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Vigil - Episode 6 - Review

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With the killer now revealed and the secret out in the open, Vigil torpedoed to an exciting, action-packed finale that really ended its blockbuster run on an epic high note. With much of this episode wrapping up loose threads there was no real time for a last surprise, save for maybe the death of poor Prentice at the hands of the mole, but as a finale Vigil ticked all the right boxes, wrapping up its series-long arc marvellously. In a year of Bloodlands, Line of Duty and Vigil we certainly have plenty of thriller TV to keep us busy, and this ranks up there with the best of them.

Can we talk about what a tense opening 20 minutes that was, though? Silva’s frantic escape that led to the death of Prentice and her being held hostage by Doward was edge-of-your-seat stuff, and the crew working with Silva, who they had previously hated, to bring down Doward was fist-pumping stuff. Silva using morse code to alert Vigil was great, and a genius move – but also got Prentice involved in the sticky situation. You’d think he’d bring more men with him to rescue Silva, even if the mole wasn’t revealed to him yet – there were a few nervy attempts where Doward tried to off Glover, but thankfully, there were no more casualties – Vigil’s bodycount had run out. Glover had been one of the best characters on the series after all – so to see him pull through was excellent.

This meant we got a classic interview scene (you can tell Tom Edge wants to use “no comment” at every given opportunity, it really was a night for Line of Duty last night with it being namedropped in Mortimer & Whitehouse on BBC Two half an hour earlier), but instead of AC-12 it was MI5 interrogating Doward. They wanted to know what he’d done – what the reward was for him on the other side – and why. It felt almost a bit too easily wrapped up – but something calmer after the suitably tense opening act was needed. Of course, the navy are going to cover their own – the trawler crew’s deaths get blamed on Russian submarines.

Vigil also offered a resolution to those flashbacks that brought together and then picked apart the Silva/Longacre relationship, with the two getting back together (#SILVACRE fans are no doubt satisfied), as Silva comes to her realisations about her character flaws that led to the relationship falling apart in the first place. It’s a massive positive step for the BBC to put this representation what is essentially a prime-time drama, and I really found that the writers were able to weave these characters’ relationships into the plot skilfully, using the past to reflect on the present. It also gave Silva her happy ending – and seeing her leave HMS Vigil for the final time was as rewarding for us as it was for her.

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