Season finale review: Silk


This finale of Silk is explosive, with both sides finally colliding with destructive consequences. Truth is the main driver which causes this earthquake.  A difficult witness cross examines the criminal bar and deconstructs the inner workings of the justice system. Martha seems to choke under the heat and often seems out of her depth, less and less able to abate the oncoming waves. She struggles to fit her defendant’s version of events into the evidence, “a round peg, square hole”, which has constant relevance in this episode. Her struggle with her clients’ real allegiances comes to a head this week, with her heart as always controlling her judgement and actions.

On the other side of the coin, Clive, as always, is ruled by his trousers. He and the new clerk Harriet have an intense table top debate and the chambers takes a new direction as the inner politics are revealed in an in-house hearing. Billy’s illness is finally exposed and seems his character and his role is fading away with his life. The new election of Head of Chambers sees Martha questioning where she fits and whether she is capable of turning her “head upside down”. There is no joy from Mickey Joy as he returns to deliver a truly unnerving realisation to Martha on corruption, only seeing what you want to see, which reflects her entire approach to the case thus far, blinded by her reminiscence. Her reactions during the case are unsurpassed with constant tremors of emotion delivered by this fine actress at critical moments.

As it has been announced that Silk won’t return for a fourth series this finale starts with a shock and ends with destruction, only debris remains.  The end scene uses a busy road as a metaphor; blocking Martha from the rest of the cast and marks the end of the road for Silk. Unfortunately I have to admit this drama has explored every avenue it can and comes to a disappointing end. At least in the last episode much like the timing of a case, they have pulled it out of the bag at the very last moment.   I only hope that Maxine Peake and her flawless acting can rise from the ashes and continue in another successful gripping TV drama.

Catch the spinoff radio drama, Silk: The Clerk’s Room on BBC Radio 4.


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