Episode 4 of The Stranger begins with Adam’s Father leaving work as the stranger approaches, dressed in a suit. She follows him into a cafe, ordering the same food as him and eventually cuts to the chase, blackmailing him regarding the affairs he’s had over the years. It turns out he has a child from a different woman but before he can find out who this woman was, the stranger pushes the table into him and runs away.
Meanwhile, Johanna tries to regain her composure as police rush to the scene. She begs Wesley not to tell the police about her relationship with Heidi and begs to be put on the case. Only…she received a cake from Heidi to the station which presumably the other officers saw and laughed at which throws a few question marks into the continuity pot here.
Adam confronts Tripp over Corinne calling him and it turns out he knew about the stolen money. He lied to protect her and Corinne also told him she needed a week to prove her innocence. Adam takes offence to this betrayal of course and hurries home, where the kids confront him over his lies. They also show Corinne’s location on their phone and as Adam looks set to leave, Killane shows up at the house and agrees to tag along with them to find her.
Back at the crime scene, Katz tries to lead the police down a different line of inquiry and draw the suspicions away from him as Johanna and Wesley try to piece together what really happened. Frustratingly it appears there’s no CCTV footage nearby from the looks of it either.
Adam and the others split up as they trace Corinne’s signal onto a train station and narrowly miss her as she gets on a train and leaves. She gets off at a remote station no far though and this leads them all to a desolate bridge at this location. As Ryan hurries up the steps, they find her phone sitting alone and no sign of Corinne. It’s here Adam finally admits the truth to his boys and promises they’ll find Corinne.
Looking through Corinne’s phone, Adam finds a number labelled “that bitch”, more commonly known as Sally Prentice. As he meets her, there’s a moment between them as things hint toward a past affair in their history. She tells him Corinne rang years back and knew about this too. They hooked up when he was married but beyond this, we don’t get any more hints over the intricate details.
Adam finally head into the police station to report Corinne missing. As he does, Johanna meets Kimberley and asks about the money and their upcoming trip away. She vehemently declines that they were romantically involved allowing Kimberley to trust her and admit that a woman was trying to blackmail her Mother. Adam’s Father arrives at the football match and tells his son that someone came to visit him too, eventually going on to tell Adam he wants to make amends for all the wrongs he’s caused. Adam admits that he’s had an affair too, at least indirectly, and they look set to continue this conversation until one of the girls, Olivia, collapses on the floor.
Katz rushes to the hospital where we find out his daughter is actually Olivia. Was he being blackmailed too? Is that why he killed Heidi? Before we get a chance to find out however, the two detectives arrive at Adam’s door and claim Corinne was present during the murder and they need to speak to her urgently where the episode ends.
Understandably, with a thriller like this you do need to suspend some disbelief but just why is everyone lying? If people told the truth here things would be cleared up a lot quicker, especially given some of these melodramatic road-bumps have been designed for the sake of superficial drama rather than plot consistency. There’s secrets all over the place too and whether it be Katz killing Heidi or Adam hiding the truth about Corinne from his boys, the entire show seems to have imploded into a messy, secret-filled drama rather than a cat and mouse thriller with these two strangers.
Still, it’s a minor gripe and as far as guilty pleasures go, The Stranger is certainly up there. It may not be the best thriller or crime drama out there, and at times the acting is admittedly a little ropey, but the building mystery and layered storyline should be enough to keep you watching to find out what happens next.
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