River S1:E3 Formalized Curiosity Recap

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Welcome back to our melancholy baby, River is rolling after the break. I am finding this show really sticks with me, and not just the music, although I did entertain my entire extended family with "I'm In The Mood (For Dancing)" all weekend. Well. "Entertained" Rolling!

One of the things that came to me after last time was the music. Not just because it's been drilled into my brain like the very best earworm, but it seems to have quite a bit of significance to John River. Rosa mentioned his mother last time, but didn't elaborate, and Stevie generalized previously about how ALL Swedes like karaoke, could that music be his mum?

We open with River fiddling with his hair in a carwash, ah, he's getting rid of all the evidence from the car, since he found Stevie's second phone in there while cleaning himself. Ira's irate, he's unlocked the phone, but they haven't reported the find, so he thinks that's evidence of Stevie's being involved in shenanigans and worried that River's making him cover up stuff too.

There are only 4 numbers in the phone, Cristal Kebabs Takeaway (called 19 times in 7 weeks), unregistered, sex chat line (? ) he looks in askance in the back seat at Stevie "it gets lonely!" to which he retorts "if you're lonely when you're alone, you're in bad company" OUT LOUD and finally Jimmy Stevenson. Did I mention I wondered if that look of recognition she gave the shooter was to Jimmy? I thought I did. Anyway, she called him the night of her murder, he called back and left a voice message, but they don't have the PIN.

River's pissed now, shouting "you said you hadn't talked to him in years!" at the empty back seat while Ira tries to figure out exactly how many marbles his partner has left. Enough, Ira, he'll get you there.

Ira wants to let Chrissie know, but that's not a priority for River, who goes right to where Jimmy is. Bridie covers for Jimmy, swearing he was with her that night. River just looks at her, of course she'd try anything to protect her son. Even at the cost of her daughter? She's worried about her other son, though, Frankie's been gone for two days. Stevie's shared the details of River's breakdowns with her nightmare of a mother, though, why would she do that?? This woman is unstable and not to be trusted, unless she gave birth to you, and even then, probably not if you have a vagina.

River is noticeably taken aback that she knew about all of that, but regroups to advise Bridie to call Jimmy's lawyer. She storms out and he takes the opportunity to steal a picture off the wall, Stevie in her academy blues.

Bringing Jimmy into the station for questioning, Stevie yells at River; her evidence sent her brother up the river (heh) for 16 years, what could possibly have been fixed between these two?

How on EARTH is River interviewing this guy? As has been mentioned several times, he is NOT on the investigation of Stevie's murder, and he hasn't even reported the found phone yet formally. What's he DOING?

Jimmy swears he hasn't spoken to Stevie since 1999, when he was sent down, what about phone, email or otherwise? He doesn't answer that directly, but we go over his movements again that night of. He's been in AA for 6 years, quite the metamorphosis. River isn't impressed, he smiles, Charles Manson likes to make dolls in his spare time, too. Out of old socks.

If you watch River for no other reason, you must to see Stellan Skarsgard roll this dialogue off his tongue in the best way possible.

River lays it all out for Jimmy, his sister had him jailed for 16 years and then five months after his release, she's murdered, gunned down in the street. Jimmy has no comment, but he notes that the buzzing of the lights is getting to River.

Stevie liked to drink, liked to smoke, liked even more to blame it on the flu, but her real passion was Christmas, she LOVED Christmas, almost as much as River hates it. She also interrupted a lot (as Ira interrupts), it was as though she didn't trust he was going to be able to finish properly (strong side-eye at Ira), but other than that, there was very little not to like.

But he's not talking about motive, motive is easy. Execution is the thing. That takes nerve, experience and Jimmy's "no comment" brings River running around the table up in his face. "You're mad" wonders Jimmy; "no comment" replies River. Hahaha

Chrissie bursts in then, interview OVAH! She's furious and redirects him to one of his OWN cases, Foreman, found last night electrocuted but alive.

He doesn't even give poor alive Foreman a second's notice (but my ears are up, let's do an interim solve while we're banging our head against the mystery that is Stevie's murder, it'll cheer us up! Please?), he is fixated on Stevie's look of happy recognition in the seconds before her murder. Chrissie is fed up, so much has been found out about a second life, she can't understand what her detective was up to. A second phone (does she know about that yet?), clocking up overtime, using police vehicles, withdrawing substantial amounts of money (10 grand just before her death), Chrissie doesn't understand ANY of that! It's like they didn't KNOW Stevie; I have made arrangements to have my internet search history cleared after my passing (it's for research!!); have you lot?

Quite a lot is hanging on Rosa's psyche report, everyone from River to Read to McDonald are expecting it to declare him unfit for service, so I think he's trying to make hay while the still-sane sun shines.

Poor Jordan Madden (the foreman, not F, my bad) is clinging to life, won't River interview ANYONE associated? He's onnit! She tells him not to do that, not to pretend, even though I'm pretty sure everyone else would really like that.

Outside the room, he tells IT-savvy Ira to find out that unregistered number on Stevie's phone and punches in her birthday month/year as a possible password combination. No dice. Off to help Mr. Madden

Jordan Madden is a 43 (good year!) year old foreman who may have tripped and fallen against a exposed cable, but River may not be allll exactly on deck just yet. He wants Ira to go back and check all of Stevie's recent overtime and cross reference it with the dates she took out the police car, mileage AND also the calls on the phone. Ah jeez, he hasn't told Chrissie about the phone.

Apropos of nothing, he shouts "there are no trees any more. No oxygen. No air" as sirens wail in the distance.

Ira and River stare through the window at the hospital at Jordan Madden, the staff fear he won't last the night, one shared by Jordan himself, who stands next to River asking about his prognosis. "I'm gone, aren't I?"

Someone has to tell the wife Jordan won't make it, says Stevie, reminding him of a horrific case they worked before. He and I can't believe she told his mother about his bad days! Oh sure, she getsĀ  a bit sloppy when the pinot comes out, but I still don't believe that. She wouldn't betray him like that, would she? "I trusted you" he whispers, over and over.

Jordan's wife has been through this before, Jordan fell off the scaffolding six months after they were married, he woke up then and she thinks he'll wake up now. He was working late that night, calling to say he'd be home late, which was the norm for him. I may have the wrong end of the stick here, but I can't see why a foreman dressed in emergency yellow would be staying late. She thinks that's just marriage, but John's looking for a wedding ring. None to be seen. I will say that most of the tradespeople I knew wouldn't wear rings at all, they increase risk of pinch points, shearing and your girlfriend / boyfriend finding out you're married.

She calls her husband a quiet man, but insists he wouldn't be involved with anything untoward, at work or otherwise. A horrible wet sound comes just then and a nurse bends over him, but they haven't told her. River mentions the ring, and segues awkwardly into a "you know he's going to die" and maybe Ira should do these for now?

Ira can't believe River was so cruel just then, but he doesn't understand what River knows: if Jordan dies tonight, there are things she will have wanted to tell him, millions of things. And she won't have that chance again.

OSHA is chomping at the bit to get at the work site, they need an official determination as to whether it was an accident or a crime scene soon. A Ukrainian gentleman names Sacha Mischenko found Jordan, is it racial profiling that I wondered if he was the guy at the carwash with the strong accent and similar facial features? River asks how it happened, the giant live cable was covered, but a serious danger if leaned on.

Sacha was the last to leave last night; he's been working a lot of extra hours to pay for his wedding. The other workers say there have been tensions on site, Sacha says there are ALWAYS tensions on work sites, and true that. He did hear voices just before it happened, though, just not exactly sure where from. He describes finding Jordan, and what I thought was a neck tattoo reveals itself to be bruising, the same kind that Jordan had on his neck. Hmm says River and I.

River is so good at sussing out the irregularities, I suppose all detectives must be, but he catches Sacha offguard: when's he getting married? Er-ooh, long time, next year maybe? Odd that he's putting in so many hours to pay for this wedding, whose fruition appears nebulous at best.

TELL ME I didn't just win WordMutherhumping Bingo of The Day with "fruition" AND "nebulous" in the same sentence! High fives!!

River's checking out the foreman shack. Jordan was a fisherman; a solitary sport. Jordan's spectre says he liked his own company; one could go mad trying to figure out if these chime-ins are plot points or merely River's musings filtered through his mental illness. River identifies with Jordan; "you don't have to pretend when you're on your own."

Since I've started this show, I've been mulling that sense of differentness. I think there have always been those on the fringes, that's where all the interesting people are, but how many mainstream personalities were just better at pretending? Maybe we're all weird; but especially me and River.

I don't know how, but they've made the entire city grey, save Rosa, who's lovely in robin's egg blue. River sees her at a magazine stand, offering his National Geographic (I fink) as something new instead of the crappy free newspaper she first grabbed.

He blurts out: in the past people talked to friends, not psychiatrists and she asked when the last time he talked to a friend? "Living or dead?" he asks and she says "normally." NO PSYCHIATRIST WOULD SAY THAT!!!! They LIVE to not box things up as "normal" or "abnormal" in verbiage! To offer a value judgement of River's communication, that just jolted me right out of the show. No psychiatrist worth their salt would ever say that. River and I are disgusted. Stevie just mocks his choice of National Geographic (WAS right! yay!)

Back at the office, River's running some more PIN options, nothing yet. Ira's checked Stevie's overtime, 40 days in the last six months. Shemko (?), which prompts River to expound on what detectives real role is: to decide how much to reveal and how much to retain. Ira's just about had it with Cryptic Evidence Keeper River. He makes fun of River, then, the shouting, and asks him to please contain it in public.

Look, I understand it must be stressful working with someone who REALLY doesn't want to have a live partner on top of the dead one they talk to on the regular, but that little display just pushed me off the Ira Fence dead into #NotTeamIra. The mocking, that's for other people to do, Ira. I thought you were better than that.

Ira's reviewing the CCTV outside the restaurant the night Stevie died; she handed River something just before she wandered out into the road. What was it, asks Ira? "Money" grumps River "for the Chinese." That looked like a fairly thick envelope for settling just a restaurant tab. That's almost Below Deck tip-envelope size! Say approximately 10k maybe!

River's still trying PINs for Stevie's phone on the train as Dr. Cream shows up to commend him on his ability to lie like a rug; but he shouldn't be surprised, River's whole profession is "formalized curiosity," innit?

Stevie's trying to help with the PIN checking, but River shouting at her in public really has to stop. Yes, yes, you're 59, not 58, River, keep it down! You couldn't remember she was born in August earlier either! Also: how it is possible that they haven't exceeded the amount of PIN attempts on this phone?

A very handsome man watches; it must be jarring, this well-dressed man yelling out random things at a phone on the tube. I have to mention that this very handsome man also has silver hair; my kingdom for a colour on this show! River himself is completely monochrome, his skin the same colour as his hair, all Swedish wheat.

River's back home discussing the money with Jordan, no he hasn't spent much of the 10k, just holding it for a friend. Ask how well that went for Piper Kerman.

There's a knock at the door, it's Ira and he's got his baby strapped on his chest. He has to keep walking or the the wee fella cries and okay, I will grudgingly climb back on the Ira Fence since he brought me a baby to look at. But not really, that was not cool earlier. Lemme look at your bebeh! And no parent in the history of time has ever accepted a long-stemmed glass of wine while cuddling a baby in a pouch like that, the baby can clearly reach it! It's long stem is like an invite to smash and grab.

I've gotten too literal; my inner pedant is still reeling from the "normally" comment above, I will do my best to regain my equilibrium and stop shouting about minutiae!

Ah there's news about Jordan (Merton or Madded? Sounded like Madden earlier. ANYWAY - the electrocuted dude), he's been staying at a hotel for the past two weeks or sleeping in the office, the wife didn't mention that, but the guys at work noticed.

Ira wants to talk about River and Stevie, though, he checked more than Stevie's recent overtime hours, he checked them ALL. She and River spent over 2000 hours working together since the start of this year, how can River have not have noticed all the shenanigans she was up to?? Is River covering, and if he is, what is Ira being asked to cover right now??

Teething Hank is to be taken out for a bit (squee!!), Ira's been walking around to get takeaway for his wife and had a pint while waiting. I am trying my best not to mention that you shouldn't put a baby that size upright on a sofa with no support, but it's not going well. Hank is ADORABLE! Even River can't resist a baby waving his arms around, who's a cute boy? Who is? Yes YOU ARE!!!

Ira comes out to watch River cuddling up to his baby, it's lovely, that. River finally spills, to the baby, Stevie gave him that 10 thousand pounds to give to her younger brother Frankie, whom she was worried about. With good cause it seems, given he's been missing for two days.

Ira protests, if Stevie was investigating something, they need to tell Chrissie! But River disagrees, of course, he wants to crack that voicemail from Jimmy. All I'm going to say is that voicemail seems like the holy grail right now, but like Skinny Black listening to your mixtape in Hustle & Flow, sometimes things just don't come through the way you hope. I can't see Jimmy having left anything incriminating on a voicemail, he's had 16 years to draw up Ways To Carefully Kill My Sister Lists. I could always be wrong.

Ira's had a disappointing week, he's only just found out his wife fancies Adam Sandler and I have to ask, is that worse or better than fancying Putin? Asking for a friend. You just never know someone, do you? I agree, I want to know what's up with the sex chat line! I'm wondering if maybe Frankie was involved? In love with a worker from the Ukraine or something?

On the bag of Ira's takeaway are two numbers written, ALMOST LIKE A PIN! What did Stevie and he always order at the Cristal Kebabs takeway??

River visits in person, the counterman is closing up but remembers her orders: 22/48. That is indeed the PIN, and Stevie has four messages saved. The first is from the counterman himself, her order was ready (she saved that one? Really? See, this is why you can't have dialogue like a psychiatrist saying "normally?" because it's thrown me in a pedantic spiral!), the second is the same guy, the third is from the sex chat line, a strong accent wants to know if PussyCat5 is lonely and wants to chat? (Do they do that? Call up regulars and solicit sex chat while sounding completely menacing? Also: if people want sex chat, they just have to go online for approximately 4.6 seconds, especially women. Do not understand) and now the Jimmy voicemail: it's extremely nasty, but he prefaces the call by saying it will be the last time she hears his voice.

River goes straight to Frankie (I must have misunderstood what Bridie said, he doesn't seem to be missing): where was Jimmy that night?? Frankie's a terrible liar, but he's mostly doing that to over in case his mum finds out he's been working for Jimmy. They all stop for breakfast by the Drayton Arms, which is where River heads off to immediately.

He sees Jimmy there, getting food from a cart, looking resigned. He plays him the voicemail and them slams him up against the brick wall. Jimmy protests, he was angry with Stevie for agreeing to meet him and then not showing up; she wouldn't talk to him that whole sixteen years and refused to visit too. He got mad at being dicked around and left that message, but he didn't kill her. "HAVE YOU EVER CUT THROUGH A SPINAL CORD??" he yells and River and I are confused as to what that has to do with Stevie's being shot. Gun or knife, nobody kills without an awareness of the consequences and Jimmy loved his sister. He almost cries, but also smiles and there aren't any actual tears, so River and I don't buy it, River throwing Jimmy against the wall and about to beat it out of him.

Frankies stops him; Jimmy's lying for him. It was Frankie who was at the pub, having too much food and drink, he'd used up all his Weight Watchers points. He used to go to meetings with Stevie; and Jimmy was teasing him that night about his weight. So Frankie left to go to a place...a flat, opposite Nandos, etc, but he wants to stop there.

Frankie went to see a prostitute, prescribed by Jimmy, but it wasn't working, Frankie's a bit of a romantic it seems. Jimmy stayed, though, he's already paid, so he wasn't with them all at the fateful time. River finally lets him go, his uncle Michael gets mad if they're late for work.

Uncle Michael himself pulls up just then, he's very posh looking for a mobster, isn't he? And not mob-fancy, either, sort of like a city Councillor in need of a haircut. He's heard River made Jimmy sweat, but he wasn't at the wake. He's very convincing, as you would expect.

Jimmy's angry at River, he doesn't care if he looks at him, but it means that he's not looking at someone else then. River doesn't see the world straight, that's his blessing and his curse.

River's in to see Tina, who isn't giving Jimmy Bloody Stevenson up any time soon, she says he was with her until 9:20 or so.

Chrissie and River share an elevator at work, she's got his psyche report. He turns, as if to leave or perhaps withstand a blow, but he's passed. His traumatic grief is within "normal" range, but she's passed him and ordered 12 more sessions. He's dodged a bullet!

McDonald meets them in the hallway, he's NOT happy to see that River's been cleared, Chrissie takes the opportunity to formally re-instate River on Stevie's case, he's just cleared Jimmy's alibi. Except for McDonald, that is, "outnumbered. Outgunned" he says on parting.

Back at his desk, River hands Stevie's phone to Ira, it can be formally logged, etc, now, they're both happy. Well. Happy-ish.

He's in with Rosa again, whose taking notes as he compliments her on her clothing. Out for a date that evening with McDonald, perhaps? She thinks it's nice to make an effort, shows the world "all is well" he finishes. Even if it's not. He asks her why she passed him? He's clearly half-fit, incredibly insightful about people's motivations, but also prone to shouting at phantasms in the mist.

How long as he seen these ghosts? Since he was a boy, and they come and go when they're done. He's never had any control over them, but he trust them to a certain extent. Not all of them, though, and he doesn't like what they make him do (*ears up* whut?). She wants him to trust her instead of the manifests, can he try that? What would happen? It turned out he can't trust the only person he DID have faith in, how can he trust her now? Because she's alive. I would argue it's because she offers outside insight, instead of this extra-corporeal circlejerk he's running in his brain all the time, but then I wouldn't call anything "normal" in session either. I'm letting it go! Swearsies!

Ira's tracked down the fiancee of Shemko, it turns out she's fictional, so why give that long explanation for his working overtime? Why? Shemko's there are the hospital, though, shouting. Ahhh, it comes out, Shemko and Jordan were in a relationship, and that's where Jordan's wedding ring was. He thought Jordan was leaving him, they fought and Shemko pushed too hard.

The wife walks in just then, watching Shemko cry and explain and about to be arrested; what's happened? River doesn't want to tell her about the affair (I think a homosexual affair is worse for spouses, it makes them wonder if they and their children were covers instead of a family. Sexuality can be very complicated, though), but she susses it when he hands over Jordan's wedding ring in sight of the crying Shemko. River urges her to say anything she needs to, Jordan will not make the night. Her screams of "BASTARD!! BASTARD!!" can be heard as River walks away in slow motion, Jordan crying on the chair outside his room.

River's in the evidence room looking through everything in Stevie's case, he touches the package with her clothes, moangasping "Stevie" and then finding her lipstick. Why was she wearing lipstick that day?

Ira's done more work with the CCTC in front of Cristal Kebabs, the same car was parked out front quite a bit in those six weeks, a blue Mondeo. Inside is a black man, who Stevie knows well enough to cuddle his face with her hands.

Stevie stops him outside violently; he didn't think he was the only one, did he? I did. I didn't actually think he WAS a one, either.

River follows Rosa in her eye-catching blue coat, so obviously that I don't understand why she hasn't turned around and offered her arm yet. She goes into a guarded event (stakeholders only I think? Maybe ticketholders?), River is pushed back at the door and sent to the office around the corner. He gains access and it's a play, or an opera? She appears to be alone, but McDonald slides into view as she stares at him across the room.

Outside he says yes, he's trying to trust her, and I thought maybe just then he was trying to date her, because in this society, stalking a woman can be considered romantic, not necessarily creepy or crossing boundaries. Sigh.

Dr. Cream advises him that we trust at our peril, but that the alternative is to be alone. And then, "oh the silence." Please don't yell at Dr. Cream in front of McDonald, ah too late. He throws Dr. Cream up against a gate, gutturally shouting "why do you do this?" at the good doctor's suggestion that he should break Rosa's heart as he broke Stevie's. Whut?

Dr. Cream calls himself the darkest part of River, the heartbreaker, despair, the death, him himself. He can't shake this this evil bloom across his psyche who's followed him home. A knock on the door snaps him out of it; it's Bridie with a bag of toiletries found in Stevie's flat. Perhaps this is who killed her? DO YOUR JOB!

There's all kinds of DNA on the razor, River and I are 'CITED!! He calls back that sex chat line, identifying himself as PussyCat5, but surely his voice must be slightly different from Stevie's? Or a female at all? He hangs up and we're out to one of my very favourite songs: