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Dublin Murders - Episodes 5 + 6 - Review

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The past few episodes of Dublin Murders have done a mostly good job at weaving the two main cases together. These last two, however, have enlightened me as to why there are precisely 2 episodes airing each week. Quite simply put: each episode is 90% dedicated to one of the cases, and there's barely any mix. Unfortunately, this also makes it hard to care about either one, since things are becoming a little too fragmented. It's kind of like during previous episodes of The Affair (which I also cover, so apparently this is now thing, series-wise), when you were hoping for an Alison/Cole episode and you got Noah/whoever his flavor of the week was. Not so bueno.

Still, with only two episodes to go, and no second series in sight as of yet, the showrunners are going to have to wrap up the many loose ends at some point. And while Katy Devlin's case remains at a standstill, Lexie's is progressing quite a bit.

We Need To Talk About Rob

Rob has never seemed like the stablest guy, since this case fell into his lap. Whether he's hallucinating wolves, going through crippling fantom pain, or trying his best to remember deeply buried trauma, his temper is constantly pushing against the surface and I'd say 'this isn't going to end well', but it already isn't. Of course, several attenuating factors come into play. The fact that his two best friends disappeared in one fell swoop while they were all playing in the woods. The fact that he apparently witnessed Sandra being raped, on that same day (which, by the way, would give the 3 other guys a pretty solid reason to want those kids to disappear). Being severely harassed by the other children's families when he reappeared and they didn't. Or even the way he was raised, by a father who thinks «Keep your mouth shut around women, then you won’t have to lie» is a worthy lesson for his 12 year-old son. Yeah, not getting Dad of the Year award any time soon. So maybe it comes as no surprise that he seems completely cut-off emotionally, both in regards to his father's death, and towards people in general.

Rob is completely unraveling, personally and professionally. He lies to everyone about Adam's fate, telling both his supervisor and Jamie's mom that Adam died in a car crash in New Zealand. Maybe he should've picked a version that is a little harder to check on. How is this going to work? Is no one fact-checking anything he's saying? Won't it inculpate him immediately to try and have his own memories and version of what happened disappear? This doesn't seem like honest detective-work, eliminating himself as a suspect (not that I think he's involved in Katy's case in any way, but my own subjective opinion isn't really what matters here). Nor does harassing a potential witness to the point of screaming at him because he doesn't recognize the man Rob wants to convict. He also ends up on a quasi-date after telling Rosalind to call him "anytime, day or night, about anything", which she interpretes as him being her new (reciprocal) crush. And when he tries to distract himself by sleeping with the landlady (and roughing up the guy she was with at the club, just because), he immediately pictures Cassie instead and the fantom pain is back. So all in all, Rob is one pagan ritual away from moving to New Zealand and actually ending up in that car crash.

The case itself is barely progressing, since Rob is still trying to get Margaret to admit she was lying about Jonathan and his friends being at the movies. Margaret herself pulls a Psycho on Rosalind and tells her she "never wanted her". Theories are running rampant that Rosalind is not Margaret's kid, but actually Sandra's (if she didn't get an abortion in the end?). But why wouldn't have Sandra kept her in that case, surely Jonathan didn't care? A this point, it's anyone's guess. That family is messed up and it doesn't date from Katy's death.

Lexie 2.0

Meanwhile, Cassie is suddenly off the Katy case so she can dedicate herself completely to becoming Lexie. Nothing to do with the fact that she and Rob have reverted to being, essentially, strangers to each other. She isn't half-assing the Lexie thing either, nothing is too much: new tattoo, new piercing, new haircut, and new voice (she's been studying Lexie's speech mannerisms on a loop). Seriously, couldn't she have gotten a decalc?! Granted, I know next to nothing about tattoos but while I love my job, there's no way I'd be imprinting something -not of my choosing- on my skin for it. But hey, that's just me. Also, I do find it particularly grating when haircuts/dyes are shown on screen (very dramatic choping of long, dark, strands) and then the haircut ends up looking like a bad wig, because it is a bad wig (see also, Lane on Gilmore Girls).

Cassie is now in the house, living with her 4 BFFs and trying very hard to seem like she belongs there. At first, it seems to work, she gets it right about Abigail being the only one to know about the baby and she plays the unconcerned Lexie pretty well. But soon enough, a series of small but significant missteps give the other reason to doubt her. Especially cultleader Daniel, who has apparently been shouting to anyone who'd listen that Lexie had never even made it to the hospital. This all comes to a head when they drug her drink and accuse her of not being who she says she is... and the episode ends there. There's no way Cassie is going to talk herself out of this one, and she lied about Daniel having a gun so she's all on her own as she faces four angry people who've been lied to repeatedly.

I've said it before even if I was willing to give the show the benefit of the doubt, but tackling two books at one time and thus two completely separate plotlines (however much the show wants to link them), was not the best idea. The stories don't (and shouldn't) mesh well together (come on, the motorway, really?) and it's a shame to sacrifice what made the books so good to... what? Keep this duality thing that doesn't even exist in the first book? We can only wait and see what the penultimate episode and finale will bring next week, but over the course of 6 episodes so far, things have felt both rushed and too slow, and it's a shame, because there was an excellent show to be made there somewhere. The cast is fantastic, each of them almost perfectly corresponding to their novel-counterpart (minus Sam... sorry, Sam). I'm still waiting to see if the show follows the books resolution-wise, and how it's going to wrap things up. There's one part of the book-version that is left very open ended, and it will be interesting to see if the show presents its own interpretation of it. Wait and see, and in the meantime, sound off in the comments!

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