Hidden Series Blog: Episode 2 Review

HIDDEN: Thursday 13th October, BBC1, 9pm

We rejoined Harry Venn (and his increasingly stubbly chin) in the aftermath of a “gas explosionâ€? at his grubby little office in Kentish Town this evening, with things getting murkier by the minute. Bespectacled cop with a grudge, DS Fenton, played intimidatingly by Thomas Craig (you recognise him from mid-noughties Coronation Street) knows Venn’s dubious past only too well and his spidey-senses are tingling at this bomb blast scene: “Gas leaks are almost always accidents except when they happen to someone like youâ€?.

And Glennister continues to impress this week as that “someoneâ€?. Audiences didn’t hesitate in taking Gene Hunt to their proverbial bosom, and Harry Venn is proving to be just as loveable a rogue as the loud-mouth Quattro driver. He might be a solicitor but he’ll be damned if he does his top button up.

The sepia flashbacks came through thick and fast this week, enlightening us about the role he really played in the botched robbery and murder episode in his misspent youth. Fenton might be keen to implicate Venn in the killings but his memories reveal him as merely an accessory to the whole grisly affair. Yet how will he prove his innocence and scare off the vultures circling overhead? A trip to see Stevie Quirk, former associate and wide-boy geezer at the centre of the whole affair, would have provided some useful info were it not for the multiple “Donner Kebabâ€? wounds to his “lager n limeâ€? which now prevent him from uttering anymore rhyming slang.

The mysterious “Help Deskâ€? phone call interludes started to make sense this week, coinciding with the killing of Quirk and the attempted assassination of Gina. The usually smart script was broken up with some slightly clumsy plot signposting when sound-bytes of the wannabe-PM pledging “order, peace and stabilityâ€? were laid over the top of murdered Quirk. Any doubt that the two plot lines were interwoven at the highest possible level was certainly cleared up this week. But the smooth performances and nail-nibbling action sequences continue to test the endurance of BBC audiences.

Next week promises to deliver some serious trouble at the top of all this seedy shenanigans. Journalist, Elsbeth, and her power hungry political contacts are ploughing ahead with their campaign to oust the PM and put Nick Clegg-a-like, Alex Wentworth, in his place. The slimy backroom dealings have more than an echo of the media scandals that have hit the headlines in recent weeks. It will be interesting whether the BBC allow this savvy journo to get away with her parliament dealings unscathed. I’m guessing not.

The workings of the Help Desk and their secret killing squad were revealed to Venn and a cowering Gina at the end of the episode in a rather unbelievable spewing of vital information from a hired assassin. But with his key contacts flying off faster than his journey from London to Paris (what, 10 minutes?), how will Venn be able to capitalise on his new-found info? There seem to be some sparks of sexual tension emerging between Gina and the stressed out solicitor, so I’m thinking we could be in line for a bit of a dour double act?

And David Suchet’s debut in the series made for some more promising plot twists. As “one of the best lawyer’s in the countryâ€? his connections will run right to the top of this precariously stacked pile of politicians. Now that Venn has forged a relationship with the wig-wearing QC, the potential for calamity is painfully obvious to us but miles off the radar for poor Harry.

The faeces will be hitting the fan for the PM “the day after tomorrowâ€? when the file of damning evidence collected by Elsbeth is revealed to the world’s press. Here’s hoping that the plot advances with the same exciting pace and does not get too bogged down with holding up its “oh-so-topicalâ€? mirror on society and politics.