Where are we with Blood, our Irish mystery set in the country? We’ve got an edgy ginger, a dodgy doctor with a lyrical lilt to his lies, a sister in rose-tinted glasses, a befuddled depressive, a closeted massive fookin’ gay and no idea what happened to Our Lady of the Sainted Mother (Even Named Mary). So let’s roll into the Blood S1:1.3 The Funeral recap and find out if the sole policeman in NeverNever Land is as corrupt as he seems.
To sum up: Cat Hogan (Carolina Main from Unforgotten!) was called home when her mother Mary unexpectedly died. She immediately suspected her father Jim Hogan (Adrian Dunbar from Line of Duty) of murdering her sainted ma but since all evidence points directly at him, we have to assume it’s someone else, at least for form’s sake.
Cat’s brother Michael (Diarmiud Noyes) is somewhat on his sister’s side, but is more focused on keeping his sexuality a secret. Cat witnessed their dad being violent and scary when she was young, but Michael didn’t see it and neither did their sister Fiona (Gráinne Keenan) so they think she’s just got something against their dad for no reason. The patriarch was sleeping with his assistant Sarah (Shereen Martin) but literally everyone but Cat and Sarah’s husband knew about that, so treat it as no biggie and certainly not a motive for murder.
An important side story involves Cat’s best friend Barry (Cillian O’Gairbhi), his dad was beaten up by Jim in front of Cat when she was a child, his dad went on to commit suicide that very same night. Barry himself has tried to kill himself in the last year, but Cat didn’t know as she was hiding out in the city.
Finally, Cat’s been trying to get the police to discreetly look into her dad’s execrable alibi and possible culpability for her mum’s death but there’s just one guy and it seems Dez Breen (Sean Duggan) is more invested in keeping her dad informed of the suspicions than he is in investigating them.
That’s where we left it last time, with Dez calling Jim late at night after Cat called Dez.
We open with Cat leaving a message for Barry; not her first. He distanced from her once she started accusing her dad proper. She crawls into bed with her mother’s memory, it must be said that while Mary Hogan (Ingrid Craigie) is an absolutely lovely person, she seems much older than the partner she left behind.
Speaking of, Jim wakes up with the weight of the world on his shoulders, putting on a crisp, white shirt as I try to figure out how many wedding rings he’s wearing. He’s got gold bands on both hands. What does that mean?
He watches in discontent as his daughter and son sit by the pool where his wife died.
It’s the day that Mary will be buried. Cat sits near catatonic at the kitchen table, asking Michael if thinks their mum knew about their dad. Michael asks her to stay on task.
A knock at the door hushes them and brings in creepy cousin Frank (Mark O’Regan). He’s alllll over Cat, screamingly inappropriate in the most lyrical and gushy way.
Creepy Frank is given Cat’s room to change in, Jim lets Cat know she can leave any time she likes after the ceremony, perhaps she should pack her bags now.
I have no idea why Cat is shocked, she’s done literally nothing but accuse him of murder since she got there, why would she want to stay anyway? Honestly.
However, finding your dad’s creepy cousin masturbating in your room when you go upstairs to pack seems like an overly harsh punishment. Cat calls that “tearing the handle off himself” which I commit to memory should that sort of thing ever come up again. Frank’s not been allowed near the house since the kids were little.
Jim has heard that his son was in the toilet with another man the night of the wake, Michael forgets how to breathe until his dad tells him to do his drugs elsewhere.
To be grown, but not be able to share a huge part of yourself with someone who’s supposed to love you unconditionally. How. isolating.
The cars are there to pick them up before Cat’s even able to get back into her room to get ready, but a noise from the bathroom draws her away. Fiona is having a meltdown, and while always prickly with her sister, she shares why she’s having trouble. She has MND (motor neuron disease) like their mum, it affects the use of her hands and can progress rapidly.
She’s only been able to talk to their dad about it, he’s been a saint *long look*. Cat takes Fiona’s makeup from her and helps, Fiona’s hands are too shaky to listen to her commands. Fiona needs her dad, her kids will too, hanging in the air is Fiona asking for Cat’s understanding.
A nice sister moment, finally, but I’m distracted because I know someone’s going to start shouting at Cat for not being ready yet, probably her murderous father.
Remember when Jim promised he’d shun Cat from the family and cast her out? Guess who’s driving in her own car to her mother’s funeral instead of traveling with the family? Creepy Frank needs a ride, after all, and Cat’ll be driving back to Dublin immediately after the service, right? Makes sense.
It is creepy Frank who gives us an explanation as to why Cat’s mum went along with Jim sleeping with his young assistant, even though he’s talking about Catholicism.
*I would agree that’s true about most religions, especially back in the good old days*
Cat asks Frank what he’s been up to, he’s been seeing the world! (I mean, he already had SEX TOURIST flashing on his head in neon, thanks for spelling that out). He also chides her to not make a fuss today, that’s four people I think, and it’s not even noon. Only one put his hand on her upper thigh to emphasize his point, at least he withdraws it when she asks.
That’s our bar: unwanted touching, slowly removed when requested!
The funeral is a somber affair, everyone in black but the priest who is a contrast in white and gold brocade. I’ve read that everyone wears white to Chinese funerals, that would be a welcome difference from all this choke-y black.
Cat is very much separate from the family, watching as they greet and chat with fellow mourners.
I dislike funerals as much as I do weddings, but I do respect the tradition of both. If pressed, I’d prefer to attend the former rather than the latter, at least you know what the outcome will be.
A beautiful ceremony later (meant sincerely, I’ve never coveted a coffin before), Fiona gives a eulogy for her mother as Jim asks Cat where Barry is. ‘Gosh, hope he’s all right.’ Cat and I immediately assume Barry is dead and Jim has killed him. After all, we only know from Jim that Barry was suicidal like his dad, what kind of weight does that hold if there’s a chance Jim also killed Barry’s dad?
It’s not like one can inherit a tendency to being a homicide victim, except maybe in the US.
Jim gets up to recite Mary’s favourite Yeats poem, mine is “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by t.s. eliot in case anyone’s keeping notes. Just imagine people having to sit through all fourteen pages or something, just cruel. I don’t want anyone having a good time at my end of days!
In the silence after his recitation, Cat jumps up to the podium and starts rifling through her papers looking for her notes. Her dad watches her under his lashes as she speaks, she ends by throwing down the gauntlet.
That means she won’t be taking the bum’s rush out of town, Jim.
Michael sings graveside. Jim can take no more and leaves, walking away alone. Cat moves to follow him, to be stopped by a singing Michael who knows exactly what she’s up to. Mary is interred without her loving spouse in attendance, he’s at home getting rid of the evidence of his murdering her.
I have been on the fence, because there have been all these flashing red flags waving his name as a murderer, but it seems we’re perhaps watching a show more about the psychological affect. Seeing him leave a funeral to hustle the missing and chipped frog statue out of the house was a pretty straight line to his guilt, although he could be covering for someone.
Thank the gods there is just that one guy in the whole police force and he has no interest in investigating the early death of one Mary Hogan. He did seem interested in taking Cat out for a drink, though, so that’s helpful.
And here’s his chance, already, Dez approaches Cat at the pub after the funeral as she watches her mother’s memory dance in the middle of the pub. She tells him to get bent, she saw his number show up on her dad’s phone right after he didn’t pick up when she called. Super late at night, too, so she’s not listening to whatever bullshite he’s slinging.
He makes reference to Jim not planning to kill anyone else in the next few weeks, that’s his rationale for not having told his superiors her suspicions yet. What? Like it’s okay, he’s already killed one, we’re good for a while! Dez says she’s not the only one with a score to settle, what can that mean? How can he say he’s not her enemy?
Michael comes up when Dez leaves his condolences and splits; interesting that she hasn’t even told her brother she’s trying to have her dad properly investigated. He drags her out on the dance floor as he dad reappears outside to talk to Frank.
Jim gives his kids the stinkeye when he sees them dancing (at a FUNERAL) inside, not stopping on his way to talk to Dez who tries to avoid him like he’s radioactive.
Jim gives a speech to his dear departed Mary, Cat watches in disbelief, then listens in disbelief as creepy Frank tells her she ought to apologize before she gets the eff oot of dodge, then feels her up. What
She follows Frank into the bathroom and beats the shite out of him, all 98 pounds of her, almost breaking her hand in the process. She’s got this idea that her dad sent his cousin at her to make her uncomfortable, but…really? I can’t see a father arranging to have his daughter sexually harassed out of his house.
She runs outside, to be stopped by Michael. Does she have to leave now, like this? Drunk and angry with a wonky hand? She begs him to come with her to the city, but he can’t, he doesn’t and she leaves alone through the dark.
Michael decides to make his own kind of stand inside, he calls Wicko (Jamie O’Neill) the windowcleaner (who now has a character name!!) so he can out himself during his mum’s funeral. Wicko’s not down to be a statement or a secret, he’d like to date someone, fanks. Michael tries to pay Wicko what he’s owed for the window cleaning but it’s okay, Jim paid him on Friday.
Friday the day Mary died and Jim said he was out all day, that Friday. Wicko saw him there around lunch time.
I’m by no means a criminal mastermind, but you’d think if you were going to go to the trouble of faking four alibis, you should try to not be seen doing a fifth thing the day of.
Cat gets home late at night to lots of rustling noises near her place so she turns around and leaves right away. Does she have her Maggie with her? She’s tired and distracted but we’re both pretty sure that’s Frank in the middle of the road all of a sudden. Is he holding up a gun? A middle finger? She braked when she first saw him but accelerated full bore into him then inexplicably braked again.
You don’t get out of the car! Have you never seen even one horror movie?? He’ll be clasped to the drive shaft, just waiting to get a swing in. Okay, he’s not. He’s just lying there dead when Jim drives up OF COURSE.
Cat is completely out of it, all that vodka can’t be helping her ability to focus and deal with shock. She comes to as her dad says he’ll take the fall for it and sends her back home to wait for him.
Ah, so Frank was there for a purpose, a sacrifice to his daughter to secure her silence, not to creepily grope her into running away. I mean, I don’t know that, but I wouldn’t be surprised. Look at how everyone is/was beholden to him; his children, his cousin, his spouse. And now Cat, who maybe killed someone. What was that about being able to control someone through fear? Cat’s definitely terrified, as would Fiona be at dying and leaving young children and Michael coming out, apparently.
We’re out with Cat wiping blood off her hands, until next time. Cheers.