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The Driver: Episode 2 Review

Last week’s episode ended with Vince (Morrissey) in a very difficult situation. Dragged out on a job by feckless ‘mate’ Col – to the consternation of his wife Rosalind – Vince discovered the reality behind the shimmering glamour of a life of crime. Col’s job turns out to be very dirty indeed, a bloody assault ending with a semi-conscious victim being dumped in a pit and left to die.

While episode one was bookended by scenes from an exciting car chase, this middle episode eases back on the accelerator and fleshes out the characters. In particular, it gives a bigger role to Rosalind (Blakey). We also find out more about the McKee’s estranged son Tim, the elephant-in-the-room of the couple’s marriage.

Rosalind’s suspicions are aroused – and rightly so – by Col’s sudden appearance, and when Vince begins behaving erratically she instinctively knows that something is up. However, it is interesting that she does not jump to the conclusion that he is having an affair. This says a lot about the nature of their relationship, and helps to make Vince a more sympathetic character even as he becomes increasingly morally compromised. Suspicions are heightened further when Rosalind discovers bloodstained clothing in the laundry.

Creeping dread and growing paranoia provide thrills as Vince finds he is in over his head and his web of lies begins to crumble around him. As he gets entangled further with criminal boss Horse, he manages to attract the attention of some detectives who are interested in why a cabbie would dump a bloody body at A&E and leave without giving a statement. The stage is set for an exciting finale as Horse casually mentions that he needs Vince to race across the city for an upcoming job. How much longer can Vince keep his domestic and criminal lives separate, and will he be able to protect his family when Horse inevitably discovers his role in rescuing the rival gang member Col was supposed to ‘take care’ of?

Morrissey was particularly good in this episode, making it easy to feel concern for Vince and empathise with him. The scene in which he attempts to make contact with his estranged son, who we learn has joined some sort of commune or cult, is heartbreakingly sad. It would have been easy for Vince to be a stock character of the type Jason Statham sometimes plays, but Morrissey and writer Daniel Brocklehurst have made him a very vulnerable and relatable ‘common man’.

Some plot niggles are emerging: it’s really not clear how Vince has come by the impressive advanced driving skills shown in episode 1, and his ability to return in time for a restaurant reservation having popped out for a spot of GBH and body dumping outside city limits stretches credulity. However, at this stage in the drama these are easily ignored details. The Driver continues to intrigue.

Director: Jamie Payne

Writers: Danny Brocklehurst

Cast: David Morrissey, Claudie Blakley, Sacha Parkinson, Ian Hart, Colm Meaney

Review by Stuart Barr

1 Comment

    I cannot express how much I absolutely loved The Driver, it was by far the best drama on TV of late and probably one of the best series I’ve seen in years, I really wish that it had gone beyond three episodes, I didn’t want it to end! The acting was magnificent, combining gripping drama with a humourous edge at times. David Morrissey was absolutely brilliant, and totally believable. There is a massive gap for this type of great TV.

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