Review of the second season of the show “Vigil” – Suranne Jones shines in this thrilling series without the need for a submarine.
Do you recall the show Vigil on BBC One where Suranne Jones was stuck on a submarine? Jones portrayed DCI Amy Silva, a detective tasked with solving a suspicious death on the submarine. She ended up getting trapped on board with all the suspects and the killer. Meanwhile, her colleague and former lover, DS Kirsten Longacre (Rose Leslie), worked on the case from the mainland, fearing for her partner’s safety on the submarine.
The clever plot twist of trapping the main character in a submarine made Vigil a major success on BBC in 2021. What’s next for the popular drama? DCI Amy Silva returns for another season, but this time she is not trapped in a submarine. She is also not stuck on a hijacked plane, in a broken elevator, or trapped in a cave after a potholing accident. In fact, she is not trapped at all! What is the direction of the show now?
It is a daring decision, but Vigil thrives in the harsh outdoor environment – possibly even excelling. How? Firstly, Jones is a valuable addition to the fictional detective team, exhibiting the classic traits of a dependable TV investigator. DCI Silva does not rely on a flashy gimmick, instead she exudes confidence and competence: it is satisfying to witness someone who is always on top of their game, steadily making progress by meticulously accounting for minor details – it becomes addicting. Silva is also consistently assertive, without being aggressive. When she means business, she puts on her glasses; when she really means business, she takes them off again, particularly when faced with male superiors attempting to deceive her.
After being freed from the confines of a submarine, the detective’s abilities are able to shine and her refusal to submit to authority becomes crucial. In the first season, the fact that the murder took place on a Royal Navy ship with nuclear capabilities was a significant but not overly significant aspect of the plot. The antagonist was ultimately revealed to be a Russian spy and there were discussions surrounding the use of Trident and how the government can bypass democratic processes for military purposes, but it did not hold much weight in the overall storyline.
In the second season, there is a shift and Silva becomes an expert in exposing misconduct within our compromised military. A gripping opening scene occurs at a training ground in the Scottish countryside, where Air Vice-Marshal Marcus Grainger (played by Dougray Scott) oversees a demonstration drill involving four remotely controlled drones destroying an empty building for dignitaries from Wudyan, a fictional oil-rich dictatorship in the Middle East. However, when someone hijacks one of the drones and uses it to attack real people, DCI Silva is faced with a murder investigation. Meanwhile, the charming air vice-marshal is more concerned with protecting the £1bn partnership between Wudyan and the UK.
Grainger plays a dual role as both a serving officer and a representative for the arms company responsible for manufacturing drones. He justifies their sale to Wudyan, claiming that 600 jobs in the area rely on them and that they are being used to suppress an uprising in a nearby country. Silva’s investigation is likely to face numerous obstacles.
Therefore, Vigil becomes a part of the respected tradition of BBC One’s popular dramas that casually reveal political truths. In the past, Spooks would frequently expose the harsh realities of corrupt state politics, discussing topics that would have been considered taboo on BBC News. More recently, Line of Duty has gained a large following despite its underlying premise that the police force is inherently corrupt. Vigil also delves into the covert and profitable industry that fuels our foreign policy, sheds light on how self-interest determines our alliances and identifies who is labeled as a terrorist, and raises concerns about the potentially ominous future of automated warfare.
Primarily, it is a compelling thriller about crime. The fast-paced first episode introduces several promising suspects, only to reveal that they are either innocent, deceased, or both. As the mystery deepens and the number of casualties rises, DCI Silva’s personal life becomes more prominent: she is now in a relationship with DS Longacre and is pregnant, but is concerned about Longacre’s involvement in a dangerous case. However, in the second part of the series, airing this week on Monday and Tuesday, it is Silva who finds herself in grave danger. She must travel to Wudyan and seek shelter at a British military base filled with armed individuals and hidden secrets. In a more intriguing manner than before, she becomes trapped in the situation.
The show “Vigil” is currently airing on BBC One and can also be streamed on iPlayer.