Monday, October 31, 2011

Bedlam: Season 1, Episode 3: Inmates

So, we begin with Kate have a... vigorous work out with her married gym buddy. And yes, that was a euphemism. Now I'm leery about this – in the last 2 episodes we've seen that Kate isn't all that nice of a person by any stretch – but I wouldn't want this to be another not-so-subtle indicator of what an unpleasant person she is. Yes, she is knowingly having an affair with a married man (and talking about how hot it is that she might catch them) but he is the one cheating – I don't want this affair to be all about what a bad person she is when he is far more at fault.

And we're introduced to Sadie, this episodes ghostly haunting victim. She bonds with Jed over their mutual stay in mental health units as patients. I was actually leery of this given their past actions with mental illness – but it touches on a few issues quite well - how isolating it can be – how their friends dropped them when they became ill (or apparently ill, in Jed's place) – the fretting of family members over how you are – and doubting your own actions. Especially with the ghosts messing with her. It also calls out some of the spiteful jokes and behaviour from Kate (which is, again, raised to the next level this episode) which very much needed doing.

The whole haunting of Sadie has an extra level of being disturbing due to Sadie's own worry about how it could be related to her mental illness – whether the paintings were defaced by her, the boxes left by her – that doubt seems very real and very well portrayed.

I am leery for the reasons for this haunting – it feels a little like she is being attacked – being punished – for being tragically the victim in the past

In other news, Ryan says he's going out to Mass – but instead goes to a gay bar (yes! Hallelujah! I was hoping deeply that Will Young wouldn't be playing a straight guy pining after Kate)

Ryan also meets up with Grace – a former patient (and victim) of Bedlam asylum who now squats in the basement. She's been studying the building – and a series of missing girls in the 80s, including her daughter – and history repeating itself with Zoe disappearing. She also claims to know Jed's biological mother – a patient in Bedlam who had her baby taken away from her. Something confirmed by Warren – who kept the file and the information from Jed. Pleasant guy Warren.

If Kate becomes more unpleasant she risks becoming a caricature. Already we've reached a point where it feels almost like Ryan, Jed and Molly tolerate her only because she is the landlady (and Molly and Jed don't pay rent). I'm glad to see Ryan as a gay man – and wonder how they're going to be handling that in future (cynical? Moi? Surely not)

And where oh where oh were is Molly this episode? I suppose Kate took a backseat last episode and now it's Molly being benched. Ryan is increasingly being established as Jed's side-kick and research assistant

I say again how much I like Bedlam's atmosphere. It can create massive amounts of the creepy with nothing more than lighting and a box. A noise, a sudden mark. Again, I'm impressed.