River S1:E2 King of the Window Lickers Recap

 

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And we're back with our melancholy bear detective with his awesome imaginary friends and not-so-awesome Manifests on River! Rolling after the jump

I missed a couple of things last time; one was the exact timeline of Stevie's death, it has only been 3 weeks since she was murdered and the other was that Christopher Riley's babymama had indeed already gone to the press, which is why there was so much scrutiny. Right, all set now, ready?

We open with River ironing his clothes in the dark while circles of light blow towards him. Christopher is haunting him with phantasmic smoke rings. Riley's still swearing he didn't do it, so who did, River asks? To an empty room.

He puts on That Song again, good LORD it took me almost this whole time to get it out of my head, and there it is again. I do hear this is a very important song, although I'd still trade my kingdom (such as it is) if River was instead fixated on Mama Mia. Meanwhile: her baby loves to dance!

Stevie tells him his suit jacket still smells like Chinese food; didn't he still have a fortune cookie? He does! And it's message is super applicable and yet vague enough to fit all fortunes, as a good cookie should: "Do not go where the path may lead. Go where there is no path and leave a trail." That's like Jane Chatwin in The Magicians always telling Quentin to step off the path already! But then she'd burn him or something, she was kind of mean for a Manifest. Also: if he leaves a trail, should someone not follow it and make their own trails? Exactly how many trails is everyone supposed to make? Get off the grass, you lot!

Stevie looks grave. I was wrong, this is a DIFFERENT cheesy disco song, this one about being in the mood for dancing. Someone just chisel out my ear canals, will you? Er-ooh grave is a good word for it, Stevie's being buried tomorrow and that's why she looks so quiet. She also looks beautiful, for a dead person, I have to say.

River's reading the tabloid coverage of Christopher Riley's death while The Second Song plays and then he's off to work. He's on the train platform but he doesn't want to talk to you today, Dr. Cream! NOT TODAY! A drunk guy totally understands, but the rest of the people think he's a bit *woo-hoo*. Dr. Neill refuses to de-manifest, however, he has more knowledge to share with our good detective. The doctor thinks that society should be judged by how it treats it's insane, and I get that part, but not the bit about the stranger at our shores, not the ones at home. I do understand when Dr. Cream tries to talk River into jumping in front of the oncoming train; I really think it's time for River to say goodbye to that particular voice. He does take a small step, but is blown back by the wind of it.

Train

River's at work just in time to hear the lawyer for Tia Edwards (Pippa Bennett-Warner), Riley's girlfriend and babymama, hold forth on why he himself shouldn't be allowed to still be at work, etc etc. The usual tabloid rundown, poor Ms. Edwards with her whole life ahead of her and nursing course coming up, cruelly stripped of her felonious babydaddy in the prime of his earning years. Sorry, sorry, too cynical, but she looked all feral from the side, it's hard to say what any character's motivation is entirely. She IS pregnant.

River's watching Stevie's death a few more times on CCTV, is it possible that the white truck could have held the murderer? That's not very clear, let me explain. At the time of her murder, Stevie was standing in the middle of the road. On her left passed a large white truck, on her right was what we presume to be Christopher Riley's car, which she fell on as she died, leaving her DNA. The angle would be tricky, but could that be possible? That Riley was just wrong place / wrong time and they have the wrong end of the stick as to where the shot came from?

YES! That's it exactly, she had turned her face, so she was looking at Riley's car, the shot MUST have come from the white truck / van, so they were looking for the wrong person / vehicle and Riley didn't do it. Ah jeez. Why did Riley jump off the balcony then?? For the love of

While River is processing this revelation, Ira apprises him that paper files are no longer necessities, like River's vinyl collection, everything has been digitized. River grumps at him; he talks too much (is that even possible? Asking for a friend) but Ira knows that if he didn't talk, there would only be air.

Wait, there are more revelations from the grainy CCTV tape. As Stevie was crossing the road, she turned and smiled, she recognised whoever it was coming towards her.

Oh good god and the baby angels, I've got that all wrong myself, River didn't see what I did about the white van / truck being the shooter, he thinks Stevie was looking at Riley's car with recognition, which is what he tells Chrissie. Of course Stevie recognised it, says Chrissie, Stevie's DNA was found INSIDE the car, so yeah, she'd been in it. I'm not erasing what I put above, it did look like that to me and I'm leaving it stand as a theory. Plus the Manifest said he didn't do it and they're not allowed to lie, or it'd be like Mr. Robot all the time and that's no fun.

There's more, too, there, nobody understands why Stevie was fraternizing with a drug dealer. They do have theories, though. Stevie comes from a rougher part of town; one her mob-like family used to run back in the day. She even sent her own brother down the river, her family didn't recover. Chrissie beseeches River to ACT.NORMAL and also keep his eyes open at the wake.

He's panicking in the bathroom while Stevie helps calm him down; what about that DNA in the car then, Stevie? She doesn't answer that, but takes him through a memory exercise, what can he remember about this room? He gets 10, very 'cited! Most people only get 9. Ira breaks in his reveling to advise him that he's burned his shirt. There's a very clear iron imprint on the back. River asks him to look through all the CCTV footage in the Riley case, see if anything was missed. And thank you.

Now let's practice that memory game on their supper 3 weeks ago! Can we do that?!

River grumps back to his office, McDonald stops him to give him the news on Riley's autopsy. It's been ruled an accidental death, he's gotten away with it. WHUT? And the wily McDonald will work around these annoying procedures for wrongly dismissing an officer, he'll get rid of River as soon as he can, HE SAYS TO HIS FACE. I mean. (Owen Teale ought to be careful, this is essentially the speech he gave to Jon Snow in season 5 of Game of Thrones, with less flowery language. He wouldn't want to get typecast) Oh and watch yourself, Tia Edwards had to be carried out of the station, she's gunning for our River. But he knew that.

Riley's waiting in the tunnel for him, where are his flowers? He's a person! In Colorado he and his skunkweed would be considered a pharmacist, but River thinks you can also own an AK-47 and graze llamas on your lawn there and I don't know if that's EXACTLY true. Any Yanks here to confirm or deny?

He's shouting down a tunnel, though, the end of which is full of an unruly bunch of young men, perhaps the ones Christopher ran by on his way to his death. They just shout a bit, no harm yet, but a very determined looking Tia is at the other end, watching him walk away. I think feral was right, River, you'd better be careful.

River's got the flowers for Stevie's wake now, pausing outside the pub. There's a huge mass of people inside and I've changed my mind about my funeral remembrance. Instead of a wake, you lot all stay home and cry and drink beer while listening to "Ain't No Sunshine" on repeat. Come on, it'll be fun! Or exactly the opposite of fun, and that's the point, innit? There is far too much laughing and carrying on for mine and River's tastes.

The criminal side of Stevie's family isn't happy with all these police-types hanging about either, "pigs" and "stuck-ups" abound. Chrissie's husband is there, too! He's Tom Read (Michael Maloney) but we know him as Alan Wells from The Five! Not understanding about the free beer at a Wake, or not feeling exactly welcomed with open arms is River, trying to pay for his bevvies. Jimmy (Steve Nicholson) informs him that River's money is no good here, but not in the jolly way you'd normally buy people beer... in the "feck off Pig" kinda way. This is the brother Stevie sent up the river (heh), neck tattoos and all. He congratulates River on finding the killer; time was he could have found out himself with a gun to someone's head, but he's a reformed man now.

He doesn't think he'll ever be shut of it, though, "old sins cast long shadows" even if everyone deserves a second chance, as River points out (and Game of Thrones taught an old friend this week). Jimmy decapitated someone, though, so, er-ooh. Mebbe not right away.

Oh for the love of...they're doing Karoake at this Wake. Bridie sings "Since You Been Gone" and cries onto her daughter's coffin while we all try to look elsewhere. River finally leaves, (is that Tia outside on the patio??) to be accompanied by an embarrassed Stevie. Her mum is a "cow when sober and Nelly Furtado when drunk" and how do these Brits know about our Nelly?? She's Canadian! Stevie cries; the one person she would want there won't be; River says he's not family. "Who says? Who says?" she cries.

Just then he's attacked, that WAS Tia lurking on the patio. She's ramming him with her stroller, shouting "murderer! Murderer!!" and then starts punching him in the face. The people inside the bar spill out, Bridie grabs hold of Tia and calms her down. I would not want to be Tia right now, what was she thinking going to this bar where they are celebrating the life of someone they think was killed by her babydaddy??

And just as I'm getting all that down, the tide turns that way towards Tia. Bridie's still got her in a hug, but now she's crooning poison, hoping they'll take the baby away from her when it's born and I am very worried about the health of this angry young woman right now. She's pushing an empty stroller, too, all day, what's that about? River leans against the wall, spent and bloody after the worst.day.ever.

They bring Tia into the station, she wants to talk to River. Read is skeptical, Tia being a known drug addict, and already having had one baby taken away from her and Riley; hence the empty stroller. River wants to talk to her, and she can keep the damn buggy!

Rosa's sitting in on the interview with River and Tia. Tia's frantic, she thinks they're going to take this baby too, they have all the power. River tells her that "you only give up your power when you don't think you have any." She can show them that she can be better than this. That calms her down to sitting.

He asks her if her drugs are hitting her harder today? Is she taking them properly? She isn't taking them at all, which is a serious red flag to Social Services, they will think she is more dangerous to the baby than she is. She has been gentled enough to talk about the baby; it was a good size the last scan she saw. River immediately calls the baby as male, pfft, everyone says that she says.

That night of the scan, continues River, who was driving Riley's car, if it wasn't him? That was the night Stevie was murdered. She's gone again, staring at the light and rocking, talking about them taking the baby.

There is a moment when she turns with her back to the wall, facing them, saying this time they're ready, she's got a buggy! She's got baby wipes and her anguish is so affecting. The collision of mental illness and maternal instinct is brutal. This actress, Pippa Bennett-Warner, is something.

He turns off the light, she's talking again, there was someone else there, someone helping them, someone who got them the car, the buggy, everything. That someone is who was driving that car, who was it?? Who, Tia?? McDonald bursts into the watching room then and seeing the light off demands that Chrissie stop the interview. She argues, but he sends in a copper and this interview is over.

However! Crucial information there; someone else was involved with Riley and Tia, someone Stevie knew well enough to be excited to see. Jimmy, her long lost brother who may well be nursing a grudge and is having a hard time forgiving himself for past transgressions?

River turns his brutalised face to the glass to glare at Read through the glass. Our sad Swedish bear was so close.

I've only just realised I know that actress who plays Rosa, Georgina Rich, she was in Cuffs and also Sherlock. That skin is unmistakable; it's like one of those lanterns you let fly at night; lit from within.

River and Stevie brainstorm by the snack machine, he always did do well with the "window lickers"; it's nice to see he's found his tribe HAHAHAHAHA. Gillian Stevie is just the best.

Ira's still at work, sitting in the dark watching River smirk at his self in the glass of the snack machine, say something! Geez, don't sneak up on someone chatting with their Manifest!

Ira's been working through the CCTV footage, though. Riley didn't get that car until after Stevie's death and that makes complete sense. Ditch it near an exciting area and some random criminal will pick it up. Ira's also found some discrepancies. Riley's been found on CCTV on the other side of town exactly when everyone thinks he was gunning down Stevie, so, there you go, a complete non-starter.

Side note: does anyone else think it's odd that Tia went to the press? She's barely coherent and that sort don't usually go screaming for publicity anyway. That's a pretty canny move for someone who can't put together a sentence properly.

Riley's drinking and taunting River, told you he didn't do it! River and Ira explain everything to Read, who is worried, this will make it even worse for all of them, but especially River. He wants her to go to the press anyway, but there's more pressure. McDonald has been at Stevie's accounts again, she withdrew 10 grand the week before she was killed, why for? There's talk of a second phone, nobody knows what they're looking for.

Read asks Ira to leave, then tells River if this kicks off, she'll be done with this job. She has trouble at home to deal with (4 kids! Don't have a fourth, she suggests, and I didn't, fank you very much). She sends him home to get cleaned up.

He's being hounded in the bathroom by Riley about his skipping his own meds Metazopene (?), suggesting street drugs instead. Riley's been in care since he was a wee lad and robbing since 10, but he was still worth somefing to someone, can River say the same? Well, Stevie loves him, but since you could assume that Stevie is some part of his psyche, that might not count.

Heeeeeyyy Blondie! The Tide is High, yay! It plays while River lurks outside the funeral. He approaches Frankie, who's hungover, and then Bridie, who explains that the service by the nice new Gay will be Just Family. He's not there for that, though, he wants to warn her about the story coming out today about Riley being innocent.

Jimmy thinks the police will be back to watching them then, wow, I thought I heard that earlier, but really? They think her own family killed her? I could see Bridie, she's got Claire Underwood's blood in her veins, but I mean.

Stevie and River have been reminiscing outside Rosa's office, he wants 15 minutes credit, Doctor! She does give him credit for his work with Tia the day before. Tia will be medicated, not Sectioned, which seems to bother River. He himself lived with his grandmother until he was 14 as his mother was...*not answered*.

Rosa asks what his memory of Stevie's last day is; he protests that they don't come in neat, orderly fashion, memories don't. Do the bathroom thing!! It was a slow day that day, not much happening, an ordinary day. They had fast food takeout (the banana milkshake) and then Stevie wanted Chinese food. Rosa calls that a date, bringing River and I up short. That was a date? Whet?

He's grouchy now, it's not natural, talking to someone, but she pushes back: talking to himself is normal? He argues that he's not talking to himself, there's always somebody there. He goes on to talk shite about her notes, which puts her ears up: has he been through this before? Is he on medication (he is! We saw it in his medical cabinet. He's just not taking it. Hope that helps!)? There's nothing on his files, which makes me wonder how he manged to see a doctor and avoid there being a record.

She warns him; he will be in trouble if he doesn't or hasn't disclose(d) any psychiatric or medical treatment. He jokes back at her, watching the people across the street in a building running on treadmills in the window. He asks if she knows Marcus McDonald well, her pause in looking at him confirming.

He explains everything on the cusp of happening; the police are working on a statement to explain how he chased a (relatively) innocent young man with a baby on the way off the roof, and oh, that young man's girlfriend been sectioned too. Who wouldn't go mad?

He's back at Ira again, going through all the CCTV pics Ira had of Riley and the car. Who else was with him? He finds a recurring figure with them, always with a bike. It's not Jimmy, anyway, the person is black.

Ira drives while River stares out the window, Ira finally breaching the silence; has River ever been to China? He shakes his head while Stevie chides him from the back seat. She's been after him to work on his small talk. Ira was up most of the night reading about China, the baby wouldn't sleep. So many questions: is the baby Chinese? He looks kinda old for a baby, is this his baby? I'll stop there, I bet if I keep watching, I'll find out!

Stevie prods River from the backseat, neither Ira or I knew that the fortune cookie was invented in San Francisco in 1900. Random. Ira says you can trust nothing and I think that had to do with the fortune cookies being considered ancient Chinese wisdom, or maybe just a good rule of thumb in general.

They're visiting Tia in the Comfort Ward; River tells her Riley's been exonerated in Stevie's murder, so they need to find out who did it. She asks if she did that to his face and that's a yes, ma'am. She's drugged, but likes the quiet, anyway.

He shows her the picture of the guy, his name is Bruno and she calls him a Soft Boy, kind. He went to the hospital with her that night, is he the dad? Bruno stole that car for her, so she wouldn't have to take the bus, but Riley wanted it.

She is really worried about the baby now, but River reminds her: show them you are okay. Not everybody fits into this world, Tia, sometimes they have to..."pretend?" she finishes?

They're off to find Bruno (Franz Drameh - from The Flash! Or Arrow or somefing, superhero show! Veronica would know), which takes approximately 3 seconds, he looks like one of the fellas that Riley ran past. River chases him to an auto shop, where he freaks out in the corner, is the baby coming now?

He's been sleeping in the back of a mini-van, people drop off cars all the time at the gates of the shop (wrecking yard?). He doesn't remember much about the person in the car, a man in an old jacket. Bruno is very worried about the baby and Tia, he'll be a great dad! River brings him to Riley and Tia's apartment to get baby things, to be met by Riley, who gives Bruno and Tia his blessing, then jumps back over the balcony, presumably at rest.

Ira and River watch Bruno go into the ward with the buggy and baby supplies, Ira doesn't know what he'd do if someone tried to take his baby. I have to tell you, my oldest had low Apgar scores after his birth, so they took him for a bit and when they brought him back to me, I was still fairly floaty (read: high AF) from all the meds and I got it into my head they were going to take him again. So I tried to hide him. In a hospital cubicle with no walls and just a bed and a night stand. He was in his carrier and I had him artfully arranged behind the night stand (with my hand wrapped around his little belly) every time I heard someone coming when I wasn't feeding him. Nobody wants to give up their baby.

River tells Ira not to push so much, which Ira seems to take in stride, but then next he's wondering aloud what he's doing there. He's got a degree in IT and a bunch of years in Violent Crimes, what's he doing here? Ira wants to hurry back, he doesn't want to miss the Quiz (?) in Logistics, which confuses River. What's this what the what now? Does he not talk to people, asks Ira? Not if he can help it. Stevie used to tell him when his car smells too much, now Ira is, but I don't know if three weeks is enough time for that, is there? Even though he probably would feel better if he cleared out some of that garbage.

River's gotten Ira back in time for the Quiz (?), now we're doing the memory test with Stevie in the closed and dark office, yay! Here's what River remembers: eyes - greenish, nose - longish, hair - brown, teeth - too many teeth, top lip thin, exploding cheeks when laughing.

She tells him he has to tell them what they talked about that night, he says he doesn't remember; "liar" she says. "This is your way of helping in my passing" and he shouts "what passing?? You're still here! You're still here" and it's so anguished and awful as he cries. Rosa walks in, this is a good time to continue their discussion, sure, in the middle of a mental break.

Yes, he's taken medication before, no, he didn't disclose it, yes Stevie helped him with his condition. I am really hoping the fact that they're shouting all this in an empty squad room instead of her office means that he won't be fired for all of that. He's never been diagnosed with anything formal, but he does know that this is in breach of protocol. He hasn't spoken to any friends, because he doesn't have any friends. The only one he had...

He defends himself; he's a good officer, but it doesn't matter in this world, you have to be able to smile, drink a pint, and most importantly, not be different or strange. So what does he do now? She tells him to keep talking, then rabbits, heading off to meet McDonald in the hallway?? WHAT??? Is she in a relationship with McDonald?? Or was she heading him off at the pass so he didn't find River in the middle of a meltdown?

River's had enough of this smelly car, taking Ira's advice he starts gathering up all of Stevie's trash in the bottom of the car, finding...a phone. The fabled second phone River swore Stevie didn't have. Better charge it, she advises from the back seat.

He's outside The Bell where everyone from the office is meeting for a pint, "go on" urges Stevie "pretend. You might surprise yourself." And so he does, while I'm In The Mood takes us oot.

So. Well. Stevie is a woman of mystery, isn't she? I'm glad one of Manifests have dropped oot, even if I didn't get another interim mystery solved. Cheers, window lickers, until next time!

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