Welcome back to Annika, starring the excellent Nicola Walker and perfectly fine Jamie Sives. We’ve just started series 2, let’s jump into my recap of Annika S2:E02 Waverley after the break!
We open at the Fourth Bridge, Edinburgh, no idea if that’s a numerical or nomenclature reference. A small bouncy power dinghy skips across the waves towards another bridge (Third? Fifth?) carrying DI Annika Stranhead (Nicola Walker) and DS Michael McAndrews (Jamie Sives) of the Marine Homicide Unit in the direction of a found body.
The body in question has been found in trainers in a small cage, Annika and Michael banter as it is retrieved from the water dripping with seaweed. Since they’re in Scotland, Annika will be staying over as her daughter Morgan (Sylvie Furneaux) is camping in the rain. Michael will be going home every night to his large happy family, still unaware that Morgan is his daughter.
I’m not sure how much stomach I’ve got for this Will She Or Won’t Annika Tell Michael, but I’d wager we’re about to find out!
Annika brings out the book ‘Waverley‘ by Walter Scott, that’s our theme this week! Excuse me a moment while I look up the plot and ponder the last time I saw a working detective at a seaside crime scene pull out a hardcover classic novel.
Five minutes later and none the wiser, on we go!
This leads into a discussion of senses of humour and who’s funny, Annika and I are on Team I Am.
Same!! Michael doesn’t even think she’s the funniest in the unit, so who is??
Is it shallow to point out how much I like Nicola Walker with blonder hair? It whips around her face in the most fetching manner.
Annika takes us through the important parts of Waverley, it’s about a hero choosing a side distracted by a charming colleague who sings songs and wreaks havoc on his home life.
Translation: she’s the charming colleague and will not be pressing Michael to read.
We’re at the Scottish incident room now, a lovely space that unfortunately does not overlook the Scott Memorial. DS Tyrone Clark (Ukweli Roach) and DC Blair Ferguson (Katie Leung) are all set up along with Michael wise-assing in the corner. Their attachment is DC Harper Weston (Varada Sethu), a gorgeous young woman with the blackest hair save for one single silver strand. Blair looks noticeably pregnant so we must have skipped forward a bit.
Our victim is Jemma Kerr, who was in prison for 6 years for her drunk driving resulting in the death of Zuri Keita. She’s a devastated looking blonde approaching middle age, recently released to a halfway house.
There are signs that Jemma was alive in the cage before she drowned, that’s awful. The cage looks like the sort of kennel you would use for a large dog but it had been painted, which is odd. A white van was seen driving nearby erratically, the team is dispersed to check on various things while Annika and Tyrone notify the victim’s next of kin.
Bruce Kerr (Billy Mack) doesn’t have much of use to share, except to say that she was drinking right before her death and he forgave her. But angrily.
Morgan is indeed camping in the rain with her schoolfriend Femi Talla (Taylor Goodwin).
Michael and Blair check out the halfway house where Jemma was supposed to be living, she clearly did not stay there at all and the door across the way has blood on the keylock. This is matched by blood on the inside handle in Jemma’s room, what’s all that about?
Michael forces the door across the way and finds a room full of large dog kennels. Um. I guess we’re done? Case solved?
Now oddly enough, when Jemma was released she went drinking at a very fancy hotel, that’s where she called her dad from. Not the drinking, but the 20 pounds she was given upon release wouldn’t buy many drinks at the place she called from, where she was booked into the penthouse suite.
Annika and Tyrone get the key from extremely flirtatious desk clerk Valeria (Hannah Collins), to find a mess of used liquor glasses and all sorts of things out of place.
A man bursts out of one of the rooms and makes a run for it, Tyrone hot on his trail as Annika calmly steps back into the elevator and tells us some more about Walter Scott’s early works.
She arrives in the kitchen just as the suspect is subdued. Our red herring is Andros Bakas (Ryan Bown), he cops to petty thievery but didn’t do anything else to her. No explanation yet as to why he was hiding in her hotel room hours after her death, if she even was killed there. The messiness could just be a drunken rampage.
The odd thing is: where did she get all the money she’s flashing around? Had she taken the fall for someone else for that drunk driving? Someone who knows how to handle a penthouse suite?
Michael has eyes on the dog lover in the halfway house; Bill Gleeson (J S Duffy) is out with three puppies as Michael rolls up on him. Billy is mostly upset because fingerprint powder on the cages is upsetting his dogs but he also saw a white van near our victim so he’s good for that.
Annika and Tyrone bond over beers on a park bench overlooking the water, isn’t that…illegal? But they talk about his request for a transfer and promotion, he’s not sure he’s ready for the next step.
Annika’s dad calls, we know their relationship is fraught because she earlier accused all dads of projecting ‘relentless disapproval’ but we also have her look at us as she answers.
Relentless disapproval it is, I don’t know how you deal with that from a parent. She tells us of a difficult relationship full of disappointment and yet hope for resetting, to be stimulated with every pocket dial. Like this one. I don’t know. That rang a few times for a pocket dial.
Michael gets home at 2 am with the chihuahua that Bill threatened, his wife Astrid (Cora Bissett) is basically one of those women you see in paper towel commercials, smiling her way through the mess her silly husband and adorable kids make. You know, not real.
Back to the incident room! After an excruciating pun from Annika, we review what we know so far about Jemma’s recent life. She was convicted of killing a young man named Zuri Keita, whose family was understandably very upset at trial.
Zuri’s sister Amara Keita (Kimberley Mandindo) works as a stage tech person, the type of which hired by comedy clubs, say, who have a white van of the sort seen driving around in the proximity of Jemma.
While Annika and Michael banter, Amara makes a run for it, and we don’t even have Tyrone to chase her down! She doesn’t get far anyway, throwing the van in reverse into the police car.
Okay. The paint on the dog kennel is the same sort of paint you use on stages AND it’s found inside the van. So that’s that. Where did Jemma get all that money from then?
Annika and Harper interview Amara in the most casual way possible, in a light, airy room and Annika fiddling with the lid on a cup of coffee. As all people do, Amara denies killing anyone, but rather seeking closure. And following her all the way to the luxury hotel after Jemma picked up a bag at Waverley station.
But Amara has an alibi, she points to the trial transcript as a place to find someone who hated Jemma more than she.
There was a travel barcode attached to the found bag of money that Jemma was carrying, they’ve traced it to a flight to Monaco a year ago. The name is Jamie Craig, is this the rich person Jemma took the fall for?
Tyrone and Blair attend the Craig residence, where they meet young Briony Craig (Laura Ferries) and her toddler son. Briony’s affect is confusing, she says carefully that she was a friend of Jemma’s from before and the money was hers to give. Why was Jemma angry after being given all this money? Why does Briony seem at turns defiant but also unsure of herself?
Briony tells us of a very different side of Jemma’s dad Bruce. Him and his belt. He hit Jemma but also Briony, which is beyond explanation. Just imagine visiting a friend, them getting in trouble and you being beaten as well?
But. Bruce doesn’t drive. And he was really angry that someone put his daughter in a cage right after she got out of one. Did he figure out UBER or something after he heard her drunk and unrepentant at a fancy hotel? But the tricky bit would be lugging around a cage without a vehicle.
I mean, I suppose he could have just lied.
And it turns out he did lie, he used to drive to the prison so he could try to beat her there. The court transcripts are full of him calling for the death penalty for his daughter for bringing shame on his house.
Time for the team to work this through!
In the most British way possible.
Morgan saves her friend Femi’s life on a river rafting tour!
A tense interview with Bruce later, we’re back to Briony right where I started. Yes, Bruce had a hatred for his daughter (that he never wanted anyway, nice) but he also has an alibi.
But. Putting someone in a cage and drowning them. That’s…a lot. That’s not – shut up and stop blackmailing me. That’s very personal.
There was a painted cage in the art gallery exhibit that Briony was curating, as well as a painted shotgun that Briony pops out of the lift with. All the police but Annika dive to safety, she’s sure it’s art. A piece called ‘Shotgun Wedding’, but does that mean it won’t fire?
Briony gives a long, emotional confession, pointing the gun at each officer in turn as they come from safety. She ends with ‘I have a child’ as Michael takes the gun from her with a ‘well, we’ve all got children.’
I don’t understand about Briony choosing to place Jemma in that particular exhibit, even as she tells of Jemma threatening her child, but I guess it gave us enough paths to follow after we figured out the underlying story immediately.
Annika and Michael return to the comedy club to almost talk about Morgan’s parentage (argh), interrupted by MC (Nick Walker. Oh yes, that Nick Walker that is the writer and producer. That one) who introduces Annika herself as the next stand up act. Thanks Michael!
Oh this is excruciating. Until Michael makes a joke at her expense and Annika makes up her mind.
No more time lost, she spits it out clearly. Michael leaves without a word and we are out for today. Cheers, all.