Episode 1 of The Devil’s Hour begins with a convicted killer called Gideon questioning a woman, who sports a black eye and a cut lip. This is Lucy Chambers, and he tells her he knows she’s feeling dethatched like her life isn’t her own. “You wake every night from a painful dream you never had.” He says, and with that a smattering of different shots which seem incredibly important, end with the sound of a gunshot as Lucy Chambers sits up in bed, breathing heavily. The time is 3.33am.
Lucy’s not alone though. Her son Isaac suddenly shows up in the kitchen while she’s there, wide-eyed and repeating what she’s saying.
Apparently these episodes – waking in the middle of the night and going walkabouts – occur every couple of months. According to Dr Bennett, it seems like this Isaac’s way of dealing with the separation of Lucy and her husband. Apparently Isaac has been seeing someone called “Meredith”, but she’s not the first as there’s been several others he’s been seeing too, including a guy called Alejandro. “I’m not supposed to be here.” Isaac says, while Lucy sees things that aren’t quite there – like a vase of flowers suddenly shifting.
Lucy’s job sees her serve as a social worker, dealing with troubled families that have a history of abuse. While talking to a guy called Shane, Lucy again experiences flashes, this time to a child.
While this is going on, Ravi Dhillon is called to a gnarly crime scene. The victim is Harold Slade. He’s in his early 50’s and was stabbed 3 times. No weapon has been found yet but he was discovered around 4am.
Ravi dusts the room down for prints and checks out the victim. It seems he’s not particularly extraordinary, and he’s actually well liked in the community. The door was unlocked and he snuck in. Ravi heads out to the balcony, looks out and says “Weird time for fireworks.” He’s been doing this job for a while and it seems he has a fear of the dead. Given his condition, his partner Nick comments how it’s a strange career choice to take.
When Lucy has another nightmare, she wakes up and her partner, Mike, is there. He mentions her talking in her sleep, including mentioning fireworks. This seems important and could well be connected to Ravi in some way. As for Isaac, he gets in trouble at school for urinating on a kid called Alfie’s bag. Apparently Isaac forgot where the toilet was but this seems more like revenge to be honest.
Isaac shows up in Lucy’s room that night, chillingly watching her while she she sleeps. When she awakens, Lucy tells him to go to bed but he takes an age to shut his eyes. “Who’s that man?” He says eventually, unnerving Lucy further as she spins round and sees… nothing.
Sticking with Ravi for now, he heads off to visit a neighbour called Gerald Bell, who claims that there was a red Nissan Vanette outside for several weeks. It’s a rare model and could be a crucial clue in this case. Ravi immediately tracks down every Vanette in the county and they find what appears to be the one in question, down the M3.
Lucy returns to Dr Bennett and admits that she wakes up almost every night at 3.33am on the dot. She’s had this her whole life and even admits to “misremembering” things. She doesn’t divulge much further, but Bennett can tell that she’s afraid.
3.33am is apparently the devil’s hour, which makes this case all the more unsettling. On the way back home, Lucy does her best to try and get Isaac to emote but it takes a bout of sarcasm to get a half-smile out of him. She takes her eyes off the road for a second, and a small child almost gets run over. That child happens to be called Meredith. The same Meredith that Isaac appears to be seeing.
In the wake of all this we also get some scenes between Lucy and her mother, Sylvia. She’s erratic, going through a number of different personalities and calling Lucy by the name of Ellen (because she likes the name) Another time she actually recognizes Lucy but claims that she’s cold. Lucy promises her mum that everything will be okay and embraces her.
Ravi and Nick show up to find the abandoned Nissan. It turns out he had this parked up so he could record Slade’s routine. The keys to a hotel in town are still inside the car, and while the killer may not be there, someone must have taken their booking and therefore make it easier to track him down.
Ravi shows up at the Brightside Lodge. Apparently the Lot renter has grey hair, speaks with an accent and was last seen a few months back. It turns out he pays a year in advance. Miss Jones shows them the lodge in question, after some gentle persuasion, but finds a padlock over the front.
Cutting the padlock open, Nick heads in first and finds the place absolutely covered with newspaper clippings and paper. One in particular stands out. It reads: 4th October 11pm Millfield Close Murders, scrawled in red writing over a picture of a very familiar house.
We then skip forward to an unnamed time as flashing blue lights outside depict a really clever timeline shift. It turns out Ravi and Nick’s investigation is occurring just behind Lucy’s reality, and the episode ends with a body being taken out of Chloe’s house. Lucy is, of course, working as Chloe’s caseworker and we’ve seen scenes of her and Shane, her seemingly abusive partner, earlier in the episode.
“What’s the worst thing you’ve ever experienced?” Gideon echoes, as we cut back to the interrogation room. He claims there are far worse things out there, and with that the camera pans back to Nick and Ravi as they head deeper inside the lodge and notice, scratched on the window, the words “Where is Lucy Chambers?”
The Episode Review
The Devil’s Hour gets off to a fantastic start with an episode that takes the best parts of Shining Girls, Sharp Objects and Tabula Rasa, and essentially combines all of them together into a deliciously twisted and dark thriller.
This looks like it’s going to be a very gripping watch and the first episode is almost pitch perfect in terms of the way it’s shot and the tone this sets for itself. Peter Capaldi is enough of a star to reel people in but it’s both Benjamin Chivers, who plays a young Isaac, and Jessica Raine, who plays Lucy, who really stand out here.
The spine-chilling ending is enough to really entice you on to watch more and it’s no wonder this one’s trending on Amazon right now!