Still catching up on A Confession episode 6? Read Steve’s review of episode 5 here.
It was a little long, the camerawork was a little shaky and the odd accent was a little off. Other than that, it’s extremely difficult to fault what has been perhaps ITV’s finest drama of the year so far. Not that we really want to criticise A Confession, you understand. After all, it’s been a truly excellent addition to Monday night schedules this past month and a half.
Telling the incredible true story of the aftermath of the murders of Swindon natives Sian O’Callaghan and Becky Godden-Edwards, Jeff Pope’s sobering and impeccably conceived six-parter gallantly brought police and judicial incompetence and bureaucracy to light. It also gave us a glimpse into just how devastating losing a child to murder can be. And what the true price of sacrifice can be for anyone who believes in doing the right thing.
This sixth and final episode saw about as satisfying a resolution to the case as we could have hoped for. This is a serious ITV crime drama, not a Liam Neeson action thriller, so we had to make do with Christopher Halliwell (Joe Absolom) getting his comeuppance in a courtroom. Though there are no doubt plenty of viewers who may have enjoyed a final scene involving Martin Freeman’s former DS Steve Fulcher bouncing Halliwell’s head off the wall.
This last episode opens some three years after the events of episode five. Having quit the force, Steve is contracting as a security consultant over in Benghazi. A change in command at Wiltshire Police sees Becky Godden’s case reopened and the imprisoned Christopher Halliwell arrested for her murder. A court date is then set. All that’s needed is for Steve to return to England and take the stand in front of a new judge and – with his previously inadmissible confession now admissible – help send Halliwell down even further…
The most admirable thing about this final episode of A Confession – and perhaps the entire series – has been its ability to create tension where there isn’t a great deal of it. This is a true story, one which is hardly obscure or hidden. Yet it’s remained dramatic and edge-of-the-seat stuff throughout.
There was never any real doubt that Halliwell, arrogant and naive enough to decide to represent himself in court, was going to get away with Becky’s murder once the case began. Yet there was something gladiatorial between him and Fulcher here. It was a battle that Halliwell would lose and one which the audience at home could revel in. His sentencing was our Liam Neeson bouncing his head off the wall moment.
Christopher John Halliwell will spend the rest of his life in prison for the callous and brutal murders of Sian O’Callaghan and Becky Godden-Edwards. And rightly so.
Of course, Martin Freeman, Joe Absolom, Imelda Staunton and Siobhan Finneran were faultless to the end. The latter two’s ability to portray the different kinds of pain, sorrow and heartbreak was truly outstanding. At least one of them should clear a little space at home for a BAFTA next year.
Mature, thoughtful, patient, sobering, brave and vital, A Confession appeared in our living rooms with little fanfare. As an examination of how sometimes you have to do the wrong thing in order to do the right thing, as well as a portrait of grief and resilience, it leaves as one of the year’s best dramas.
Did you watch A Confession episode 6? What did you make of it? Let us know in the comments below!