ENTERTAINMENT

'The Honourable Woman' Part 5 Review - 'Two Hearts'

31/07/2014 22:04 BST | Updated 31/07/2014 22:59 BST

What just happened to 'The Honourable Woman'?

So we're halfway through this perplexing series, horribly well-timed - "I think your troops are about to enter Gaza," the head of MI6 prophecised to her Israeli contact - and we've got to the bottom of Nessa's almighty secret. Which made you wonder how the writers would keep us enthralled for another four hours. Well…

First of all, we had the repercussions of Nessa's predicament, both for herself and her world-saving corporate brand. Then we had her extraordinary conspiracy with Atika, whose real motives we still know not.

the honourable woman

Andrew Buchan is on stunning form as Ephra Stein, the keeper of secrets

Equally mesmerisingly, back at home, Andrew Buchan as brother Ephra was a study in paralysed helplessness, and the dilemma of the 'dirty hands' ethic - i.e. the choice left to some to do the least harm possible, in the knowledge that, whatever happens, they will be left with smeared fingertips.

If all that wasn't enough, it turns out Shlomo Zahary, the only person both Nessa and Ephra feel any kind of family affection for is, in fact, some kind of Scooby Doo villain.

Oh, and also that brother and sister share a secret passion for the same woman. Yes, you read that right.

So, err, can we have three more very long episodes, please, to tidy this lot up? I'm not suggesting for a minute that any new viewer drops into this series from this point forward. I'm recommending instead STRONGLY that you go back from the beginning and savour the whole thing on iPlayer. You might be a bit frustrated by the dolorous pace at first, but it will grab you, I promise, and show you why I think this is AT LEAST as crucial viewing as the first series of 'Homeland'.

And, unlike that worthy counterpart, 'Honourable Woman' producers have confirmed Maggie Gyllenhaal won't be returning, which means, if they have any sense, there won't be any second series. Like I said, a classic.

'The Honourable Woman' continues next Thursday and is available on BBCiPlayer.

The Honourable Woman

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