In Review: Kiss Me First – Episode 3

Another Red Pill member dies and Leila chooses to go after Adrian

Synopsis:¬†Leila suspects Denier might be Adrian’s next target and is determined to save him. But her doubts about Adrian are causing friction with Tess.

Review:¬†This was the darkest episode yet.¬†Tallulah Haddon¬†shows a fiercer side to Leila throughout this offering. Her confrontation with Connor was well acted and showed Leila’s more devious side and her challenge to Zehra, played with great sass by¬†Sibel Pala, showed Leila’s courage and inner strength.

I loved the scene between Leila and Azul.¬†Philip Arditti¬†gives a great performance as Leila’s supportive boss and possibly the only character in the series without an ulterior motive. The part where Leila hugs Azul was a sweet moment in a very dark episode.

Leila’s kindness comes to the fore again when she attempts to support Ben.¬†Samuel Bottomley shows Ben’s fear and helplessness brilliantly. The scene where he kills himself and his abusive carer with a suicide vest was shocking and horrible.

I liked Leila’s scene with Mr. Adams where she took the lead in attempting to hack into Azana.¬†Mark Straker¬†put forward a good performance as an older person who did not understand the problems Leila was facing. I loved the definition of Azana as “Something very bad that was able to give you things that you needed.” The confusion of both Leila and Jonty after Leila kisses him was well conveyed by both actors.

Both this scene and the scene with Mr Adams showed the reality of teenage life. Matthew Aubrey¬†shows Jonty’s fear when the mystery caller presses him for information about Leila very well.¬†Simona Brown gives a great depiction of Tess’s mercurial personality in the scene with the counsellor and her and Leila’s final confrontation at the end was brilliantly delivered by both actors.

My one criticism of this installment is that the conversation between Tess and Leila in which Leila discovers that Tess used to self-harm seemed stilted. This is more than made up for in the final scene but it seems odd given what both actors are capable of. Tess’s rage when Connor breaks up with her is stupendously delivered by¬†Simona Brown and the awkwardness of Tess and Leila’s first conversation after their fight was very true to life and well portrayed by both actors.

Matthew Beard¬†continues to impress as the benign yet sinister Adrian. His hypnotic voice and apparent innocence make him the perfect foil for the more grounded Leila.¬†Tallulah Haddon¬†delivers the line “Tell him I’m coming for him.” with great intensity and just the right amount of menace. The arc words “It’s coming. Everything’s coming.” were well placed throughout this episode. It will be interesting to see what role Ruth Palmer, portrayed by Geraldine Somerville, will play as the creator of Azana in the upcoming episodes. The CGI in this episode is beautiful, which is subverted in the very last scene when a monster seems to devour Tess in real life.

Overall, an excellent if dark outing.

  • Story
  • Acting
  • CGI
  • Incidental Music

Autistic writer who loves sci-fi, cosplay and poetry. Actor with Theatre of the Senses. He/him.
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