Room for Doubt
Episode 2 of Suspicion begins in New York with a gorgeous one-shot take of our characters at the hotel the night in question. It would appear they were all there at the same time…but were they responsible for the kidnapping?
Either way, we cut back to Bishop’s Gate Station as Vanessa prepares to interview her suspects one at a time. Only, these interviews are all jumbled up together. All of our suspects are incredulous to what’s happening but Natalie decides she doesn’t want legal representation… even though her fiancé is a lawyer. Yeah, it doesn’t make much sense either but let’s run with it.
Each of our suspects are asked about the whereabouts of Sean Tilson. Although they don’t know where he is, we as the audience most certainly do. He’s still in Ireland, as it turns out, and has gone to visit his blind grandfather.
Sean hasn’t been there for a while but stops by to help feed him. He knows Sean is in trouble, and a sympathetic pat on the shoulder to his pa confirms as much.
Next up, Sean arrives to see his lover aboard her boat. With a bottle of champagne, they head out onto the water together.
Back in Bishop’s Gate, Vanessa asks questions about Natalie’s movements in the hotel. Apparently there’s no CCTV footage of her returning after leaving that night. So that gives her an alibi right? Couldn’t they follow a trail of CCTV cameras outside the hotel and around New York? Anyway, all Natalie can remember is drinking way too much and then waking up in her hotel room.
Under Natalie’s bed though, Monique finds a whole wad of cash in a plastic bag. There are also messages too, telling Natalie that she needs to pay up. Well, the police soon show with a search warrant, intending to check the place. Only, Monique suspiciously leaves just before they do, with the money no less. As she heads out, she hides the money in a safe place.
Back at the station, we find out that Leo actually went to the same university as Tara, who apparently had a college investigation against him. The evidence though came back as no wrongdoing. Leo’s notes are full of details about Tara too, but she claims it’s “old news” and has more important things to worry about.
Over in New York, Scott Anderson receives a call from his superior, Owen. He’s getting restless and claims they “still have no idea who took him or why.” So why are these four guys being questioned then! Leo’s whereabouts are still unknown too and Owen urges him to get this nailed down. After all, there’s only a mater of time before this goes public.
Scott touches down in London and remains determined to make the suspects crack. He certainly does just that, making an absolutely infuriating noise with his mouth and eventually taking the reigns of the interviews himself. He’s not challenged by Vanessa over it either beyond a quizzical look and a quick, scathing statement.
Meanwhile, Sean makes it to Northern England, leaving his lover tied up in the bedroom of his yacht. As he makes it to shore, he presses a button and blows the vessel sky high. Sean soon makes it to Liverpool where he kills someone else and takes their car after they’ve filled up at the petrol station. It’s all on CCTV by the way, but the security guard is busy and doesn’t actually notice.
In the morning, our four characters are free to go, and they each make their own way home. As they return to their lives, without so much as kicking up a fuss, Vanessa and Scott decide to watch their every move and wait for them to crack. And as they’re let go, Sean shows up in London.
As the episode comes to a close, we see a video feed hacked in Washington as the kidnappers rasp that Katherine needs to “tell the truth”, showing off Leo who’s tied up but very much alive.
The Episode Review
Suspicion’s main premise is pretty interesting in truth but the execution leaves a lot to be desired. In an attempt to be artistic, the sporadic cutting between scenes completely offsets the pacing.
Take something like Criminal as an example of how to build suspense and tension in an interview room. That show managed to build tension organically and you can feel the suspense with every question.
Here though, we get Vanessa asking questions and then we get two or three answers as we jump between our central characters. It’s distracting and actually quite annoying at times.
Added to the scenes of Sean off in Ireland and making his way to London, as well as random scenes in New York with Scott, and what we get is a show that feels like it has ADHD.
If everything would just settle down a bit and let the characters and story breathe, we may actually be onto something here. There are more than a few similarities to BBC’s The Witness, a series tackling the same subject but with far more panache (despite a silly ending.)
Here though, there’s no suggestion that these guys even kidnapped Leo. Natalie claims she left the hotel so why not just follow the CCTV cameras outside? We’ve established that the hotel has cameras and they didn’t see her return so why not just follow the trail through the urban jungle to figure out where she went?
These little details hold this back from being a more competent thriller, despite a really enjoyable musical score and interesting cinematography.
Hopefully the episodes ahead improve because right now this one is going to be a real acquired taste.