If time is just a construct then so too is patience and The Cry tested both to their limits in its second episode. It’s frustrating that after such a dramatic conclusion to last week we’re guided through the first half an hour in a typical whodunnit fashion. All effort is made to make Alexandra look like the culprit between the court proceedings in Glasgow and Peter, a police officer who not only looks reluctant to question her also arranges a secret meeting with Alistair. It’s not exactly a subtle narrative in a show that so far has tried to bewilder and confound. The trouble is that for thirty minutes the story doesn’t progress. There are some little ambiguous moments such as Alex cutting up his passport and her knowing looks to his mother.
This show should be better than vague nods and knowing winks and it’s a relief when it proves this in the second half but dear God, it felt like a journey to get there, more so than that bloody flight to Australia. Joanna having a fake social media account is intriguing, to say the least. Is it a case of morbid curiosity or something altogether more sinister? The novel way in which the comments on her feed were read out by people in the same room was an effective touch.
The first staggering moment comes when Alistair takes his work into his relationship, spin doctoring his wife in how to act for the press. “The world wants to see your pain. They want to see a good mother crushed” he says coldly and those aren’t exactly the words of a compassionate husband. He comes across even more controlling and unhinged with each scene. He’s the Antipodean equivalent of Alistair Campbell. Never trust men named Alistair is the real moral to this story. Maybe more worrying was Joanna’s response of “Am I a victim?”
Suddenly the drama tap has been turned on and it’s pouring revelations. Alex is arrested as a result of potentially stalking behaviour but ironically for an episode that didn’t cover much ground we leave it at the exact same point we were at sixty minutes ago – but with a twist. Noah was never in the baby seat and as Joanna counts over the credits a nation spits out their collective drinks in shock and puzzlement.
So what is there to go on? We don’t see baby Noah after the flight and we now know the day he disappeared. Did they accidentally over medicate Noah on the plane? More specifically, was it Alistair who gave a fatal dose considering he was the one holding the baby as Jo slept? The argument on the road that we see a slight glimpse of through the eyes of a truck driver is clearly very important. They had been talking of an incoming storm on the radio and that fight, when we finally get to see it, might be the epicentre.
While there are questions, where the heck is the CCTV from the shop’s car park? We have seen Joanna through one such camera and we’ve not heard a thing about it. Or was that simply a mistake by the director? More than one person has to be in on it. Whatever it is. Are they all involved? Answers on a postcard but the series will have ended by the time it gets here.
The Cry Continues Sunday 9.00pm on BBC One.