As a prison riot erupts into violence, Red comes face to face with the ring leader: the man who once held him hostage and nearly drove him mad. But what they don't know is a killer's amongst them, preying on their weaknesses.
Fitz returns to Manchester after living 10 years in Australia with his wife and youngest son. He is soon drawn into the investigation of a British soldier who may have been traumatized by his years serving in Northern Ireland.
To me 'Messiah' was a great and near blameless show in which the first two seasons were particularly strong, and should have lasted longer than it did.
It got off to a great start in the first series, which set the tone for the show brilliantly with a taut and dark atmosphere, always engrossing storytelling, great acting and production values, intelligent scripting, very disturbing and inventive murders if not for the faint-hearted and a genuinely surprising final reveal (if slightly let down by a slightly implausible and not-as-developed-as-it-could-have-been motivation).
'Messiah 2: Vengeance is Mine' is every bit as good and quality-wise it is about equal. It is stylishly and beautifully filmed with a lot of atmosphere, while the locations are also used to great effect. The music is suitably ominous while never being too obvious. A great job is done with the directing, always tight and resolutely moody and nothing is rushed or plodding.
Both parts of "Vengeance is Mine" are tautly and intelligently written, with an always natural flow and the mystery is always kept alive and fresh. The story here is darker and just as disturbing as before, with a great ominous atmosphere and plenty of surprising twists and turns while taking time to develop it enough to stop it from falling into incoherence. Susan's deafness also gives it some welcome heart too. The deaths are shocking and imaginative, if not quite as gory as in the first series (then again, it doesn't get gorier than deaths based on the deaths, ones that are as brutal as you can possibly get, of the twelve disciples).
The final solution was a surprise to me, though I know of people who felt they found out too early or found it too obvious, and the motive was a little better developed and easier to swallow than the first series, though the physical competence of the murderer and how they were able to carry out the murders has been brought into question and understandably. The characters continue to be interesting, and the acting continues to impress.
Ken Stott is exceptional in the lead role, some of his best acting has been on this show. Neil Dudgeon also excels, don't think he has done better work than his acting in 'Messiah', Michelle Forbes is touching and Alun Armstrong is earth-shattering as a very totured character. Frances Grey's role is a bit limited, but she does much with it.
Overall, wonderfully done second series to a great show and just as compelling as the first. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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