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Paranoid episode 6 review

WARNING: contains spoilers

I finally realised what’s missing from Paranoid: a baddie!

Previously we’ve had a series of red herrings rather than a true villain. There was Jacob Appley (innocent), the hooded killer (dead), Chris the creepy psychiatrist (slippery), and the entire detective force themselves who are their own worst enemies, but no balls-out, full-bloodied, pantomime style, hiss-boo, nasty monster we could all root against.

It’s taken three-quarters of the series, but one has finally arrived! Nick Waingrow: the carefully coiffured, former CIA smoothie who works at the German drug company that is at the heart of the international conspiracy that the terrible detectives at Woodmere CID find themselves engulfed in.

The death of a local GP has spiralled into a shadowy world of mind-altering drugs and European corruption which now has a handy catchall nickname attached to it (because constantly saying ‘shadowy world of mind-altering drugs and European corruption’ was getting tiresome): Mainline.

And what is Mainline? Well, it’s very, very bad, I can tell you that. Oh yes… OK, so we don’t know what it is, but a lack of knowledge hasn’t stopped our hapless police officers from blundering through the investigation previously and it’s an approach they’ve decided to stick with. Nina reads a document that says murder victim Ruben was afraid of Mainline and then tells us that she thinks Mainline might have something to do with Ruben. Poirot she is not.

paranoid episode 6

But Mainline is what ties everything together: the murder of Angela Benton, the death of her ex-lover Ruben, the framing of Jacob Appley, the insanity of Alec’s mother, the girth of Alec’s neck which appears to be increasing each week and the overt creepiness of local psychiatrist Chris, who really needs a cape and a moustache he can twiddle.

Chris has been spotted heading into the men’s toilets with a known assassin and yet the detectives still can’t quite finger him for anything nefarious. But Jacob’s brother is starting to smell a rat, and for fans of shows that mention the title within the actual show itself, he declares ‘I feel paranoid about it’. Hurrah! Take a shot.

Turns out creepy Chris has been romantically involved with a number of his patients while doling out drugs like a lavatory attendant gone mad and has now driven Alec’s crazed mother to suicide – Nina talks her out of it by saying ‘Too late is just shit in your head’ then, compassionately, leaves as quickly as possible – while concurrently blackmailing Lucy with a collection of sexy snaps from her past.

Lucy decides to come clean (as it were) with the rapidly unravelling Bobby, still stationed in Dusseldorf. He reacts with some quite marvellous, jowl-wobbling, over-reactive fury which isn’t helping his mental state at all. Which brings us back to the brilliant Nick Waingrow.

Bobby has decided to wage psychological warfare on the drug company security operative (but no-one else – doesn’t this organisation have any other figures of authority like a CEO or something?). But nasty Nick is running rings around him and the rest of the German investigating force, declaring, ‘we’re all over your life’.

Bobby is quickly getting even more sweaty and pop-eyed and Linda Ferber has had enough, diagnosing him, accurately, by saying, ‘you are not right, you are wrong’. The he has a fight with some pills. That’s right, a FIGHT with some PILLS. A full fight, with kicking and punching and everything. With pills. A load of pills. Which was really quite marvellous.

Paranoid really is something. It’s a bit like Midsomer Murders devised by a grotesque lovechild spawned between David Lynch and Werner Herzog with a healthy dash of the Chuckle Brothers thrown in. How else could you explain a character blurting out ‘They can’t flaunt their milk breasts at me any more’ apropos of absolutely nothing.

This week’s instalment kept all the crazy, pointless personal stuff mainly to one side (Dennis did appear and obscurely mentioned ‘peanuts’ which was just unsettling) and so fizzed along at a far more satisfying pace. Keep that up for the final two episodes and I won’t feel that my whole Paranoid adventure was eight hours of my life I’m never getting back.

Did you tune in for Paranoid episode 6? 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.

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