We're back with Annika again already and why not? It stars our awesome Nicola Walker, hilarious Jamie Sives, wry Katie Leung and super sprinty Ukweli Roach. Let's find out what's shaking in my recap of Annika S1:E04 after the break!
We're with DI Annika Strandhed (Nicola Walker!) as she glides gently under a bridge, talking about the six types. If you have children, you know this is a grade three puzzle and I have assisted in three mostly-LEGO bridges of varying types! Okay she gets three of the types, good job! Now make one that can hold one pound, woooo!
Sorry, sorry, Annika tells us they're all meant to cross a divide of some sort, assuming the two sides are happy to be joined.
Oooh I felt that one.
Annika arrives at the latest MHU crime scene, Cara Gibson has been murdered and hey! We've got a female Lucia Haynes AND female director - Fiona Walton this time! I love that! I also love to imagine when it won't need to be pointed out, it'll be totally normal and equitable and birds sing round the clock and fairies shower us with edible glitter every other Tuesday.
DS Michael McAndrews (Jamie Sives) and his manbun (did he always have a manbun?) are already on scene, poor Cara is without a jacket and it’s freezing. DS Tyrone Clark (Ukweli Roach) collects evidence from beat copper Ash Magee (Shyvonne Ammhad) who is very, very flirty.
Cara Gibson was something of a celebrity writer, I immediately assume she’s a stand-in for Val McDermid, Scottish author extraordinaire.
Annika helps Morgan (Sylvie Furneaux) build some bridges at home so we can find out that Morgan is no longer seeing Dr. Jake Strathearn (Paul McGann) and Annika very much IS.
People have needs.
Ahhhh Cara Gibson the victim looked very different in life from when she was pulled from the water. She appeared to be a tidy young woman in her late twenties / early thirties with asymmetrical hair and perhaps Asian features.
She was exactly nothing like Val McDermid in every other way, too, Cara wrote far right-wing books about the poor ruining everything by being poor and wanting to live and stuff. You know the old Libertarian motto: ‘I Got Mine, Screw You.’
I do know right-wing and Libertarian are technically different things.
It seems Cara had gone back to teaching, however, perhaps the talkshows and writing had caused some hard feelings. The books definitely had ill effects on some, Cara’s book ‘Sour Note’ about a drugged-out female rock star had effectively ended said career.
Erm. Who would be surprised that a rockstar took drugs? Anyone?
Annika and Tyrone head to the Glasgow University, she’s switching around who she talks to about parenting, lovely. She’s already chatted with Michael loads about Morgan and of course DS Blair Ferguson (Katie Leung) is basically Morgan’s BFF.
There’s at least one person sad that Cara’s dead, Ming Mei Zhao (Millicent Wong – man I love the name Millicent) calls Cara a good friend and a force. Graham Kennedy (Michael Abubakar) is less sentimental but he gets shifty-eyed as Tyrone and Annika start to search Cara’s office.
One of Cara’s books was open and marked up with names circled, was she searching out people she had written about? Was she trying to make amends? That’s one of the steps in 12-step programs, did anything say anything about alcohol or addiction?
And then they do. Apparently one of her books was a collaboration with another professor, he found her this cushy job, according to Graham, the maintenance man who notices a whole lot for someone who says he saw nothing.
Michael is dispatched to the Menagerie, a posh restaurant where Cara had been hanging out recently trying to talk to singer Evelyn Bailie (Aisha Toussaint) but even as Evelyn swears she didn’t have anything against Cara, she wasn’t giving her free content either.
But she mentioned TikTok which is the essence of giving free content so.
Cara didn’t want to write the book she was working on, it would either be the best thing ever or ruin her life.
I’m telling you, this woman was making amends!
Annika tells us about her backseat physics lesson from a cabbie; the challenge of a bridge is to manage the balance of tension and compression. Tension is important, but not…too much.
This other professor that Cara collaborated with sheds more light on Cara’s past and motivations. Their book was about people who abuse the benefits system, I’m positive terms like “welfare queens’ featured prominently.
Fraser Clanahan (Robert Jack) is quick to disabuse us of the notion that he and Cara were the usual type of hater; they grew up in those same poor areas as their book subject Maggie Fisher (Gail Watson), with parents who cared more about booze than offspring.
So not the USUAL agenda, but an agenda nonetheless.
Ahhhhhhhhhhhh Cara was in a 12 step program!
I am going to hurt myself if I keep up all this back-patting.
Annika wonders if maybe Cara was addicted to attention as well as alcohol, maybe the book was a way to get that particular fix?
I’m telling you: amends.
A cabbie presumably without a physics degree acts very strangely, cleaning his car very thoroughly while looking around in the most suspicious way possible. He may as well have a flashing neon sign on his head saying ‘NOTHING TO SEE HERE, FOLKS, LALALALA.”
Michael strolls along the waterfront to a man fishing by himself. This is Adia McAndrews (Andy Clark), Michael’s brother and they have a laugh about what a kick in the balls it is that Annika is Michael’s boss. Hm, that’s certainly provocative, Michael’s rueful face makes me wonder.
Me and Shirty Burty on Twitter, that is!
Annika and her kiddo set up for supper, Morgan isn’t happy with her new therapist, perhaps her previous one, Dr. Jake DreamyFace could recommend someone new. Oh look, Annika just happened to have saved Jake’s number, there in her phone.
You wouldn’t THINK you could call a grown woman adorable but here we are.
Oooh, Morgan’s part time babysitter / possible crush Blair has a sister coming to stay with her around Morgan’s age, which could be a good friend idea!
Back to the case! Cara’s biologicals were all over the crime scene, so were red carpet fibers. She was also very intoxicated, hm. Maybe making amends went poorly? Not everyone is ready to hear ‘I don’t remember, exactly, but I’m very very sorry.’
Maybe the woman with a restraining order against our Cara, where was Maggie Fisher (Gail Watson)? She was the ‘welfare queen’ in one of Cara’s books and we saw that Cara was looking for her, did she find more than she was looking for?
Maggie is still in the system, in fact she was in an ankle tag for assault that very night, tracking went offline around 10 pm, when the murder was thought to have happened.
Blair ponders her earlier chitchat, should she have led with that instead of the part about her sister in the nuclear shelter with glitter all over her face? Annika is gentle, yeah, perhaps.
I like these two together.
Oh ho! We see Cara’s friends Fraser and Ming Mei at the police station, Ming Mei is unsure but Fraser assures her that they must do it for their friend.
What did you see, Ming Mei??
Maggie Fisher’s ankle tag is working again, we see it nice and clearly as she unrolls a RED CARPET while calling Cara a ‘two-faced cow.’ Tyrone is about as subtle as a truck, taking samples off the carpet as Maggie watches, she uses that as an opportunity to volunteer him at the senior center.
Heey, you know who else volunteers at the senior centre for Maggie? Maintenance man Graham we met earlier at the university.
So what did Ming Mei see The Night Of? Oh, just the MURDERER. She was working late on her PHD and for a cab company, Cara called and asked for a cab from home to her university office. Cara was obviously drunk and I call shenanigans, when you call a cab, you don’t tell people where you’re going, just where you are. Okay, the driver calls in for the
ANYWAY, Cara was at her office at 10 pm, that’s odd. The cab driver was a creep, too, and he DIDN’T call in for ages, so maybe Lachie Nevin (Gavin Mitchell) is our very clean cab driver above.
Well, he runs off the second he sees the police and has to be stopped with the business end of Michael’s police car, so he’s not doing himself any favours there.
So we’ve now got Lachie, Maggie and Graham in our cross-hairs, why is Tyrone being squirrely?
Ooh, never mind, Dr. Jake Adorable didn’t text Annika a list of names, he swung by the police station to hand her a paper list of possible therapists. He probably wrote it with a pen, too, like a caveman! He was, erm, swimming by, so he likesssssss her as much as she liiiiiiiikes him awwwww.
I think they have a group date with Morgan for a bridge exposition but these guys talk only in riddles and I’m tired, man.
Tyrone went off to brace Graham by himself, that’s what he did instead of checking out Maggie’s alibi and the carpet fibers. Graham pulls the colour card immediately, that also reminds me of Unforgotten…
Anyway, the book ‘Work Shy’ was written about the area where the senior centre is and Graham hung out. He has no warm memories of the area, being accused of stealing when a kid will do that to you. He thinks it was racially motivated.
He won’t answer when asked if he slept with Cara, but whoops, there’s Cara’s laptop sitting in his van right there! He’s coming in for questioning, woooo. Unfortunately, Graham’s on CCTV walking into the university gym at the critical time period, so, sorry Tyrone. You still have the laptop!
Lachie isn’t a great interview, but then, he WAS just hit by a car. He eventually coughs up some information.
But his dashcam proves he just dropped Cara off at a pub.
Blair’s getting more and more irreverent, isn’t she?
Tyrone has a LOT to prove, but there’s only the one real Superman. You heard me.
Annika and Morgan roll up at the bridge exposition just as Jake is randomly standing outside! Then! Morgan goes off to meet Blair and her sister so it’s just Annika and Jake at the exposition! Who saw that coming??
Oh wow, even though I saw this coming, I definitely felt it right down to my bones.
But it was a joke, also okay.
They have a slumber party! Aw. Many, many emotions.
Okay, Blair’s sister Erin Ferguson (Jade Chan) is going to be a great friend for Morgan, wooo, they get into the flavoured coolers immediately. Um. Or wait, I forgot how much teen girl friendship looks like girlfriends and the kiss in the morning between the two says they are the latter.
Back to the case! The pub Cara went into didn’t have CCTV but she used the phone so records are on the way. The laptop was somewhat useful, Tyrone! It had Cara’s manuscript for her new book and while it did talk quite a bit about addiction, it also revisited some old wounds in the form of newly throwing Maggie under the bus for taking money for giving her information to twist. Time to talk to Mags again! Maggie is a lot less credible and assured this time, but swears she didn’t kill Cara.
And she didn’t. It was Cara’s old co-author Fraser Clanahan. Cara was going to debunk ‘Work Shy’ and his fundraising for his new project was going to be affected. He runs too, when confronted by all the evidence, why do they always run? And why does poor Tyrone always have to chase and get smacked by machetes and the like? Okay, it was a pipe, but still.
Annika gives her team coned tubes of pink candy as a thank you for their work on the case. That’s loads better than salted black licorice from Norway!
We end the episode with a lovely mother-daughter chat between Morgan and Annika, interrupted by texts from their prospective love interests. And we’re out!