We’ve reached the halfway point of ‘One of Us’, and all we know is that one of the characters we’ve come to know so well is a murderer.
The plot, conceived by brothers’ writing duo Harry and Jack Williams - who previously brought us ‘The Missing’ - is a simple but effective one. Two families living side by side in the Scottish highlands have a legacy of secrets between them, but are united in grief when two of their children, married childhood sweethearts Grace and Adam, are murdered in Edinburgh, apparently by a vagrant psychopath.
Their ties become more invested when this same killer steals a car and travels to their home. Before he can do whatever it was he came for, he crashes the car and is helped by the two families. That is, until they realise who is, and lock him up in the barn. By morning, he is dead - but which one of the grieving parties was responsible?
As the police and press closed in during last night’s second episode, we saw the increasingly unlikely spectacle of the two families somehow wiping their tears long enough to hide both the body, and the car, in a landfill, courtesy of a tractor that happened to work still after several years non-use.
In two other major plot developments, Adam’s sister Claire (Joanna Vanderham) grew increasingly uncomfortable hiding the truth from the police, while his shell-shocked mother Louise Elliot (Juliet Stevenson) discovering the murder weapon in the hearth, with all fingers pointing at her other son Rob (Joe Dempsie). But is this too obvious?
Let’s examine the suspects…
Mother Louise - Adam’s grieving mother, who - after years of sobriety - we saw eyeing the bottle on the night of the murder. She’s also been quick to assist Rob in disposing of the body, and has admitted she’s glad Adam’s murderer is dead.
Sister Claire - the only one of the families seemingly shocked by the deed, and wanting to come clean. She also shouted at everyone, asking them if they did it? Would she have done this if it were her, or is it a cunning double-bluff?
Brother Rob - the most practical person when it comes to disposing of the crime, plus he cancelled the ambulance on the night, showing some kind of ill intent. And now the weapon means the police are coming his way. But, as I said, a bit too obvious at this stage?
His wife Anna - we know she was raped previously, and her assailant is on the loose in Edinburgh. Could this have something to do with the present crime
Grace’s father Bill - Very quick to promise to pay off the family’s farmer Alastair after he unhelpfully threatened to blackmail them all over the events. Would he do this unless he knew the person responsible was a) him, b) someone close to him or c) has evil intention towards Alastair next?
Grace’s mother Moira - accused of wishing the victim had been another of her children, not Grace. Would she be moved to kill? She’s the one with the least attention on her so far, which must make us wonder. Or is she protecting…
Grace’s brother Jamie - a strange fellow, already with a history of taking a gun into school. And we know he went to the barn that night. And we know he has an obsession with Claire Elliot - which won’t end well, whatever else happens.
Alastair - murderer AND blackmailer? That would take some cunning.
Who’s your money on? Let us know below…
‘One of Us’ continues next Tuesday on BBC One at 9pm. The first two episodes are on BBCiPlayer. Tap the picture below to open our slideshow: