Director: Hettie Macdonald

Writers: Tom Butterworth, Chris Hurford

Starring: Richard Dormer, Stanley Tucci, Sofie Grabol, Michael Gambon, Christopher Eccleston, Jessica Raine, Nicholas Pinnock


Review: Still recovering?

Just as you think Episode 6 is ticking along nicely, that events are reasonably typical and the crimes are starting to be solved, we get a totally unexpected ‘cannot be unseen’ finale. Shirley (played by the first-rate Jessica Gunning) appears to be awake after her sickness but we just know something is very, very wrong. As Doctor Allerdyce goes to fetch her water to help her dehydration, Shirley knocks her out with a heavy ceramic elephant and consequentially throws up some kind of egg spawn into her Mother’s stomach after cutting it open with a fork.

There’s a sentence I never knew I’d write.

But first, let’s go back as we journeyed through an episode of aftermath. In the last outing, we learned there’s definitely something leaking into the water, via a Mammoth in a lock-up and this time out we finally meet Billy Pettigrew before he was eaten/killed/thrown to a Polar Bear. He’s getting drunk with Yuri, the Russian security guy, and they’re trashed but Eric is getting pissed off with people ‘not doing their jobs’ correctly. When they leave the bar, Eric gets angry with Billy and although there’s a distinct possibility that he fights him and something goes terribly wrong, we don’t actually see what happens. Previously you’d assume that Eric did something he shouldn’t and although I no longer trust editing, this is a good thing, and we’re bound to see this moment from another angle eventually.

Moving on, Governor Odegard’s ‘Glacier Hotel’ gets underway and Henry decides to carry on with his idea to help Liam get rid of his other-worldly demon by using some good old-fashioned native black magic. Where this is going we don’t yet know but as he thinks of himself as a murderer and he’s not, surely this means the spell they’re trying to create is defunct? Will this backfire?

Henry also learns that Pettigrew was handcuffed down because when he’s in his dark room developing an old photograph, he discovers that Billy was locked to the spot where he was eaten by a Bear as we see the remains of Billy’s arm in his photo.  Was he shackled there to be eaten by a bear –because he knew something – or was it an easy escape for something Eric had done? Basically, is Dan covering for something Eric did accidentally/on purpose or was the whole thing an unfortunate accident and now everything is getting out of hand?

Next up, we join Ronnie and his daughter again and if I’m honest, this is the bit that bothers me now because although we know he’s got the tusk, what’s the point of it all? Sure we’re going day-to-day but all they’ve done so far is constantly run and hide from no-one as he’s not even a suspect. Obviously though, he has the tusk and is trying to sell it but just get on with it. Maybe the redemption here will be something unexpected, I bloody hope so.

For the final third, after the party and Odegard confronting Eric about his affair, there’s the unforgettable climax with Shirley and her Mother. She attacks her, hacks her open with a fork and empties whatever has been haunting her insides. Beyond the weirdness of Markus and his over-feeding her, this has shifted to a new different level as we leave her sat on the kitchen floor, hands covered in blood but intriguingly calm. How much of the real Shirley remains at this point is unknown but we’re sure to discover that next time…

[usr=4] Fortitude is on Sky Atlantic. Check their website for screening times, catch-up by heading here and follow our dedicated blog.