Finally, after a series that seemed longer than it actually was, ‘Apple Tree Yard’ has concluded, but with some questions left unanswered that have still got viewers scratching their heads.
We saw Yvonne Carmichael walk free from court, while her lover went down for the manslaughter of her rapist. The final scenes showed a family tattered, but not beyond repair, with a new grandchild promising to build bridges.
Meanwhile, some stuff we’re still trying to get our heads around, including, but not limited to, the following…
1. Did Yvonne ever think for one minute the secret of her affair wasn’t going to come out in court? Surely it was only a matter of time, and her lawyers looked as furious as her husband looked betrayed. Not the best decision…
2. Would a rape victim REALLY be treated like that in court? Whatever the other accusations being made against her, the depiction of Yvonne’s questioning by Mark’s defence counsel was harsh in the extreme.
3. Did Mark Costley love Yvonne or not? His affair with a colleague – plus a fight with a man chatting up his wife – proved his passion for her wasn’t unique, and yet he was prepared to risk a prison sentence for going to her defence.
He also changed his plea, perhaps out of jealousy, when he saw the loving look exchanged between Yvonne and her husband, and told his barrister about their affair “because otherwise it wouldn’t have been real”. His character’s motivation was left dangling, ultimately unknowable.
4. Was Yvonne a reliable witness at all? “You seemed sound” her inner voice said of Costley, when he clearly wasn’t. “You knew what you were doing.” He clearly didn’t.
5. The last scene uncovered that Yvonne HAD conspired with her lover in a fantasy of revenge against her attacker, although she rationalised “people will say anything”. We were given this as a big reveal, even though it was just a comment, and her defence had already withstood the slightly more culpable aspect of her driving the getaway car. Was this really such a big deal, or just a neat line to prove that we are all …. drum roll… ultimately unknowable?
Catch up with ‘Apple Tree Yard’ on BBCiPlayer.