I’ve commented in earlier reviews that we’ve not had enough of Mira Sorvino in this series, and even that John Simm has been sidelined to an extent. That’s very definitely not the case in this episode, which puts the spotlight firmly on the pair of them. From Jack’s initial fevered searching through Amy’s belongings, to the confrontation between the pair, thence to his horrifying discovery after he puts together two and two that perhaps he wasn’t meant to, neither actor puts a foot wrong – even when the story goes into territory that is deeply personal.
As much as the credibility of the series has relied on finding a nine year old who can pull off the difficulties thrown at Millie Brown, it has also needed a centre in Sorvino’s character. This episode is Sorvino’s real opportunity to sell who Amy is and was, and she grabs it with both hands, dropping into previously known languages, and destroying Jack’s faith in his wife piece by piece. The flashbacks are given from Jack’s perspective, so inevitably he’s an unreliable narrator, but even within the accounts from his memory, Sorvino adds moments into the performance that indicate the truth of what Rose is telling Jack. The hospital scene where they discuss what needs to be – or indeed has already been – done is well worth rewatching after you’ve seen the conclusion of the episode.
Simm owns much of the episode: The Intruders’ author Michael Marshall Smith often writes scenes with just one character in them, and it’s always difficult to put internal monologue on screen without it feeling artificial. When you’ve got an actor of Simm’s quality, though, the audience follows his train of thought, and director Daniel Stamm gives us all the information that Jack is getting to enable this further. The closing shots of the episode are extremely powerful.
The episode may be predominantly about the two of them looking backwards, but there is a certain amount of forward momentum too, as Shepherd locates another potential returnee.
Verdict: Probably the best written episode so far which leads to the strongest performances from the pair at its centre. 9/10