A Confession – ITV Mini-Series – Episode 4 Recap & Review


Family Nightmares

After last week’s episode, A Confession returns with DS Steve finding the past catching up with him while the families of the victims endure the worst as Halliwell is put on trial. With a welcome lack of shaky camera work this time around and a better paced narrative, A Confession does well to keep things interesting, despite an abundance of over-acting from some of the supporting players.

We begin with DS Steve telling Becky’s Father the bad news about his daughter while asking him questions about when he last saw Becky. After being told by the other officers at the station to stand down, Steve struggles to let the case go, convinced there’s more to this than just Sian. As it happens, everyone on the case has been reassigned to other projects making life a lot more difficult for him.

Gathering whoever’s left, Steve learns the police have no clues around what the burning debris was in the middle of the road and there’s also separate DNA they’ve found belonging to a third female. After lamenting the lack of man-power available for the team, Steve finishes the briefing by wishing them all luck.

In prison, Chris phones his friend and tells him about his situation, mentioning 8 murders down the phone. At the same time, we also learn that Chris was asking about serial killings while in prison the last time he was imprisoned. With this new-found information, Steve pleads with his superiors for more resources but they decline, telling him to let the case go.

We then jump forward to 18th April 2011; the day of Sian’s funeral. A detective heads to see Karen who breathes heavily and falls off her chair upon seeing pictures of Becky’s body. From here we then jump to the 18th July 2011 where we see a flashback of Becky before she died, cutting to see Karen in real-time staring at Becky’s body in the makeshift coffin infront of her.

The Pre-trial hearing begins soon after and both Becky and Sian’s families appear in court along with DS Steve. The detective takes the stand and is immediately put on the spot by the defence around interviewing Calliwell at the castle. Unfortunately he talks his way into trouble as he mentions a loophole which Calliwell’s lawyer pounces on. Unfortunately, because of this the judge finds Calliwell’s confession was done under pressure and as such, breached the code of conduct and not able to be used as evidence in a court of law.

With Halliwell’s confession the only piece of evidence against Becky’s murder, the family learn, to their horror, that it can’t be used in a court of law. We then jump forward again to October 2012 as Halliwell is brought in before the Judge where he pleads guilty to killing Sian. Given he prevented the family from enduring a trial, the Judge rules he’ll serve 25 years in prison but because of the situation with Becky, it could have been a lot more. As Halliwell is taken away, Steve apologises to Karen for not doing more.

Unfortunately, back at the station Steve has a complaint filed against him by Becky’s father which results in gross misconduct and his future as a police officer called into serious question.

Once again A Confession continues to deliver pretty good drama here and the lack of shaky camera work this time around is certainly a welcome sight. Having said that, some of the editing feels a little clumsy, especially throwing a flashback straight after stock text depicting a crucial date in the case. It’s a minor point but one that left me wondering if I miss something as we saw Becky alive and well during this period of time.

It’s also worth pointing out Becky’s Mum Karen too who, for some reason, has over-acted her anguish throughout the series. Between the end of last week and this episode, the incredulous screaming and exaggerated mannerisms feels really jarring compared to the more reserved performances from everyone else involved.

Still, despite all this A Confession has certainly been an interesting and faithful recreation of the infamous murder case that gripped Britain, although a few technical hiccups and minor issues hold this back from being a more prolific crime drama.


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