Finding Alice season 1, episode 2 recap – it’s only weirder from here

January 26, 2021
Jonathon Wilson 0
Weekly TV
2

Summary

Finding Alice doesn’t show any signs of becoming less weird in its second episode, with more questions than ever – but at least Harry gets a fittingly bizarre send-off.

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2

Summary

Finding Alice doesn’t show any signs of becoming less weird in its second episode, with more questions than ever – but at least Harry gets a fittingly bizarre send-off.

This recap of Finding Alice season 1, episode 2 contains spoilers.


Finding Alice is supposed to be weird – I don’t think there can be any argument about that. But after the opening hour, there was at least the possibility that it was only the titular Alice who was really weird, and given the sudden death of her husband in mysterious circumstances and the financial dire straits – not to mention personal and legal woes – she’s trying to navigate in its aftermath, at least she has a good excuse.

As it turns out, though, everyone in this show is weird, including the bereavement group who sort out Harry’s tailor-made at-home funeral and arrive with his ramshackle cheap-and-cheerful Arsenal coffin on the roof rack. We’re reaching a point where defying expected convention is starting to feel like a) annoying self-indulgence and b) an actual detriment to the overarching plot of the show, providing anyone can actually remember what that is.

Keeley Hawes is still great, of course, but she always is. Writing tag-team Roger Goldby and Simon Nye rely on that far too much though, giving her lots to play, range-wise, but very few logical reasons to play it. You could make a case that the first episode was a dark comedy about a grieving woman’s psychological tailspin, but this follow-up leans more into family drama and leaves a lot of the tantalizing thriller elements by the wayside. Alice borrowed a grand from some random woman she had just met who claimed to be Harry’s business partner in the first episode, and I’m pretty confident that wasn’t even brought up again here.

And then there’s Harry’s supposed son, and also maybe a suspect in his death, since the CCTV footage reveals the presence of another individual whom Harry was in animated conversation with right before his fall. But he just disappears as well! By the time Alice is talking about having his DNA tested I’d forgotten about him entirely. So had she, for all I knew – at the very least she failed to mention him or indeed the “business partner” to the police.

This random dropping of subplots is pretty slapdash as far as screenwriting goes. There’s something to be said for bucking convention, but you can’t expect to just forget about important dramatic threads and hope nobody notices. What was actually in Finding Alice episode 2, which mostly concerned itself with Alice organizing Harry’s funeral on the grounds of his beloved smart house – just what he would have wanted, apparently – is quite alright, both dramatically and comedically. There was a lot of emotion in the gesture and some of the conversations around it, and a lot of good gags relating to it. But it occurs against the backdrop of an ownership dispute – Harry apparently left the house to Alice’s in-laws, Minnie (Gemma Jones) and Gerry (Kenneth Cranham), and they have to sell it to clear their debts – that it’s difficult to see the endgame of, and all the potentially interesting mystery elements have to take a backseat while we discuss the merits of home burials.

There is something to be said for the show, though. At least as of Finding Alice season 1, episode 2, I have absolutely no idea where this might be going next.

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