The big questions we have after episode one of The Widow, ITV’s latest big drama
- Credit: Photos By: Coco Van Oppens Photo
The questions we have after episode one of The Widow starring Kate Beckinsale in a role which has tempted her back to the small screen. CONTAINS SPOILERS.
What, exactly, would you do if you saw your significant other on the news, alive and well, several years after they supposedly died?
That is the dilemma that Georgia Wells as left facing in the first episode of the new ITV drama, The Widow, written and created by Harry and Jack Williams (The Missing, Baptiste, Liar, Rellik, One of Us).
Three years ago, Georgia dropped the love of her life, Will, off at the airport as he set off for the Democratic Republic (DR) of the Congo to work with a clean water charity. He leaves a ring inside the glove compartment box of the car for Georgia to find, ensuring all is rosy in their world.
It doesn't last, obviously.
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Will's plane then crashes in the jungle and he's presumed dead. Now, anybody with a prior knowledge of anything previous devised by the Williams brothers – The Missing, especially – will be all too aware there is a twist. That twist occurs some three years later when Georgia sees – or at least, thinks she sees – Will alive on a television news report into civil unrest in DR Congo.
Understandably, she is a little shaken up and now finds herself driven to investigate whether the man she loves – after all this time – is still alive.
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It's an intriguing premise and came to life last night through a tangled web of plot strands, characters and two timelines. There was plenty for viewers to get their heads around but more than enough to captivate and assure that it's worth tuning back in again tonight to see where Georgia's search takes her next.
But what questions are there to answer after episode one? Spoilers to follow.
Has Georgia been living as a recluse? When we first meet Georgia, she's trekking through the Welsh countryside only to fall and cut her leg. It takes on her a lengthy venture into the town to her doctor's surgery where we learn that she had never registered as a patient. Has she been living as a recluse in the time since Will's supposed death?
Who exactly is Martin Benson?
After sighting what appears to be Will on a TV news report, Georgia's first port of call is Martin – played by Charles Dance – to enlist his help. Martin knew her father but their relationship seems more than a little strained. He does encourage her to let Will go, assuring her the man in the news report is not him but she refuses to listen. The main logic that he's surely going to be a major player is that he's played by Charles Dance. That's Charles Dance of Games of Thrones and more. You don't cast Charles Dance just to have him in one scene and consigned to the background, do you?
How did Mr Helgason survive?
Once Georgia's on the hunt for Will, the action jumps to the Netherlands. Rotterdam, to be precise, where we meet Ariel Helgason – played by Ólafur Darri Ólafsson – who is aiming to be part of an experimental trial to regain his sight. It is here we also learn that he was the lone survivor of the plane crash that was meant to have taken Will's life.
How was he the only one able to walk away from that plane crash?
But more than that, just how will he end up connecting to Georgia and factoring into the whole story?
Why didn't Georgia go after her suitcase?
When Georgia arrives back in DR Congo, someone – a taxi driver, perhaps – walks off with her luggage and asks her to follow. She loses, said luggage, but makes no effort to go after it. Why would you not go after your own luggage? It's a minor query, admittedly, but could this little scene also end up being one of those things that seem little but turn out to be series changing down the line? Or am I reading far too much into this? Probably the latter.
What caused the plane crash?
It is suggested high winds and possible storms could have brought down Will's plane in the initial aftermath, however it is later revealed that a rival politician to the government was on board it. Could the crash have been more than just a terrible accident? A political assassination with a substantial amount of collateral damage?
What did Will have to hide?
Judith, played by Alex Kingston, is one of Will's colleagues at the clean water charity. When Georgia returns to DR Congo after her 'sighting', she stays with her and shares her theory of him still being alive. While not quite on the same page, Judith discusses the idea with another of her partners at the charity, Joshua (Broadchurch's Matthew Gravelle). Here, the pair note that Will did have reasons to disappear. Reasons that Georgia doesn't know about. What was he hiding? What are those reasons?
How did Georgia and Emmanuel become so close?
Another person Georgia is reunited with when returning to DR Congo is Emmanuel – played by Jacky Ido. Emmanuel is a journalist who lost his wife in the crash and helped translate to Georgia when announcements were being made. Fast forward three years, we learn he invited her to his wedding – though she couldn't make it – and he's willing to go the extra mile to help her in her quest.
Who has Emmanuel upset?
As Emmanuel searches for answers for Georgia, he's interrupted by the sound of his car being smashed up. He ventures outside and asks the car's attacker if he thinks this is going to scare him. Is it something he's done as a journalist? Is it something more? The man attacking his car tells Emmanuel that 'you did this'. What is 'this?' Who is Pieter Bello? Georgia and Emmanuel also encounter a man they believe to be called, Hennie Botha, in the aftermath of the crash. He supposedly lost his brother. However, three years on, Georgia and Emmanuel discover the man they know as Hennie in the footage with the man that may very well be Will. They also learn his name is really Pieter Bello. Other scenes in the present day also show Pieter fraternising with a militia group in the Congolese forests consisting of child soldiers, bringing forth a lot of money for them. He looks as likely as one of the characters to be the key to unpicking this mystery.
Is Will actually alive?
It seems an obvious one but the question has got to be asked, was that definitely Will? There was never definitive confirmation. He was wearing Will's hat – the same hat he wore the day he left – but is that enough? The Williams brothers are not shy of cruel twists, after all.
Who sent Georgia the car? In the final scene of the episode, Georgia receives a hire car that she assures she did not, as it happens, actually hire. Once inside, she discovers a glove in the glovebox – very much the way Will gave her a ring three years earlier. Yet, this time around, all the glove contains is a note that demands she 'GO HOME'. Who sent her that note and, indeed, the car? Perhaps that is one answer we will get in episode two, airing tonight at 9pm on ITV.