The Virtues aired its second episode tonight as recovering alcoholic Joseph (played by Stephen Graham) arrived in Ireland to confront repressed memories from his childhood.
Joseph’s life begins to unravel following his ex Debbie’s (Juliet Ellis) decision to move to Australia with their son Shea (Shea Michael-Shaw).
As he battled hazy flashbacks, Joseph made the journey to Ireland and the episode tonight saw him have an emotional reunion with a family member.
After trekking across the countryside, Joseph is found lying outside a house as Anna (Helen Behan) and her husband Michael (Frank Laverty) can be seen trying to get their three children into the car for the school run.
Waking up, Joseph calls out to Anna but she fails to recognise him causing Michael to warn him off before Joseph explains that the last time Anna would have seen him would have been when they were children.
Anna then begins to break down in tears as she recognises Joseph and it is revealed the pair are brother and sister.
Viewers watching at home were left in tears at the scene and took to Twitter to comment on the emotional reunion.
One remarked: “Oh god I’m in bits, how emotional was that #TheVirtues.”
“Heart broken again 10 minutes into this episode #thevirtues,” tweeted another.
A third said: “Wouldn’t be so gut wrenching if Stephen Graham wasn’t such a bloody good actor….Character is so believable!!@StephenGraham73 #thevirtues.”
“I’m already in bits. Usually hate the ads but they are at least giving me a chance to calm myself down,” a fourth added.
Another wrote: “8 minutes into #TheVirtues & I’m destroyed. It’s heartbreaking to watch. @StephenGraham73 is the finest, most versatile actor in the world.”
“Oh my goodness, I’m all cried out #weepathon #TheVirtues,” exclaimed a sixth.
Meanwhile, next week’s episode will see Joseph revisit a place he has fractured memories of.
Although it is not yet clear what will happen, his visit will result in some tough consequences.
Viewers will also watch as a spark between Joseph and Michael’s sister Dinah (Niamh Algar) emerges.
But upcoming episodes will reveal Dinah has some painful memories of her own.
Last week, viewers were left frustrated after a technical glitch prevented them from hearing the characters’ conversations.
One said: “Why is the sound so s**t? #TheVirtues,” and another wrote: “Really wanted to watch #thevirtues, but the sound is awful…….unless my hearing suddenly went at 9pm!!!”
Another fan said: “Sound quality is terrible in #TheVirtues @Channel4 Please sort it out! Have been looking forward to this!”
The Virtues continues Wednesday at 9pm on Channel 4.