‘Crazyhead’ Episode 4 review: Tony Curran steals the show in ‘Penguin or Cow?’

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Say what you like about E4’s Crazyhead (though we’d rather you didn’t, as we’re growing quite fond of it actually), but the one thing you can never accuse it of is being a slow burner.

As we enter the second half of the season, the various story strands are beginning to tie up rather nicely. There’s no big crazy revelations that will shake you to the core, but the resolutions here are perfectly neat.

Following on from last week’s cliffhanger, we find Amy, Raquel and Jake have wasted little time in tracking down the demonic baddies who kidnapped bloodsucking Suzanne. We’re reintroduced to demon enforcer Mercy (Lu Corfield), who we find is actually taking her role as mother to a young boy very seriously. It’s an idea tinged with real dramatic potential, which writer Howard Overman uses to its full advantage, offering up a proper moral dilemma for our two heroes as opposed to your standard fight scene.

Said-fight results in Mercy fleeing with son in tow to Callum, who puts his plan to kill Amy into action. It’s small-fry at first glance, but Callum’s plot is testament to how tight the whole episode feels once it comes together. Starving Suzanne of blood, letting Amy rescue her, and then locking them in a lift together has all the ingredients for a tense and emotional climax.

Crazyhead - Cara Theobold, Susan Wokoma and Lewis Reeves)

Whilst on the subject of demon head-honcho Callum, let’s also just take a moment to praise Tony Curran, whose deliciously villainous performance has been a continued source of enjoyment week on week.

The man’s delivery and gravitas is top notch, imbuing the wicked Callum with all the hard-nosed villainy required to make the character an imposing threat, but equally having some fun with the role (case in point – the discussion about the leaflet displaying the upcoming apocalyptic ritual is a hoot!). As we head towards Callum’s big endgame, here’s hoping for plenty more of the man on our screens.

Elsewhere, Overman packs in plenty more, developing both the ongoing subplots surrounding Amy’s visions and her awkwardly flirtatious dealings with Raquel’s big brother Tyler (Arinze Kene), whilst adding further mystery to the identity of Harry, Raquel’s sinister new sweetheart. The latter subplot is the most intriguing yet, showing us more of Raquel’s more awkward and shy side, whilst also providing plenty of building tension (which looks set to come to a head next week).

Crazyhead - Cara Theobold, Susan Wokoma and Lewis Reeves)

In an episode that manages to bring together multiple plot strands and character arcs in a satisfying and skillful manner, it is disappointing to see the character of Jake still being used as mere comic relief, especially when such a device is uncalled for – case in point, Suzanne’s death.

There’s a time and place for comic relief, but having just killed off a main character in a very grisly manner, it doesn’t exactly sell the emotion of the scene when Jake’s picking up bits of carcass and retching. Likewise, his sudden desperate plea towards Amy only serves to paint him as a bit of a cowardly, self-absorbed cretin, and not a fully-fledged character who deserves our sympathies. We can only hope for redemption in the coming weeks.

Gripe aside though, this latest episode sees Crazyhead once again prove that genre shows have a place on primetime British television, provided they are as exceptionally well written, performed and directed as this one.

No time for slow burning procedural drama here, which is just how we like it!


Aired at 9pm on Wednesday 9 November 2016 on E4.

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What did you think of this week’s episode? Let us know below…