Monday, 25 October 2010

Thorne: 'Sleepyhead' - Part 3

“He Saved Me…” – James Calvert

Dave was right.

It was the creepy Canadian orderly from the hospital with the Puma trainers that did it; it probably would have felt quite good that he was proven right after all the ridicule he received, had the case not made him question why he even became a cop in the first place.

‘Sleepyhead’ used that old bait and switch technique of having the police suspect the killer straight away only to then seemingly exonerate him completely before going back and revealing it was him all along.

By the time they did the big reveal though I’d already started to suspect that the killer was going to be one of Frank’s relatives; I genuinely thought it was going to be Tughan, but he was too old to be Frank’s son and of course had sex with the woman who would have been his Mum if that was the case – Thorne is dark but it’s not that dark.

So as we saw Thorne skulking around in the basement looking for Anne’s daughter and all the other suspects were seen elsewhere I was left thinking who the hell is the killer!?

Then we got the big reveal, Phil – who had met James Calvert – noticed the picture of the orderly on the list of witnesses and dropped the bombshell: that is Frank’s son; and as Thorne stumbled upon Anne’s prone daughter, Calvert appeared in the background – nuttier than a squirrel turd.

It was a slightly disappointing reveal as I’d almost all but forgotten about him as a character, but I’m glad that it all tied in with the Frank back-story they’d spent so much time exploring.

Although there was a frustrating lack of answers – did we ever get an explanation as to why he was trying to lock people in rather than kill them? If we did I must have completely missed it… Anyone?

The strongest episode of the three in this first Thorne story remains the first in my opinion – last week the story wasn’t progressed enough for my liking and this week’s finale felt a bit disjointed.

I felt they showed their hand too early in revealing, at least to us, that Phil was innocent. Of course we knew this already as they’d made him look shifty and guilty throughout the series, meaning it wouldn’t be him, but as soon as Thorne confronted him inside ten minutes of the finale you knew it wasn’t him.

Thus the hunt for the killer lost a bit of the dramatic impact it could have had, had the perpetrator been someone close to Thorne.

I suppose in a way Thorne did have a hell of a connection to the killer – having inadvertently saved the life of the young Calvert when he visited, and subsequently shot, his serial killer Father, but we knew so little about this character, even after the flashbacks, it just felt like a bit of a letdown when there were so many other worthy candidates floating around.

In a way the uncertainty over who the culprit was is a success for Thorne; so many shows of this nature are easy to predict it really was testament to the writing of this show that even up until the last half an hour of the show you were still suspecting main characters of being the killer.

I’d read in someone’s review of the show that there was a moment of extreme, rather out of place, gore at the end of the episode but I didn’t think it was as bad as that. Sure the visual of Calvert spitting out his own tongue after biting it off (seriously, how did he do that so stealthily!?) was pretty shocking, but it was almost poetic that he would go to that extreme not to rat Tom out for murdering his Dad in cold blood.

The bond Calvert felt with Thorne was creepily touching – if he hadn’t been a psychopathic murderer then you could have almost felt sorry for him.

Through Phil and Calvert’s silence Thorne’s secret never became officially known so the tormented detective lives to fight another day, though whether things will be the same for him remains to be seen now so many people know/suspect what he did to Calvert Snr.

Bullet Points:

- I said in my review of part 1 that I could see Natascha McElhone’s Anne ending up in jeopardy, but I should have known with the introduction of daughter at the end of that first instalment that she was a better fit for the victim’s profile.

- It was almost bizarre seeing Thorne, Tughan and Hendricks all seemingly working together again in the preview for ‘Scaredy Cat’ which begins next week – that’s got to be a bit awkward hasn’t it!?

- How good was Eddie Marsan in that interrogation scene with Calvert? I don’t know what would have been more intimidating for Calvert, being called a nonce and having your head banged against a table or that big glob of spit hanging out the side of Tughan’s mouth as he screamed in your face…

- Sky1 really threw some money at this thing didn’t they? Sandra Oh of Sideways and Grey’s Anatomy fame turns up in Scaredy Cat.

- There were plenty of clues to the killer’s real identity in this last episode looking back. I don’t think we’d even heard James Calvert mentioned until this last instalment but that coupled with Anne’s daughter referring to her new boyfriend, who we knew was actually the killer, as “Jay” made it pretty clear when you think about it that James Calvert was back and probably operating under a fake name. Hindsight’s a wonderful thing isn’t it!?

Thorne continues next Sunday on Sky1 @ 9pm with the first part of ‘Scaredy Cat'


  1. But surely they cant just turn off someones life support as they did in the final moments of the show????

  2. Great review and thanks for revealing all cos I was certainly confused about the killer. Thought I might have to read the book. LOL


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