TV: Inside No. 9 – Misdirection, BBC Two

TV: INside No. 9 – Misdirection, BBC Two

The latest Inside No. 9, Misdirection, finds Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton delving into the world of magic, secrets and maybe a bit of murder too. 

It's really Shearsmith's episode this time round, although Pemberton plays a small but pivotal part. Shearsmith is ambitious illusionist Neville Griffin, who will go to any lengths to find a new trick to make his name. This is of particular interest to me because a distant relative was a pioneering TV magician who invented the "silk to egg trick". Tricks are often closely guarded secrets. As Griffin says, you could patent them but that would make them a matter of public record, so what magician worth his salt would ant to do that?

But has Griffin met his match when light-fingered young man Gabriel (Ffion Whitehead) comes to his workshop to probe him. Is the scene set for the ultimate sleight-of-hand showdown?

As ever this is a difficult episode to write about, but it is also a difficult episode to watch. Inside No. 9 is often about a kind of misdirection, with clues being subtly seeded early one when you least expect them, that the temptation here is to watch everything way too closely and suspect or even expect that anything could be an intended distraction, making you miss what is really going on*.

But the episode is scripted so well and so cleverly that there really is no point trying to second guess anything. Just settle back and enjoy one of the darker, classic instalments in this latest anthology series that also features brief appearances from Jill Halfpenny and Tom Goodman-Hill. It looks like it was a true labour of love to make and fans will love watching it unfold. 

Inside No. 9 – Misdirection, BBC Two, Monday, February 24, 10pm.

*I've scrutinised the writers' tweets and the spoof film poster on this page after previous clues have been dropped there.

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