The Cry had the decency to darken the mystery this week, but the show’s fancy-pants flourishes and over-the-top plotting are still a chore.
I’ve never trusted Alistair (Ewen Leslie). His voice is like if Tickle Me Elmo was also a sex pest and his hair is, frankly, completely unacceptable. Luckily The Cry Episode 3 provides even more reasons to hate him, as it turns out he’s not just useless, but also narcissistic, psychotic, and potentially a killer of babies. And also dead, as it happens.
Yeah, I know we’re supposed to suspect Joanna (Jenna Coleman), but with Weird Al’s manipulation being so blatant it’s difficult to imagine anyone is responsible for baby Noah’s death but him. Oh, baby Noah’s dead, by the way – that was also established this week, as we learned he had been (potentially) inadvertently poisoned by a bleary-eyed Joanna straight after the long-haul flight from Scotland, and then carted around like some terrifying doll until Alistair slung his corpse is a duffel bag and buried him under a magic tree. His words, not mine.
But the real bombshell of The Cry Episode 3 was that the trial that we keep flashing forward to is actually about the death of Alistair, not the death of Noah. Well, it could be both, actually. It’s difficult to tell, as the show’s fancy-pants structural flourishes mean that things keep happening out of sequence and then re-happening with additional context, which is a bit tedious. And there are also occasional diversions for really overwrought dream sequences in which Joanna digs through the earth in a flurry of ash and a really intense orange filter.
The question of who killed Alistair is suddenly more important than the mystery of what happened to Noah, because Weird Al is so detestable that I’m genuinely eager to see him snuff it. What I’m mostly hoping for is a last-minute team-up between Joanna and Alex (Asher Keddie), and Lord knows he’ll deserve it, although the question should be asked what either of them saw in the guy in the first place. When Al goes to see Alex at one point in The Cry Episode 3 she mentions his “affairs”, plural, and I’m really not buying him as some kind of dick-slinging Lothario.
To be honest, though, the show is just too obnoxious for me to care either way. It’s anchored by strong performances (particularly those of Leslie and Keddie – Coleman is a bit much here) but it’s hampered, badly, by its smug efforts to play coy with the facts. Of course that’s how good thrillers work, but The Cry isn’t a good thriller, it’s a needlessly convoluted one, and it’s utterly terrible at really communicating the horror of what we’re watching, so sequences like the one in which Joanna is carrying Noah’s dead body around feel, dare I say it, a bit daft.
Maybe next week’s finale will turn all of this on its head, and the answers we receive will be satisfying enough that the build-up was worth it, but let’s just say I have my doubts. Still, The Cry deserves credit for being a really well-observed example of how controlling douchebag dudes drive women to drink and potentially murder, because I’m all the way over here perfectly ready to kill Alistair myself. And for once I’m not even drunk.