This review contains spoilers for episode three of The Undoing.
If, like most of us, you’ve been glued to CNN this past week, with Jon King’s election analysis ringing in your ears and red and blue graphics seared into your retinas, it’s good to know there’s still TV out there that can match the real-life drama unfolding across the pond.
After the breathlessness of episodes one and two, The Undoing’s third instalment changes gear and morphs into a more restrained and brooding version of itself.
There’s still a lot to keep track of. After Jonathan’s (Hugh Grant) shock reappearance in episode two, we see him incarcerated and put up on a murder charge.
We also discover that Jonathan had a lovechild with Elena, and while she should be hating him with every fibre of her being, Grace (Nicole Kidman) is left to put the pieces together, and while she’s distraught over Jonathan’s infidelity, she can’t bring herself to believe that he is a monster capable of killing.
Episode three takes stock of things, offering a change of pace following the series’ breakneck opening. After two episodes of shock revelations, things are left to simmer in episode three.
Things slow down for the time being, but there are still excellent performances to carry episode three. Grant and Kidman have emerged as one of the TV pairings of the year, and neither put a foot wrong again here.
Even playing a murder suspect and egregious adulterer, Grant never stops serving up crumpled charm. He shuffles around the prison yard looking like a mischievous dog left out in the rain, and the excruciating visitations with Grace are perfectly executed.
There are more beautiful shots of New York, and we also see more of Donald Sutherland’s Franklin Reinhardt, who spends his time ominously playing chess in shadowy rooms, not so subtly hinting that he could have a bigger part to play in all this.
- Things slow down and there’s a shift in focus, but excellent performances carry episode three.
- We need a standalone prison drama starring Hugh Grant
- Nicole Kidman’s wardrobe assistant and hair stylist deserve awards all of their own.
Compelling and unmissable though it might be, it’s difficult to pin down exactly what The Undoing is at this point. The first episode was a sharp satire, the second a whodunit mystery, and this one a mix of courtroom procedural and prison drama.
It might be difficult to get a grip on, but not knowing where it’s going next is half the fun.
The Undoing airs weekly on Mondays at 9pm on Sky Atlantic & NOW TV.
Credit: Original article published here.