The Port Talbot police have several gruesome murders to solve in the second season of Welsh crime thriller Bang, which premiered today in the US.
Roger Williams, the award-winning creator and writer of Bang, the 2018 BAFTA Cymru Award winner for Best Television Drama, wastes no time pulling viewers into the Series 2 story. Within the first two and a half minutes, a man trying to get a horse into a horse box and back to the stables is murdered on the beach where the horse had been galloping without abandon. DS Gina Jenkins (Catrin Stewart, Doctor Who) finds the bloodied victim, Jack Moody, hung upside down inside the horse box. It is later revealed that the killer had cut off a part of Jack’s body.
Sent by Serious Crimes to lead the homicide case is DI Morgan Riley (Dyfan Dwyfor, Requiem). Also joining the team is Eve (Rachel Isaac, The Office), assigned to work alongside Port Talbot police admin Harri (Tim Preston, Warren) at the Port Talbot police station.
It’s an eventful day for Gina. Soon after her gruesome discovery, she picks up Sam (Jacob Ifan, Cuffs), her brother, just released from prison after serving a two-year sentence, to bring him back to her place, where he’s going to stay until he gets on his feet. Sam’s case worker, Caryn (Hedydd Dylan, Emmerdale), who happens to be Morgan’s wife, has already found a job for Sam with bike repair shop owner Dai (Alexander Vlahos, Versailles). Speaking of bikes, DS Luke Lloyd (Jack Parry-Jones, Our Girl), Gina’s partner on and off the job now, brings Sam’s dad’s bike over to Gina’s so Sam can get around — a thoughtful gesture that triggers in Sam an anxiety attack, a symptom of his PTSD.
Elsewhere in Port Talbot, Russell, the victim’s lover, thinks he was the intended target and that local businessman Jeff Campbell (David Hayman, Trial & Retribution) is behind the murder. So Russell plots his revenge. Only it doesn’t go according to plan. Quite the opposite, in fact.
Soon thereafter, another man is murdered and left in the same fashion as the first victim. He is identified as Lee Pritchard, who years ago had played for the same rugby club as Jack Moody. The two victims have something else in common: they, along with other former teammates, were accused of raping a local woman, Marissa, a decade ago. In the present, Marissa recognizes a cop from his days with the same rugby club…
As the body count ticks upward and the police hunt for a serial killer, Sam’s PTSD appears to worsen. But he has some comfort after reconnecting and reconciling with his mum, Linda (Nia Roberts, Hidden). However, he has a major concern: he suspects Caryn’s life with Morgan isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.
Meanwhile, viewers learn who the killer is and watch as more victims get picked off, one by one, all while another attacker is combing the streets of Port Talbot looking for his target…
The serial killings storyline is gripping, and I stayed up well past my bedtime to binge-watch the entire season. Even when the identity of the killer was revealed, I remained glued to the screen to find out what the person would do next and why they were murdering certain folks to begin with.
I was less enthused with the sub-plot of the Sam-Caryn-Morgan triangle, which gets plays out quite predictably. But I imagine that the ending, which I think (but am not entirely sure) I get, sets up the possibility for the series to return for a third season, which would be cool.
Regardless, Jacob Ifan delivers another riveting performance as Sam, which combined with the serial killer story, makes the new season worth a (binge) watch.
The six-episode season costars Suzanne Packer (Keeping Faith) and features Chris Gordon (The Crown), Rhydian Jones (The Indian Doctor), and Sophie Melville (Call the Midwife).
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