Manhunt – ITV Mini-series – Episode 3 Impressions



Putting The Pieces Together

Following the dramatic ending to yesterday’s episode, Manhunt returns for its conclusive finale to this police procedural. While the case itself is resolved in its entirety, Manhunt fails to give a satisfying finish to Colin Sutton’s familial drama. Still, for the most part this third episode continues the great work done leading up to this point, weaving a web of realistically depicted detective work in the process.

After a dramatic raid to open the episode, attentions turn to the investigation and pinning the evidence on Bellfield himself. Between the scraps of CCTV, Bellfield’s van and the ditched mobile phone, Colin and his team work together to pin these bits of evidence on the suspect. The rest of the time this third episode focuses on interviews with Levi Bellfield’s girlfriend, Laura. Through her we learn more of our suspect’s temper, mannerisms and more importantly, his whereabouts the night Amelie was killed. This then sees the various teams corroborating together to bring justice to Bellfield and pin him to the various murders that took place across 2 years.

For the most part, Manhunt sticks to the same rigid format its adopted for the past 2 episodes. Although there is a slight adoption of dramatic elements to push toward the final scenes, Manhunt maintains its methodic pacing and realistic detective work that’s made the series so appealing. Although at times this does detract from the longevity of the series, Manhunt makes for an enthralling watch nonetheless.

In truth, the final act of the episode is a little anticlimactic. After focusing on the effect this case has had on Colin’s personal life, there isn’t any closure for this storyline. Instead, the episode ends with Colin reading Bellfield’s rights as he’s taken to prison before fading to black. On reflection, it would have been nice to see a more consistent arc with our detective and while I appreciate the focus is predominantly on the case, given the time we’ve spent with Sutton’s family, it seems odd not to give some closure here.

As the final scene fades to black, we’re left with a touching tribute to the three girls that fell foul of Bellfield’s rage. It’s a timely reminder of the horror these cases can bring and just how difficult it must have been for the detectives to piece together the scraps of evidence they had to work with and bring Levi Bellfield to justice. It’s an important tale for sure and one told with conviction and respect.


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