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Paranoid episode 3 review

When we last left the lads and lasses at Paranoid, Alec had just been dumped from a great height into a large body of water, Bobby was being chased by a mysterious hooded lunatic and Nina was quite confused about her love life.

Week three and I think we are all starting to realise that as well as having some problematic moments in their lives and some quite staggering personality disorders, the police officers of Woodmere CID are simply not very good. In fact, pretty rubbish. Perhaps that’s why the various random officers who hang around in the background scenes at the police station never actually speak to them.

The unknown barged-based assassin – who it seems murdered GP Angela Benton, then popped over to Germany and murdered her husband, then popped back and tried to murder Alec (I think) – is clocking up more air miles than Richard Branson while running rings around our detectives.

Meanwhile the shadowy Ghost Detective, who appears to know all aspects of the case but prefers to drip feed the information in plot-handy chunks, has finally materialised. He looks like a geography teacher and has his own handy ‘murderer’s shack’ that he works out of. But his involvement and identity are still a mystery.

Fans of Alec’s mother and her total bizarreness will be thrilled by this week’s instalment, which involves her behaving even more coo-coo bananas than usual, with an extra dose of eye-rolling, some light slapping and dialogue so stilted it could appear in a Cirque du Soleil production. Alec compares her to the creature from Alien. ‘And I’m Sigourney Weaver,’ Nina tells us. Sigourney should sue.

Paranoid episode 3

Nina and Alec (despite, or possibly because of, his traumatic brain injury) finally go to bed together. It is during a post-coital pillow talk moment that Alec romantically mentions his sinister visit from the Ghost Detective. Then, eight hours later over breakfast, Nina asks, ‘And what did he look like?’ Like I said, not great detectives.

Elsewhere, everyone else has completely lost their marbles. The unit’s boss, Michael, has started saying things like ‘Budgets are a nail in my brain’ and ‘We need bright lights stapled on our foreheads’. Despite being convinced of the open and shut-ness of the case, the attack on Alec has allowed him to have a complete u-turn and is now very much part of ‘Team Mystery European Assassin In a Hoodie’. He should ask Bobby for some of his meds.

Entertainingly, Bobby has decided to turn into Gene Hunt. That is until Nina threatens to kick him in the balls and then he calms down again. But he feels emasculated by his failure to catch the hooded assassin and he’s even a bit nasty to herbal tea-swilling Quaker Lucy and has the occasional dizzy spell.

Over in Germany, there’s not much from Linda Ferber’s unit. Robbie William’s wife is back as Sheri who has suddenly remembered a vital piece of information (which is handy): the name Marquita Olivo. Linda immediately rushes over to Marquita’s flat, briefly talks about yoga and then leaves again.

But this baffling array of information and characters is slowly distilling into some semblance of a story. Angela was part of some international conspiracy. Fearing exposure, she typed up what she knew. Those papers are now what everyone is looking for: the cops, the Hooded Assassin, Robbie William’s wife probably – everyone.

But can our slightly hopeless detectives sort out their personal problems and get to these vital, enigmatic papers before our globetrotting, identity swapping, canal loving murderer bags them? On the strength of what we’ve seen so far, it’s not looking good I’m afraid.

Did you tune in for Paranoid episode 3? 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 GuardianIndex, Huffington Post, BBC Online, Washington City Paper and many more.

Follow Dale on Twitter.

3 Comments

    Utter garbage. Ridiculous “plot”. Shockingly bad acting from many of the cast. Appallingly stilted dialogue from a cast of completely unbelievable characters.

    Paranoid has to be one of the worst dramas for a long time on ITV….and a waste of the talents of Lesley Sharp and Robert Glenister.

    LOL! Thanks to you, I’m looking forward to seeing the new ep rather than holding my breath in an “omg-wtf-now?!” kinda’ way. I do wish Nina were the one getting kicked in the metaphorical balls, though. And ooh, a bit nasty to Lucy [of the lizardly slow-blink], go Bobby!

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