The suspects are on the move this week on Apple TV + ‘s terrorism thriller Suspicion. As the five make their moves to leave the United Kingdom, there are loose ends to be tied up and strings they can’t see pulling puppets they can’t identify.
Secret identities and allegiances fall out of the woodwork left and right. And it seems like the next big chase is just around the corner. These people are far from safe.
The show’s thrills are now in the every idle second spent getting the characters from one place to the next, the big picture so fragile that one slip-up could shatter it to pieces.
Suspicion recap: ‘Be the Gray Man’
This week’s episode is called “Be the Gray Man.” In one of those scenes writers love but never, ever seem to happen in real life, the body of Monique (played by Lydia West) is found by a dog who runs a full mile out of her way to sniff her out and bark at her .
Seeing now that they’re responsible for an increasing body count, Inspector Okoye (Angel Coulby) and Agent Anderson (Noah Emmerich) argue over whose methods are the right ones. It’s a moot point, because they’ve both gotten people killed. And the suspects in Leo Newman’s (Gerran Howell) kidnapping remain missing (and will soon move beyond UK jurisdiction).
Tara (Elizabeth Henstridge), Aadesh (Kunal Nayyar), Natalie (Georgina Campbell), Eddie (Tom Rhys-Harries) and Sean (Elyes Gabel) are headed to America. But they have a long way to go before they’re out of the frying pan.
Damage control mode
Meanwhile, Katherine Newman (Uma Thurman) is panicked because the real kidnappers are demanding more and more from her. All the while, they continue to expose her and make her look worse every day.
The damage control her team does every time the kidnappers release some new clue about their motives now proves as draining as the efforts to get her son back. Katherine visits with Amy (Jennifer Ehle, always a welcome sight), the daughter of one of her shareholders, to see if she can put off a collapse of her interests, but it doesn’t look great.
Everyone’s having family troubles this week, it seems. Aadesh goes to see his wife, Sonia (Mandip Gill), and Tara goes to see her daughter before they go into hiding and flee the country. Tara wants to back out after seeing her (Sean talks her out of it), but Aadesh is renewed in purpose after Sonia says she doesn’t trust him anymore.
Natalie tries to ask Joe (Ben Bailey Smith) to get her mother (Clare Perkins) to visit her in secret, but he sells her out to the police. Luckily, she sees the cops lying in wait for her and doesn’t fall into the trap.
Also, Eddie reveals something interesting about himself when he goes with Sean to buy fake passports: He speaks Farsi. What kind of 20-something, party-crazed English student can speak Farsi?
Well, he’s a double agent, of course. As Okoye tells Anderson, everything from his arrest to his backstory are fake. He’s a cop they recruited out of the drug task force and he’s been sending them updates as they’ve headed towards their destinations. But now they’re so far into their missions, wouldn’t it be more wise to just let them keep going and see what they turn up?
This episode of Suspicion doesn’t deliver much in the way of highlights, but that’s not because it’s not fun or doing its job. The focus in this one is just the nitty gritty of becoming someone else and leaving your old self behind.
It’s been fun seeing the show take on a form usually associated with softer genres than the thriller. If this was a sci-fi show about five people with different powers, it’d make sense to branch off and show them doing their personal things. But here, they’re only linked by a desire to be proven innocent. They don’t even have the same origins, politics and goals. Thus, it’s maybe a hair cute seeing them all get their costumes and stuff ready for their big espionage trip, but it’s still basically good TV.
Suspicion is very successful at meeting the demands of the spy / terrorist thriller because it doesn’t bother when silly things happen. A show with less verve and momentum wouldn’t just spring from one tense scene to the next like this one does. Its priorities are all in the right place.
There’s precious little time / energy spent on the emotional turmoil of each of the suspects after their meetings with their sundry family members. I expected a little more and don’t think it would hurt the pacing, but I also get that this is a show about movement and tension, not emotions.
Now we just have to see who’s playing who – and who comes out on top.
Watch Suspicion on Apple TV +
New episodes of Suspicion arrive Fridays on Apple TV +.
Watch on: Apple TV +
Scout Tafoya is a film and TV critic, director and creator of the long-running video essay series The Unloved for RogerEbert.com. He has written for The Village Voice, Film Comment, The Los Angeles Review of Books and Nylon Magazine. He is the author of Cinemaphagy: On the Psychedelic Classical Form of Tobe Hooper, the director of 25 feature films, and the director and editor of more than 300 video essays, which can be found at Patreon.com/honorszombie.
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