I’m rather late to the party on this one. Months late in fact. But sometimes you can be so busy scanning Netflix for the next big thing, that it’s not until half a year has passed that you catch up with a terrestrial TV gem.
I am talking about ITV’s Marcella, which I binge watched this weekend in an addicted frenzy. Some people brunch during their free time. I watch horrific crime drama. Am I the only person to find it oddly soothing? To each their own.
There are many reasons this show is a triumph. That it has Anna Friel in the starring role doesn’t hurt. Her performance is so unaffected in both its vulnerability and strength that you are up to your eyes in the investigation before you have finished your first mug of tea.
Then there are the ‘fugue’ states which Marcella suffers from, making her an unreliable narrator of events, even to herself. The sounds that signal her entry into violent sleepwalking are a touch of brilliance.
However what is truly tantalising about Marcella is the number of threads, twists and turns that the finale has left hanging, unresolved. We discover the murderer of course. But there are so many lives explored, and stories half-told in this tale, that putting the killer behind bars doesn’t make for an ending tied in a neat bow.
Of course this is a masterstroke, and paves the way for season two. But it doesn’t make the trauma of unanswered questions pulsing around your head to the soundtrack of the closing credits any easier to bear. Here are just some of the puzzle pieces I am climbing the walls to have resolved. Marcella, you are a tease.
WHY did she move the body?
She didn’t kill Grace so why the need to hide the evidence?
Grace was alive when she entered the house.
Where was Marcella during her murder? Did she see it happen? What happened between them?
Why did the lovely cop suddenly turn from sexy shoulder to cry on to bragging blackmailer?
I get that he didn’t like Jason. No one in their right mind would. But bragging, lying and threatening wasn’t his style for at least 6 of the episodes. What changed?
Did she kill the cabbie’s illegal immigrant brother?
One minute he has a knife to her throat, the next she is covered in blood and he is nowhere to be found…
What happened to Marcella’s baby Juliette?
We know her first fugue state occurred around the time of her baby’s death. Did she kill her own child in a break from reality? Or did the death trigger the fugues?