‘Tatau’ Episode 2 review

Posted Filed under

The plot thickens in the second episode of Tatau, like a bowl of hallucinogenic porridge left to stand forgotten on the kitchen counter for a few hours.

In this week’s instalment of BBC Three’s new drama, we discover further proof to cement that, while most characters would be entirely justified in believing that Kyle is a tourist douche who had a particularly bad trip, there’s probably some plans to do a murder.

We discover there’s more to Tyler (Tai Berdinner-Blades) than meets the eye, and it’s not entirely clear – perhaps even to herself – whose side she’s on. We also discover she may be a free-spirited bisexual and that Reverend Calcott (Kirk Torrance) is up to some seriously dodgy business. Oh, and Lara (Cian Elise White) is keeping tabs on the boys via a hidden camera.


Meanwhile, Kyle’s visions continue, telling him to take another dose of the hallucinogenic tavi – because the first trip worked out so well for him. The visions seem to be bringing out an increasingly hostile crazy-eyes nature in Kyle, however, which makes him seem violent and sketchy enough that I’m torn between wanting Aumea’s murder to be prevented and wanting Kyle to just back the heck off and rethink his holiday choices.

But Aumea, and I suppose this is understandable, is willing to hear him out – going so far as to supply him with a dose of tavi in secret in order to get information that might save her life. There’s a definite overcurrent of flirtatious behaviour happening between the two as well, but don’t be silly Kyle, that was her wedding tattoo you’ve seen!


Attempting to investigate the meanings of the tattoos, our tourist heroes find themselves fleeing an angry, knife-wielding tattooist. Nice to see that the people of this island take cultural appropriation seriously: it’s also addressed again later in the episode. I guess that’s something, but my misgivings persist.

Even if Kyle and Budgie were somehow brought to this island by the ghost of Chief Maikutu, an ancestor of Aumea, how is it that they haven’t just been kicked out of their hotel and asked to leave?

If the Vaipiti family have as much influence as they’re meant to do, why not just have a word with the hotel management that they’re being harassed by a couple of very rude guests? I suppose that would bring the narrative to a fairly abrupt end, but my disbelief has trouble remaining in suspension.


Aired at 10pm on Sunday 19 April 2015 on BBC Three.

> Read more by Sami Kelsh on her website.

What did you think of the episode? Let us know below…