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Paranoid episode 2 review

“What is wrong with people?”

This exasperated phrase, uttered by a number of characters in tonight’s episode, could easily serve as an alternative title for bizarre conspiracy crime thriller Paranoid, as absolutely every participant appears to be mildly damaged or slightly deranged in some way. Especially the cops.

Though the annoyingness of the main characters has been toned down slightly in this second episode, personality disorder fans need not worry as there’s a slew of bizarre individuals hurtling towards the investigation.

After last week’s tsunami of information, false leads and poorly taped cardboard boxes, this week’s instalment trots along at a slightly more sedate pace, but with more complications. The detectives investigating the murder of Angela Benton should be cock-a-hoop, as the evidence pointing towards their main suspect (now deceased) continues to pour in. There’s a murder weapon, fingerprints and CCTV footage.

But for our emotionally repressed or over-emotional trio of detectives, all this overwhelming evidence is a little bit too easy and they’re still unconvinced that they’ve actually got their man.

Paranoid episode 2

There’s a further wrinkle as the murder victim’s estranged husband over in Dusseldorf turns up dead as well. In a swimming pool. (If you ever find yourself in any sort of crime drama – stay away from the swimming pool. It will eventually have a body floating in it.) But this corpse’s sudden appearance also seems to be fairly straightforward – Angela’s ex-hubby died of ‘party time chaos’ and ‘fancy drinking’ according to the German detective Linda Felber who is looking into that strand of the investigation.

The entire German Skype-based component of the drama feels like it exists in a completely parallel universe. The cops over there are brightly lit, wear turtlenecks and have excellent taste in hardwood floors. But they too have their suspicions, especially when they come across Sheri, the dead man’s girlfriend, who appears to have been plucked from a 1940s screwball comedy with her wide-eyed confusion and preponderance for bursting into tears.

Back in the UK, more exasperating characters are introduced as the mother of investigating officer Alec Wayfield gets involved in the personal lives of the ‘Paranoid Gang’ with a remarkable display of eye-rolling and poorly applied lipstick. She has spotted a discarded crutch (!) that Nina has left under one of her garden benches so immediately assumes that the gobby detective has designs on her son. No, honestly.

Meanwhile sad sack detective Bobby is getting closer to slightly sinister Quaker Lucy, who has a taste for herbal teas and is definitely hiding something. There’s nothing like a brutal murder to really up the romance quotient.

Occasionally, some crime investigation takes place. Mainly by the ‘Ghost Detective’, a shadowy figure who is actually talking to witnesses and gathering evidence, while the actual police continue to get off with each other. While trying to discover who this shadowy investigator is, Nina hurts her leg (hence the crutch) and Bobby and Alec make a vital discovery – which leads to the genuinely thrilling conclusion of Paranoid episode 2.

By now you’ve either bought into Paranoid’s slightly more hysterical elements, or you’ve firmly switched off. Despite all the unhinged participants and grating personalities, is there enough actually story to keep us invested? Just about I’d say. Though with six more weeks to go, it’s all starting to feel like more of a slog than a sprint.

Did you tune in for Paranoid episode 2? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Dale Shaw
Dale Shaw
Dale Shaw

Dale Shaw is a television and radio writer, journalist, screenwriter, performer and musician. His first book, Letters of Not, was published by The Friday Project in 2014, with his second, F**k This Journal, published by Headline in 2015. He has written for The Now Show, The News Quiz, Russell Howard’s Good News, The Impressions Show, That Mitchell and Webb Sound, One, School of Comedy, as well as for The Guardian,Index, Huffington Post, BBC Online, Washington City Paper and many more.

Follow Dale on Twitter.

2 Comments

    OMG, the German detective’s [Linda?] visit to the husband/victim’s house was hilarious – all on her own, in the middle of the night, in her cute little trenchcoat. No backup, no just cause for jumping the fence [trespassing!], and duh, everybody keeps corpses in their swimming pools it’s just so trope-y!

    Also loving the paranoid, probably-unethical, psychiatrist/psychologist – def unethical w/Alec’s mom, apparently. And the victim’s father who’s so afraid of losing custody of his grandson that he repeatedly refuses to help with the investigation.

    “What’s wrong with people?” Indeed.

    [Love your reviews, wish I’d found them sooner, snark is necessary to viewing. Although, as a committed Robert Glenister fan, I can’t not watch.]

    I liked it and love that I can’t figure things out yet. The German male detective is super cute and I hope he returns next week! The crutch thing was odd but I’m letting that one go

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