We're at the penultimate episode of Apple Tree Yard and since we left things in a precarious place, I'm running right to it. Why is Yvonne in jail? Is X okay? Will she ever learn his name? Let's see if we can find out!
Dr. Yvonne Carmichael (Emily Watson) had just talked her married lover X (Ben Chaplin) ,that she thinks is a spy (I don't know about that exactly), into intimidating her rapist George Selway (Steven Elder) into leaving her alone. I just don't think that was a good idea for two reasons: 1) however tough and miraculous X might be (apparently he's wicket strong if there's a brick wall handy to lean someone up against), he's not all that tall and most likely a bureaucrat and 2) if X doesn't actually kill George, it's Yvonne who will bear the brunt of George's rage.
X makes it out of George's place alive, anyway, but something happened because he wants Yvonne to drive away really fast. Did she even rent a car for this bit of shenanigans? Of course not, brilliant geneticist, lacking even the basic criminal preparation.
She tentatively asks if they should maybe call the police? No, just stick to the story about how they met, etc etc and
ALL THE ALARM BELLS ARE A-RINGING
But not her phone, because he asks for it and for her to not contact him for awhile. Huh. Well, we know he must have done SOMETHING, I'm just watching to see if he hangs that something on her, since we know she ends up in the clink later.
Oh and she says his name! It's Mark! I must have missed that. She's so terribly frightened and confused, but decides to take his word and go home.
She's dazed and out of it when her husband Gary (Mark Bonnar) asks if she's ready for the party? It's obvious how disconnected these two are, two miserable satellites avoiding each others' orbits.
They sit alone at the restaurant table, waiting for friends and finally Gary speaks. He thinks her silence and moodiness is a result of the completely bourgeois affair he's having with one of his students, that's how far apart they are. He knows nothing about her scorching hot affair with X/Mark and not even a hint of her rape by George Selway and she won't tell him. She doesn't want to talk about his student, either, she just doesn't CARE, Gary.
They do share a kiss, the kind that only comes of long marriage and endless intimacy. You know the other person better than the back of your own hand, stinky bits and all.
Their family arrives while they are liplocked, but it's who shows up next that has Yvonne riveted. Two policeman are approaching and everything goes hazy and turns to white noise for Yvonne.
DI Cleveland (Steffan Rhodri) wastes no time in arresting her for the murder of George Selway, he WAS murdered!! Yay!! But. Why is SHE under arrest? She wasn't anywhere near the house?
She's led away while Gary follows behind reassuring everyone that it's a mistake. He doesn't know that! How could he know that? Pfft.
It was just this morning that George was killed! Why didn't Mark tell her?? He should have prepared her! Oh and he's already been arrested, did he give her up?? I bet if I keep watching, I'LL FIND OUT!
Mark beat and kicked George Selway to death? Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy! But he didn't have any blood on him and why didn't he say anything? You'd think a pseudo-spy would know better than to get into her regular vehicle, wouldn't you?
They have all kinds of CCTV footage showing Mark leaving her car and now the questions. She tells them the truth, though, for the most part. That she and Mark were close and she asked him to warn off George because he'd attacked her. It just gives the police your motives with a nice red bow, Yvonne. And if they find any footage of the two of you screwing outdoors, you'll really be sunk.
The police are squeezing now and I know most of you will disagree with me, but I don't think the police should be able to lie in interview. They tell her that Mark has spilled all about their affair, I hope she doesn't fall for it. And she doesn't; she's a tough bird.
She gets her lawyer, hey, it's Adeel Akhtar, maybe he and Mark Bonnar carpooled over from Unforgotten! I loved him in River especially, how I miss that show.
Anyway! He's Jaspreet and he will be defending her honour in court. He thinks he can get her out on bail right away, let's talk turkey after.
She gets a sweet bail deal, I guess an upper middle class background and clear criminal record is good for something! She's not allowed to contact Mark and my heart skipped a beat when I thought the judge said he was a Prosecution witness, but I think that was phrasing.
Can we dance a jig now that her sadistic, stalking rapist is dead? Raise just a tiny glass?
Her daughter Carrie (Olivia Vinall) is there when they get home, she bursts right in with judgement about her mum not reporting the rape; what about the other women George was working with? Didn't she have that obligation?
Yvonne, hold my earrings, I got this
Listen to me, Carrie: the only obligation a rape survivor has is to deal with his or her assault the best way he or she can. Sometimes that means reporting and going to trial to be eviscerated for public scrutiny, sometimes that means just surviving every single day, putting one foot in front of the other and holding your shit together so that nobody can see you scream. You don't get to judge an assault victim's culpability in his or her rapist's possible future crimes. They'll do that while they're obsessively mentally cataloguing everything that happened and weighing whether to report or not. Deuces
God adult children can be entitled arseholes
Oh jeebus then she says she was just trying to put "one foot in front of the other"! I swear, I didn't see that first. That's spooky.
All this takes place in front of Gary, who still has no idea what's really going on and again is trying to placate his family with no real knowledge.
He's taking her rape personally, as sometimes happens. Why didn't she go to him? Why did she choose to tell Mark? BECAUSE THAT'S THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF HER ASSAULT, GARY. I get it, though, they are long-married; why didn't she say anything at all? It finally sinks in that George is dead and she cries with relief and fear.
*tiny cheers, a lone clicking of a small glass in the middle of the night*
She gets fitted for her house arrest leg bracelet; lolly sticks are the secret ingredient to make it bearable! Jaspreet has received notice of Mark's defense; he's pled not guilty and she's relieved because she clearly has no idea how that is actually quite bad for her.
Mark is going for Diminished Responsibility, which means that he's going for a charge of Manslaughter but since their defenses are separate, it doesn't affect her directly yet.
After Jaspreet leaves, she thinks about this noble act of Mark's, keeping her safe once again and I am WORRIED. What if that's not at all what he's doing?
Carrie shows up again; her husband is planning to go half-time once their baby is born and Yvonne just about leaps out of her seat commending them on it. It wasn't like that for her and it usually isn't, is it? Your first marriage you never quite know what you need and how to ask for it, I hear second marriages are much more straightforward.
Carrie's come with practical help; the name of a public relations person who can make Yvonne look better in court.
Has anyone seen 13th Film? You should probably do that. I'm pretty sure none of those people had image consultants before stepping before blind Lady Justice.
Yvonne gets a text on her cell, it says "Wedekind Experiment" and she about swallows her tongue. George is dead, though, right?? The police can't lie about that, can they? So it must be Mark.
Laurence (Sebastian Armesto) the image consultant is so full of shite that he actually squeaks. He's not much help, even if he is costing a fortune. Show the jury your feminine side? I will say that it's nice to see her relax just that scootch, if only to take the piss out of this smarmy arsehole.
Let's see if we can sum up his advice: wear a bedazzled blouse, but not too lowcut or sexy for her age; nice but not expensive and beware lady barristers, who will be seen to be reluctantly but necessarily excoriating her over the rape charge.
He's not a complete idiot, as that last bit shows, and Gary slows him down a bit when he mentions the violence of the rape as Yvonne looks ill again. He brings up the sticking point in the case: why was Mark Costley doing her this massive favour of warning off her rapist? Yvonne sticks to her "he had a background in security" defense but Laurence's remark was meant for Gary and it struck true.
Laurence asks all the questions the jury and indeed: most people will ask, as evidenced by that clueless dinner party host. Why were there no signs? Did she not fight back? And why? Gary proves his worth in a segment that had to be captured in a complete video snippet because Mark Bonnar proves why he deserves to be there with the esteemed Emily Watson
Gary cries later and she comforts him, they do love each other so. A tender kiss and they are connected again and then in bed and I think she breaks his ankle. It moves from passion to yelps of pain to laughing, those are the moments we have with those that know us best. But they are very much no longer in love.
She asks him to promise her to leave when she wants him to; will he? He promises.
She sends a "thank you" to her Wedekind Experiment texter; she perhaps didn't have sex with Gary for that reason. Relationships are hard.
Susannah (Susan Lynch) is over to see Yvonne, "still waters run deep" indeed. The police burst in just then, arresting Yvonne for breaching conditions of her bail, just as I was wondering if that was the police catfishing her to test her. Her bail has been revoked, either way.
Jaspreet wonders if it was deliberate that Mark baited her like that; he's in prison and now she is as well. When she protests that he isn't like that, Jaspreet and I are not so sure. Isn't he? He has a niece that's good at science; what if she was attacked by George Selway and this was Mark's convoluted plan to get back at him, using Yvonne as bait? Sorry, sorry, THAT was a tangent.
Jaspreet has a horrifying bit of mindfuckery to impart, however. He talks about an unconscionable experiment regarding self-preservation and monkeys. The bottom of the monkey cage was heated incrementally for a monkey and baby and at some point, when the pain seemed the worst presumably, the monkeys would put the baby down and stand on it to get away from the pain.
WHAT IS WRONG WITH SCIENTISTS??????
The point of all that (sorry, if it had to be in my head, it had to be in yours) was: has Mark gotten to the tipping point where he would be willing to stand on his Jelly Baby? Jaspreet wonders but Yvonne thinks the text was to remind her that he is keeping the faith.
I fear Yvonne is about to have a very rude awakening. See all that she's projected into all that nothing?
Yvonne meets the rest of her legal team; while reviewing the list of Prosecution witnesses there is one left unidentified. The witness is referred to as "the MI-5" something or rather and it's showtime.
In the hallway, Yvonne and Mark come face to face for the first time since the day of George's murder; I'm worried for Yvonne that Mark seems resigned and unable to meet her eyes. Emily Watson does so much with just her face, it's astounding.
There's more bad news in the courtroom; a female prosecutor glares at her as she wills Mark to meet her eyes from his glassed-in box next to her.
The jury and audience file in; a young woman starts shouting at Yvonne about her children losing their father and PLEASE. George Selway was a sadistic, cruel, stalking rapist of the worst order and his children are better off without any of his influence.
And we're off. Crown Prosecutor Price (Frances Tomelty) gives their opening statement; Mark is claiming Diminished Responsibility for a personality disorder? What?
Yvonne and I are slightly discomfited by her defense attorney Robert's (Rhashan Stone) strategy of not cross-examining witnesses; isn't that the whole point of defense? He calls the Prosecution's circumstantial evidence "smoke and mirrors" but I'm pretty sure juries still like to see that stuff rebutted, amirite?
Yvonne listens carefully while Dr. Weatherfield (Abigail Davies) explains the injuries found on George; Mark stomped on George's neck?? Or JUMPED while stomping? Jaysus.
Yvonne, I mean this in the best way possible: you've got to tell Gary about your affair with Mark. You can't possibly believe it won't come out, can you? You don't want him to hear about it during the trial.
Gary comes to see Yvonne; it's not looking good for Mark, izzit? Now hold on, now I have to go look up that stupid Rice study WHERE THEY TORTURE ANIMALS because Gary said that in the end: the mommy monkey held the baby monkey up in the air and let her feet burn. Was that Jaspreet trying to get her in the right mindset for court?
Side note: I couldn't find anything about that specific study, so perhaps it was a plot device. I did find out a bunch of stuff about a sadist named Harry Harlow who tortured monkeys in the 50's: seriously, fuck that guy. For real.
She still believes in Mark, she can't believe he would do anything like this.
We have our mysterious Witness A on the stand now, behind a screen and only identifiable audibly. He is Chief Training Officer at MI-5, overseeing physical and psychological testing. He knows Mark as he assessed his application to join the forces. Mark had apparently already spent years in the police force (he had? How odd to think you're only getting to know your lover's history in a courtroom) and was eventually rejected from MI-5.
Yvonne is confused and stunned; she hasn't been f*cking a spook after all, she was f*cking someone the spooks rejected and NOW she's starting to wonder who he is. I mean. But more importantly, she wonders "what have I done?" because she's just realising how much faith she placed in someone she doesn't know. And we're out.
It's so compelling, I just want to find out what happens next! WHO is Mark? Is he friend? Foe? Was it calculated? Did Mark set her up, give her up? And why did he kill George Selway? It was supposed to be a warning, you don't jump on someone's throat as a scare tactic, do you? And while he was supportive of Yvonne and fairly insistent that she report the rape, he never demonstrated any of the rage that this murder suggests.
We need to talk about Yvonne's legal team as well; what the HELL are they paying Robert for if not to ask questions and raise objections? And Jaspreet with his bullshit manipulative monkey-torture stories, what the hell is going on?
I'm trying not to read too much into all these devastatingly bad moves being made; they could all reasonably happen. A woman has scorching hot sex with a stranger five minutes after meeting and ends up in the dock for murder less than a year later. Okay, maybe that part couldn't happen, but Yvonne's credulousness and naivete could; who among us doesn't want to believe that our sexy new lover (with a fetish for outside, recordable sex) is Prince Charming incarnate? George Selway came out of NOWHERE and fitting him into the picture is the tough part, especially now that he's fit very much out.
Until next time, which is the last time, cheers.