What happened to Joseph in his childhood? 3 HUGE unanswered questions from The Virtues episode one

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VIEWERS were led on an emotional rollercoaster tonight (May 15, 2019) as they watched the first episode of new gritty drama The Virtues.

The first show didn’t hold back, with some scenes quite distressing – here’s what happened and what questions were left unanswered.

Stephen Graham's character Joseph hits rock bottom in The Virtues
Stephen Graham’s character Joseph hits rock bottom in The Virtues
Channel 4

What happened on episode one of The Virtues?

The Virtues kicked off with us being introduced to Joseph (Stephen Graham), who is struggling to recover from his addiction to alcohol.

At the beginning of the episode we see his world begin to spiral when his ex-partner moves away from Liverpool to Australia to start a new life with their young son.

Even though he said he wouldn’t drink, he says goodbye to his ex and his son and goes straight to the pub.

There he spirals into a booze and drugs oblivion.

While walking home in a drunken haze he hears a preacher’s voice in his head reciting verbs, with flashes of his childhood.

He wakes up covered in sick and with a bloodied face – he has also lost his job as he didn’t go into work.

Joseph has reached rock bottom.

Feeling like he has no close family to live for, he sets off for Ireland, although we don’t know why yet, it is likely to see family there as he talked about living there as a child with his son.

Also, when he is on the ferry he is seen looking at his family photo, plus flashes of his childhood play out.

Joseph is devastated when his son is taken to Australia by his ex-wife in The Virtues
Joseph is devastated when his son is taken to Australia by his ex-wife in The Virtues
Channel 4

Three unanswered questions from The Virtues

1) When did Joseph’s alcohol problems start?

At the beginning of the episode he is warned against drinking by his ex-wife but as soon as he was feeling low he headed to the pub to numb the pain.

But he spiralled quickly into a drunken, alcoholic mess.

Realising he has hit rock bottom he heads to Ireland for solace.

As the series progresses we will find out how his problems with alcohol started.

2) What happened to Joseph in his childhood exactly?

When he is drunk he starts spouting biblical sayings and in his head you could hear a preacher talking and flashes back to when he was a child.

These memories clearly cause him distress.

We know he left Ireland as child to live in Liverpool, as he told his son this at the beginning of the episode.

We also see him on the ferry thinking about his childhood with pain etched on his face.

Religion seems to play a big part in these distressing memories – is this connected to his pain and his childhood?

3) How will Joseph get to the south of Ireland?

At the end of the episode we saw Joseph heading off on a ferry to Belfast, but he had spent his last £140 on the ticket.

We know he needs to get to the south of Ireland, as he mentioned this to the ticket officer when he tried to buy a cheaper ticket.

With this in mind, and that he has no food, water or transport, how will he make the long journey?

Will he sink further into rock bottom in a bid to get there?


When does The Virtues start?

The Virtues will continue next Wednesday, May 15, 2019, on Channel 4 at 9pm.

It will run for four epsiodes.

If you miss any episodes you can watch again on Channel 4+1 or later on All4.

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