The following review contains spoilers for episode four of The Undoing.
It’s been a month now since the Undoing first arrived on our screens, and it’s still providing the ultimate lockdown distraction.
In episode four of the unrelentingly compelling HBO drama, we’re given another chance to glimpse inside the opulent interiors of New York mansions and basque in the delights of Nicole Kidman’s incredible wardrobe – ideal viewing after another week slobbing around the house in the same old pair of sweatpants.
In episode four, disgraced oncologist Jonathan (Hugh Grant) is granted bail for an eye-watering $2m, with (Donald Sutherand) stumping up the cash.
Jonathan wastes little time before heading to the home of the murdered Elena (Matilda De Angelis) and offering to take custody of the baby from grieving husband Fernando (Ismael Cruz Cordova).
During a TV interview at the climax of the episode, he also declares his love for Elena and claims he knows the identity of her killer. It’s a cliffhanger which leaves us will another barrage of questions. Have we all been duped by Grant’s charm? Could Jonathan be even worse than we thought? What will we all do once this brilliant series comes to an end in a fortnight?
Meanwhile, Jonathan and Grace’s marriage continues to come apart before our eyes. ‘I’m going to play the assigned role of the wife and that’s it,’ she tells him in one subtle but devastating scene. Nicole, once again, is at her magisterial best.
They are the ones caught in the media spotlight, but it’s Donald Sutherland’s Franklin who takes a more prominent role in episode four. We knew it would only be a matter of time before Donald had more to play with, and he shows his sinister side by threatening both Jonathan and the headmaster of Henry’s (Noah Jupe) school in gripping sequences.
The satirical edge we saw more of in episode one is back. Where the opening episode took aim at the neurosis and hypocrisy of New York’s most privileged, here the show fires a few shots at the US legal system. In one news report, we see a commentator take issue with Jonathan being granted bail for such an astronomical sum, declaring it a prime example of the system’s issues with white privilege.
- Glipping, glamorous telly made for lockdown viewing
- Donald Sutherland is at his sinister best, dominating episode four
- The show takes a smart, satirical look at the flaws of the US legal system
It’s all deliciously murky and as compelling as always, despite it being the least propulsive episode of the run to date. There are a few too many padding shots of puddles on rainy New York streets, and the odd redundant scene too. One sees Grace meet with Jonathan’s former defendant Robert ‘The Badger’ Adelman (Douglas Hodge) for no real reason, slowing things down a little.
But these are minor gripes. In a series stuffed with staggering performances, there’s a new contender for most impressive turn. Noma Dumezweni, who many will have seen playing Hermione onstage in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, steals most of her scenes as defence attorney Haley Fitzgerald.
Her main tactic is to make Jonathan’s charm his main line of defence – not a bad ploy. We’ll wait and see if it’s enough to get him off the hook.
The Undoing airs weekly on Mondays at 9pm on Sky Atlantic & NOW TV.
Credit: Original article published here.