Hullo, I'm TTM and I will be recapping the next 6-12 of episodes Blood. I like to get a feel for things before I commit to a whole series, but since a good amount of my shows lately have been Celtic, I know I have to give Blood a go. It stars Carolina Main from a couple other programs I enjoyed and Adrian Dunbar from Line of Duty, so you know it'll be good, right? Did I mention it's created, written and directed by women? YES. Rolling into Blood S1:E1.1 AND 1.2 recap after the break! Just a note, because this is a double episode, this is also the the one recap for the whole weekend. Enjoy!
We open with a frantic Cat Hogan (Carolina Main whom I know from Unforgotten!) on the Bluetooth shouting at someone named Claire who may or may not have been paid 'forty f***ing Euros' to walk a presumed pet but isn't going to do it anyway. Cat is very agitated, more than you'd expect even, she pulls over to the side of the road. She's followed shortly after she pukes.
It's a police officer, he's unsure of her in general, asking for her license and a breathalyser, which she passes. He's over his initial suspicion anyway after she says she's the daughter of Mary and Jim Hogan (Adrian Dunbar from Line of Duty). Mary in particular is a friend to the police in town, why haven't they seen Cat around?
The copper leaves with "tell your mam Dez Breen says hello" because that's not creepy at all at night with a big grin, Dez Breen (Seán Duggan).
She gets to her family home later still, met by brother Michael Hogan (Diarmuid Noyes) in tears. Sister Fiona Hogan (Gráinne Keenan) is more reserved. Ah their mum is dead, that's why Cat was so spooked at Dez the cop's message. Ah yikes, Cat wants to see her mum but she fell and hit her head on the flagstones, that's not going to be how anyone wants to remember someone they loved.
There's tension between the rarely-visiting Cat and her siblings; she questions why their mum was alone, wasn't there a carer in every day? Their dad sent the helper away and was called in himself into the surgery, so I immediately assume he murdered their mum.
Fiona leaves, Cat goes upstairs, choosing not to say hello to her dad as he loudly texts in his room but he hears her and comes in for a fierce hug that she tolerates. Some small talk, she demurs when he asks if she wants to talk, then he returns to his room, loudly texting once more.
Cat wakes up from a nightmare about violence and children to stare out the window where her mum died. She ventures down to the flagstones by the water, finding a broken brooch.
What she doesn't find is odd, there's not much blood. There is one white spot, but it can't be bigger than the size of someone's head and if Mary fell down and cracked her melon: there would be rather a lot more than that.
Her dad finds her there examining the flagstones, he tells her he attempted to resuscitate Mary but she was long gone. (Yeah since you killed her before you went to the surgery) He has a cut on his hand, from a glass or something (something like a wound caused during the murder).
He asks if she's going to her brother's gig, her mother would have wanted that.
Cat carefully slides a few question at her dad, he found her mum at night so why did he say it was bright out? Where's the frog that's usually by the pond? (Is it in the pond after you cut your hand bashing her mother over the head with it?)
Cat makes her way downtown, watched by a stocky man. Is that her brother?
She goes into her dad's surgery, where she gets a warm hug from Sarah (Shereen Martin) before she asks for her dad's jacket, did he leave it here the day before?
You have to think how unusual this is; we've known her awake for approximately 2 hours and she's spent every moment of that gathering evidence that her dad killed her mum.
Sarah tells Cat that her dad was not working yesterday, now we've got a real problem.
The man watching Cat from afar is Barry Flood (Cillian Ó Gairhí), I can't get a handle on how they connect yet but it's well enough that she invites him to her brother's gig.
He's got greasy hair and dirty sweatpants but a radiant smile too.
The priest (Joe Gallagher) is leaving when she gets back, all the arrangements have been made without her knowledge or input. She's confused at first, then angry when her dad lies to her face and says he told her the priest was coming.
This is why it'll be an uphill battle to convince anyone her dad's done anything wrong, you can see her siblings already think she's just carrying on, why can't she just get along for once?
She confronts him about not being at work when he said he was, he has an explanation ready. He was making housecalls off the books because that's what they do in NeverNeverland.
I'm trying to imagine my doctor seeing me without pay, let alone coming to my house. As IF.
He slinks away, all injured grief and now Cat's the bad guy, bugging their dad with this when he's dealing with the loss of his beloved spouse. (I bet he was loud texting before the door even closed)
I'm also having a hard time trying to picture playing a pub gig the day after my parent died unexpectedly and I cannot.
Michael sounds awful, if that makes it better, although I bet that's not new. Cat spots her dad striding through the bar on his cell phone, talking loudly and checking his car for something.
She sneaks over and takes a look, there's a red cardigan in the back. She asks her sister if their mum had such clothing but Fiona's pissed at her from before and isn't helpful.
Barry shows up, they're clearly close friends but I can't tell if they're more than that or not. He's chubby and shy and she's all ginger angles, sometimes those work together!
She gets home and has a drink in her mother's honour before pulling apart the family garbage on the lawn in the rain. At night. She finds a carefully wrapped packet of ashes, that's about it.
She finds her mum's cell phone in a drawer and runs to the bathroom to take off half her clothes and pass out on the floor, cuddled up with the phone. Erm. Okay. Well: drinking.
Michael wakes her up the next day at 6 am, they've got Mass to get ready for, they're going to discuss the funeral after with the priest. Unless she wants to miss that too?
She's charged her mum's phone now and calls the voicemail messages. Nothing unusual until a male voice says "How dare you threaten me? I'll *mumble*static*mumble*."
Her dad Jim says something to her before Mass, her friend Barry's been having a rough go. His dad owned the pub Michael was playing in, until he committed suicide. Barry himself attempted suicide the year before.
Okay. Really, Cat? After she made a huge deal of not being able to be there to make arrangements for the funeral ceremony, she bails on the session with the priest after Mass and instead runs after Sarah who she sees in the church. I mean.
Ohhh okay, maybe it's because she sees Sarah is wearing the cardigan she saw late last night in her dad's backseat.
She has a cuppa with Sarah and her little boy ahhhhh we're in Ireland! We're not in Scotland at all and that explains why I don't know anyone! They tend to have longer "a" sounds as well, there we go, well sorted, I'll stop looking for David Tennant.
Cat is silent until Sarah stops smalltalking for a second.
Sarah literally puts her out by her elbow, "he always said you were mad."
Michael sees Cat's face when she gets back to the house, he drags her upstairs and she spills everything she's found out, playing him the threatening voicemail message.
Ahhhhh what, everyone knew Jim was sleeping with Sarah, his assistant who went to school with his daughter. Their mum knew, she asked Michael to not tell Cat because she'd be weird about it.
Cat goes outside for a smoke and gets dragged off with her dad, driving to a field then walking through woods. He brings her to a clearing that her mother thought was holy, telling Cat how difficult it was to deal with the love of his life losing her faculties.
Now. About her allegations of sleeping with Sarah. It was between him and Mary.
She'll be disowned, kept out of the family home and shunned from all gatherings. The grieving widower grows menacing.
Cat stands outside the police station while her father starts to scrub the spot where he says her mum died; honestly, is there no such thing as police procedure in the year of our lord 2020? A woman dies, literally nothing her spouse says is true and nobody checks anything out except the woman's daughter?
They also have doctors who make housecalls for free off the books, even if that really means "shagging your assistant" in NeverNeverLand.
Side note; what a beautiful little pond.
Cat's waiting for Dez Breen, the officer friend of her mum's, when she sees him she just blurts it all out. They go for a coffee, he mocks her story gently then asks: what do the others think? But Michael and Fiona haven't seen their dad angry and violent as she has. And once you have, you can't see anything else.
Dez says he'll look into it discreetly, because there, doing basic police work like investigating a death must be hush hush in case the murderer gets offended. Then he asks her out.
Cat is completely mired in the past, it's as though her development paused when she saw her dad act violently and she's stuck in that loop. She revisits that loop then goes to see Barry while her dad passionately sucks face with Sarah in a hotel room.
(I'm sorry, I assume Adrian Dunbar HAS a love life, I've just never pictured it and I'm not sure where to look. There's a lot of...inhaling noises.)
Cat sits in Barry's cavernous room surrounded by large furniture covered with haphazardly draped fabric. It looks like a giant homeless shelter with a tiny ginger slunk into an oversized couch in the middle.
She tentatively brings up his "not feeling well" which would mean the suicide attempt, I guess, but he thinks there's enough misery in the world, let's go do something fun!
(I spent a good hour yesterday trying to think of one fun thing to do on my own and came up completely blank. Perhaps it's only something you can do with others.)
Post-coital Sarah is quiet, Jim asks why and of course it's Cat that's troubling Sarah. Not that she accused her dad of murdering her mum, but why did Jim tell Cat he was at the surgery? Because wherever he was, it was not with Sarah, whatever the rest of the family has been led to believe.
(Now Adrian Dunbar is half naked and I'll have to switch the screen off.)
He asks her what she thinks about Portugal, they're leaving. "That was the plan, wasn't it?" freaks her out and he's left alone in bed naked save his wedding ring.
Sarah reminds him; he just lost his wife. I mean, they haven't even had the wake. She's also still married and has a child, she can't just run off.
Wait. She's married, he's married, but his family knows and is cool with it, thanks to Mary's surely not-forced compliance to his wishes, but Sarah's side is in the dark? Complicated.
He asks if this is Cat scaring her off, but Sarah is mostly alarmed at the speed at which he's moving so he kicks it up a gear and pulls out a ring. That's what he was doing when Mary passed.
Apparently where they are, you have to drive for hours and hours and watch someone handmake a gold ring then drive hours and hours back which is the only thing that explains a several hour absence for one small piece of jewelry.
He gives a truly great speech about the pain of dealing with Mary's deteriorating condition, how he only pulled through because of Sarah, being away after buying the ring was a wonderful freedom and when he got back she was gone.
He's a master of manipulation, and we want to believe people close to us, don't we? That they're truthful, that they haven't murdered their wives to speed up an early retirement in Portugal with women their daughter's age.
She's still aghast at how out of touch he is with reality, pulling out a wedding ring when she's still married to someone else and his wife is literally not even in the ground. He just wanted her to know he was serious.
There's also the matter of him allowing his family the impression that he was with her when Mary died, she'd rather not be included in his lies.
Back at the office, she hands him back the ring and asks that they slow down for a bit, she needs to get her head 'round things.
Cat and Barry are well and truly wankered, playing video games with the blinds drawn, she asks if she can stay over. It gets more serious then, and we learn more about what little Cat saw as a child. Barry's dad committed suicide, the day he did was the day Cat saw her father furious and violent, beating Barry's dad and shouting at him.
We'll need to know why.
Cat told her mum, but her dad called her a liar and alienated her from the rest of the family. That's why nobody believes her now about her dad killing her mum.
If only there was a dedicated group of people who investigate such things, gather and evaluate evidence and the lot.
Barry is fragile and not in any shape to be this type of confidant for Cat, he bails when she voices her suspicions about her dad directly.
Jim performs a late at night housecall on Rita (Áine Ní Mhuirí) who doesn't like to leave her house after being burgled. (I immediately assume it is the good doctor himself that stole all her money, perhaps to buy a wedding ring for his married lover) She tells him he's a virtual saint, he should keep his children close.
Cat and Barry huddle together on the stairs, all fun gone and Barry is ready to talk. Did he tell her he was the one who found his dad? Hm. Barry's dad drank a bottle of Irish and hanged himself, but he usually only drank Scotch. On that note, they go to bed separately.
Cat is woken up late at night by a squeaking at her door, it turns out to be a cat (with opposable thumbs?), but her dad is standing in the hallway when she ventures out.
In the middle of the night, he just walked into Barry's home and is wandering around upstairs because she didn't come home. He was inspired by Rita's direction to keep his children close. It's like he's following a completely other script, he was only ever trying to keep her safe.
Cat and I: what?
The other Hogan children are at home preparing for the wake, Michael picked up a children's birthday cake for the occasion..? Jim didn't want to pay for caterers, Michael and I are wondering where the money went. Surely being a doctor, even in a small rural community, must be somewhat lucrative? Jim's nervous about the wake.
His children fight after he leaves, Michael is more inclined to understand Cat's behaviour but Fiona is Team Dad all the way.
Team Jim is down another member. Cat meets with Sarah, who tells her Jim wasn't with her the day Mary died AND he wasn't buying a ring, either. He bought it the day after, so he's lying to everyone and honestly: isn't this what police do???? Check out alibis? Sarah wants to know why he's made her an alibi and for what?
Cat drives up as her family bears witness to Mary Hogan being brought in for the wake. This could be a portrait.
(I didn't know coffins had locks.)
Michael is overcome at the sight of his mother, which irritates Jim. Can't he man up for his mother?
I will say that funerals are not usually about the dead.
Fiona and Cat have a run-in while Fiona is cooking in the kitchen, I believe on an Aga but I can't see the bottom...Cat burns herself, Fiona tells her to be more careful, but like, with menace.
It's so odd to think that they're cooking a meal and appetizers with the body of their mother just laying in the next room.
We spend a lot of time watching young Kieron (Daniel Ryan) eat and drink while blocking the stairs, so he'll have to be mentioned. As will the handsome window cleaner (Jamie O'Neill) who Cat stares at. Michael's been watching their dad, though. He saw Jim cleaning up the blood by the pond and moving over a frog statue so it didn't look as though there was one quite so obviously missing.
She smokes and stares at the spot, her dad coming out to offer a handy explanation. He wanted it to be fancier for the wake, see. Jim asks where Michael is, he's supposed to be watching cousin Kieron, who's peeing on the drive after getting into the wine.
Oh ho, Michael's not watching Kieron because he's making out with the window cleaner! Michael's at sixes and sevens, his mum's body is downstairs! And his dad doesn't know he's gay. The window cleaner (if he's giving a handie to one of our main characters, he probably rates a character name, yes?) talks Michael into some comfort which is interrupted by a drunken Kieron looking for the toilet.
(I mean, we know he just peed all over the drive)
Michael has apparently sold himself to the window cleaner as out, but he's not and he's worried Kieron will say something about what he saw.
A quiet dinner with just family after the wake is interrupted by Cat bringing up all the things she learned from Sarah today, she can't be the only one wondering where their dad was that fateful day. She's sober and coherent and articulate. Jim counters her facts by calling her a bad daughter and babbles on in a hypnotizing manner until Michael gives his voice to Cat's chorus: where was he that day?
Jim is all hurt feelings and leaves without response.
Cat leaves a message for Dez Breen at the police, then creeps into her dad's room where he is sleeping soundly. She stands behind him, a candlestick in hand when a call on his cell phone sends her running out of the room.
Ohhhh, the call is from Dez Breen! Interesting! And we're out.
I should apologize for the length, this is actually a double episode that they released together with no mid-way stopping point. Basically I just recapped the equivalent of an 80s screwball comedy, albeit with fewer exposed breasts and running hot dogs. Until next time, everyone, cheers!