Criminal: Season 2

  • 03 Oct - 09 Oct, 2020
  • Mag The Weekly

The Netflix anthology series is set entirely within a room, its adjoining observation deck separated only by a two-way mirror and the outside corridor. The mood created is one of claustrophobia, instilling a tense atmosphere until the inevitable twist in the story arrives. With each of the episodes focusing on a different interviewee and hence a different crime, boredom is never an option. Last time around, David Tennant, Youssef Kerkour and Hayley Atwell served as the accused, and the calibre has not slipped for this second series. Kit Harington appears as an estate agent accused of rape, Sophie Okonedo plays the grieving wife of a suspected murderer, and Catastrophe creator Sharon Horgan is a vigilante pedophile hunter. Each one is spectacular, offering theatrical, deeply felt performances. While Harington’s opening six-minute monologue straight into the camera is arresting, it’s the final episode. Consistently turning the tables on who is guilty for which murder and makes for gripping television. The cast including Katherine Kelly and Lee Ingleby as detectives, take a backseat, but their questioning offers a familiar pivot around which the suspects can squirm. Criminal season two can frustrate, often refusing to fall on one side of any argument. No answers are spoon-fed, instead, the series forces us to think, and then challenges our own conclusions.