Has everyone been watching this new BBC One show Bodyguard? It's probably the most instantly compelling show that I've watched in ages, so you totally should be. Join me for episode 1.2!
Last time our stalwart Bodyguard David Budd (Richard Madden from the Worst Wedding Ever on Game of Thrones, and that's saying something) stopped a bombing, calmed down several ladies and freaked out another, revealing his not-so-stable inner self. He got a new job, a new boss: Home Secretary Julia Montague (Keeley Hawes from Tipping the Velvet!) that he only half wants to murder as payback for his de-tracked life after being deployed to Afghanistan.
AND THAT WAS ONLY EPISODE ONE!
We open with David dropping off his kiddos Ella (Bella Padden) and Charlie (Matthew Stagg) at school but Charlie doesn't want to go. He's being bullied at school so David consoles him and marches the bullies over to the Principal's office so they can be dealt with properly.
Just kidding, David tells his 7 year old son to feign strength and never show weakness, lots of yelling and not listening because THAT WORKED OUT SO GREAT FOR YOU, YES, DAVID?
You hear a lot about toxic masculinity these days, I think this particular conversation falls into Being Your Child's First Bully or psychological abuse myself.
David's off to work in the car with Julia in the back listening to his phone buzz over and over. It's his estranged wife Vicky (Sophie Rundle) and Charlie's been kicked out of school?
David stands outside Julia's office and stares at everyone in slowmo, an arrival watches Julia chat about terrorism, looking discomfited.
Ahhh jaysus, they think the First of October terrorists are looking for David's kiddos' school, is that why Charlie was being targeted? Whomever it is briefing Julia is relieved that she doesn't want to share this data with the police due to suspicion of a police information leak: how else could they know it was David's kid's school? Or is it a coincidence?
They agree to not tell the schools they're under threat, but rather tighten security as they don't want them re-focusing elsewhere.
Outside Julia's office waits paramour Rob MacDonald (Paul Ready) and Tahir Mahmood (Shubham Saraf) who are of differing opinions as to whether Julia should go on TV to defend against the Opposition's criticisms of her bulked-up terrorism bill. Tahir wins when Julia agrees not to do the Opposition's job for them, leaving Rob looking pouty.
We get to meet almost everyone at Julia's meeting, Mike Travis (Vincent Franklin) is the counter-terrorism leader who looked put out when he saw Julia doing a pre-meeting with Stephen Hunter-Dunn (Stuart Bowman). Anne Sampson (Gina McKee from Line of Duty!) is also counter-terrorism and that's all the names we get for today. Stephen presses to take over interrogation of the female bombing suspect, Mike has to stand him down.
After work, David calls his kiddos to say goodnight, Vicky doesn't think much of his suggestion of talking to the school head.
There are urgent developments in the First of October investigation, a massive surveillance operation is under Anne's command, police officers following a suspect into an industrial area where they switch to a large white box truck. Anne's second in command Deepak Sharma (Ash Tandon) assists her as the MAST Leader (Jonathan Nyati) and his team close in.
The suspects have spotted their tail so the pace picks up and Anne authorizes a forced stop with critical shot authority. Ah shite, they're headed right for Charlie and Ella's school!
Thank the gods the teacher is on the ball and clears the courtyard just as the police pull up between the truck and the school, shooting without much effect until the truck does stop.
STAY BACK IN CASE IT BLOWS YOU GUYS!!!
WHAT DID I SAY???
Ahhh shite. 3 officers dead, a bunch of civilians and other officers hurt. David stands outside Julia's office listening, not understanding yet that it involves his kid's school.
David's family is in a safehouse, his boss Lorraine Craddock (Pippa Haywood) explains, but there's a more serious problem in the leak. And what about his colleagues? David's been grounded to his desk, he is not happy.
He heads to the safehouse to kiss the kids and get yelled at by Vicky. She's treating this as though it's his fault.
*I had a brief exchange in comments with someone about the nature of personal responsibility; are we responsible for the actions of others we've affected? On a global scale: let's look at how Anthony Bourdain's death is being treated. I've lost count of how many people have blamed Asia Argento in direct and indirect ways for his suicide. Even if she was messing about with various people: is she responsible for his decision to take his own life? In a more recent example, Ariana Grande is being targeted as responsible for the suicide of her former boyfriend Mac Miller. Are people expected to have no responsibility in their own choices? Sorry, sorry, only tenuously related but still: David can't be expected to be held responsible for doing his job. I do understand how scary it must be, I've spent time in much less cinematic safehouses.
David can't sleep. Work sucks. Pressure builds. Snakes crawl under his skin.
He meets with war buddy Andy Apsted (Tom Brooke) of the scarred face who thinks the Home Secretary is a sanctimonious b**ch. Wow, he can barely utter a word that's not laden liberally with misogyny. He even suggests that Julia needs a taste of her own medicine.
How is this your friend, David??
Julia meets with the counter-terrorism group again, going straight for Anne and her team. Anne is confused at Julia's aggression.
Julia pulls the issue away from the police and hands it to the eager Stephen of the Security Service (like CIA I gather). Julia is visibly furious that David's been pulled off her security detail, confusing Anne even more. She's not unsure of who her real enemy is at the table, however.
Mike Travis approaches Julia after in her office, she can't be serious about enabling the Security Service? I guess since it was her choice to not brief the police about the direct threat to that very school and keep it with the Security Service, she sure is.
The next morning, Vicky and David get some good news from school, someone's pulled some strings and gotten their son into a special education program at a new school.
David's back on duty!
I think I know who that puppet master is!
Julia has yet another special meeting alone with Stephen while David watches. Hmmmmmmm, there's sensitive material that must be handled carefully, he asks about a bug in the room and apparently they have a secret deal.
Julia heads to supper with Rob while David and Kim Knowles (Claire Louise Cordwell) watch discreetly from another table. Rob tricked Julia into supper by telling her there were other people coming, what's going on there? Aren't they dating?
She could have at least eaten, now she and David will have to pick up something on the way home. Hm. They nosh and talk about David's troubled marriage and her divorce, hm.
What's going on here?
When is a cup of tea not just a cup of tea?
We're off to see the Prime Minister (David Westhead) the next day, my favourite snake Roger Penhaligon (Nicholas Gleaves) lying in wait for Julia. The PM's pissed that Julia is talking so much, he thinks she's making a run at the leadership.
Just like Roger does!
David has a small question for Julia:
Ohhhhh. She bluffs but he knows something is hinky. The conversation ends abruptly WHEN SOMEONE STARTS SHOOTING UP THE CAR!! The driver is killed almost immediately so David takes control and every ducks down. They're covered in blood, David starting to disassociate until Julia's screaming brings him back. He calls it in and holds Julia's hand to calm her down as more and more shots hit the car. There is bulletproof armour plating.
DAVID GETS OUT OF CAR
And finds a sniper with his phone, just one and on the opposite side from where he is, whew. He manages to drive away THEN LEAVES HER and enters a building. He grabs an automatic weapon from the car and heads to the roof; those are lousy for shooting long distance, aren't they????
Ahhhhhh but he's at that building
and AHHHHH IT'S HIS FRIEND ANDY
What the fck, dude??? David was in that car too!!!!! You fcker.
He's going to make David shoot him. Nope, he shoots himself in front of David.
HOW IS THIS ONLY THE SECOND EPISODE???
David gets home and closes all his blinds before carefully hiding his gun. He gets a call right after from Lavender and goes to the Service Entrance of the Blackwood Hotel.
The still have service entrances????
Inside, Julia is shaken and discombobulated after not being able to go home. Paranoid too, she thinks the police deliberately didn't send help. Specifically: Anne Sampson.
She starts to melt down but I'm worried about the lack of distance between them.
"I'm not the queen. You're allowed to touch me."
Oh and hugging. Hair smelling. OKAY BUT NO KISSING OKAY??
I SAID NO KISSING.
Oh, then the humping. Goddang it, you guys just made everything so complicated. He bit her lip, though and I got it.
This is the longest yet least-specific sex scene ever.
They lay apart after, awake but not talking, together but entirely separate. He didn't even take one piece of clothing off, not exposing that body-oddy-oddy and that's not fair play.
She intensely regrets what they've done, hiding in the bathroom while he lets himself out, only having to zip his fly. Yikes.
Isn't she his boss? Isn't this a form of sexual harassment? What would have happened if he has said no?
We're back to normal the next day, Julia giving speeches on camera about the Security Service (they made a deal?), Mike Travis watching nervously from afar and David talking to his boss again about what an awesome job he's doing.
David is surprised to see Anne Sampson in his boss's office, she wants to know what Julia's been doing with Security Services Stephen and how often. They think Julia is a very dangerous politician that must be stopped. They've noticed how much she likes David, though...he's to perform surveillance on her at the hotel.
Well that just got extremely awkward. Good thing they asked him AFTER last night.
David asks if this is lawful? But Anne's got an ace up her sleeve: the fact that Julia clearly knew David's kids' school was in danger and didn't say anything. Since David has already questioned that odd knowledge, he understands instantly.
He drops Julia off at her room and retires to the adjoining suite. They undress in parallel, listening to each other through the walls. How difficult it would be to be that close to an exquisite lover but knowing you ought not.
He waits by the adjoining door until she unlocks it and he enters, holding his breath. Some fast stripping, then they're on her desk and she's worried about complicating their jobs but he's not. He'll protect her no matter what and especially closely given when their privates are in relation to each other currently. And we're out.
Seriously! This show is so exciting! I can't believe the pacing and the chemistry between the two leads is palpable. Almost Apple Tree Yard levels, wow.
The cinematography and production values are top notch, but even if they weren't, we'd just be watching these two regardless. Very well done, BBC One, you surprise me. Until next time! Which won't be as long: trust. Cheers