This article contains discussion of topics including self-harm that some readers may find upsetting.
Too Close spoilers follow.
Like the rainbow-coloured kite entangled in the tree outside her window, Connie (Denise Gough), too, felt ensnared, suffocated by her grief, and unable to haul herself out of the abyss. Almost killing herself and two young children, one of which was her own, by driving her car into a river will undoubtedly do that to you.
It was an action so far removed from who she used to be – a woman who had troubles and anxieties, but persisted nonetheless.
Was she really the "yummy mummy monster", a modern day Medea hungry for revenge against her husband and his new squeeze? Were her actions that fateful night a window into her true nature?
That was what Emma (Emily Watson), her forensic psychiatrist, was tasked with unearthing. Were Connie's claims that she had no memory of what she had done genuine, or was she trying to game the system to evade punishment?
Her findings would largely determine the rest of Connie's existence. Would she be confined to a prison cell for the remainder of her days, kept under lock and key in a psychiatric hospital, or one day feel the sun on her face, free to wander as she pleased?
Through her exchanges with Emma, we learned what compelled Connie to slam her foot on the accelerator and do the unthinkable.
Connie and her husband had decided to open up their marriage, but she had not foreseen that Karl (Jamie Sives) would become romantically involved with her neighbour and best friend Ness (Thalissa Teixeira), which was the first hammer blow.
Her mother Julia (Eileen Davies) was also showing signs of dementia, and the strain of having to grapple with that and the breakdown of her marriage and friendship had broken her spirit entirely. Connie, already well-acquainted with anti-depressants, was also suffering from insomnia and hair loss, which prompted the GP to prescribe her a potent cocktail of drugs.
Eventually, her mother died – a life-shattering event that Connie had forgotten all about during her time in psychiatric care. Her relationship with her medication had also spiralled out of control. But despite her dependency, she flushed all of her pills away, quitting cold turkey "for the kids".
In a matter of days, Connie had descended into psychosis. One of the most disturbing scenes in the series witnessed her dousing herself in bleach to exterminate the cockroaches that she believed were crawling all over her. Connie cried out for her mother in pained yelps and there, in the garden, she hallucinated her. Julia beckoned to Connie and she followed, rain-soaked and utterly desperate, until she was standing outside Ness's house, observing the cosy scene within. We saw Karl and Ness as she did: a "malevolent force", their faces like creatures from the depths of hell.
Believing the children to be under threat, Connie gathered them from their slumber and tucked them into the backseat of the car. From there, she drove to the bridge and once again, Connie's mother called out to her in the distance.
"It's okay," she smiled. "Granny's going to save us." With an expression that could only be described as sheer relief, the car surged forwards, and it didn't stop.
A year later, Emma appeared in court to offer her testimony. She discussed the circumstances which drove Connie to the brink and beyond, and she strongly refuted the claim that Connie remained a danger to herself, her family and society.
"Who knows what any one of us is capable of given the wrong medication and the right tiggers," she added. It's an arresting statement that sits at the very centre of this narrative, and remains with you long after the final credits have rolled.
In an alternate life, Connie and Emma might have sat on opposite sides of the table following their respective traumas.
Connie was visibly changed at the end. Her hair had grown, her eye had healed and her bruising had dissipated, and there was more colour in her cheeks. And crucially, her emotions had settled, too. We weren't privy to the outcome of the hearing, but the transformation she had undergone and the fact that she was permitted to see her children signalled a more hopeful future.
But we weren't given specifics about what happened next. When we left Connie, she was still being treated at the psychiatric hospital and it wasn't clear when she would be allowed to walk through the front door, or if she would even make it to that critical milestone. The future, and how we respond, is unknowable.
For us to leave her within those same four walls, under the unforgiving glare of those same strip lights, is a stark reminder that her recovery will be a process, and one that will likely last a lifetime. Loose ends cannot be tied up in neat little bows, and it would have been disingenuous to pretend otherwise. Instead, they simply hang there, fluttering in the breeze, a persistent reminder of what we have endured as we learn to live with the imperfection.
Too Close aired on ITV.
We would encourage anyone who identifies with the topics raised in this article to reach out. Organisations who can offer support include Samaritans on 116 123 (www.samaritans.org) or Mind on 0300 123 3393 (www.mind.org.uk). Readers in the US are encouraged to visit mentalhealth.gov.
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