The Bay episode 4 review

The Bay episode 4

WARNING: Spoilers below. Catching up? Read Steve’s review of episode 3 here.

When The Bay first started on ITV1 a little over a month ago, we billed it very much as a kind of Broadchurch Lite. It made sense at the time – there are the missing kid(s), the scenic seaside setting, the strong-willed female detective, the washed-up body and the cast of slippery, suspicious characters. One month later though, we take it all back. Well, most of it, anyway…

Northern Irish writer Daragh Carville’s crime drama hasn’t tickled the zeitgeist in quite the same way that Broadchurch did three times since 2013, but in terms of quality? The Bay is every bit as good. If not – whisper it – slightly superior.

Young Dylan Meredith is dead, we’ve known that for some time. The hunt for his killer has been somewhat sidetracked by the even more pressing need to find his missing twin sister Holly. Is she dead? Or in hiding because she killed her sibling? By the end of this fourth episode we at least discover that she’s alive, anyway. She is, of course, locked away in an old abandoned swimming pool for some reason. We can’t believe that DS Lisa Armstrong (Morven Christie) took so long to work that out…

The Bay episode 4

What tipped her off about the teenager’s lido living? Well, we’re led to believe that perhaps Nick Mooney (Matthew McNulty) is keeping her there. But having a beaten-up man with learning disabilities, who is a full-time carer to his wheelchair-bound mother, as The Bad Guy is a stretch too far for us. We assume he knew Holly’s whereabouts because she simply confided in him. We think she’s hiding from someone. Her brother’s killer, presumably.

The Meredith twins found themselves in hot Morecambe Bay water and got burned. They’re not the only ones, though. Lisa’s kids are struggling to keep afloat in similarly murky waters…

Abbie, it seems, is really up to her neck it. Caught up in the drug-dealing antics of the manipulative and violent Vincent, she’s breaking serious laws and putting herself in grave danger in lots of different ways. It’s a situation you can imagine any number of young people being drawn into in real life.

Slightly less realistic is the drama’s one bum note – Rob Armstrong’s plot thread. The whole ‘online dare’ thing just doesn’t ring particularly true. Especially in light of the Momo Challenge news story, which turned out to be nothing more than a hoax and scare story. The peer pressure on ‘TheGryd79’ making Rob commit illegal acts and the subsequent blackmail seems crow-barred in to make some sort of social point that barely needs making. It does nothing more than jar with the rest of this otherwise excellent crime drama.

Sean, Ryan, Nick, Vincent, Krzysztof… All are suspects. But none convince. The Bay is certainly keeping us on our toes here. If we had to guess, we’d say there’s something fishy about the seaside town’s bigwig Councillor Hesketh. We expect him to come into the picture in the remaining two hours of this top quality ITV1 offering.

We also anticipate Lisa and Sean’s tryst-based secret will come back to bite the pair of them on their formerly gyrating bums. There’s no way she can get away with all that evidence tampering, is there? Who knows.

If there’s one thing we do know for certain, though… Olivia Colman’s DS Ellie Miller would NEVER have slipped down an alley for a quick bunk-up on a night out. So that’s one major difference between Broadchurch and The Bay right there.

Did you tune in for The Bay episode 4? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below…

Read Steve’s review of episode 5 here.

Steve Charnock

Steve Charnock is a freelance writer who writes news stories, features, articles, reviews and lists. But *always* forgets to write his mum a birthday card.

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