Glue (Episode Two Review)

Today is the day of Cal’s funeral, but it isn’t quite the centre of drama that it could have done. Mainly this is because, true to the realism of the situation, the main characters won’t be allowed at the funeral because they aren’t Travellers like their friend was. Only his brother, Eli, can be there to represent the main cast. What drama there is feels artificially injected by the presence of Cal and Eli’s dad, a problem that could have been avoided had he been introduced earlier.

This episode has a hard time reaching the level of heart pounding excitement the last one ended with. This episode deals more in intrigue. Rob is questioned about his whereabouts on the night of the murder. We know he was copulating with “Janine” but he won’t admit it, terrified of losing Tina.

Eli is implicated in Cal’s murder for a scuffle in a garage, but it turns out it wasn’t him. This isn’t handled very well. It relies on two clichés of cop drama. One is the whole “the suspect is left handed, but we’ve proof the guy is right handed” thing which is eye rolling in its overuse. And secondly, it took some detective work to find a security camera on an ATM machine. Searching for CCTV at the last known whereabouts of the victim, especially if he was assaulted there, is standard police procedure, not something someone should receive a pat on the back for.

It appears they won’t always handle the crime aspects of the story as deftly as they did last week. But it still gets the human moments bang on. The send-off the gang gives Cal at the end of the episode has all the emotion missing from his church funeral. Detective Ruth has to supervise suspect Janine while she strips for her prison shower. She has a monologue that appears to be explaining her actions, but the dialogue turns out to be for Ruth’s benefit as she willingly isolates herself from the community. The moment is handled with such subtlety that it exposes both Janine and Ruth’s vulnerability, and provides the deepest insight to their characters yet.

We gain better insight to Rob’s upbringing and Eli learns something about Cal that exposes his brothers desperation to a distressing degree. The performances from the young cast in this series so far have been excellent. You can see their characters having their nerves opened and exposed to the harshness of their situation. They try to guard themselves against, it but the struggle is etched upon their faces as the futility of their individual fights weighs down upon them.