'Southcliffe' Episode 4 Review - One Year On, How To Break A Tragic Cycle? Rory Kinnear Stars In Final Of Channel 4's Drama

REVIEW: 'Southcliffe' - One Year On, How To Break A Tragic Cycle?

It's one year on in Southcliffe, with each of the residents making their own journey - forwards or backwards - after the tragedy that surrounded their town.

The Salters took turns to be brought rigid still by their loss, with Claire going well off-piste to save her dead daughter's friend, and Andrew frantically digging the garden. Eventually, after lots of spiky twitching from Shirley Henderson, including a didn't-see-that-one-coming nipple piercing, and a masterclass in unexpressed but clear emotion by Eddie Marsan, the pair found a way forward, and together.

David Whitehead was among the most traumatised by Southcilffe, past and present

One of the most haunted, however, hadn't even been there for the shootings. We found David Whitehead (Rory Kinnear), estranged from his family, without a job. It was only when he was summoned back to Southcliffe by an anonymous letter that he seemed strangely invigorated.

This was the same Whitehead who'd ranted that "they all deserved it... he'd have pulled the trigger himself" on his previous sojourn, so it was unsurprising that he became a target for some return vitriol, and a potential victim himself, as soldier Chris got more and more unstable with a gun.

Finally, the Salters were united in their grief

But, instead of looking the other way, like all those residents had with Stephen Norton, Whitehead stepped up, got involved, and so broke the cycle of tragedy. It was a subtle but clear message from writer Tony Grisoni, whose slow but involving four-parter has, once again, raised the bar of crime drama, by being about so much more than a crime.

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