TV Review: The Split Series 3 Episode 1

Nicola Walker! Deborah Findlay! Lara Pulver! Annabel Scholey! Bonus Jemima Rooper! Anna Chancellor still to come! The return of The Split gets me overexcited

“She’s on the divorce front line”

Just a quickie to welcome back this delightful nonsense to our screens. The first episode of Series 3 of The Split picks up a few months down the line from the aftermath of the last series, with Nicola Walker’s Hannah and Stephen Mangan’s Nathan now negotiating the terms of their divorce and aiming – at first at least – to do it as amicably as possible given their intense family entanglements.

Of course, it’s never as simple as all that and in a heartbreakingly well done scene, Hannah’s hopes of reconciliation are dashed when Nathan sneaks in his swanky new girlfriend Kate (a brilliantly brittle Lara Pulver) to a big reunion party. And as the Defoe family are always marking some occasion or other, there’s a family bash in which so much awkwardness has to be endured.

Spoiler(ish) alert now though, that awkwardness is soon washed away with the killing off of one of the main supporting characters, which is clearly going to be a big driver for the personal side of the storytelling, giving the sisters another reason to cleave together so strongly. We do need more of the fabulous Deborah Findlay as matriarch Ruth, reduced to recording a podcast here… 

And professionally, there’s a continuation of the family law cases that span the gamut from the delicious – Jemima Rooper and Lindsay Duncan doing battle over their shared lover’s estate – to the disturbing – the excellent Karen Bryson starring as Zander’s sister who unexpectedly announces she wants a divorce, a storyline which seems set to run at least a little longer. 

The tailoring is as beautiful as ever, the plots are borderline ridiculous and I just love it, this is escapism of the best order. And Anna Chancellor’s delightfully sharp Melanie hasn’t even returned yet!

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