A Disappointing End To A Disappointing Series
I think by now if you’ve been reading these recaps you know I’m not the biggest fan of ITV’s latest drama, Cheat. Having said that, I have been known to eat my words in the past as TV shows pull off an almighty finale or suddenly turn things around to make for a really compelling and impressive end. Unfortunately, Cheat is not one of those shows.
We begin the finale with a blood-stained Leah shocked and distraught at the sight of her dead husband, Adam. As forensics arrive on the scene and try to piece together what happened, detectives bring Leah into the police station for questioning.
From here, it’s all about piecing together the mystery and finding out what really happened on that fateful night. As DI Hammond interviews both Rose and Ben about their whereabouts that night, Rose fabricates together a rather convincing story. She tells the police she was down by the river for several hours during the incident and tells him that Leah always had a vendetta against her.
As Hammond turns the conversation back to Adam, Rose is caught out momentarily before continuing with her fabricated story. She tells him they had an affair that lasted months and slept together long before the night she seduced him. This then leads the detectives to get a warrant to go through Leah’s office where they find a knife with both Adam and Leah’s fingerprints and a note revealing the affair Adam and Rose allegedly had (but we know, didn’t).
All of this leads to an event in the past prior to Leah being arrested where she begs Rose for the truth. It turns out they’re actually sisters and as the police arrive, Leah is left to think about her sister’s actions since she begun turning her life into a living hell. As Rose believes she’s got away scot free, one of the detectives has another hypothesis. After reviewing footage from the night she finds a different jacket to the one Rose gave to the police along with inconsistent stab wounds on Adam which leads them to believe there were two knives involved. This is further backed up by them finding Leah’s ring in Rose’s room.
The final chapter of this four-part drama sees Rose speaking to her Father about the night in question. Her father quizzes her about what really happened and she tells him Adam grabbed her and she stabbed him in self-defence. It turns out the police were there all along and grab her, knowing they have the right person after her confession to the crime.
Leah is then released from prison and greeted with rapturous applause by everyone, especially the man she’s been having an affair with all this time, Stephan. As all the plot ties in the future are resolved, we cut back to Rose and Leah in prison during the memorable opening scene in the first episode. It’s here where we learn it wasn’t actually Leah in prison the whole time but in fact Rose. She tells Leah the real story and that she killed Adam willingly to make Leah’s life better. After driving a wedge in their marriage, pushing both Leah and Adam to breaking point and mentally manipulating both of them to the point of despair, she did all of this to make Leah happier.
We leave the series with Leah wiping her hands clean of her deranged sister and leaving her to rot in prison. Unfortunately it looks like Ben is going to carry out Rose’s final wishes and kill her Dad. As Rose reads out a letter in prison which is supposed to act as a way of repenting for her actions, we leave the series on an unsatisfying note as Ben looks set to kill Rose’s Dad in the woods, bringing an end to the charade and a very real possibility for a second season to follow.
It’s hard to know where to start with Cheat. No one likes reading a bad review so I won’t go into the reasons this series didn’t work as there will inevitably be some that have really taken to the mystery and have enjoyed the time-jumping nature of this thriller. That’s absolutely fine of course but for me, it didn’t work. With so many high quality options out there, Cheat is unlikely to be a show remembered fondly for years to come. With unresolved plot points, an unsatisfying end and a pretty obvious plot twist early on, Cheat fails to live up to its premise and ends on a disappointing whimper rather than a roar.