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Sunday, April 7, 2019

Mrs. Wilson 3: The Spy Who Made Up Stories

Well, we already knew from the first two episodes of Mrs. Wilson last week that Mr. Wilson was a spy novelist.  In both senses of the phrase - he was a spy, and he was a novelist who told spy stories.  The question was and is: did he also tell stories in his real life, stories about his spying, and stories about whom he was spying on to his employer, MI5?

We also already knew that Alexander Wilson told stories to Alison, his wife, about his personal life - he was married to four wives, including Alison, at the same time.  So he definitely told stories about his real life.  But did he tell stories about his spying?

That's the question raised, not really explored, and therefore left unanswered in the third and final episode of this excellent little docudrama.   Alexander's superior - played by the same fine actress, Fiona Shaw, who plays a very similar character in Killing Eve (the debut of the second season was tonight, and I'll review that soon) - tells Alison Wilson that Alexander was fired in 1942 because he was making up stories about the Egyptians.  He was a fiction writer, after all, she says.

But Karim - well played by Anupam Kher  (who is in New Amsterdam, with much less hair) - tells Alison that it's MI5 that's lying.   According to Karim, they set Alexander up.  Who's a widow to believe?

Well, seeing as how Alison knows of two other widows of Alexander, she's not likely to believe  Karim, but she does.  She tells her children that their father loved them and his country.  But then she finds out about a third widow.  That shakes her belief, at least a little, in her husband vs. MI5.   And in the end .... it's still a puzzle.  A perfect ending to a puzzling story - which, as far as we know, is true.

Other things to like about this episode:  Some great Britishisms to my American ears, including "pay rise" for "pay raise," and phone "calling out" for an outgoing phone call ringing.  And the photos at the end, where you can see Ruth Wilson the actress with her large extended family, were just wonderful.

See this!

See also Mrs Wilson 1 and 2: Uh, Oh Mr. Wilson

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