So it is over. The Suspect, ITV’s glossy five-part crime drama has come to a close and as predicted it was filled with twists right up to the end. Twists some of us had vaguely guessed at, but more gloating on that later.
Anyway, at the start of the fifth final episode our ‘hero’ Dr Joe O’Loughlin (Aidan Turner) is on the run. He’s now been fingered for two murders, Catherine, the nurse who accused Joe of sexual assault, and Cara, Joe’s friend, who we are constantly reminded is a sex worker. They’re not even the only victims. Erskine, the doctor who accused Bobby Morgan’s father of abuse has also been found dead in his house. And as revealed in episode 4, it’s looking more and more likely that a string of ‘accidents’ over the past 18 months, involving loved ones of the people involved in Bobby’s case, were probably not accidental at all.
Finally in ep 5 the incredulous and ineffectual detectives Ruiz (Shaun Parkes) and Devi (Anjli Mohindra) open their minds to the possibility that there might be another culprit. By this point in the show any ambiguity for the audience over Joe’s guilt is gone, and he has become full time investigator on his own case, identifying other potential victims of Bobby’s vengeful plan, including the daughter of a co-worker and the wife of a judge, making the collateral damage very high (and the plausibility very low). You wouldn’t want to be a woman in the world of The Suspect, where at least four completely innocent females have been murdered despite being nothing to do with Bobby or his father.
This is crime drama fluff but it does leave a rather nasty taste. Joe is morally bankrupt, lies, cheats and manipulates and doesn’t seem to have any emotional response to the deaths of Catherine and Cara (who is meant to be his friend) other than how they relate to him. Jack is an absolute monster who just wants to seduce Joe’s wife. Joe’s wife has no agency and has no idea what’s even going on half the time – oh, and why was she Jack’s alibi (meaning he’d have had to have been with her, what, until Joe came home at 4am)? And while Detective Ruiz at least gets to change his mind and save the day, Detective Devi is shown to be bullish to the point of stupidity.