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TV Review: Clique (Series 1, Episode 3)

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The latest episode of Clique sees Holly (Synnove Karlsen) delving even deeper into the mysteries of the Solasta internship, with new findings adding a little more to our understanding of the job's sinister secrets. 

Following the events of last week's episode, Holly has found a way into the mysterious world helmed by stern lecturer Jude McDermid (Louise Brealey). The episode opens with Holly finally entering the inner sanctum of the clique, moving into the house where they all live and getting to work in the Solasta offices. 

However, the enviable glamour of the Solasta initiative is still plagued with secrets that we are very, very slowly being let in on. Throughout the episode, Holly's suspicions are seemingly confirmed by the ambiguous emails sent to her by James Buxton - Fay's former flame and business partner who has, for unknown reasons, gone AWOL. "Be careful," he warns, to our unknowing intrigue.

Entering the fray of the clique, in which secrets are withheld and lingering within the walls, we are reminded of the superficial glamour that surrounds the girls in Solasta's initiative. Oddly baroque; stylish, yet empty, the aesthetics of the main house seem reflective of the lives these girls lead - glamourous, but vapid of anything real or personally satisfying. 

We also become better acquainted with the three original members of the group - Louise, Rachel and Phoebe. Louise particularly comes to the forefront of this episode, showing more of her ruthless, tacitern nature and sexuality. While more open with Holly, the girls are still withheld when it comes to speaking about Fay, despite Holly's constant prying.

Holly's best friend Georgia, who is still at the forefront of Holly's concern, continues to act strangely - seemingly much more withheld and defensive than she was in the first episode. After having a close connection during a sudden panic attack that Georgia has upon entering a dinner with Jude, the tension between Holly and Georgia resumes.

This tension only expands further within the clique when it is revealed that Georgia has secured the Steiner account - a prestigious client that was once held by Fay and coveted by the more experienced girls like Louise. Even within the clique, it seems that you can be cast out fairly quickly. In her evolving role, Aisling Franciosi is especially affecting in the anxiety scene. 

Holly herself is also the focus of aspersions by Elizabeth and Sam - two supporting characters who act as catalysts of the real world outside of the clique, mistrustful and unaware of the Solasta group.

The episode ends with Georgia leaving for Vienna with Mr. Steiner. With the suggestion that "to be successful, you must know your customer" lingering throughout the episode, and the predatory glances that Steiner seems to send towards Georgia, this reviewer can't help but think that there is something explicitly sexual and immoral about the accounts within Solasta.

In the episode's final moment, we are also faced with the rigid facial expression of James Buxton, who is found dead near the beach. Adding everything together, including the dodgy deals that were also alluded to within the episode, our suspicions couldn't be higher.

But the answers to our questions remain few and far between, as the show continues to play with our sense of intrigue in this agonisingly ambiguous tale. 

Clique is available to watch on BBC iPlayer, with new episodes added every Sunday.

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