5 theories we have after episode one of 'Cheat'

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Our latest thriller fix Cheat started last night and we’re already awash with theories. From dead cats to extra-marital affairs, we’ve pieced together all of the best ones…

Last night, the first part of the new ITV thriller Cheat aired and it’s safe to say we’re already hooked.

If you haven’t heard of it (hello, ITV hub, it’s not too late), Cheat is a four-part psychological thriller starring former Coronation Street actress Katherine Kelly as university professor, Leah, and BAFTA award-winning Molly Windsor as her student, Rose. 

From the off, it’s clear that this is no normal student/teacher relationship. 

The moment the credits open, we see our two protagonists either side of a prison wall and as we cut back in time, we discover Leah reprimanding Rose for cheating on an essay and subsequently revealing that Rose has an entire folder dedicated to Leah on her computer – including one of her wedding pictures.

As we see Rose becoming increasingly obsessed with her lecturer – even showing up at her house to share a glass of whisky with her husband and potentially having killed her pet cat (how is this only episode one?) – we’ve got a few theories about what might happen next…

1. There’s more to this than just an essay

As the series pans out, we’re surely going to discover that there’s more to Leah and Rose’s battle than a plagiarised essay.

We have a few thoughts… Have Rose and Leah met somewhere in a past life? Is there another secret we’re yet to discover?

We know from the fact that Rose has the aforementioned folder on her computer that she’s had some way of getting information about Leah (prior to the essay situation, too).

We suspect there’s a far deeper involvement between these two than it first seems, but we’ll have to wait to find out just how and why Rose has such access to her lecturer’s life.

2. Ben is more than just the porter

While he might appear to be a secondary character, we reckon Rose’s relationship with Ben, the university porter, will play a pivotal role in the series. 

Even from this first episode, we know that he’s been helping her when it comes to tracking down further information about Leah. But is he just a hapless accomplice, blinded by his romantic feelings for a young student? Or will his involvement be more sinister? 

We suspect the latter.

3. Rose committed the murder… or did she?

As we mentioned, the debut episode opens with Leah and Rose in a prison and we later see somebody lying dead on a mortuary slab.

But did Rose kill them? Or was it Leah? Or someone else entirely? This is where Cheat gets really interesting. 

Rose certainly appears to have a motive to kill – a cunningly planned murder would allow her to take revenge on Leah for downgrading her paper and humiliating her in front of her fellow students.

Then again, Leah isn’t exactly in a great place either. 

Take her relationship with Adam for example. There’s the uncomfortable sex, the mysterious pills she’s taking, the fact that Adam knowingly lets a student who’s causing difficulties with his wife into their house…

None of these are grounds for murder, of course. But they do leave you questioning the validity of their relationship.

4. Leah will have an affair with her fellow lecturer

So, we know Leah and Adam’s relationship isn’t the happiest, what with her clearly not being 100% about having a child with him, and Adam seemingly not being supportive about her problems with Rose.

And did we mention how weird it was he invited Rose in for a drink? 

Maybe Leah will find a way to distract herself from her marital and professional woes by having an affair with Stephan, her fellow university lecturer. 

There’s clearly chemistry between the two and Leah certainly has a thing for him, as Rose catches her masturbating over Stephan in the university toilets. 

We’ll have to keep watching to find out if this leads anywhere or ties into the mystery.

5. Adam has it in for Betsy the cat

Never before in the history of television has someone had such a lacklustre reaction to their pet dying as Leah’s husband, Adam, upon finding the lifeless body of their cat outside their house.

Either he’s not a cat person or he knows more about Betsy’s fate than he’s letting on. Hmm. 

Gripping psychological thriller, Cheat continues tonight at 9pm on ITV. Watch the series so far on the ITV Hub.