Blasts from the past and rookie mistakes leave Jodie Whittaker’s character floundering as Trust Me ramps up the tension.
After a rather lengthy recap of Episode 1 – blame us for being so used to Doctor Who’s quick-fire ‘previously’ reels! – we find ourselves back in Cath Hardacre’s life. Or should that be Alison Sutton’s life? That distinction, that secret that must never be told, is a fine line that Cath must walk throughout the episode. Unfortunately for her, it seems to be coming under fire at almost every turn. Last week’s cliffhanger left us with journalist Sam Kelly hunting Cath down, desperate to turn her whistle-blowing into a story. Cath phones him and tells him not to call again, but eventually, he manages to track her down. Despite his lucrative offer, she manages to fob him off and he promises she won’t hear from him again. But Sam is just the start of her worries, most of which are due to her own sloppy hand.
There is a recurring theme in Episode 2 of ‘near-misses’, and one that threads from start to finish is Cath’s passport. Or, rather, her lack thereof. She may have won over the interviewer, but now she faces an even tougher opponent. The Human Resources department! If Cath doesn’t submit a copy of her passport by the end of the week, they’ll cut off her wages. She needs to keep the job, but she can’t reveal her true identity. The only solution? Go even further to the dark side and get a fake passport. Surely, these dodgy dealings can’t end well for Cath.
“Can you keep a secret?”
And it’s not just administrative errors that put Cath’s position at risk, either. Her ex-husband Karl is thinking of moving up to Scotland to be closer to their daughter. Colleagues from her old workplace turn up, and seemingly recognise her, at a conference in Glasgow. Her blossoming friendship with Brigitte leads to more than a few drunken truths being revealed – some of which are rather dark indeed. The pressure and the temptation to come clean gets stronger and stronger. At one point, Cath even breaks down and spills the beans to her neighbour. However, in a delightfully meta twist, she gets the wrong end of the stick. “I’m not a real doctor!” Cath admits. “Oh, because you’re a woman?” her neighbour replies. If that doesn’t sum up the Thirteenth Doctor debate in a nutshell, we don’t know what does.
Most of all though, Cath’s developing romance with Andy threatens to blow her lies wide open. At the start of the episode it’s (quite literally) behind closed doors, but soon enough the gossip gets around. Our biggest criticism of last week’s premiere was that it didn’t focus enough on the supporting characters. Thankfully, they get much more spotlight here, with Andy receiving the lion’s share. He’s a lovable guy and his chemistry with Cath is wonderful. But he’s also not an idiot, and we don’t think he’ll like being lied to. Ironically, Cath gives someone else some dating advice in this episode: “just be yourself”. If only she’d heed her own words of wisdom. Her closest ally threatens to become her biggest problem as small discrepancies start to show her deceit for what it truly is.
“I don’t know what to do!”
Stylistically, Trust Me Episode 2 retains the same suspenseful feel of last week. One scene particularly stands out, following Cath’s struggle to treat a patient convulsing in a lift. Alone in the changing rooms, there’s no dialogue – just tense music and close ups as the flashbacks continue to haunt her. The soundtrack is intentionally out-of-place and disturbing, reinforcing the fact that something here is not quite right. Cath is able to maintain her lies on a surface level, but put under pressure, she’s weak. Her emotions will be her downfall, as proven by the final sequence of the episode. As Cath rushes off to visit her hospitalised father, Andy inadvertently finds out too much. With a quick not-Google search, he discovers the truth. We knew that Cath’s lies would be uncovered eventually, but at the end of the second episode? That’s an unexpected turn if ever there was one.
So, with Andy having plenty of time to play detective in Cath’s absence, we can only begin to imagine what lies in store for the next two weeks. This was an assured, confident episode and the next time trailer promises an exciting amount of confrontation. Whatever happens, no doubt we can expect to see Cath’s world beginning to crumble. We thought we knew where Trust Me was going, but it’s subverting expectations by getting there first. We’ll have to wait and see how Episode 3 pans out, but the way things are going, Trust Me looks set to get very interesting indeed…