WARNING: spoilers below. Still catching up? Read Steve’s review of episode 2.
“Happy people don’t send photos of their genitals to a 21-year-old do they…?”
You can always trust a mum to come up with pearls of wisdom when you’re facing a life crisis and in need of advice, can’t you?
We nearly lost it at that pearl, uttered midway through Wednesday evening’s third episode of ITV1’s gripping nightly thriller Cheat. Delivered by Leah’s mum Angela (Unforgotten’s Lorraine Ashbourne), it was a killer line in what’s been an otherwise unfussy but solid script so far from screenwriter Gaby Hull.
Speaking of losing things, we saw plenty of that here in episode 3. Hot on the heels of Leah ‘losing’ her engagement ring in Tuesday’s instalment, here we witnessed lost phones, lost keys, lost inhibitions, lost tempers and, ultimately, a lost life.
We picked up the action with Rose forwarding the aforementioned photo to Leah just before her cheating review, effectively sabotaging it and keeping her place on the course. Retreating back to her parent’s house to mull over the state of their relationship, Leah left husband Adam free to wallow in his own self-pity and fondness for large tumblers of Scotch. In turn, that left the door open for Rose to strike…
One enigmatic text message later and a half-drunk Adam is risking his job and marriage for a sordid hook-up with a potentially psychotic young woman who’s obsessed with ruining his wife’s life. Twenty minutes of socks-on rolling around in a single bed later and Adam’s now a far bigger cheat than Rose ever was.
As we suggested in our last review, Rose’s infatuation with Leah does, in fact, go beyond simple annoyance at being accused of cheating on her dissertation. Leah’s dad Michael (Peter Firth) is involved and is the father of both women. Leah and Rose are sisters. Much like we pontificated…
“Leah and Rose could, in fact, be half-sisters. That may be what’s driving the younger woman. Jealousy and resentment of a sibling.”
Sorry to brag. It’s not very modest of us, is it?
Anyway, it turns out that Professor Dale had conducted an illicit affair with his research assistant some 22 years previously. She fell pregnant, gave birth to Rose and fell into a deep depression, killing herself when Rose was a child.
Rose grew up into an angry and scheming young woman starved of affection from her distant businessman ‘father’ (Adrian Edmondson), and decided to seek out her real dad. He, it transpired, was less than pleased to hear from her and the obsession began.
It was an obsession that began with some light poking of Leah in lectures and ended up in her husband Adam’s murder…
As we look ahead to Thursday night’s fourth and final slice of Cheat, we find ourselves asking more than one question:
● Did Rose actually kill Adam? Or just wound him?
● Or was it Leah, instead, who finished the job?
● Who will be found guilty of the murder?
● Does Leah keep the baby?
● Was anyone else more upset by Betsy the cat’s murder than Adam’s, or was that just us?
Here’s hoping for some answers in the concluding part of this tense, fast-moving and thoroughly enjoyable week of drama.
Did you catch Cheat episode 3 on ITV1? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below…