I am so happy they brought back Annika with Nicola Walker for a second season and so soon! I hoped they would, but do you know how long I had to wait in between seasons of Happy Valley? Basically two decades or seven years, something like that. Let’s roll into my recap of Annika S2:E01 after the break!
We all watched season 1 of Annika, yes? Good, because that is where we pick up, immediately where we left off. Literally seconds after our lovely protagonist DI Annika Stranhead (Nicola Walker) tells us that her former police partner and now subordinate DS Michael McAndrews (Jamie Sives) was previously also her OTHER sort of partner, in fact fathering her daughter Morgan (Silvie Furneaux). Nobody knows that but Annika and hold on.
That was the big reveal at the end of Annika season 1 but I have to say: that season finale was one of the best I’ve seen for a long time, even apart from the baby-daddy bit. There was a chase and an explosion, suspense, thrills, it was truly excellent.
Back to the paternity issue, Annika continues her discussion with us via the fourth wall, telling us of a Scottish child ballad called The Great Silkie of Sule Skerry which involved a man who turned into a seal when soggy and the woman who procreated with him and subsequently lost her child when the seal-man ran off with the kiddo and got them both shot.
Anika likes to speak in riddles but I am fully confident in saying that she didn’t tell Michael she was pregnant with Morgan because she was afraid he would take her away. Not that Michael is a seal. Probably. Michael is now happily married with loads of kids, one more than he even knows!
Oh hey, they’re also investigators and this party is cut short when Michael gets a call that a cell phone with a recording of a murder has been turned in.
No rest for the soggy! Or those that procreate with sea mammals! What??
Oh. The recording on the phone is a video of a murder, not an audio call and if you ever wondered my age: there it is. The video is of a man with blonde hair and blood all over his face being assaulted; it was dropped off by a woman who scooted forthwith.
Detectives DC Blair Ferguson (Katie Leung) and DS Tyrone Clark (Ukweli Roach) are hot on her trail, by that I mean Blair hits the young woman on her scooter and Tyrone chases her on foot.
Tyrone always ends up chasing someone on foot. I should look up whether the actor was some kind of track star. Hold on. Okay, well, he’s a dancer!
Annika’s boss DCI Diane Oban (Kate Dickie) is worried about Annika taking on a case so quickly after the last, with zero sleep in between. At least, that’s what I think she said, her Scottish accent is thicker than a month of Sundays covered in ice cream.
She should do a DB prosser? And also take Diane’s car, which Annika can talk to instead if she doesn’t want to talk to a psychologist. It’s a talky car! I have one of those!
Morgan gets picked up for school by Michael’s wife Astrid McAndrews (Cora Bissett) who seems lovely, whilst Annika and Michael check on the home of the young lady who dropped off the phone. Her mom Justine Dunne (Patricia Panther) denies her daughter is there; Annika does a clever little thing (she’s FULL of those) and finds the girl on a ledge.
Annika tries her best, but she’s rigid with fear, which Aisha Dunn (Chelsea Quaison) seems to find interesting enough to stop running off.
Aisha was running perhaps because she stole the phone from an old Asian man about Annika’s age (Annika is early 40s) but was freaked out when she saw what was on it.
Blair and Tyrone find the body of Dean Malone (Charlie Pawlett) and a witness, an unhoused person near the water.
At Dean’s apartment, we find out he was a cruise entertainment manager (Julie??) fired for gross misconduct three weeks ago and died sporting an unrealistic tan.
He left behind a hungry fish, which prompts Annika to try to tell Michael he’s even more of a dad than he previously thought, but his huffing the fish food/weed throws her off her game. She’ll try again another time.
Annika rescues the possibly high fish and goes home to bond with her daughter.
Annika is feeling her own mortality after the recent explosion she was almost part of, she’s now thinking of Michael as less of a daughter-thief and more as backup in case something happens to her.
It’s Blair interviewing Dean Malone’s boss Kimi Blake (Elysia Welch) who recently fired Dean for being a floating drug dealer, and the lifeguard too, when Dean implicated him as well. Richie McAvoy (Joe Rising) was pissssed.
Allow me to say: why would you A) murder someone you recently demonstrated a grudge against and B) videotape yourself doing such and C) allow the recording (for whatever reason you made it) to fall out of your control? It makes no sense.
Blair sees Annika walking through the station and runs after her with news: she’s a wee bit pregnant. Annika has a really surprising reaction, she doesn’t think Blair should carry a taser, how did she jump into the river to save her and oh: she loves her..
Blair and I don’t get that one but Annika’s still concussed, she confesses, so she’s going to be super emotional about this. I feel like I am super emotional about everything, so I will keep that excuse in my back pocket.
Michael, Tyrone and Aisha post up at the train station where Aisha knicked the phone off a gentleman in a suit, Annika rolls up just after Tyrone reveals he’s applied for a role as an inspector. That would mean a transfer. Interesting.
Aisha’s a terrible witness, she’s worried about getting spotted and then full on shouts “HIM!!” while pointing at a gentlemen with bruises in a natty navy suit. So of course Tyrone has to chase someone on foot again, it’s been ages since the last.
Hai Rihan Harijan (Pal Aron), the team has found your phone!
He doesn’t have any sort of record, Michael questions how much faith Annika is putting in the word of a teenager just because she has one.
Allow me to point out: Rihan ran like a headless chicken the moment he saw Aisha pointing at him.
The team has found evidence of someone following Dean previous to his death, it looks like Richie McAvoy, the drug dealing lifeguard. His face doesn’t match the person the unhoused person described in her police drawing but he is wearing a red hat identical to the one found near the body.
When questioned, Richie tries to bluff then gives up how mad he was, also saying he gave up his red hat to arch nemesis Dean so that Dean could get a discounted service at a club.
Annika and Michael question Rihan together.
Showing him the video which his lawyer thinks is unacceptable, but which Rihan can’t seem to stop staring directly at while I watch through my fingers.
Long story short (TOO LATE): Rihan has an alibi and only ran because he dodged his train fare, which always results in several plain clothes policepersons shouting and running after you.
Michael helpfully points out that Rihan had a load of train tickets in his wallet, making that a load as well.
It’s going to take a little bit of time for everyone to adjust to Blair being pregnant. They’re treating her very, very carefully. I’m still trying to adjust because I thought she was gay and that tied into the storyline of Morgan exploring her sexuality last season. Not that you can’t be pregnant and gay! It just takes a bit more mucking about and she implied her pregnancy was unexpected.
Annika gives us updates on her thinking about the whole seal-baby-daddy thing as we investigate. She thinks the woman in the story didn’t trust the seal (but she trusts Michael) because he was just a man, which is slippery enough.
We meet Rihan’s alibi, his sister Nila Harijan (Liz Jadav) who gives super jittery answers to everything she’s asked about her brother but still manages to give a very negative impression of him all the same. He blamed everyone else for any and all of his misfortunes.
Blair has found some crucial CCTV footage, it’s our victim Dean in Richie’s red cap, pulling Rihan out of the window of a cab and beating him absolutely to shite.
I was wondering about the welt Rihan was sporting on his temple!
After the beating, another cab pulled up and picked up Rihan, literally off the ground, guess who that was?? A former military man, who matched the Identikit drawing from the unhoused person of the murderer and who presumably just texted the burner phone with the murder video on it, looking for payment. Jaden Stanton (Martin Pemberton) has done time for assault and lives where the burner phone was purchased.
It was then, dear reader, when I remembered that they do a different case every episode of Annika, not every series as in, say, Unforgotten or Guilt.
Rihan confesses right away when confronted by Blair and Tyrone with the evidence they have, now he’s going to help them catch Jaden.
Annika goes over her plan of attack with her boss Diane, who is more worried about Annika not having done the psychological counseling after the last series of dangerous events, approximately 5 minutes ago.
Annika figures it out: her worries about telling Michael that Morgan is his daughter looks like PTSD from the outside.
Rihan waits with cash, under all sorts of surveillance, as it drags on making it a very hurry up and wait sort of stakeout. Well. Maybe that is all stakeouts.
They do get Jaden but then Rihan makes a run for it with the cash and knocks himself out, I mean. It’s all a bit tawdry.
Annika tries AGAIN to tell Michael about Morgan and he drags her into a family scrum with his wife and kids. This is Annika’s real concern; that Morgan will prefer Michael, his wife and all those sisters to play with instead of her solitary existence with her mum.
Annika does not tell him, nor Morgan.
And nobody is a seal…as far as I can tell. We’re out!
The best thing about Annika is Nicola Walker and the second best thing is the writing by Nick Walker (no relation) and the third thing is the acting of all the clever lines by this extraordinarily deft cast. Until next time!