Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

A Mother’s Son

(UK, 2012)

The wonderful Martin Clunes (best known as Doc Martin) is a widower with a teenage son and daughter. Hermione Norris is bitterly divorced, and also has a son and daughter. They have been living together for a fairly short time, and there are tensions between the two sets of kids, but nothing really out of the ordinary.

Then a fifteen-year-old girl is stabbed to death out on the moors. The whole town is in shock, but not nearly as bad as the mom, when she discovers a pair of shoes her son said were stolen. There is blood on them. And several stories he tells aren’t adding up.

This two-part British series keeps you guessing. Is it blood from a dead fox he kicked, as he claims? Mom at first keeps her suspicions from her ex and from Clunes, but eventually has to voice them. There are confrontations with the boy, who keeps lying and getting caught, but also keeps coming up with reasonable explanations for why he lied. So, did he? Or didn’t he? And what is a mother to do? Everybody had a mother, you know, and some of them were perfectly good mothers whose sons nevertheless did horrible things. This production explores the horror of not knowing, and the fear of finding out the worst. I thought it was extremely well done.