There is less I have to say on this episode, because unlike episodes 3 and 4 which provoked questions and confusion, episode 5 seems to be pretty straight forward action. I don’t really have many unique or speculative angles to discuss. A lot of revelations are made, and we see a lot of what normally goes on behind the scenes. As I suspected, Vanessa visited a doctor following the blood in the toilet, and Tom and Katy’s affair all comes to light. The best part, though: Laura gets started on her revenge. A couple of my more abstract but still relevant questions were answered in the meantime, too.
To begin, I had an epiphany about the wine glass switching situation! The reason Andrew doesn’t give her the drugged glass straight away is because the effects of the GHB are pretty immediate. So, it would have been too obvious that he drugged Laura. She would have realised straight away. That’s why Laura was so insistent about the “accidental” switching of the glasses. Furthermore, postponing giving her the drug leads to stronger confusion as to whether she was just really, really drunk. With all traces of GHB out of her system by the time she gets tested, it leads to officials and even Laura herself doubting whether or not she was drugged. Also, turns out he didn’t consume any of the drugged wine himself So that’s that, I can get over it now. It makes sense.
With regards to the kayaking place, my friend Sophie informed me that in an interview, Joanne Froggatt (the actress who plays Laura) confirmed that Laura’s character partaking in kayaking is intended to present her a strong person. This makes sense, given the context of the show. Laura is a three dimensional person with hopes, dreams, strengths, and weaknesses. As is any victim of sexual assault. I’m not sure it translates very well though, without an explanation. I always read it as her being a bit of a loner, out alone in the quiet. We don’t ever see her really power kayaking, either, just slowly moving through the water. I know women aren’t required to smile incessantly, either, but she never looked very happy in the scenes shot there. And the setting was always eerie and bleak. Anyway, the strong person angle makes sense with regards to why and how Laura returned there during episode 5. More on that later…
Vanessa had her doctor appointment following her drugging & rape by Andrew. Of course, she doesn’t know that yet. To her, the bleeding may be a sign of miscarriage. With a sigh of relief, the doctor reveals that the foetus is still alive and well and doing fine. No harm done there. So, why the bleeding? And the vaginal pain? The doctor advises Vanessa to talk to her partner about it – it being sex. The doctor sees the abrasions as signs of some sort of vigorous PiV intercourse. Vanessa has never been with a (cis)man, and she certainly wasn’t with a man last night – she thought. So, everything clicks and she requests a test for GHB in her system. Of course, the test comes back clear. As we know, GHB doesn’t stick around long. I do wonder why she didn’t request a test for semen, as well, like Laura did. Was this too long after too? I don’t know. Anyway, Vanessa strongly suspects now, even knows, that Andrew drugged and raped her.
More drama that we’ve been waiting to unfold, I certainly wouldn’t like to be in Katy’s position. In an episode full of tension and fear, this was one of the most uncomfortable scenes for me. A misplaced umbrella leads to Laura finding out about Katy’s affair with Tom. Katy knows that she cannot avoid it any longer, that Laura is too smart – and she owes it to her. She admits what has been going on with Tom, that they had an affair but it is now over. Laura obviously feels completely betrayed and humiliated – the one person she thought she could trust, the person closest to her, was going behind her back the entire time. After walking in on Katy and Laura arguing, Liam finds out too and breaks up with Katy. So, it didn’t go well for her. I think this revelation pushes Laura to be brave with her plot get revenge on Andrew: she has nothing left to lose, no one left to consider.
Something that did present us with new and interesting information was finding out about Andrew’s “stash”. Andrew makes a visit to what we can assume is his mother’s house. Although, he never calls her mum and the interaction is a little distanced. Maybe she’s a patient of his. Either way, he stores some of his things in her shed. It is now revealed that this is where he stashes all of his GHB vials. Lots of them. It is also revealed that he has a video camera, and is storing memory cards here too. He is video recording the attacks. Sickening, beyond sickening. However, this is hefty evidence against him if and when it is found. We can also assume that Catherine, Laura, and Vanessa were not the first victims of Andrew Earlham. This stash is sure to be discovered eventually – next episode, since it’s the last one. But by who?
Now, for where episode 5 really gets interesting. Laura turns up at the pub where Andrew is enjoying a beer: “Found you.” She was drunk the night before, but we find out that this time she was just pretending to be drunk. She slips GHB into his beer as she acts drunk and argumentative. He attempts to leave, so she shouts at him, attracting attention of other pub-goers. Witnesses of an argument. Next, she pretends to drop her things outside as she “looks for her car keys”. Andrew advises her not to drive, eventually making his way to his own car. Laura stalls, making conversation, questioning Andrew as to why he has a problem with women – waiting for the GHB to kick in. In the meantime,she scratches at his neck – evidence of a struggle that wasn’t there when he raped her (for one, because she was drugged). As he loses control of himself, she piles him into the car and off to the kayaking place they go! There was some dark humour to be found here as it switched between Vanessa discussing evidence and legalities, and Laura dragged Andrew’s unconscious body. Alas, though, Laura ties him up and reveals her plan: recreating a rape scene with witnesses & more evidence.
I knew Andrew was going to escape, though, I just knew it. Being the sneaky bastard that he is, I just knew he would somehow get away with it. As Laura reveals her plan to him – which I personally think is a strange decision – Andrew is unravelling the rope tied around his hands. He too chooses to make a big revelation of this, displaying his hands before ominously instructing Laura: “Don’t run.” Of course, Laura runs. She doesn’t have time to get back in her car, and so weaves her way through the boats. The third jump scare of the episode (following her gasping as she wakes up, and her punching the mirror and screaming), the tension was so high. Andrew appears behind her and grabs her, and begins his attempt at a second attack. Luckily, he is interrupted by blaring headlights, those on the car of Vanessa. She tracked Andrew’s car and followed. Was this a little too convenient? Maybe, kind of. She had just found out he raped her though. Long story short, Andrew walks away scot free for now.
My only disappointment with this episode is that I was hoping that she might chop his penis off, but never mind. I also missed the GHB part the first time I watched it, because Laura was so sneaky and quick, so I had to watch a second time to catch this. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though, because Laura was supposed to be sneaky with the GHB or else Andrew or other witnesses may have spotted her doing it. So, it’s a good thing really. The first time I watched it, since Andrew feels the effects of the drug immediately after Laura scratches him, I wondered if she had scratched him with some kind of GHB saturated needle or glass, putting it straight into his blood stream. Made more sense the second time round, ha. Anticipating Monday with both excitement and distress: I can’t wait to see how it all ends, but, I don’t want it to end. It’s been a great show. Series 2?