This review contains spoilers for episode five of the undoing.
Here we are then, at the business end of the most deliciously compelling series of the year. After taking us on a whistle stop tour of the mansions of Manhattan in previous weeks, the penultimate episode of The Undoing settles itself in the courtroom and shifts fully into slick legal thriller mode.
There are more pieces of the maddening puzzle revealed. Grace (Nicole Kidman) discovers that Henry (Noah Jupe) knew much more about his father’s infidelities than he let on – but could he be the killer?
We’re also informed that Jonathan (Hugh Grant) suffered a horrific trauma as a teenager, which led his own mother to label him a ‘sociopath’ and might go some way to explaining why he’s such a s***.
Crucially, we see the murder weapon for the first time, setting up one of the show’s signature cliffhangers – we only hope it’s not going to be tossed aside in the first few minutes of the next episode, like some of the other big revelations have been this series.
Meanwhile, with Jonathan in the glare of the media spotlight and his face all over the news, Grace’s part in all of this seems less clear than ever. ‘Who did it?’ is the obvious question we want answered, but there’s one other thing fans might find themselves screaming at the screen: ‘What is Grace still doing by Jonathan’s side?’
Whether she’s been blinded by a desire to protect Henry, or still under the spell of Jonathan’s charms, we can’t help but wish Grace would leave him hanging out to dry. It’s no less than he deserves, after all.
She even succumbs to a late night booty call, after Jonathan tempts her with ‘a cup of tea and a bowl of Frosties’. It’s hard to imagine a woman as wronged as Grace would get out of bed for ‘Frosties’ at such a turbulent time, never mind walk through Central Park at midnight. The character has been so richly and convincingly drawn up until now – she deserves a little better.
- Henry has known more than he was letting on – but could he be the killer?
- Jonathan’s previous trauma has rendered him a ‘sociopath’ since he was a teen. Is he capable of murder?
- Is Noma Dumezweni’s Haley Fitzgerald good enough to get Jonathan off the hook?
As ever, the uniformly excellent performances carry another hugely entertaining episode. The action is as polished and propulsive as we’ve come to expect, but the shift into well-worn courtroom format does mean it loses some of the capricious unpredictability that made earlier episodes so enthralling.
There’s great joy to be had in watching Noma Dumezweni like a bull in a china shop, too, tearing up the rule book as the maverick defence attorney Haley Fitzgerald.
Finally, it’s getting really difficult to find new ways of saying just how good Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant are in this series. Even when they spend most of the episode sitting silently in the courtroom, they’re on top form. We imagine they’ll have a whole lot more to do in next week’s finale, and we can’t wait for it.
Credit: Original article published here.