‘Psychoville’: Series 2 Episode 3 review

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Three episodes into Series 2 and Psyschoville shows absolutely no sign of slowing down, with a healthy lack of respect for its own cast of characters, meaning that anybody runs the risk of being bumped off to further the story along. This week, that mantra is delivered upon, big time.

As ever, it’s horrific and hilarious simultaneously, while quite often managing to throw in something genuinely depressing at the same time, such as the scene this week in which fag hag Hattie attempts to consummate her fake marriage. In this union, nobody comes out looking good. Meanwhile, Jeremy Goode, still haunted by the Silent Singer, has now taken to menacing little girls in pursuit of his missing book – although it’s perhaps surprising that a horrendously OCD librarian talks about the Jabberwocky as the creature. Presumably he’d know that that’s the name of the poem in which the creature appears, and the thing itself is simply called Jabberwock. Now, we might be getting too OCD ourselves, but when the writers and performers take levels of details to such extremes, it’s to be expected.

Last year, David Sowerbutts was able to pay homage to a Hitchcock film featuring Farley Granger (Rope) and the theme continues this time around, this time with Strangers On A Train. Concerned that his mother is in a great deal of pain, he arranges for someone else to put her out of her misery, whilst agreeing to do that person’s dirty work for them. (Well, frankly he doesn’t have a choice, but we’ll leave that for you to find out). Those who know the twisty-turny plot points of the source material will be expecting David to fail in spectacular fashion.

Continuing the theme of being hilarious, horrific, and depressing all at once, the big plot development is the identity of this week’s victim. In reality, it’s a person we’ve only heard of once before (within the confines of this series, anyway), but at the same time, it’s a character we’ve come to assume is absolutely essential to the series.

Messrs Shearsmith and Pemberton clearly don’t think the same way, however, and a major player is viciously and ruthlessly killed off – depending on how things go, quite possibly setting up a revenge storyline for Series 3… as if the boys would come up with anything quite so formulaic. To use another formulaic line: this is where everything changes.

Airs at 10pm on Thursday 19th May 2011 on BBC Two.

> Order the Series 2 DVD on Amazon.