Sara Wallis – ITV’s twist-filled Cheat drama has ruined the rose emoji for me
Hell hath no fury like a young woman with daddy issues, a dead mother, a long lost sister and a passion for killing pets.
I was completely gripped by ITV’s Cheat, which saw a simple accusation of cheating on a university paper end up with a man lying on a mortuary slab with stab wounds in his neck.
Yes, that escalated quickly.
The twist-filled psychological thriller – by The Missing and Liar writers Harry and Jack Williams – saw Katherine Kelly and Molly Windsor face off in a prison visiting room like trash-talking pre-bout wrestlers.
Flashback to former Coronation Street star Katherine as university professor Dr Leah Dale leading a course on coercion and power dynamics – nice touch! – and Three Girls actress Molly as Rose, her student called out for submitting a suspiciously good essay.
What began as an essay dispute turned into a creepy thriller with stalking, manipulation, murder and even a dead cat. Betsy, may you rest in peace.
Four nights of drip-fed clues left us wondering which of them killed Leah’s husband Adam, played by Tom Goodman-Hill.
Brilliant writing meant we were kept guessing, but I was firmly Team Leah.
After the first big plot twist – when Leah zoomed in on an old photo to see Rose leering at the couple in the background – the shocks came thick and fast.
Leah was pregnant. She and Rose were sisters. Rose’s mum drove herself off a cliff. Rose killed Adam in self-defence.
Scrap that, Rose killed Adam out of sheer murderous intent. Oh, and she got Ben to kill her hateful dad William’s dog.
And possibly William too although we’ll need a second series to answer that. But only if Adrian Edmondson doesn’t have another travelogue lined up.
It was fairly obvious that Rose’s infatuated porter pal Ben would do her evil bidding. Men did not come off well at all. Peter Firth played Leah’s cowardly philandering father, finally kicked out of the family home – albeit very nicely with a flask of tea and a pat on the back.
And when Adam uttered those idiotic words: “Do you want to come back to mine for a nightcap?” we all thought: “Moron.”
It only took Rose about three messages to convince him to start sexting. Pretty stupid for a professor. It didn’t end well for him, with a letter opener in the neck.
The women were tough and clever, from Leah and her mum to the best mate and female detective.
And despite being a psychotic villain with a hugely punchable smirk, I still felt a bit sorry for Rose, the abandoned girl in the cafe with no one to love her.
She’s totally ruined that rose emoji for me now though.
Molly and Katherine were spectacular to watch – I hope they’ll be back for more.
Just keep the pets kept indoors this time.
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