Tonight is the final part of Shane Meadows’ emotionally testing four-part drama, co-written by Jack Thorne, that tackles themes of repressed memory, revenge and the hope of redemption.
Meadows has produced some stellar films and TV dramas over the past 20 years and The Virtues adds to the quality of a canon that borrows heavily from the writer/director’s personal experience.
Stephen Graham’s Joseph is a character full of self-loathing and repressed memories, who is prone to drinking himself senseless to escape his demons. His pathway to find his estranged sister and closure on his past has seen him travel to Ireland – but is his motive redemptive or for redress.
This tense, gripping drama shines an unforgiving light on the care system of the 1980s and the lasting psychological scarring of children. It is difficult to see a positive outcome for Joseph but it is an episode you absolutely must see.
The Virtues – Wednesday at 9.00pm on Channel 4.