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The Stranger Recap Episode 4

Image from The Stranger, currently streaming on Netflix

Adam's mind may have been muddled with fear, anger, guilt, the weight of secrets, yet his boys just wanted their mother to come home. Young Ryan correctly pointed out that whilst Corinne may have wanted space from Adam, she did not want the same thing from her children. It was understandable for Corinne to ignore Adam's calls and messages; it did not make sense for her not to reach out following her children's desperate pleas.

The desperation of the boys, particularly Ryan, to find their mother, was palpable in that long sequence when Adam, Martin, Thomas, and Ryan followed the movement of Corinne's phone using the app on Thomas's phone. They eventually tracked the phone to a picturesque bridge. Ryan was devastated at the thought that his mother may have committed suicide. As of this writing, I don't have the name of the young actor who played Ryan yet, but kudos to him.

Now with Corinne's phone, Adam found out that two years ago, Corinne called Sally, his colleague with whom he had an affair. It was the moment Corinne alluded to when she spoke of how it hurt when trust was lost. Adam did consider leaving Corinne then. It was around the time Corinne faked her pregnancy.

The Stranger, too, knew that Adam came close to leaving his wife. It was one thing that bugged me about the Stranger, because from the little that we knew of her, she hated secrets. At the time that Corinne had a secret, Adam had one, too. Why was the Stranger only mad at Corinne and not at Adam? The only explanation I could come up with was that the Stranger knew that Adam's secret had already come out. Corinne knew about the affair.

Though Martin almost appeared as though he was trying to dissuade Adam from going to the police, Adam eventually filed a missing person's report. When Johanna and Wes showed up at his door, he thought it was because they had news on Corinne. It turned out that they were looking for Corinne, because the police that searched the scene of Heidi's murder found something that belonged to Corinne.

Image from The Stranger, currently streaming on Netflix

I already wrote about how impactful Heidi's character was, but I neglected to compliment the performance. Allow me to rectify that now. Heidi was not a flashy character; she was just quietly decent. It is to the credit of Jennifer Saunders that two episodes later, the devastation over Heidi's loss remained understandable and raw. It takes a special actor to take a role like Heidi and leave an impression that lingers in a tale with this many threads.

Johanna was adamant that she work Heidi's case. Katz and Wes knew that Johanna was friends with Heidi, but Wes assured Johanna he would talk to Katz. As long as it was not known that Johanna had a personal connection to the victim, she could personally pursue who it was that killed her friend. This early on, however, Katz was already whispering to Wes's ear that Johanna should not be on the case.

That Katz was part of the investigation team meant that he could influence it away from his guilt. He volunteered to be in charge of the CCTV at the crime scene. Wes later reported that the CCTV on the day of the murder had been erased. Undeterred, Johanna told Wes to look at the CCTV footages outside the premises.

This sorrow-filled episode was more about the melancholy that spread through the characters than further twist building. It was wrenching to watch Thomas and Ryan look for their mother, just as it was devastating to see Kimberly try to transfer some of her pain to Johanna. Johanna now knew Heidi was being blackmailed. She had already started an investigation on similar cases of blackmail. There was a reason why Katz wanted to undermine her; Johanna was clearly very good at her job.

Image from The Stranger, currently streaming on Netflix


■ The Stranger looked like she loathed Ed when she confronted him at a café and told him he had a child following one of his many affairs. That the Stranger also copied Ed's lunch order prior to speaking to him was properly creepy.

■ Johanna reached out to her husband Philip in her time of grief.

■ Adam confronted Tripp about the phone call with Corinne. Tripp said it was about the missing money. Corinne allegedly asked Tripp to give her more time, she could prove her innocence, but Tripp refused.

■ Thomas is the quieter role, compared to the emotional Ryan, but Jason Dudman has been nailing the beats of the mournful and occasionally teenager-esque teenager.

■ Thomas wanted Daisy to tell Mike that she spiked his joint.

■ Sickly Olivia was Katz's daughter.

■ There was a scene (just outside the police station, before Adam reported that Corinne was missing) where the camera circled Richard Armitage and yes, as we have known for years, he is perfect.

■ Ed went to watch Thomas's football game. He told Adam that something happened to him recently, and he went on to admit his faults as a father and a grandfather. It was as though the Stranger's visit forced him to acknowledge that he could do better with his son and grandchildren.

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