With one episode to go, the finger’s pointing at John Hudson as our inside man. He phoned the number to trigger the university bomb, legged it, and then HMX-319 was discovered at his house. (Imagine seeing that discovery made, rather than hearing about it afterwards. Trigger Point could have afforded to swap at least one of the scenes in which Wash looks mournfully out of a window to involve us in an actual investigation breakthrough).
There has to be more to it. To make next week’s finale at all satisfying, either Thom or Karl must turn out to have been pulling the strings. Can it really turn out that Wash suspected John, wasn’t believed, but was right all along, the end? If John was the one posing as a gas engineer in those houses, why didn’t the surveillance turn up anything? That A to Z could have been doctored to frame him. Perhaps he’s another of The Crusaders’ inadvertent patsies, or they have his mum tied up in a basement somewhere. It rests on who texted him as he emerged from the building, causing him to phone that mobile number.
If the investigation frustrates, then the action still delivers. Episode five gave us not one but two devices – more if you count all the ones hidden behind dusty paint pots in the gas meter cupboards of Caredale Road. That meant twice as many scenes of blue-lights-flashing, urgent radio comms, evacuations, cordons, and Expos looking at bombs and saying “shiiiit”, aka, the Trigger Point drinking game ingredients (drink if: someone mentions the pigstick or the robot, or takes out a tiny mirror on a stick).
Bomb-wise, Wash’s unlucky streak continues, despite the return of her lucky snips. That’s her partner, the mosque, her brother and a South London University auditorium that have all exploded on her watch, with only the Five Oaks device successfully disrupted. No wonder she’s feeling the guilt. As she told the occupational health therapist, her job is to keep people safe, and she hasn’t been able to. The sequence splicing Wash’s counselling session with her approach to the auditorium bomb was neatly done. When Trigger Point leans into its action genre with slick, macho voiceovers accompanied by Chris Roe’s tense musical score (“It’s me and the device. Me and the bomber. Me vs him,”) it really works. Less so the emotional moments. It turns out that Wash numbed by grief isn’t that different from Wash in any other mood.
The penultimate episode left Wash with a mini-mystery to solve, which she handled well, not falling for the bomber’s tricks and rumbling their meter plan. Now she just has to work out how to stop him from releasing the gas before she adds any other names to her guilt-list.
Trigger Point concludes on Sunday the 27th of March at 9pm on ITV1.