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Vigil - Episode 3 - Review

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Now on its weekly schedule, Vigil saw Silva begin to question who she could trust beneath the ocean and Longacre run into trouble on the surface. One of the biggest complaints of Vigil so far – let’s address this, as it’s something that normally tends to happen for shows like this – is that “it’s not realistic.” Well of course it’s not realistic, it’s a drama! It’d be boring if it was ultra-realistic. That isn’t a criticism and it’s not going to apply here. What is going to apply here is that this show is a tad predictable, and it is feeling like it’s spinning the wheel a bit – it’s almost like it pulled its big twist too early and hasn’t got any strings left to throw at us now that the investigation gets going.

Picking up after Jade’s death the fallout took us to the anti-Trident politician played by Stephen McCole. Here Patrick Cruden – working with his assistant Mark Hill (Olivier Lansley), eventually came clean to Longacre that Jade was her secret daughter that his wife doesn’t know about, so why would he have her killed? One suspect down – with a company that had been paid to give her an allowance each month that gave Longacre the clue, Longacre is able to learn some key information that points the duo in search of something more revealing: Burke had been investigating an incident that resulted in two deaths and an officer sent to the Middle East to cover up the situation in the navy, and we already know he had whistle-blower connections – but this whole thing might stretch beyond just the UK to an international scale level. Don’t forget: we’ve always been at war, according to Newsome.

In a rather frantic end to Longacre’s arc that closes out the episode, we find out that Longacre is being stalked by some sinister figures who she lures onto an abandoned multi-story carpark only for them to still follow her. Whilst they aren’t hostile, or at least, not yet, they are MI5 – and with backup still several minutes away, MI5 – who were also maybe keeping tabs on Jade. But what links MI5 with the navy? We’re not quite sure yet – but presumably with three episodes left – Vigil is going to start giving us more answers very soon.

One of the things that we’ve seen brought up time and time again is just how badly people take to leaving the navy knowing that their whole life is going to be over for them and they might not be able to adapt to the life on the surface, especially in Gary Walsh’s case who is likely to suffer the consequences of his actions and have them weighing over him. He almost pulled the trigger in what was arguably the tensest single scene of the episode – and the best - but Silva, previously antagonistic – is able to talk him down – and in turn, wins an ally who’s eager to come forward with new information. Both Surrane Jones and Daniel Portman brought their a-game to the table here, the two performers using the possibly over-shared but no less vital information on Silva’s past that we’ve seen in the previous two episodes to bring the past into the present. Will there be more of a role for Walsh to play on this show going forward? I wouldn’t put it past Vigil – after all, it’s not like he’s off the boat just yet. But he’s not going to forget what Silva did for him.

Linking the two investigations together Walsh reveals that two contractors were “cooked alive” in Port Havers on board Vigil, and those are the two deaths that Longacre found out about. They were cooked as a result of a junior mechanic making an error that wasn’t called out, and it feels like a pretty big error not to miss given the potential consequences – resulting in a cover-up operation that might go all the way to the top. One thing’s clear about who that cover up involves though and as Silva gains a potential ally she may have never had a close one – Glover, whose secret relationship with Tiffany comes to light here – prompting a more personal angle for the two and Silva especially given how close Silva and Glover have gotten lately. Everything Silva finds out about Tiffany; Glover will let her know.

But perhaps more importantly, the boat that was lurking near Vigil was not as previously thought Russian, but instead – American! Somewhat appropriate of a twist given the increasingly non-special “special relationship” between the US and the UK.

Vigil continues tomorrow night on BBC Two at 9pm.

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