* Warning: Spoilers. Do not read if you haven’t seen One of Us episode 4 *
“What is the truth, Bill?” asked Claire Elliot of Jon Lynch’s farmer in the final episode of One Of Us and about 50 minutes later we learned the answer.
The truth was that Bill dun it.
The stern farmer with the astonishing facial foliage met the killer Lee Walsh by chance in Edinburgh. Bill was buying farm supplies, Walsh was trying to mug him and failed. But suddenly Bill hit upon the wheeze of paying him to kill his son-in-law Adam Elliot. His motive? He had discovered (and more on how later) that he wasn’t Grace’s father (Louise’s ex, Peter, played by Adrian Edmondson was) which meant that Adam was actually the half brother of his wife. Bill couldn’t stomach that.
But the murder went wrong. Rather than just dispatch Adam, Grace had disturbed the killer over the corpse of her husband and she was then gruesomely dispatched herself. That wasn’t what Bill planned. She was meant to be away that night.
Bill, we learned, then killed off Walsh – who happen to crash near the homes of the two families – to stop him telling all.
It was a dramatic conclusion but one which rather stretched plausibility to breaking point.
Firstly, would any man kill their son-in-law on such spurious grounds? I mean, really?
What a drastic course of action, especially for a Christian. If you are so fervent in your belief about the ”sin” of incest that you believe will damn you to hell, then surely the sin of killing your son-in-law weighs highly too. And what would killing Adam achieve? Grace was still pregnant…
It also felt a bit too much like blaming the religious nutter to get out of a plot hole.
Also, the whole business of him finding about about Grace’s paternity from a DNA test for her didn’t ring true. Bill supposedly ordered the tests to check if his Parkinson’s would be handed down to her. But there is no conclusive evidence that Parkinson’s is a hereditary condition that can be passed on within families, apart from in exceptionally rare cases. So that didn’t work. Or ring true. Or pass the credibility test.
But Bill it was.
And when he was rumbled, it seemed highly bizarre that the police would allow him to trot off to get his clothes alone in his own home. He is a farmer, he is likely to have a weapon somewhere. And he did.
So he grabbed a shotgun and threatened to shoot himself while confessing everything that happened.
Also, there were some other plot points that went nowhere. Laura Fraser’s copper Juliet got away with her dodgy sideline of dealing acid and the rape story involving Anna (Georgina Campbell) just fizzled into nowhere, a mere convenient device to suggest a possible motive for her earlier in the drama.
I still quite enjoyed this show in some respects. I was asking questions right up to the end and I stuck with it. But sadly the final scenes felt like a bit of let-down.