Inside No. 9 Week: The Riddle of the Sphinx Review
by L. Arrowsmith
‘The audience would have to watch the episode twice to fully understand everything revealed.’
Director: Guillem Morales
Cast: Alexandra Roach, Steve Pemberton & Reece Shearsmith
Synopsis: Nina thinks Professor Squires has all the answers, when actually, neither has a clue what the future holds. With deadly intent, they commence a battle of wits to solve the puzzle and reveal the guardian of their fate.
Review– The Riddle of The Sphinx tells an excellent story of mystery and deceit. The scene is set as the episode opens on a woman (Nina) sneaking through a dimly lit apartment, accompanied by an eerie score. The introduction of Professor Squires suggests to the reader that something is off, however, Morales does an excellent job of misleading the audience.
The episode repeatedly builds suspense, only to defuse the intensity of the moment with unexpected humour. This method allows the audience to drop their guard, and Morales uses this to install shock in the moments that we least expect it. The episode plays with cliches often found in this genre of entertainment, leading the audience on and then twisting them away, all the while leaving clues for the audience that make us wonder how we could not see what was coming.
Despite this, the feeling of satisfaction at the episode’s conclusion may not be understood by all audiences. The unexpected plot twists are perfectly explained and yet the sheer amount of them leaves the audience rather confused by all the information crammed into such a short episode. The audience would have to watch the episode twice to fully understand everything revealed.
This, however, would not be unfortunate as Morales, Shearsmith & Pemberton have produced a riveting and intimate tale. If you are a fan of dark and twisted stories such as American Horror Story, this is the episode for you.
Every episode of Inside No.9 is currently available to stream on BBC iPlayer.