Hiya and welcome back to my extended recap series of the television version of Annika starring the amazing Nicola Walker. We've also got Jamie Sives, no slouch, and Katie Leung riding along with conflicted Ukweli Roach. Let's find out what's in store in our penultimate episode of the first series in Annika S1:E05 The Wind after the break!
Note: I've watched 'This Changes Everything' about the marked lack of women directing and writing now, so I have to point out that this episode is written by Frances Poet (which is an AWESOME name, I hope it's created) and directed by Fiona Walton. We all win when we have varied perspectives shown.
We open in the dark hours of a grey morning, both Di Annika Strandhed (Nicola Walker!) and her daughter Morgan Strandhed (Sylvie Furneaux) have snuck their partners into their shared abode. I couldn't say 'lovers' because it makes me squicky to call Mogan's girlfriend Erin Ferguson (Jade Chan) her lover as they're both 15. I assume they're braiding each other's hair and planning a STEM world takeover.
Annika's lover is Dr. Jake Stathearn (Paul McGann) and this infatuation seems to have legs! They're exchanging favourite mugs and everything, although he's more motivated to make things known and public and the like.
Annika is leaving so early because she's been called to a swank yacht party that she compares to Dionysian orgies of past. Sure Dionysus threw a great party, but he also would fly into fits of rage and murder people.
You could make an argument that has to do with immersion in a hedonistic lifestyle, but I would guess that it had more to do with addiction and sleep deprivation.
*I was listening to a fascinating podcast about Nero, former emperor of Rome, did you know there is evidence to suggest he was the embodiment of the anti-christ or the 'beast' to Christians? Huge jerk.
Paul Gilbride has been murdered at his own anniversary party, that's not very Dionysian at all. His widow and her best friend are still on the boat, still very much intoxicated as reported by DC Blair Ferguson (Katie Leung). Annika thinks she's okay with that.
Until Gaynor Gilbride (Hilary MacLean) promptly pukes on Annika's shoes.
Annika joins DS Michael McAndrews (Jamie Sives) and DC Tyrone Clark (Ukweli Roach) below deck at the likely murder scene, where someone threw Paul out a window before or after dumping a bunch of bottled water on the floor.
A gold necklace is found on the floor.
Gaynor has recovered somewhat, she can't think of who would have wanted to kill her husband. Her best friend Carmela MacGowan (Anita Vettesse) indignantly points out that Agamemnon 'Mem' Yiannapoulus (Mel Raido) punched Paul in the face during the party. In the face! Then he snuck off the boat, so he'll be our suspect/red herring #1.
*Agamemnon is a name that begged to be looked up, apparently he was a ruler in Ancient Greek Mythology who went off to fight the Trojan War and was murdered by his wife's lover upon his return. I also believe this was an episode of "Deadly Women."
Carmela's dishy son Gio MacGowan (Cristian Ortega - hey! I know him from One of Us / Retribution! He's grown up) arrives to drive the two women home, he's got anxious eyes. I assume he was Gaynor's lover and murdered her husband.
The Marine Homicide Unit moves to the farm of the Gilbride's neighbour, where evidence of drinking is about along with gunshots. A drunken Mem shoots at the windmill / turbine and almost hits Annika and Blair, who scoots to call for backup and Annika identifies herself and starts to question the distraught fella.
Paul was known as a self-made property developer, according to Mem part of that making involved sneaking away Mem's windmill/turbine deal while Mem was away burying his mother.
He is shocked into silence and surrendering his shotgun at the news of Paul's death.
Ar debrief the next morning, Mem is confirmed as a non-suspect due to a spiffy alibi, onwards! There was CCTV on the boat but it was the type within reach and was pushed out of the way.
DID THEY PRINT THE CAMERA??
The gold Saint Christopher pendant found at the presumed murder scene is identified as belonging to the murdered man. Michael says they know when Paul was pushed off the boat, about half an hour later a couple of people left the boat, Gio and someone named Veer Talwar (Bhav Joshi holy cow, he's been in so much! He was in Guilt! As was half this cast, but also Traces!).
The team is dispatched to research the above, Michael stays back to see how Annika is doing, really, even though she got to hang out with someone named after Ancient Greece. She's got a support network, thanks.
But there's high security clearance around that, so mum's the word.
Wait. Apparently I looked up the wrong part of the myth of Agamemnon (that's impossible to spell without looking), turns out the relevant part today is that he accidentally murdered his daughter. My bad. Well, he sacrificed her to Artemis so the wind would blow and Annika calls that bad parenting.
I mean. I'm not willing to sacrifice even any time with my children, let alone their actual corporeal beings but he wasn't going off to have fun, as Annika says, he was going to war and perhaps that was a sort of "look, I'll even kill my daughter, that's how important this is!" sort of thing? Okay, I can't make any of that alright. Maybe we should look at ARTEMIS, who willy-nilly demands blood sacrifices for WIND, yes??
Annika decides the sneaking around should stop after all.
Michael and Tyrone head to interview Gio, who sees them walking up the path and throws his jacket on top of a pile of letters. Oh sure, nothing suspicious about a puffer carefully draped over a side table.
He left before his mum, even though he was her ride, his antsy answer and peering around at Tyrone looking at things prompts Michael to adjourn the questioning to the station. The table is discovered.
A second interview is conducted at Gaynor and Paul's home, Blair and Annika probe gently about various guests and about a recent break-in at Paul's office. Gaynor thought it was Doug McRae who stole the money, Paul didn't want to prosecute and indeed: Doug was at the party.
Carmela shows up halfway through the interview and does her best to undermine it, that's odd. She asks the police to leave when Veer's name is brought up.
Gio's interview is suspended quickly when he goes into medical distress; he's a young guy but he started having trouble breathing and clutching his chest. What we learned before that was: the table was full of money he was saving to buy his own place. Although Tyrone mocks him for living at home, he only moved there a year ago when his dad became ill and died a year ago.
So all that secrecy about lovers and whatnot that we opened with is about to be blown sky high. Morgan shows up at the police station to drop off Erin's phone to Erin's sister Blair, you know, Annika's subordinate! Blair has been sort of like an older sister to Morgan, she's not happy to have been made an accomplice in their romance. Annika is surprised to see her daughter at work.
Annika takes Morgan to her office to confess about Jake (who was Morgan's therapist for a week) being over at the house the night previously. Morgan says it's not that bad, is it? Morgan has always been very difficult to handle, it's like a giant red flag waving in Annika's face that she's being so understanding right now. Annika carefully suggests Jake come 'round for supper the following evening, Morgan is worried about...
Annika's cooking. She hasn't cooked since the mid-90s, perhaps since she last had a boyfriend. That was a lovely Mother-Daughter moment, I'm hoping Morgan delaying coming clean about her girlfriend doesn't undermine.
I'm not going to tell you what to do, Annika, but if you have to wait several decades for an intelligent man with dreamy dress-sense, I say you go for it.
We watch Veer knock about a CCTV camera and then we're in deceased Paul's office with his secretary Louise Paterson (Naomi Stirrat) talking shite about the dead. I mean, not really shite but she doesn't seem the least bit fussed that he's gone, complaining about his mess and having to organize his wedding anniversary party.
Instead of unlocking Paul's contacts for Michael and Tyrone, we watch her delete a bunch of documents before handing it over to the detectives. Cool as a cucumber, that one! Always watch out for administrative types, they're ORGANIZED.
Who did she delete that for? Herself? A belated and as yet un-demonstrated loyalty to Paul? Hm.
Veer has been identified as being on the boat as a replacement waiter, Doug McRae as a possible thief is in play and we've got one more figure as suspect. Gio, of course, perhaps Carmela.
Half of a business card from a local personal-injury lawyer was found at the scene, how come we aren't talking to any of these people and instead are standing around watching dust collect on several pieces of salted Norwegian black licorice? Let's get moving, people!
First Annika gets Paul's cause of death in a text in her cell phone (not very ceremonious, is it?), it was cardiac arrest and not drowning, which is...weird. Paul was a healthy looking fellow only in his mid-fifties. Plus there was a bit of water in his lungs, probably from that bottled water strewn all about. Also black fibers in his throat, could he have been waterboarded?
That's. A lot.
Did he do that to someone else?
We watch Paul's wife Gaynor cuddle with her godson Gio as Gio's mum Carmela does the laundry, including a black piece of clothing held up artfully to view.
I'd be rotten at acting, that's the least efficient bit of folding I've ever seen.
Blair and Annika brainstorm the water-boarding idea together, whereas it's usually quite precise and planned (it..is? Pouring water on someone's face through fabric until they drown or think they will is precise?), but this was a bit slapdash. Paul was restrained, is it possible they weren't looking for information but rather a confession?
Blair wonders if that means Paul had something to confess, Annika thinks we all have. This prompts Blair to spill her guts about Erin and Morgan's sleepover which invoked a hilariously (very Nicola Walker) incoherent series of broken sentences wherein she worries that perhaps they saw Jake.
Supper with Jake is a lovely affair, Jake and Morgan flow very well. Annika takes a moment to speak to Morgan alone.
Parents don't usually ask questions they don't know the answer to, Morgan.
The lovely dinner is interrupted by a call: they've found Veer. That means Morgan and Jake get to sit around and get to know each other which is FRAUGHT. But lovely. The only possible bone of contention is that he can't be her therapist any more, that may be a tricky line to walk for Morgan.
One gorgeous shot of Scotland's finest bridge later and we're at the home of Veer and the waiter who was supposed to work that night. Syd (Martin Quinn) had a bad belly so he gave his shift to Veer, who hasn't left the flat since the murder.
He doesn't answer his door so just as Blair is about to force it, Syd points out the lack of lock. That's a terrible roommate situation and also: Yay Blair is in clothing that is not a series of jumpsuits! I mean, I did like the jumpsuits too but I'd hate to think she was getting shortchanged by Wardrobe.
Veer isn't in his room, though, he legged it when he saw the coppers coming down his block on his CCTV. He has an interesting if samey internet search history.
It's just...his roomie says he was scary high that night and has been every since, don't you need some presence of mind to tie someone down and waterboard them as opposed to throwing them overboard and letting them drown naturally?
Annika calls Michael to bounce ideas off him, they're close in a way I don't yet understand. It is sort of brotherly/sisterly with rivalry and kindness and so much teasing. Why is he re-stuffing stuffed animals in the kitchen as they speak?
We find out that the files deleted off Paul's laptop were about Doug McRae, whom the secretary said she barely knew. Hm.
Annika gets home to Jake washing dishes, as at home as he looks, he's not ready for daylight canoodling when Morgan is home.
Actually, it's about Morgan viewing him as her therapist still. That is going to be a problem. Are they going to be able to work past this?
They're going to have to wait, as Agamemnon should have waited for the wind instead of murdering his daughter.
Look, now are we sure this isn't about someone's wife's lover murdering them? That seems like it could be a very relevant part of that particular myth.
Annika and Michael make their way over to Paul's office, where Louise is enjoying sexual congress with Doug McRae, someone she barely knows. I'm not judging, I've heard it's more fun when you have to sort out names after. But I do feel very strongly that maybe she does know Doug.
Knows him well enough to have stolen money from Paul for him, anyway. She kept a thousand pounds (euros? A thousand somethings) for herself, so maybe it wasn't all about the D.
Her alibi is, though! Even though Louise had a torn black dress and was below deck at the time in question, she can be considered clear of the murder due to the fact that she was taping herself having sex with Doug with her phone.
Michael wants to know if there's a word for people who get at it in public so often, Annika and I answer together: young.
Veer finally turns up at his flat, the police suggesting Syd change his locks was a good move. Veer seems very agitated, why is Tyrone the one who has to approach him? He always ends up in a foot chase or in the water. We're all measuring the distance between Tyrone and freedom.
Of course he runs.
I mean, he's stopped running and seems sad when Tyrone tackles him from the side but he was running in the beginning!
I think our Veer has quite a few problems that aren't to do with this murder, however. He moved the camera on the boat, sure, but he has moved cameras all over town because he thinks they're watching him. I mean, they are, but not specifically. Except for the last few days. Anyway.
Back to the MacGowan family history and here's where we get back to my first suspect or his mother. The MacGowan patriarch died the previous year by cancer, but not just any cancer, rather mesothelioma, which is caused by inhaling asbestos. It makes the person feel as though they're drowning. AND. Paul was a builder, and a none too ethical one at that. So.
*I do know someone whose dad died of that type of cancer, all she remembers about it was that it took a long time and her mom went on a huge shopping spree with the winnings from the class action lawsuit she won after his death. Apropos of nothing.
Gaynor and Carmela are separated for interview, they exchange a look that means I am either right or superclose to right.
Another thing, the gold necklace that was found did not belong to Paul but rather Gio, putting him at the murder scene. Since Gaynor identified it as belong to her husband, that's where Annika starts her questioning.
I feel much less triumphant as Gio explains that he and his dad contracted their mesothelioma in the same way; he was diagnosed only the week earlier. He went to Paul's office to find out if they'd been knowingly been put at risk by Paul.
Okay, it was the wife. Gaynor did it, but you know, I've lifted a few of those 18 litre jugs and I wouldn't be able to hold on to it with any degree of accuracy. Did she have help?
I am not going to change all of my myth parts above, but it seems as though Annika is going with the lesser-accepted version of Ancient Greek mythology where Agamemnon is murdered by his wife as revenge for sacrificing their daughter.
They find Gaynor on that very boat covering herself in accelerant to take the boat with her. A quick confession to Annika (bit of a stretch to say she put Gio's necklace around Paul's neck to make him feel bad, more like to mislead the audience, amirite?), then she lights herself afire and is pushed into the drink by Michael coming up the port side.
(I don't know port from starboard but I like how that sounded)
Annika gets home in time to find Morgan sitting outside waiting for Erin; she gives her one more chance to come clean then drops the bomb. "Some things are simpler when they're secret."
THEN! Then, Morgan invites her mother to come along on her time with Erin! That's serious bonding progress!
We're out! I have to say, Annika is one of the very few dramas I watch with serious topics that is also entertaining.
I must point out how much credulity is strained that it was not the family of the man who died of cancer at the hands of the dead man, not even the person that is actually physically dying now, but rather the wife of the jerk. A frail-looking woman in her mid-50s seeking revenge for her godson in the form of hefting an 18 l bottle of water onto her shoulder to waterboard her husband to death.
However! Listening to the banter between Annika and just about everyone, but particularly Jake and Michael is lovely. Michael made fun of a dish Annika cooked for everyone that night, referencing another dish that made them both quiet. Did they date before? Did she make a horribly bland meal for him as well? One more episode to find out! Until then, cheers!