Unforgotten S2:E6 Strangers in Ealing Recap

So here we are, at the end of another series of Unforgotten, waiting with baited breath to find out which of our three impossible suspects killed the monster who walked like a Tory fundraiser. I'm going to throw family into the mix, adding two to our total and still: no clue exactly who(s) did the deed. Let's see how things play out.

We left last week with Cassie (Nicola Walker) having an epiphany at the very last minute, and it looks grim at that

Sara (Badria Timimi) wants to know what her (possible) dad told her husband Hassan (Adeel Ahktar) about her life; enough that Hassan would be willing to talk about her past or not talk about her past as much as she likes. He understands the fallout from abuse and the forms it can sometimes take better now. Although how he thought she just fell into prostitution as a young woman for kicks still amazes me; did he not know his wife at all?

Simon (Charlie Condou) and Colin (Mark Bonnar) watch wee Flo (Amy Jayne) brush her teeth with very different faces; Simon happy and Colin aching for what will never be.

Martin (Peter Egan)  is ready to talk to Cassie about his trip to see his wife's former lover, who was quite shocked to meet him, as you would be. A little scared, too, babbling on and on about it not meaning anything. Martin didn't want that, though, he wanted to understand and of course he never will, because the only person who could answer it is dead. Why do we think we own everything about our partners? I bet we barely scrape the surface of most of them.

Cath (Bryony Hannah) listens as Jason (Will Brown) gets home and picks up her proffered meal; wait, what? How is he on the other side of that door? She heard him crying inside, which is why she left it without knocking, so how did he get past it when he went out as he clearly is just seeing it for the first time right now? I'm confused

Cassie is being gently raked over the coals by DSI Andrews (Colin R. Campbell); they can't spend the whole budget on a 30 year old abuse case, can they? This is a plot device so thin I am actually using it as a dust protector on my screen right now! It's crunch time.

Colin and Simon are in with social worker Janet (Emma Cunniffe) who is going through all the revelations of the past month with Flo. How IS that murder investigation going now, Colin? Well he has that ironclad alibi (Janet does not think being committed to a mental institution is the BEST ironclad alibi out there for a prospective adoptive parent) and affirms that he didn't kill David Walker, but we'll see about that. For now, Simon can keep Flo, but Colin is going to have to find another place to stay. As long as he isn't charged and doesn't go to trial, they're willing to let Simon keep Flo. Huh. That's far more understanding than I would have thought.

Elise (Holly Aird) is in with Marion (Rosie Cavaliero), she'll get the boys' DNA tested if she wants, but she knows her sister. Marion only likes to push people away, like her husband Tony (Nigel Lindsay), Elise and their mum. But they aren't going anywhere.

Cassie holds a briefing for everyone; these are grim times for the investigation, with Sara being all but confirmed as the murderer and then Hassan showing up with evidence for a perfect alibi.

But is it too good? It looks to Cassie like an alibi created carefully for a specific need. So maybe it's a Strangers On The Train scenario as I thought. She thinks Colin and Marion were also abused and killed each other's abusers like so: Marion killed David Walker, Sara killed Colin's abuser and Colin killed Marion's. So that means instead of having one dead body, we're short two other bodies.

Simon cries as Colin packs and Sunny (Sanjeev Bhaskar) leads the team in sussing where the three suspects met each other. Fran (Carolina Main) asks how much they'll be sharing with the suspects, a determined Cassie lays it out. They need to know whether they're on the right path

No warnings, no appointments, if they want to find out what happened

Sunny is almost purple with embarrassment, are he and Cassie okay? They are, now piss off. He does but she looks grave when he leaves, so maybe it has affected them on some level. I don't know how it wouldn't. Cassie heads straight to the airport.

Tessa (Lorraine Ashbourne) is being put on leave effective immediately by her superior DSI Gill (Nathalie Armin); they'll be investigating the allegations about the Brentwood house and she personally would like to know why Tessa didn't said anything. Tessa uses the "different times" and Jerry Lee Lewis twin defenses; David told her the girl was 16 and willing. She believed him and forgave him, which is also what they did back then, for the most part, when they didn't just hold the children directly accountable.

Cassie's gone to Scotland to see Colin's dad Harry (Bill Paterson from Fleabag!!) who tells the tale of a charmed childhood for Colin, until he turned 9 and started to change. That's when his anger developed and he starting withdrawing from people. His parents wrote it off as another stage; sexual abuse wasn't commonly discussed back in the 70s.

Now that it is under discussion, can Harry think of anyone who might have had access to Colin that could have done something? There was one bloke

Sunny's in with Elise, who remembers exactly when Marion changed to her current state of sullenness. When they moved to Cork is when everything went sour, except with Marion and her dad, the lecturer. Hm, and later said lecturer committed suicide by hanging himself, and perhaps all of Marion's anger was directed at her family that didn't protect her. Because after all; Cork is where the girls got their own rooms for the first time.

Now Sunny wants to talk to Marion's mum Joy (Wendy Craig).

Cassie's in with Mark Roberts (Tom Mannion), who knew platoon leader Paxton who knew Colin AND went to jail for interfering with two children. He doesn't want to talk about it, it's all ancient history! That sends Cassie over the edge; this is NOT ancient history and it CANNOT be dismissed because the ramifications are still echoing catastrophically TODAY!! And then she swears and I don't know where to look because Gillian never got past "ffff"

Ohhh Paxton killed himself too. We have a pattern, ladies and gents. He was found floating in a boat all by himself and nobody cried any tears over him. Mark throws out a "it's changed!" We've all changed, they don't slip by any more but they do, don't they? Child abuse is as much a problem as it ever was, this week alone there have been three child sex offenders released into the city next to where I live: they're not from 30 years ago. Two of them aren't even that age yet, so.

Fran is talking to Hassan, who is furious that Sara's dad wasn't allowed to prosecute those people who abused Sara. The police called it "her choice to become a child prostitute" and WHAT?

Oh and Joy knew. Joy knew Marion was being abused by her dad and she didn't do anything. Elise is devastated and furious by turns in between wanting to throw up. Joy traded her daughter's mental health for a posh house and trips abroad. She leaves while Sunny asks for the exact details.

Cassie and Sunny compare notes, thanks to NHS records, they know Sara and Colin were both in psychiatric care in Ealing, where Marion had a flat. It's not a leap to assume they all met in the wards.

Jason waits for a train, but that's not what he's really doing, is he? He's about to walk in front of it when Cath stops him, how is he doing? Fancy a cuppa? She reminds him that she doesn't have to be defined by his past, life goes on, Jase. Oh but she likes him! It must be his lovely personality and way of using a whole three words.

Elise had gone straight to Marion, They've made up beautifully, which is great for them, but not awesome for Cassie, who's watching. She follows Marion while Sunny gives the bad news...Colin's in the wind as well.

Cassie follows Marion to a pub, where Colin and Sara are meeting in the back.

Marion rabbits to fill Tony in on everything while Cassie questions Colin. Was it the shared abuse that drew them all together? Did they recognise it?

Colin would like to share some facts with Cassie, first. He tells her the specifics of her abuse and I'm not transcribing any of that. I just cried, which is what Cassie did after he left.

Marion is explaining the same to Tony and honestly. You guys. It's so VISCERAL. Her mum never did acknowledge what Marion told her, but she protected her for six months, then stopped. You guys

Cassie gets home to find her dad drinking wine and contemplating the letter his wife wrote to her ex-lover; she had broken things off because she loved Martin and felt bad for everything. He would not have gotten that if he hadn't gone to see the fella, so.

Cassie and I are still crying about everything else, but she needs to go make a phone call.

She meets with Sunny; I would very surprised if she doesn't want to not prosecute. She doesn't and Sunny asks some questions: are they a danger to society? Do they need to be deterred? Do they need to be punished? She doesn't want to punish them further.

She wants to know where Sunny stands, though: does he have a shred of doubt about her decision to bury this case and what she's found? No.

She gives him a kiss on the cheek and that's it, she's off before he tries to snog her. She walks away alone and there are no happy endings here. There is only the realisation that at least these people won't have this hanging over them any longer; they can tell their partners, they can get some comfort and help from that and we're done.

I had to come back to do the summation because it truly was an incredibly affecting show and it seemed impossible to critique it after watching the powerful performances by all the actors involved. As far as storyline goes, it turned out that our early leader Tessa and her angry son Jason were red herrings and we did indeed have murderous women in our midst, so I take back some of what I said. Not all of it, but I am happy that we didn't get a weird twist like last season that made no sense whatsoever five minutes from the end. I feel a bit weird that I giffed Nicola Walker's face so many times because she looked BEAUTIFUL this last episode; Mark Bonnar was another standout for me.

Thanks for reading along, everyone. Until next time.