Hey everyone, are you ready for another episode of hilarious yet totally serious murder mystery Annika with awesomesauce Nicola Walker? Me TOO! It's already been a week!! Rolling into Annika S1:E03 Enemy of the People after the break!
We open in a doctor's office, DI Annika Strandhed (Nicola Walker!!) sits with her teenage daughter Morgan (Sylvie Furneaux) who is seeing a therapist, yay! Last time we saw Morgan, she was convinced she was murdering people just by meeting them and also disinfecting her mouth with large amounts of vodka on a regular basis. Annika jokes around a lot but she's a great mother, she tells Morgan therapy is her time to explore her story with someone neutral, she can even talk about Annika!
Annika sets one eye on the therapist, a handsome man of a particular age
Dr. NoNameYet is far too candid to be an actual therapist, he says sometimes it's not even about the mother!
Annika is a show with a literary bent, as you may have noticed from the last two episodes, or 'Moby Annika' and 'Annika the Valkyrie' as I call them, this time we're talking about Henrik Ibsen's play 'Enemy of the People'."
*I've always been a voracious reader, from a very young age, the only thing I regret is that it gave me a highly unrealistic view of how awesome people are supposed to be.
Annika tells us about the play, wherein a righteous doctor found something untoward in the water supply, we've also got something ghastly clogging up the local pond in the form of a fallen and bloody dead ginger dude.
Annika's whole team is there investigating and waiting for orders, she sends DS Blair Ferguson (Katie Leung) off with DS Tyrone Clark (Ukweli Roach) to research his identity but keeps sort-of-second-in-command DS Michael McAndrews (Jamie Sives) around to brainstorm method and stuff. Or where the boat is that was mentioned when the body was reported.
A young man watches the police from cover, but we're not meeting him yet!
Back at the office, a welcome gift of disgusting salted licorice sits, gathering dust as the team discusses our victim, now identified as Murdo Stirling (Graeme Rooney). They listen to the emergency call, trying to decipher guilt and / or motivation from the male caller's short message. All they get is a New Zealand accent so far.
Our poor dead Murdo was carrying stuff that may connect him to a charity called Natural Water, Blair sings up the commercial jingle as Annika and I stare at her. Charities have memorable jingles? Quick, someone whistle me "Colour Me Madd" or something?
The exciting thing about the quick look we get at the Natural Water website is a familiar face! It's Moyo Akandé, I know her from Guilt! Which makes half the cast, holy shite you guys, I hope you all get along. I like to imagine all the Scottish actors traveling together in a large bus with great seats and a small wet bar.
Murdo was in the reservoir testing the water, was someone not wanting to hear his opinion on the unsuitability of the local tap water just like in Enemy of the People?
Annika and Michael roll off to Natural Water to check things oot with a little parenting back and forth in between. None of his kids have been in therapy, of course not. They just talk to their friends, does Morgan have any friends?
That was a bit raw, Michael, back it up.
Heidi Greenshields (Kim Allan! I'm telling you, there are only 17 actors in Scotland, they're all superb and they've all been in shows I've recapped recently. Like Kim Allan in The Replacement with Vickie McClure from Line of Duty!) ushers them in, then they meet Mel Heatherington (Moyo Akandé!) who fires photographer Stuart Straney (Martin Bell) in front of them before brusquely demanding who's dead?
Hey, did you know the name of Annika's team, officially? I didn't!
Now it makes sense that all their bodies have been soggy! Or at least at sea. Thanks for spelling that out!
OMIGOD and then Mel calls herself brusque and I have to send a mental tip of the hat to writer Nick Walker, who I am clearly mind-melded to several months/years after he wrote / filmed this.
Sorry, sorry, back to the show, Mel says Murdo was on leave, which is borne out by his diary, so why was he in a dirty loch anyway? If it WAS a dirty reservoir loch, that is. Mel passes on her condolences, she'll organize a commemorative pond or something.
Not to nitpick, but Rab Sterling (Lewis Howden) is apparently Murdo's dad, although IMDb has seen fit to give them similar but different last names. He's a burly older man who misses his son but keeps himself to himself. He made them tea to take a moment but it looks sort of grim.
(These are the best moment of Annika, even as they teeter on the verge of slapstick)
Blair finds Murdo's cute convertible, less adorable with broken glass all over and 'BASTARD' written in red spray paint. There's a phone! Oooh, show us texts, that's literally my favourite.
Tyrone is checking with a local boat...person? Renter-outer? Mitch McAskill (Paul McCole) when that skittish young man hiding at the crime scene wanders in, then very obviously runs away when he sees Tyrone.
I don't know why Tyrone gets all the exciting suspects, he catches the young man by jumping him into the water off a stalled jetski.
Across town, Annika carefully asks the marital status of her daughter's therapist Dr. Jake Strathearn (Paul McGann) but Morgan doesn't bite, although she is slightly skeeved out. Mostly indulgent. Annika explains to us later that she thought she was getting a female therapist for Morgan; she's not entirely sure having her fatherless daughter in therapy with a man who, quite possibly, could be the same age as her mum and dad might result in some unnecessary issues. Annika was also hoping for some help in her corner as a mum.
So if Morgan and Dr. Jake want to go their separate ways, Annika is there to support them both in any way. And all ways.
I am having a hard time figuring out the suspect's name, it might be Nathan Anderson (Sahil Arora) so I'll go with that and adjust later as needed. He's damply waiting in the interview room for Annika and Tyrone; his story is that he ran because he was about to be deported. And he smoked weed with Murdo The Night In Question. And came back the next day and maybe his boat propeller did damage to Murdo's back. He's edgy and wouldn't mind a deportation, fanks. I'd say more weed would probably help him more than that.
Nathan swears there was a booking on the loch, Murdo was using a card with the name Campbell but it was maxed-out, even as Nathan's boss says there was no such thing. Nathan was the emergency caller, Blair was able to isolate perhaps a chainsaw noise.
Awww, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, we're in Morgan's therapy session where she's explaining Norse mythology to Dr. Jake. That reminds me of when my oldest used to spend his therapy sessions discussing various dragons from the Wings of Fire series.
Morgan's scared for her mum, she feels very protective of her and unsafe at the same time. I guess there has been quite a lot of death and tackling people into water lately. This is a tricky thing, choosing between safety and caring for someone and doing something you love.
It's cute that Morgan texts Blair, they got close on the last case and Morgan maaaay have a tiny crush on the older and adorable Blair. I thought Morgan was dating a girl from school, but I guess she doesn't need to be locked down with just one love interest. Annika is hilariously put out to hear that Morgan will discuss therapy with her subordinate but not her. Should she say something and deal with it like a grownup?
Something interesting in Murdo's finances, he received 50 grand over the past week right before he died. Wasn't he a noble scientist? Speaking truth to power and all that rot? It doesn't usually pay all that well, ask the doctor in Ibsen's play.
They're going to follow the money AND cherche la femme: partner or roommate Siobhan Kelly (Charlene Boyd) is next to be interviewed. If they can find her, that is. Annika drives her 90's teal convertible and Michael to Siobhan's last known address where a young girl answers then is sent inside by her dad Neil Kelly (Dyfan Dwyfor).
Was Siobhan taking a wee break from motherhood? Better a rest than a burnout, girl, I got you. Oh. No, actually, Siobhan was cheating on her husband with Murdo, who told her husband all about it so Neil kicked Siobhan out and she's been missing for three days.
Sounds like Siobhan wasn't getting her needs met.
I guess Murdo wasn't either and that's why he told on himself.
We assume Siobhan is dead, yes?
Tyrone and Blair follow the money to Heidi's (Natural Water's receptionist) door; she was in debt up to her eyeballs and apparently Murdo was doing something hinky, one of the credit cards found on his person was hers. He also had a bunch of other credit cards with his address but different names; I thought your typical environmental scientist was a cross between a baby angel and an angel baby but green??
Natural Water has been broken into when they get there, this time Blair gets the exciting suspect and nabs (recently fired photographer / marketing) Stuart in the alley.
I LOVED that chase, that's literally how I would look being chased by any one, carefully letting myself down on top of a dumpster, then carefully gathering up my things and turning around to be caught instantly.
Why...does Blair always wear a tan jumpsuit with a woolen bomber over top? Always? It's not a bad look, but it's as though she was surprised at a winter rave and didn't get a chance to sort out actual clothing.
Annika and Morgan have half a meal together, Annika wants to talk about Blair but Morgan wants to discuss what Dr. Hunkalot asked: when's a time in her childhood she felt safe? Morgan thinks about the year two thousand and never but the phone interrupts that argument, spawning another.
It's Annika's dad on the phone, Morgan reached out to her grandad to plan a holiday as Dr. Sweetface suggested she connect with other family members. Annika is NOT down with this plan.
Annika likes to be in control of everything.
That's just asking for an unhappy life with a teenager, isn't it? Looks like she shouldn't have pre-paid for a week of therapy since Morgan's not going again. That's okay, Annika gets a call from Michael about a lead on Siobhan woooo! Guess she's totally not dead!
Every show I've seen set in Scotland works this shot in at one point:
Gorgeous. I bet they're lined up around the block at the boat launch with their cameras and rainjackets.
Blair (now in a blue jumpsuit with plaid bomber jacket - winter rave with sailors) and Tyrone track Heidi down to the playground, she didn't know Murdo the ginger villain was using her credit and swears her child isn't his, honest. 'His dad's serving overseas' is the new "bearded stranger with beady eyes' of the twenty aughts.
Oooh, seems Mel and Murdo were off work at the same time!
Okay, we were right, Siobhan Kelly (Charlene Boyd) isn't dead, but she's not in great shape. Annika finds her hunched with her face over the toilet, I don't think Valium and booze are supposed to mix. She's talkative, though! She trashed Murdo's car when he told on their affair after she asked him to pay for a pint once in a while. She thinks it was a woman who murdered Murdo, I think it must be Mel who took off two days at the same time. Perhaps being a cheap ginger with a penchant for identity theft and fraud in general is irresistible.
It's sort of refreshing to have the victims on the show Annika be such complete jerks, in Unforgotten you always have to consider extenuating circumstances and feeeeeelngs and BOOOO.
Back at the boat launch, Murdo was using a credit card in the name of S. Campbell, Heidi remembers her as a drop-in visitor and we're off!
Oh WAIT. Sandy Campbell (Jack Hunter) is a cheeky lad in a wheelchair AND Murdo's son. He also validates Annika's car choice, earning her favour forevermore.
I mean, Murdo's a jerk, we get it, but not only was he not paying child support, he was draining his disabled son's trust behind his back. Can we murder him again?
Interesting that Sandy seems to cover for his mum when Annika asks where she was...hmmm. I'd throw Fiona Campbell (Sally Reid) in there but it's Sandy who seems to have the initiative. Hm.
Annika tells him: nice try.
All roads to do seem to lead back to Natural Water (now I'm wondering what Unnatural Water would be like), Blair found some fighting between Mel and Murdo in Stuart's promotional video footage and reached out to reporter Sam Dacosta (Saskia Ashdown) that gave Annika such a hard time at the press conference.
ANYWAY, Murdo was a source on a large story about Natural Water, Sam's newspaper paid him 50 grand as a source but the story is on hold because of his death.
When braced, Mel gives up Natural Water's funding by the bottled water industry but appears to have an alibi, if no longer a relationship with the bottled water industry.
Speaking of relationships! Morgan knew Annika was going to be working late so she called the therapist she refused to see earlier so he could call Annika and...set the alarm at work for her?
This crush is not one-sided!
Still ill-advised. They half talk about it; then Michael walks up and Annika bolts. Everyone understands how adorable the good doctor is.
You know, Annika talks to Michael about a lot of personal things and seeks his parenting advice regularly. We discussed whether or not he was Morgan's father and I do kind of lean that way, I just don't see him ever agreeing to not be part of his child's life. He's got kids he's raising, he's a great dad by all accounts. Unless she didn't TELL him and this was back when Michael was 'more funny' then maybe...apparently in the radio series the dad was 'Tor of the Reindeer Police' but I don't know if that's a real thing.
Watching you, Michael McAndrews...
Oh and I'm totally wrong, several times over, Murdo's dad killed him. Rab and Murdo were meeting to scatter the ashes of Murdo's mother, he snapped and drowned his only son, a crime against nature. Rab couldn't believe his son would abandon and rob his only grandson.
We started with Ibsen and we're ending with him, too. In the play Enemy of the People, the doctor was at least supported by his children, Annika feels like that's pretty easy to write. In real life, Ibsen slept with his servant, then never made an effort to see the resulting child. Looks like art is imitating real life instead of art again.
This is Michael trying to reciprocate Annika's bonding overtures; he also owns up to one of his kids going to therapy which he had previously denied.
We don't know what exactly will happen, do we?
Woooo and with that, we're out! Goodbye Murdo, you blackmailing piece of shite and good riddance! Annika...maybe this is one of those things you pass up. Like really good tacos on a Wednesday and sleeping with your daughter's psychologist because he's the only man we've met with a dreamy dress-sense.
Until next time!