After Strangers Episode 4, I don’t care who killed her, I don’t care why, and I cannot imagine how boring the next four episodes are going to be.
Blimey, what turgid, torpid, tripe television ITV’s Strangers is. I’m even indulging in hokey alliteration just to keep the recaps interesting. We’re only at the halfway point, and I’m already sick of it. We don’t seem any closer to the truth or a reason to care about it, and Strangers Episode 4, like the rest, just seemed to confuse needlessly piling on more questions and mysteries with building actual suspense.
David is quickly climbing to the top of the suspect pile, which almost certainly means he isn’t guilty of anything. You never know of course – I suspect at this point even the writers don’t – but Strangers Episode 4 made a point of incriminating him. By episode’s end he was on a boat with the corpse of Faraz, the informant who had been tipping off Sally at the embassy. Did David do it? Is he being framed? Do we care?
I should point out that I can’t stand Jonah. It’s not much to do with John Simm’s performance, which is his typical aggravated everyman shtick, but to me he comes across more like a petulant child than a grieving husband. He’s a nightmare. There’s no wonder whoever was in the shadows of that boat felt the need to bonk him over the head.
Having said, I don’t much care for anyone in Strangers. I’m mostly left wondering why Megan, blessed with two husbands, chose to wed the two most boring men on Earth. I don’t buy David as a mob-affiliated crooked cop – I buy him mainly as an actor who can scarcely be bothered reading the material.
The adjacent storylines aren’t coming together all that well either. Michael is lobbing threats at Sally, and Michael’s ex-wife, Rachel, suggested that he had some kind of suspicion regarding Megan. It could all mean something crucial or, just as easily, nothing at all. It’s difficult to tell at this point.
Either way, Strangers is becoming increasingly difficult to sit through. It’s devoid of narrative momentum, sloppily written, messily constructed and unenthusiastically performed, chock full of contrivance and red herrings that frustrate rather than entice. Four episodes in, I can’t imagine how this material can wring out another four. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.