REVIEW: Deadwater Fell, Episode 2

Deadwater Fell, Episode 2

The second episode of Deadwater Fell easily sets up Tom as the culprit although this answer might be a little too easy a solution for such a grisly crime. Tom may well be a manipulative monster, but whether he really is his family’s murderer is not completely certain.

Just like that, the vision of the Kendricks as a perfect, happy family has been shattered. The reason for Kate’s unhappiness becomes clear and Tom’s true, vicious nature is also revealed. The three children are even more unfortunate victims of this disastrous marriage.

David Tennant gives a very compelling performance here, deftly shifting from the grief-stricken father giving a heartbreaking eulogy for his family to the cold and controlling man who takes advantage of vulnerable women and who made his wife miserable. Tennant manages to still keep Tom grounded as a human character despite his despicable behavior and when he acts the part of the bereaved man, it’s hard not to feel even a smidgen of sympathy. He’s no caricature of a villain but may well be a man we’ve encountered in real life, making his performance all the more chilling. It’s through his subtle acts of control and coldness that one senses the beast that lurks underneath the veneer of respectability.

Deadwater Fell, Episode 2Much of the episode is told from the point of view of Jess, who begins to understand just how terrible a man Tom could be. She meets Sasha, a friend of Kate’s who was also seduced by Tom. This meeting prompts Jess to remember her own brief tryst with Tom in a different perspective, noting how controlling and even slightly violent his passion was towards her. She also suspects that Kate knew about Tom’s affairs and this may have exacerbated her depression.

It is later revealed that Kate was aware of Tom’s transgressions, and what’s even worse, he tended to target her closest female friends. This further alienated her and made her feel even more trapped in their sham of a marriage. Though many clues really point to Tom, it still isn’t that far-fetched to suspect Kate’s involvement in the fire, even as a means to escape the hell her life had become with such an abhorrent husband.

Deadwater Fell, Episode 2Surprisingly, Jess comes clean about the encounter with Steve, who is understandably devastated. It doesn’t help that it happened right after the first failed attempt at IVF. Steve had already been suspicious of Tom in the first episode but now, he is even more determined to pin the case on the man.

Jess makes her statement to the police and Tom is called in for questioning. A witness seems to have come forward with testimony that incriminates Tom, and there is no way for him to escape the charges. But, as another reviewer notes, Deadwater Fell is still toying with our expectations.

At the end of the episode, it is revealed that Dylan, the witness, was lying about what he saw, so there may be even more mystery to this tragedy than meets the eye. It’s too soon for Deadwater Fell to reveal all its secrets and halfway through the series, we are already questioning all we see.