Paula tries to come to terms with Philip's death, but she can't help but to feel James's presence everywhere. She enlists D.I. Mac to help rid herself of her eerie handyman. When Mac begins looking into James, he begins to discover James's dark secrets. Meanwhile, James tries coping with actions.
The second episode of this new BBC Two drama was even more dysfunctional and bizarre than the first. The plot continues to evolve into something that appears to be too big for its own good. Much like the problem with the first episode, this episode had too many subplots and storylines to make the episode compelling or interesting. The show wants to achieve too much in its limited time frame. Or it's overcompensating for its lack of plot.
The biggest problem I have with this program is it lacks a set vision. This episode, in particular, exemplified that. The ideas were all over the place, and there wasn't a clear focus for the episode. What exactly is this show trying to achieve? What is it's genre? Is it supernatural? Is it realism? Is it an ad for sadomasochism? Does anyone know? The most compelling part of the episode was Denise Gough's monologue describing young Paula's masochistic desires. Gough's performance and the, frankly, bizarre nature of the monologue helped to finally grab my attention for the first time the entire episode.
This episode brought on a more prominent role for D.I. "Mac" McArthur, played by Owen McDonnell. Mac is a breath of fresh, normal air as for the characters on this program. He appears to be the only character that doesn't have some sort of evil spirit following him around. Mac brought a calming relief to an otherwise intense set of characters, and McDonnell is an excellent addition to the cast, holding his own against Gough and Hughes's powerhouse performances.
The second episode of Paula was unstructured, lacked plot, and was, quite frankly, boring. A strong cast leads the program, but it needs more than good actors to save itself.
Paula Episode 3 airs on BBC Two on Thursday Night at 9
Episode 1 Review
Episode 3 Review