Plot: The unlikely duo of Elise Wasserman (Clemence Poesy) and Karl Roebuck (Stephen Dillane) have reunited, as a new case is in desperate need of their expertise. Despite their very contrasting personalities and approaches, the two were able to put all that aside and navigate a complex, dangerous case the first time around. Now another case is in their hands, but this one is far more complicated and will put them in the middle of danger like never before. A French couple has been abducted from the Eurotunnel, but their young daughter was left behind. But that is just the tip of the iceberg, as a plane carrying British and French passengers also crashed into the English channel, with no survivors. It soon becomes clear that a ruthless force is at work and if those responsible aren’t hauled in, the tragic events could be repeated and more innocent lives could be lost in the process. Wasserman and Roebuck have the skill and determination to find the culprits, but in a case where they will be pushed and tested like never before, can even these two manage to uncover the truth?
Entertainment Value: The Tunnel’s first season was based on the acclaimed series The Bridge, but for this second installment of episodes, the show ventures out from the source and unspools an original narrative. I enjoyed the first season, but this second season surpasses the original on all fronts. The storyline that drives this second season has a lot of depth and potential for unexpected turns, which keeps the tension high throughout. An interesting choice is made not to hide the identities of those behind the crimes, as most shows thrive on that as a prominent narrative device. But here that information is shared and the series doesn’t suffer in the least, if anything being able to focus on more than “who” makes the show even stronger. I feel that choice allows these episodes to have more depth in storytelling, as well as have time to explore character development more. The production values remain high as well, so the show looks slick and well polished.
The highlight of The Tunnel’s first season for me was the cast, especially our leads, Stephen Dillane and Clemence Poesy. In this second volume, both return and the great chemistry is back as well, now with both able to play off each other better than ever, I think. The singular performances are good, perhaps a little more refined than the first time out, but its the exchanges between the two that drive The Tunnel. So I was glad to see some time taken to explore the dynamics between them, especially given the time gap between the seasons. The supporting cast is rock solid as well, with some fun side characters, but the leads shoulder the series, without question. I was glad to see that The Tunnel was not only as good, but better in this second season and I hope the third proves to continue that trend. I think anyone who has a casual interest in cop shows will want to check out this, but for those devoted crime television fans, The Tunnel is a show you simply have to watch.