Bodyguard: one week to go…

ONE week to go for Bodyguard (BBC1), and I am loving the tangled web. Writer Jed Mercurio is the king spider when it comes to this sort of thing and spins the deadliest silk.

One of the great joys of immersing yourself in this made-up world of duplicitous politicians and dodgy characters scuttling through the shadows is that it’s a happy distraction from the real world of duplicitous politicians and dodgy characters scuttling through the shadows (with their shirt untucked and their hair in a tangle).

Over in that less appealing place, Boris Johnson is again on the front page of the Daily Telegraph (aka the Boris Beano) moaning about Mrs Maybe’s Brexit plan. While the prime minister herself is telling the BBC: “It’s either my Brexit deal or no deal.”

And in the Guardian, you will find the rather amazing story of five baby squirrels that had to be rescued when their tails tangled into a Gordian knot. You will be glad to hear they are said to fine now.

If you wanted an image for the intractable puzzle that is Brexit, five baby squirrels with their tails knotted together isn’t a bad place to start. It’s also, as it happens, a neat reflection of the plot of Bodyguard.

One week to go, and it’s still not easy to say what is going on. Or to know who is doing what to whom or why. Is David Budd the lone hero of the scrabbled hour; the only one in search of the truth? Or is he the king-pin baddie at the dark heart of it all, the man behind everything?

I stick to the hope that he is the bruised and bloodied hero. But the pull of this drama is that any theory can be blown away in the wind.

Last night’s episode was a quiet, nervous place compared to earlier outings. But that worked because it built the tension before next Sunday’s extended finale (75 minutes and counting).

Mostly it saw the never knowingly less than gruff Budd rushing about trying to find an answer, while all about him people said he wasn’t in a fit state to be in such a hurry.

Eventually, he was stripped of his police credentials, like a disgraced sheriff in a western; and just like that sheriff, you know he’ll keep going until the final shoot-out.

Last night I spotted something before it arrived and that was pathetically pleasing. Everyone was hunting for the Home Secretary’s missing iPad and I offered up the theory that it was behind the ‘Death Star’ photo of Julia Montague with David Cameron.

This proved to be right – punches the air in self-congratulatory manner – and was doubly pleasing as Cameron has a hidden role in our national life as the Death Star of Brexit.

The assassination of Julia Montague was shown this week not to have been caused by the briefcase, but by a bomb hidden underneath the stage in a sandwich box; or something.

Incidentally, the most common conspiracy theory among fans is that Julia Montague isn’t dead at all. I hope not as that would seem to be a rather obvious cheat but, honestly, I’ve no idea.

Another pleasing strand of plot saw the return of Chanel, the woman sacked in the first episode. She sidled up to Budd in a coffee bar and invited him out for a drink. But he photographed her getting into a sinister black Range Rover and shared the photo with his police friends (or possible enemies). Is Chanel really the public school-educated daughter of a crime syndicate? And could that be at the heart of it all, rather than various arms of the realm wrestling with each other to stop a dangerous Home Secretary?

Oh, we’ll find out next Sunday. And how good that we must wait a week rather than doing a Netflix binge (yes, guilty as charged sometimes: but waiting is so much better). And most viewers are watching as the show goes out. An old-fashion notion, but a good one.

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