TV REVIEW: Marcella – Season 2

It’s been some time since the events from season one and Marcella’s (Anna Friel) life has changed. Jason (Nicholas Pinnock) has moved in with a new partner. Tim (Jamie Bamber) has taken over the department and she’s more disconnected from her children than ever. What hasn’t changed is that she’s still having blackouts… and people are still getting murdered.

This time a cold case is reopened when the body of a former classmate of Marcella’s son (Asher Flowers) is found inside a wall. This leads to a further series of child murders and a litany of suspects from paedophiles to washed up rock stars and angry millionaires.

While Marcella investigates the creepy murders she also tries to get to the bottom of the buried memory that is causing her blackouts. It’s likely though that she’s not going to like what she finds in any area.

I have such mixed feelings about Marcella. The pace is blistering, the crimes are fucked up enough that you can’t look away and you get sucked into figuring out whether any of your many theories of whodunnit are on track. Friel is excellent in the lead role and you believe she is on the verge of a nervous breakdown at every second.

On the other hand every single character on this show is a complete arsehole, with the possible exception of poor Rav (Ray Panthaki) who probably deserves to be sainted for putting up with everyone he works with. I get that the writers are trying to create a complex, interwoven story but there is a point at which you have more characters and storylines than anyone can care about or follow. It’s like they’re just throwing everything at it in the hope that something might stick and only about half of it does. Just as you’ve gotten invested in a character they just vanish. The most interesting bit is actually the where the show explores if a paedophile can ever truly be rehabilitated and if they should ever be accepted back into society.

I have so many unanswered questions [SPOILERS ABOUND]:

  • Where is Gail?
  • What happened to Nina?
  • What actually happened to Joel? Where was the rest of his family that kept getting referred to?
  • Did the lesbians ever get pregnant?
  • Is Edward on the road to becoming a serial killer?
  • How much of Marcella’s blackout behaviour was actually caused by Jason?
  • How on earth did Marcella pass off Juliet’s death as cot death?
  • How has Marcella managed to keep her job after so many public violent attacks?
  • What was Alan’s actual involvement in the groupie’s death?

I could go on.

Watchable but only if you don’t think too hard.

2.5/5

4 Comments

  1. It’s like they’re just throwing everything at it in the hope that something might stick and only about half of it does. Perfectly stated!

    1. It’s weird because it’s so good and so bad all in one ponderous bundle.

  2. I thought that the delay between series one and two was too long. I had to start to care about the lead all over again, and try to remember if anything from series one was still relevant. But like you, I was quickly sucked in to wondering who committed the crimes. 🙂
    If it was on again I would watch it. But if it doesn’t get another series, I won’t be complaining.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. Because I watched it on Netflix it was pretty much back to back for me. I don’t think there was that much really that carried from the first series apart from the blackouts. I agree with you that I would watch another season but not be upset if there wasn’t another one.

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