Unforgiven S1:E2 The Battle of Katie Recap

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Welcome back to Unforgiven with the sublime Suranne Jones! Funny story: I typically have a really good memory (not for important stuff, just like who said what 3 and a half years ago in a chat room in a conversation I wasn't involved in kinda way) so maybe I get a little...lazy about making sure about stuff. Like this show. I got UnFORGIVEN mixed up with UnFORGOTTEN, which a few people had recommended and which stars Gillian Nicola Walker from Last Tango in Halifax and River. Now I have two shows to do, yay! It's like that one time I thought Sally Wainwright wrote Doctor Foster because I mixed up words on Twitter and didn't check because I have this memory, see? I wrote a whole intro about Gillian Nicola Walker on the first Unforgiven episode and had to scrap it because I couldn't confirm her in IMdB. And now I know why. Rolling UnFORGIVEN after the break!

Oy, we've got a salty-looking Steve waiting in the van for Ruth, ooh I don't like that. He hops out, I guess to make sure, and gather his voice for yelling, but he's still too shaken. Ah jeez, Ruth's found Out of Order signs on all the elevators and everyfing but one stairwell, is Steve setting her up for Keiran??

There is an old man stuck on the stairs trying to make it up too, she helps him with his bags but didn't get jumped, whew. She asks about her apartment being cold, that's the only speaking he does, to tell her to call maintenance. I don't know if I would do that exactly...

Lucy and Emily are visiting in the hospital room while Michael and Rachael discuss the letter from Ruth. He just wants to ignore it, see if Ruth goes away.

Izzie's asking around town about the Upper Hangingstone Farm, pity they don't have the internet in that part of England. A local overhears and brings her up to speed on the murders of the two police officers, Colin Whelan and a young lad. They don't know exactly what happened, but they know someone who does: Hannah the cleaner. Which is also Hannah of the complicated familial arrangements with her husband and brother. Just as Izzie's talking to Hannah, the local comes out, saying "Ruth Slater!" with the air of someone very pleased to have remembered something they'd forgotten.

Steve's back at the office of Calder Home Trust, and told he'll be back to Ruth's apartment in the morning to check the HVAC sitch. It's dropped in his lap, then, practically a sign from Thor and the other wee godlets. He calls Kieran: is he busy tomorrow morning and does he want his ten minutes in the room with him, Ruth and some baseball bats? Where is all Kieran wants to know.

Brad's knocking at Ruth's door with tense music making us think it's the next morning already, but oh look, we should have known it was Bradley, her hair is curled. Watch the hair on this show, it will tell you everything you need to know.

Oh ho, Brad's moving fast, he wants a date on Sunday AND he's bringing Ruth to meet his mum, he's already mentioned Ruth.

Izzie's foaming at the mouth when John arrives home, starting in right away. She doesn't suppose he looked up this Ruth Slater on the internet before he agreed to help her find her sister? Well, no, people think it's rude when you Google them while you're standing in front of them and yay: they DO have internet in this part of England!

Ohhh, and Ruth killed the police here, in this house. Izzie's pulled off all the information about the murders: we knew about Whelan, but the other police officer was Andrew Higginbottom and only 19. Man. They weren't armed, just there to keep everyone safe while the Slaters were being evicted. Ruth shot both officers at point blank range and I have to wonder if it had anything to do with her dad. They say she was drunk, but wasn't she only 15? I guess if she could get a gun, she could get booze.

The lady herself is watching TV with Brad, who's trying to coax her into bed to warm her through properly, it's "brass knackers" here which means...cold? She's in a trance, she doesn't think she should come round and meet his mum on Sunday, there's lots he doesn't know about her and well, maybe it's just not a good idea anyway. He presses; she can tell him anything! And that's never been true, not once. People say that, but what they mean is: gimme somefing I can judge!

She starts off soft, she did something bad a long time ago, just now got out of prison. After 15 years, which slows him down a little. What what...what did she do? Remember those two policemen? Where did she get a gun? It was her dad's, and no, it weren't an accident. He has to go now, and of course he does. Well. That's done anyway. I have to give him credit, he lasted 30 seconds longer than I thought he would, and I really liked their messing aboot. You so rarely see any tenderness without it being TOO tender, all mushy hearts and unicorns and no passion.

Kieran's chickening oot the next morning, can't they do it somewhere other than her flat? But that's exactly how Steve wants it, he has reason to be in her flat and bugger the CCTV cameras, he's going in!

Ruth's waiting along in her flat, no messages from Brad. Sigh. Beating drums tell us it's about to get ugly, but it starts off civil enough as she lets Steve in to look at her boiler.

Alone in the boiler room, he gloves up and gets out his bat, a knock at the door stops his moving towards her with intent. Oh!!! The neighbour is George Costigan, our Nev from Happy Valley, I didn't recognise him because he had a hat on! Sorry, sorry, here he's Eddie and he has a packet of something to give her, probably meant as a thank you for the help on the stairs the day before. And now there's a witness putting Steve in Ruth's apartment at the time of her impending assault. Oh it gets better for Ruth, she invites him in for a cuppa and makes some for Steve, too. It's the least she could do, really.

Eddie knows who Ruth is, too, he used to be a copper with the CID. One moment, I have the WORST crush on George Costigan, it's something around the eyes and he's making me googly. He's stuck in Housing due to a Dishonourable Discharge, life's full of nasty little surprises, isn't it?

Steve stares at the picture of Kate / Lucy (most inefficient boiler repairman EVER, save D & C's) as he leaves, but he sets the hook before he goes. There's an apartment below with a bunch of things left behind if she wants them, that'll be where it happens.

Ruth's at work now, and I bet Brad's told everyone. His type likes to run in a herd. I guess so, as a woman who's brother is a policeman punches her square in the nose and then kicks her when she's down. Nobody else moves, save for two people that pull the attacker off. Music plays, lunch goes on.

Ruth's in to see Carol; she will need to go back there, Ruth needs to show she can hold a job down. Her hair is half out, this is when Kate talk comes in. Nobody pretended it was going to be easy, did they?

Steve's spinning a tale for Kieran about how he murdered Ruth, this is his idea of his good time. Oh and he's got a better idea than hurting Ruth physically, he was listening to the talk about Kate/Lucy between Eddie and Ruth in her flat. He wants to go pay a visit to Kate / Lucy instead, show Ruth what it feels like to have someone she loves hurt. Kieran thinks Steve should walk away, but I don't think that's going to happen.

Ruth's back out at Upper Hangingstone Farm, she's lost his card and wanted to ask him about finding Kate. Izzie comes in behind her, all cold eyes and chastising her for not telling them the whole story. Ruth turns to leave, but counters: there are things people don't know about what happened that day, because they weren't there (DAT ACCENT! It's even thicker than last time!) and anyone could have done what she did. Oh no, Izzie thinks it takes a particular type of person to have done that and she needn't write down her number, it will just go into the fire. She does anyway, hissing "she's me sister!" as John chases after Ruth.

He suggests she write another letter to the family, ask for a meeting so they can explain their position and maybe see what they can do. Why is he helping her? He likes her, he wants to help her and he thinks she's suffered enough and he just seems like a really nice guy.

Lucy / Kate is in to see a therapist, she was really drunk and wanting to kill herself, she shouldn't have been driving at all and YOU THINK? She's struggling with being adopted and the pressure of school and she saw the light going red and decided to not stop, taking off her seatbelt even. Now it terrifies her, she can't think why she did that.

John and Izzie are arguing about him helping Ruth, he doesn't see any evil in her. When did they stop believing in redemption? She just thinks it's too close to home, but if I were her, I'd be worried that my attractive husband is more interested in helping this attractive young woman with a dark past than listening to me, but that's just me. I agree with him, regardless.

Kate / Lucy doesn't remember anything about her life before Rachael and Michael, which is very odd. She was almost 7, and no memory at all, except of a sea of cows and someone holding onto her. Rachael and Michael have told her that means nothing

Over at Steve's, he's trying to get Kieran interested in his growing plan; he's found a good place to tie somebody up for awhile. Kieran wants nothing to do with it, but I'll be honest, I'm not sure exactly what else was said, I was staring at Steve's adorable bebeh, sitting right next to the murderous conspiracy theorist.

Izzie's defending her desire to sell-up the farm to her guests, she's pissed so she won't go into it right now, going into the kitchen to grab something and figuring out exactly how the crock ended up in the wine cooler. The crock must have bounced off the recycling and the force must have broken the glass. There you go! Now someone explain how the coffee table got turned over and everything stacked upside down while the coffee grounds wrote "Help Me" by themselves, there's a good lad.

Oh and it was Rufus and his friend Derry that did the coffee table part; there you go. Izzie chases Rufus with custard, and there we have it: no poltergeist at all! No need to sell-up. I think I recognise the wonk-eyed gentleman at the table, can't say from where...

Michael knows JUST the solution for what ails Kate / Lucy, a holiday at the sea! Rachael's more concerned about the second letter they've just gotten, so he calls John. Ah, the custard has thickened, Michael and Rachael are legally required to tell Kate / Lucy about her sister, which John did not mention to Ruth. Maybe he didn't want to get her hopes up. The problem is that they weren't told that when they adopted Kate / Lucy, and it hasn't occurred to them since, they have no plan or idea how to do that. John suggests they meet Ruth to make up their minds themselves about her.

Steve's in Ruth's apartment when she gets the call about the Belcombes agreeing to meet with her, he probes carefully about information.

Rachael thinks they ought to keep an open mind about Ruth, but Michael does NOT agree, they've done everything they can to keep Kate / Lucy protected from her "inbred, half-wit recidivist sister." Wow. Tell us how you really feel about his woman you've never met!

Steve wants 500 quid from Kieran to find Ruth's sister. You know, for someone who got this whole ball rolling in the first place, Kieran's a bit of a Nervous Nelly, isn't he?

Rachael is ecstatic to have KateĀ  / Lucy home, slightly less excited that Emily's been snooping and found the letter from the solicitor. Ohhh, Emily thought SHE might be Katie Slater, so she must have been adopted as well. Once that's sorted, she wants to know what's going on? Rachael explains it somewhat, giving no specifics.

Meeting time! Ruth's spruced herself up as much as she can, that black eye and boot marks aren't going to make the BEST impression, but not much can be done about that. She's there to woo, so she's got curly hair again. John warns her to not lose her temper and to defer to him if necessary.

John starts the meeting by asking the Belcombes to explain why they didn't want Kate / Lucy to meet Ruth. Oh SURE, start with THAT. Michael starts. Katie doesn't remember anything about her life before the Belcombes, they think she was traumatized by what happened. Ruth can't believe Katie doesn't remember her.

Michael just keeps hammering at Ruth, it's all about what she DID, what SHE wants, not about what's best for Katie and what a crock of shite. Who's trying to protect themselves now?? He thinks he OWNS Katie, that he has a right to say whether she can see the sister who helped raise her for 6 years of her life. He's lucky he even HAS Kate / Lucy and he should think of THAT. Wanker.

He wants to acknowledge and accept that it would be a mistake for Kate / Lucy to even know she exists and I'm trying very hard to not shout, but K/L is 21 years old. She's not a child Michael is protecting, and she's been wondering about her family backstory. How ridiculous to keep that from her.

Ruth explains, she's not taking anything off of them, she's very grateful they've taken such good care of Kate / Lucy. But if they'd passed along any / all of the cards she's sent along, maybe Kate / Lucy wouldn't have forgotten her, yeah? What did they do with it? Did you BURN it, ya betch, didja? The Belcombes practically run out of the room at that point, and then ACTUALLY run, down the street chased by Ruth. But no! Rachael didn't give the cards to Kate / Lucy, but she didn't burn them, either. She kept them in the basement, where Emily is digging them out as we watch the drama outside John's office.

Ruth goes home to find Brad outside her apartment, great, JUST what she needed. She's furious that he told everyone at work after leaving like that, but it wasn't him. It was his best friend Smiffy, the gobshite, he told him to say nowt! But he meant it earlier, there's nothing she could say that would make him stop liking her. Ruth looks so beautiful in this scene, wanting to believe but afraid and you can barely see her split lip and black eye.

Steve's leaving for work, kissing Hannah and the bebeh goodbye; Hannah not even waiting until Steve's cleared the driveway before calling Kiernan. I knew that seemed a bit abrupt, Steve arrives home 10 minutes later to find Kiernan's phone on the stairs and Kiernan's willy in his wife. He seems so sad and resigned, but with a lurking malevolence.

Ruth's received a letter with Lucy's address and name! Wow, thanks A Well-Wisher! Who could that be? Emily? Rachael? Eddie from next door? We're out to that and I have a very bad feeling about where Steve's overboiling kettle of emotion is going to be channeled. Until next time, for the finale! Cheers

  • Isn’t George Costigan the best? He looks ancient in this. And in Scott & Bailey he was SO CREEPY. Really good actor, so I’m going to have a crush on him as well. Let’s both.

    • He does look ancient here! I didn’t recognise at all until those eyes…deal! Shared crush!