Previously on Hard Sun, “One Thousand, Eight Hundred Days”
The episode begins in the dark with the death of a young woman. The Hard Sun conspiracy is growing and the writing is literally on the wall. “Hard Sun is coming” has been spray painted onto a wall directly behind the girl who is murdered. A new phase has begun: Hard Sun is off the internet and onto the streets of London.
Following up on information she received last episode from DCS Roland Bell, Elaine Renko interrogates a mob lackey and reveals connections between Hicks/Butler and a mafia organization. It appears Hicks/Butler pinned a murder on a local gangster at the behest of another mob boss. Her interrogations turn up corroborating testimony that Hicks not only is a shady copper, he may have killed his partner. Later in the episode, DCS Bell follows up with Elaine to see if she has the smoking gun to take Hicks down. Renko decides to cover for Hicks. She claims Charlie had nothing to do with the murder of his partner. Bell doesn’t believe her, for good reason, as she doesn’t believe it herself.
Grace Morrigan continues to try and get the flash drive. We see the aftermath of last week’s visit to Daniel in CCTV footage where Daniel attacks Grace. Visibly shaken, Renko is called away from the aforementioned crime scene to see her son. Daniel tells her Grace told him he is unloved and his mother has been lying to him. Daniel asks Renko about how he came to be, and she acknowledges she was raped. When he asks about Hard Sun, Elaine is not completely honest and Daniel attacks her with a razor blade he had hidden.
Considering that he is in a mental hospital closed ward, Grace must have given him the blade when she visited. Perhaps the attack Elaine saw was completely staged? Daniel attacks his mother and himself, and then Elaine has to go back to work as if nothing has happened. This is most likely the impetus for Elaine later suggesting to Charlie that the best way to deal with Grace is to kill her. Charlie appears to be repulsed by the suggestion. Based on the layers of duplicity hiding behind Hicks earnest words and soulful eyes, we should not take anything he says at face value.
Before this episode ends, Grace shows up on Charlie’s front walk to make a deal. She believes that Renko has given the Hard Sun information to a trusted friend. If Hicks helps Grace retrieve the flash drive, Renko will be out of the picture. Charlie demands Grace keep his family safe when things go south in the Hard Sun Apocalypse. Grace agrees and they seem to have a deal. However we know two things. Elaine Renko doesn’t have any trusted friends and Hicks has a broad definition of family. What will happen as these characters learn how very differently each of them define the words: friends, family, safety?
WHAT I LIKED
First, Elaine Renko meets with Will (the reporter who leaked Hard Sun) at his request. Will is confused and depressed; no one believed his disclosure of Hard Sun and there is no one he can talk to about it. He wants to mourn, he wants to be angry; and she wants to ignore Hard Sun, and go about her life. Last week, Renko seemed ready to die at the hands of a killer and this week she wants to go on with life like she never heard of Hard Sun. These are very real human reactions to an unknowable situation. The scene ends with Renko and Will having ‘end of the world’ sex in her car. I wholeheartedly approved of that! We have watched her get beaten up so much thus far; it’s a relief to see her exert a few moments of control over her situation.
Scenes with DCI Hicks and his family are especially beautifully shot, like a perfect dream of reality. It’s truly bittersweet. What darkness will destroy his family first? Hard Sun or his own misdeeds. I’m betting on his wife finding out about his girlfriend. The tension of his relationships are a nice metaphor for the tension of living with the knowledge of impending annihilation.
This show is dark, and it can be a difficult to watch some scenes. I really appreciated the laugh I had when Hicks put on a knit cap to disguise himself as he tailed the priest.
WHAT I WANT TO KNOW
How did Renko secure the Hard Sun data? Will we get any backstory on the mysterious Grace Morrigan?
Will Hicks and Renko be able to capture the self-proclaimed Hard Sun Messenger? Will Hicks do Grace’s bidding and get the flash drive from Renko?
WHAT I GOOGLED THIS WEEK
DCI Charlie Hicks looks very different without the beard.
Hard Sun S1E3 Review Score
Cast: Agyness Deyn, Jim Sturgess, Nikki Amuka-Bird | Written by: Neil Cross | Directed by: Nick Rowland | Guest Stars: Richard Coyne, Dermot Crowley