THE HOUR (BBC America) Episode 2 Review

THE HOUR (BBC America) Episode 2

THE HOUR Season 1 Episode 2 – The mystery grew deeper in Part Two of The Hour and the crew of the fledgling news program had the story of a lifetime thrust upon them. Meanwhile, Freddie and Hector clashed and Bel just tried to hang on to her sanity.

We rejoin our British reporters a few weeks into the show’s run. The reviews are in, but it’s already obvious that Hector is in over his head. Despite Bel’s encouragement and perhaps because of Freddie’s derision, he’s having trouble with his camera marks and his interviews. Nepotism: ain’t it great? By all rights, it should be Freddie leading the show, but he isn’t blessed with what’s considered a camera-worthy face. What he can do is interview; he knows what questions to ask and when to ask them, an instinct he grudgingly tries to pass on to Hector (for Bel’s sake). The timing for his lesson couldn’t be better as suddenly Britain faces the Suez Canal crisis.

I’m not all that up on the history of relations between England and the Middle East, but I knew enough to be frustrated with Bel on Lix’s account when Bel blew off her warnings of trouble stirring in Egypt. Bel wanted a story, not a rumor, and she got one. Perhaps more of a story than she was expecting. With the threat of war looming, an interview with an Egyptian nationalist is arranged for the show and Bel finds herself having to go toe-to-toe with a misogynist flunky from the prime minister’s office. I love Bel, I really do. She has an hour-glass figure and a nice set of balls. She refuses to either script or cancel the interview. I look forward to seeing what fall-out comes from this decision, as the interview turns into a declaration of the death of the British Empire. On live TV.

Hector might have redeemed himself a bit by turning out a riveting interview in the eleventh hour, but he’s still a smarmy bastard with his sights set on Bel. And her secretary. Pretty much everyone but his wife. I don’t want to see Bel fall for him. Yes, she needs flaws, but does he have to be one of them? She’s better than that. Maybe it’s too much to expect that she’ll end up with Freddie, but it’ll be hard to watch her fall into bed with that smug product of privilege and hair oil.

Meanwhile, in conspiracy land, Freddie has a nice Obsession Wall going in his office as he tries to connect the dots between Ruth’s supposed suicide, the murdered professor and MI6. He learns that the professor wrote crossword puzzles; his last puzzle was published the day after he was killed, but the solution was never printed. Freddie scrambles to solve it, only to come up with the phrase “He Knows.” While watching some old home movies, he figures out who “he” might be when he recognizes the man standing next to Ruth in the films. It’s the same man Liz hired to translate all the Arabic soundbites coming through the news room, but we know him as the Shadow Man, the professor’s murderer. (Or Owen, if you’re a Torchwood fan.)

I know a conspiracy is supposed to be confusing at this stage, but I hope to get some bigger pieces of the puzzle next week. Just how does all of this connect? And while I understand the murder of a respected professor, what threat could an unstable debutante possibly present? Especially one whose father heads up the House of Lords. Unless that has something to do with it. At this point, nothing can be ruled out.

The Hour still has me riveted and I look forward to next week when Freddie spends a weekend in the country hunting pheasant and takes on the Shadow Man face-to-face, both prospects nightmarish in their own ways.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Who’s calling Bel and hanging up? Does the Suez Canal have something to do with the conspiracy? Let me know below!!