Bodyguard s1 ep 3


We hadn’t intended to review every ep of Bodyguard but since it’s turned out to be something of a unicorn in tv terms – not only are both Jed and I watching it,  but so is most of the country – it seems daft not to throw in our tuppence-worth. I mean, I did sort-of-comment on the second episode last week but let me expand on that quickly, just for the sake of completeness: I was a bit taken aback at how quickly two really attractive people, working super-closely together, in an incredibly intense, high-pressure environment, having just barely escaped with their lives due to one of them being a (hot, damaged, and did I mention hot?) superhero, jumped into bed with each other. Then I read that sentence again.

Anyway, the car/sniper sequence was electrifying. Which means episode 2 is now neck and neck with episode 1 in the Best Way to Give CJ a Heart Attack Award stakes. (One for the end of year poll?)

With all these absolutely thrilling extended set-pieces in the first two instalments, however, it’s perhaps not entirely surprising that episode 3 takes its foot off the accelerator in terms of breathless action of that kind and concentrates mostly on breathless action of other kinds instead. By which I mean there’s a lot of sex, mostly as a means of control – the, er, “trouser” scene was a bit much for me. But at least Julia and David seem to be enjoying themselves. (Till she tries to surprise him in his sleep, that is. Bad. Plan.)

Personally, I could have done with more shooting and less snogging, but that’s no reflection on Keeley Hawes and Richard Madden (and the gratuitous shot of his butt) who make it work. It’s interesting at least – and brave, given this is traditional prime-time BBC1, not HBO – to have a woman in the unapologetically, matter-of-factly dominant, more powerful role for a change. And in fairness, although the audience (ok, I) may be slightly distracted by the sex, the show isn’t: everybody (including and especially our two leads) is manipulating everybody else, and as Julia, her aides, that fellow Mike(?), the Secret Service and the police all try and screw each other over (in less carnal fashion than Julia and David) the question isn’t whether it will end badly, it’s more whether there’s anyone at all for whom it won’t.

All this intrigue, sexual or otherwise, just isn’t quite as visceral or as gripping as episodes 1 and 2, though, so it’s just as well that, when I begin to get restless, and in need of yet another one of those heart-in-my-boots action sequences, the show obliges. It’s obvious from the moment Shifty Rob pulls out of Julia’s St Matthews appearance that he’s setting Tahir up, and that something terrible is going to happen there. And so it does. Who’s dead? I don’t know. Who’s responsible? I have no idea. But I really want to find out. This third episode may not have been as good as the previous two, but the acting and the last ten minutes mean it’s the most exciting thing on the box right now. I’m hooked.


10 thoughts on “Bodyguard s1 ep 3

  1. Snoskred September 6, 2018 / 8:57 am

    Me too. Totally loving this show. 🙂

    • CJ Cregg September 6, 2018 / 11:04 pm

      SPOILERS for this ep – Who do you think planted the bomb, Snosk? I’ve been pondering it for a few days, and I’m leaning towards it being the Secret Service. This way they get RIPA 18 pushed through because everyone’s freaked out about terrorists, and they also handle the problem of Julia going rogue on them – they were NOT happy she went to Chequers, they want someone they can control. But no doubt that’s too obvious and it’ll turn out to be someone else entirely….

      • Snoskred September 7, 2018 / 12:02 am

        I definitely think the secret service. As you said, Jed Mercurio is all about the murkiness beneath.

        You really have to Line of Duty soon. It is a breathtaking ride similar to this. 😉 My suggestion would be make sure you can watch the entire season in one sitting, they are not very long, but once you start it is hard not to watch the next episode, and the next, and the next.. 😉

        • CJ Cregg September 7, 2018 / 9:42 pm

          I think it’s on Netflix here Snosk, so I’ll put it on my list forthwith 😀

  2. Jed Bartlet September 8, 2018 / 9:54 pm

    I thought the action sequence in ep 2 was better than the one at the start of ep 1: as I said at the time, that one was well done, but at a point when we weren’t invested in anyone involved. You could feel the terror during the shootout in ep 2.

    And I’m ENTIRELY ON BOARD with them banging afterwards. I don’t CARE how realistic it is. Unpopcult has sat through more than enough shows in which people don’t get together. (And, yes, she’s older and more powerful, which isn’t entirely a TV novelty, but which is rare enough to be worth celebrating.)

  3. e October 30, 2018 / 1:05 am

    I have not yet arrived at said gratuitous shot. Instead, I drop this comment to wonder at the fact that he’s clearly best buds with the guy who was shooting to kill not just Julia but he himself. And is that the actor from the WW2 time travel/Butterfly show? And what is he doing spying on her and not mentioning that all those scars are because of her policies? I’m very confused.

    Not about the mutual attraction (young stud vs target for immense hatred and manipulation) but because I cannot figure out what is going on. Help? (And since I started reading posts with ep 6, I’m pretty aware what happens with Julia, although I will never see the last 15 minutes.)

    • CJ Cregg October 30, 2018 / 7:33 pm

      Are you thinking of Nicholas Lyndhurst from Goodnight Sweetheart, e? It’s not him but it does look like him….

      Yeah, there are a lot of questions about Budd’s allegiances early on. I suppose he doesn’t tell her about the scars being from her policies because she’d have him replaced, though, and he wants to hang on to that job. Meanwhile, his bosses at the police want *her* replaced because they think she’s conspiring with the security services to take power away from the police, and he has to spy on her to keep them onside, again to keep that job. So for all he’s a big buff brave hero police man, he’s very much caught in between the powerful women at war around him, with each trying to use him against the other – the gender optics of it all are quite interesting, to a point. People will argue the gender optics of the last 15 minutes are also interesting, but you know how I feel about them – I’m going to pretend they didn’t happen either.

      • e October 31, 2018 / 2:54 am

        I think I’m done with the show. Episode 4 and I’m just bored. Love him. Love his accent. Read the recaps for 5 and 6, read all the posts trying to explain what exactly happened during the show. Just don’t think I have any interest in watching another couple of eps.

        • e October 31, 2018 / 2:55 am

          oh and p.s. At that range, a blank would have killed 100%

          • CJ Cregg October 31, 2018 / 11:33 pm

            Yeah, I think we all had to hand-wave that one a bit.

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