Clique Episode 3

Clique’s third episode is an impressive blend of chills, relationships and teenage struggles as things begin to heat up.

This week, Holly is in. She’s still hungry for the truth, to uncover just why Fay took her own life, while her own past still looms large. However, things are complicated by the allure and glamour of Solasta life, as well as her topsy-turvy friendship with bestie Georgia.

This really is an increasingly impressive series. It knows what it is. It knows what it wants to be. It’s well written, it’s got a good cast and it’s impressively paced. Clique is genuinely compelling and it’s proper creepy, while it juggles its various elements in assured style.

This really is an increasingly impressive series. It knows what it is. It knows what it wants to be.

This week’s episode really delved deep into the various relationships on the show, none more so than Holly and Georgia – which remains the anchor for this series. Indeed, the best scene of the episode came between these two as Holly guides her best friend through a panic attack. It was a wonderful example of showing not telling, with Georgia arriving back late to the house with Jude around for dinner. She apologises, she sits and ever so slowly, she begins to break down.

Holly watches her and she knows, springing into action when she eventually cracks and shepherding her into the bathroom where she protectively calms her down.

It’s a genuinely touching moment which shows friendship, history and also advances the plot all in one. Aisling Franciosi and Synnove Karlsen absolutely sell it. Every bit of it. It’s sensitively handled, showing these two friends at their most vulnerable – showing everything they were and all that they’ve shared – adding a beautiful new layer to their friendship.

It’s a genuinely touching moment which shows friendship, history and also advances the plot all in one.

Fair enough, they are at one another’s throats again as soon as Georgia composes herself but that’s part of what gives this series so much meat. These relationships aren’t simple. They feel real. They’re complex. They’re fleshed out. They’re interesting. There’s nothing bland about them. Clique delivers this all the more in exploring the relationships between Holly and the Solasta girls, as well as the Solasta girls and Georgia especially.

And, obviously, there’s a pretty chilling mystery hanging over things. It’s evident that there is something sinister about Solasta. Week by week, we’re peeling back the layers and edging closer to the truth. We learn as Holly learns. The series does an impressive job as it struts on, giving us enough on other characters yet never too much.

Georgia, for example. She really gets some meat to her this week, with Aisling Franciosi nailing the material she’s tasked with. She’s stubborn, doggedly refusing any help from Holly as she  protects all that she’s built for herself. Yet, there’s something sinister hiding behind her facade. Is it sadness? Fear? Horror? Anxiety? Despair?

When Holly comes to make peace with her towards the episode, and agrees to back off, Georgia refuses to make eye contact. It’s only when Holly leaves that we see Georgia turn, an expression of complete despair plastered across her face. This is then followed soon by a look between her and Rachel as she heads out to the car for a trip to Austria with Steiner. Whereas in the first episode it didn’t feel as if Georgia had all that much depth to her, she’s truly developing into a compelling, complicated little mystery. She’s being played brilliantly by Franciosi and it’s clear she’s in too deep here. You’re just willing for her to make amends with Holly and scramble out of this hole she’s stuck in, however, with that ominous final scene you get the feeling that things will get worse before they get better.

You’re just willing for her to make amends with Holly and scramble out of this hole she’s stuck in…

On top of the meaty exploration of relationships, Clique continues to keep its mysteries ticking along. It’s really chilling. It’s testament to the writing that it comes across like that. There’s just enough ‘chill’ delivered to never let you get comfortable.

This week, we had James e-mail Holly hints as to what happened to Fay and the danger of Solasta. It transpired that dodgy dealings have been occurring and with that, a potential reason for Fay’s suicide. We discover Alistair was aware and Jude wasn’t as Holly confronts them, though we’re not given all that much else – the answers remain tantalisingly close. However, with James Buxton’s body then dragged from a river in the closing moments Clique leaves you with more questions than answers once more.

We’re halfway through and Clique is going from strength to strength. It’s a show confidently making the most of its material. It always does just enough to hold your interest. It’s well written, packed with genuinely likeable, interesting characters and a darkness looming over things.

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