slip his knowledge obscure details about her bedroom, declaring "I play that back whenever I get the chance" about the night in question.  It's enough to raise the suspicion he has recorded his crimes and Laura returns to undercover police officer mode and that's why she requires Andrew's phone from her sister.

In a very sudden twist, considering we were only introduced to her two short scenes ago, Charlotte is actually an undercover police officer and is working on the case against the villain of the piece. The next phase of her plan being a dinner date at his house. What could possibly go wrong? As it turns out, lots could and does. The finale ramps up the tension in spectacular style from this scene onwards as her attempts to take a sample from the wine glass are foiled. At least Laura never gets found out when searching for information by nefarious means. Speaking of which, she has hacked his mobile with help from Tom (Warren Brown), the "I'm sorry about shagging your sister" ex-boyfriend. They find a text from his mum's carer Mia (Ivana Basic) about picking up his things which leads Laura to the shed of iniquity and all the evidence she's needed is in her hands. There are heart stopping moments hoping she can get out of the house with the goods as we fully expect Earlham to be walking up the garden path as she does so.



After six weeks of allegations and heartache, we finally have the happy ending within our reach. The SD cards are with the police and "the tech guys" have seen evidence of seventeen rapes, which surely
isn't in the job description at Currys. Andrew Earlham is going down and against his consent, which is rather ironic. It's all too good to be true though as all those previous aerial shots of marshlands take adarker twist as we float from the sky and down towards the cold, seemingly dead body of Andrew Earlham.

Killing off the bad guy could be further commentary on the ineptitude of the criminal process. Had justice not been so slow and surrounded by red tape, Andrew would be behind bars and rightfully suffering for his actions (sadly chopping rapist's balls off isn't legal). It also vindicates the extreme actions Laura has undertaken in her quest for the truth to come out. But it also leaves a void where satisfaction should be, not only in the fact that he won't serving time for his crimes but in the assumption that he had enough remorse and shame to go through with suicide.

Since the reveal, Earlham has only shown disregard for the law, constant belittling of his victims and a joy at getting away with it. He felt invincible. The man that has been shown to us would take his day in court and get locked up fighting his corner. It seems an about turn that could prove to be genius or a mistake. It sure as heck makes a second series more difficult to imagine unless his eyes burst wide open in the very first scene before shouting "I'M BACK BITCHES!". Let's not rule it out, eh?
Contributed by Michael Lee

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