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TV Recap

'The Hour' Episode 3 - recap

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The Hour Week 31: Freddie Lyon (BEN WHISHAW)

© BBC / Kudos Film & TV/Laurence Cendrowicz

Who is Brightstone? That is the question we're left to ponder at the end of episode three of The Hour, which finally began to truly live up to its hype and promise with its latest instalment of intrigue, secret liasons and crossword-puzzle mysteries.

Freddie has found himself in quite a pickle and the petulant, inquisitive pest from episode one cut a far more sympathetic figure tonight. His pursuit of the truth behind the conspiracy and murder of Ruth Elms had led him down some dark alleyways... and toilet cubicles.

Thomas Gish - who departed the show in the most unfortunate of stairwell deaths - turned out not to be the big bad we all thought he was (his trilby and ventriloquist dummy mouth did make him look very guilty). After having his flat ransacked and his dad frightened, Freddie confronted Gish and ended up in a nasty scrap with him in the corridors of the BBC.

The Hour Week 31:  Bel Rowley (ROMOLA GARAI), Freddie Lyon (BEN WHISHAW)

© BBC / Kudos Film & TV/Laurence Cendrowicz



After a comical moment where Freddie ended up hovering over a Beeb bog, he ended up getting the upper hand over his mysterious stalker. Gish fell to his death and Freddie now knows that he should be looking for a person called "Brightstone" and not a thing called "Bright Stone".

He's also been informed by the drunkard (and rubbish actor) Adam le Ray that his marriage to Ruth Elms was a sham. "I did what he said," babbled le Ray. "They said if I married her, no one would know what I am." Freddie posed the quandary that underpins the entire mystery of The Hour: "They again, the mysterious they..."

Now Gish is out of the frame, Freddie's biggest worry comes in the shape of moustache-twizzling slimeball Angus McCain. He's offered Freddie the chance to come and work for the dark side and has tried to stoke a bit of fear in the young reporter with a speedy car ride, but he's clearly just the public face of something far more sinister. Who is pulling McCain's strings? Is it Brightstone?

While Freddie was buried in his crosswords and scrapping in the BBC dunnies, Hector and Bel were busy flirting, flirting some more and then finally getting down to a bit of hows-your-father (that's what it was called in the 1950s, right?). After much to-ing and fro-ing, finger-stroking and shirt tugging during a shooting weekend at Hector's country mansion, the pair have finally sealed the deal.

The Hour Week 31:  Bel Rowley (ROMOLA GARAI), Hector Madden (DOMINIC WEST)

© BBC / Kudos Film & TV/Laurence Cendrowicz



Is Hector's wife already on to the duo's illicit rumpy-pumpy? Their stolen kisses during the country house games of sardines weren't the most subtle and you'd have to be slower than a London bus in rush hour to miss their double entendres ("Are you going to help me pluck them?" "No, sorry, I have to jive").

It's the small touches and brief moments of humour that are really holding The Hour together, even when the central mystery is lagging under the weight of its own importance. Isaac's acceptance of a "pint and a bag of chips" as overtime pay, every moment that Anna Chancellor's Lix is on screen and the almost brotherly relationship that is blossoming between Hector and Freddie ("You can't possibly wear that jacket... and those shoes") makes the series so much more endearing than a bog-standard crime drama or a typical period piece.

Do you have any theories about The Hour? Share your views below

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