So, Irish murder on Blood it is on a cold and rainy June day, does everyone else feel as though the weather had slowed with current events and we're only now getting caught up? This is a very April-ish June thus far. Onward we roll into our story where death has again reared it's ugly head and we've got at least one of the same people involved. Join me after the break for my Blood S1:E1.4 recap.
We ended last episode with Cat Hogan (Carolina Main from Unforgotten!) running her car into her father's creepy cousin Frank (Mark O'Reagan) after her mother's funeral. Her dad Jim Hogan (Adrian Dunbar) popped up out of nowhere in the middle of the night on the side of the road to take the blame and sent Cat back to the family home he'd just thrown her out of.
I have questions.
- Frank held up his hand before Cat drove into him, was he threatening her, holding a gun or entreating her for help?
- How the Sam Hill did Jim show up just in time just then?
- Is there just the one road to Dublin?
- What was Frank doing on the road in the middle of the one road from/to Dublin?
- Cat has done nothing but accuse her dad of murdering her mother since she arrived for the funeral, why is Jim offering to help her now? Is this how he builds his web?
- If Jim isn't building his web, is this what he does, take the blame for other people's deadly actions? We've been led so firmly down the path that Jim is absolutely the murderer that we have to wonder if he's covering for someone else
Let's find out if we can answer any this episode!
Cat washes Frank's blood off her hands and has a smoke as she waits through the night for her dad to come home. Jim comes in after 4 am with the news that Frank is alive and in a medically induced coma.
Again, the lack of police procedure is what sticks out to me. A man has been struck by a car, no police are called to the scene and the local doctor's word is as good as anything.
Jim prescribes brandy for the shock, Cat's still processing. Did Jim find the gun she saw Frank pointing at her? He did not, and that's not what he told people happened, so shhhh. But why lie for her, she doesn't understand. And why was he there? Did he find the gun Frank was pointing at her?
Wow, we're getting right to my questions, yay! But Jim doesn't have satisfactory answers, he's sticking up for her because she's his daughter and everyone heard she beat up Frank in the bathroom at the bar. It would only look one way if he didn't change the narrative.
It's a testament to how much she dislikes and mistrusts her father that she's still firing these questions at him, when just a few short hours ago he offered to take the blame after she gravely injured someone.
There are conditions to Jim's continued support (of course there are), Cat will need to start talking to a psychiatrist and there are other things she'll need to give up, like dividing this family over her mother's death.
Of COURSE she has to keep quiet now that he's helping her. What was it Frank said before the funeral?
Cat's extremely drunk brother Michael (Diarmiud Noyes) doesn't get home until the early hours of the morning, he tried to out himself to his dad while under the influence but the guy he was dating wasn't down to be used, fanks, so it appears he drowned most of his sorrows and brain cells in booze.
Michael has been seeing Wicko (Jamie O'Neill) the windowcleaner, Cat doesn't turn a hair at that but she is interested to learn that Wicko saw her dad at home the day her mum died. Jim has floated several alibis for not being home when Mary Hogan died, but it seems he was very much on the spot at lunchtime, paying the windowcleaner his wages.
Like. It's just DUMB. If there's a regular, unconnected person who witnessed you doing something perfectly memorable like getting paid, why would you flat-out lie? Does Wicko have a creepy cousin you can pretend to run over for him so he'll shut up too?
Jim totally has a gun, too, most likely the one Frank was pointing at Cat on the road.
Unlike some countries, I imagine it's quite difficult to acquire a handgun in Ireland, as it is here in Canada.
Cat waits until everyone leaves in the morning then starts searching the house for the gun she knows she saw. Pity she didn't look around two days ago, before her dad had a chance to get rid of incriminating evidence during the funeral. We saw him hide a chipped frog statue, the type of which was missing from the space where Mary died by their pond.
Ahhh she finds the gun in the fireplace in his room.
Cat's been trying to get hold of her childhood friend Barry (Cillian O'Gairbhi) without any luck since she told him that she suspected her dad of murder. They're connected in other ways, Barry lost his dad to suicide the same day Cat witnessed her father violently beating Barry's dad for an unknown reason.
Jim has told Cat that Barry is also suicidal, but since we only have his word for it, we're not sure we can believe that, especially since there is a possibility that the manner of Barry's dad's death was homicidal, not suicidal.
She bangs on Barry's windows and doors, finally knocking down a sheet of plywood in place of a broken window and is greeted by Barry swinging a hammer at the intrusion.
She doesn't apologize, she thought he was dead! (We all thought he was dead). He tries to get rid of her but she pulls out the gun.
He wonders aloud if maybe there's an honest explanation? As IF. But he agrees to hold it there for a little while, although he does not want to be involved.
Jim has gone in to work, where he's packing up his medical practice when assistant Sarah (Shereen Martin) finds him. They've been having an affair, apparently with the blessing of Jim's recently departed wife Mary, but without the knowledge of Sarah's husband. Jim tried to use Sarah as his second alibi, saying he was buying her a promise ring when Mary died, but Sarah checked and that happened the day after. So. Jim was buying a promise ring for his young lover the day after his wife died, whether is was for cover for Mary's murder or not, that's cold, man.
He has an explanation for that, of course he does, the problem is that it's like a house of cards stacked on wind, nothing is substantial. Sarah's slightly off-kilter, with her lover and boss leaving without prior word so she stumbles around a bit until he asks why she didn't just ask for a clarification. Everything snaps back into place for her.
Back at Barry's, he hasn't thrown Cat out but he's not happy that she's shouting at him about not contacting her. He needed to be on his own, he wasn't fine and he was going through family stuff! Specifically, he's been looking into his dad's death and the strangeness surrounding it.
We already learned that Barry's dad was found with Irish whiskey instead of his usual Scotch, why also did he not leave a note? Jim signed the death certificate, is that normal? We don't know. What we do know is that Barry has a fragile grip on his mental health and this obsession is dangerous for him.
Cat plows on, looking for the Coroner's report that could possibly prove what she saw the day Barry's dad died. She witnessed her dad beating Barry's dad, those marks would show up in the report for sure.
This is a sore point for Cat, nobody believed her when she said what she saw as a child and it drove a wedge between her and her family with her dad and everyone else on the other side. She's energized by the possibility of concrete evidence so Cat pushes Barry hard, I hope she's planning to stay with him for a bit or at least get him set up with a mental health professional or support network while she's off detecting.
Barry requests the report, but won't be able to get it for three weeks. There is a copy that can be viewed locally, it was sent to local doctor Jim Hogan.
Cat sends Barry into the surgery to ask for it, Sarah's helping him until Jim himself comes out and Barry is dragged into the lion's den. Jim checks outside to see if Cat's around.
She had the foresight to move 'round back, where Sarah finds her and shouts at her about telling Jim about the alibi investigating she'd done.
A careful dance is underway in Jim's medical office, he invokes his status as Barry's doctor and does his best to discourage him from looking for the Coroner's report on Barry's dad but Barry persists.
He asks Jim about the bruising, how did that happen? And why isn't it in Jim's summary? A delicate dance forward and back, where will it end up? Barry asks to take the report, Jim maintains that it must be kept in the office as a permanent record. What about a copy? Apparently not.
Barry leaves the surgery but he's not done his detecting. He asks Cat, if there were bruises on his dad, where should they be? She needs to think back about that day and tell him, otherwise Jim can explain the bruises as a hanging person clawing at himself.
Cat remembers the general scuffle, but there was one unusual and clear act she saw: her dad punching Barry's dad in the chest a couple of times. That's not what you'd normally see when someone is doing groundwork, it's all about the head and face, isn't it? A couple of solid punches to the pectoral muscles is odd.
That's what the report said; Cat has her confirmation. Barry now believes her for sure. Cat asks him to come 'round for supper to tell her brother Michael and her sister Fiona (Gráinne Keenan) but Barry doesn't think it's his place. Cat desperately needs her family to know she wasn't crazy all those years ago, that she did see her dad beating Barry's dad violently and that's why she thinks it's possible that he murdered their mum.
Ahhhh they have the most glorious Aga cooker!
Lookit the built-in brick over top??! If I've ever gone missing for any length of time, check the usual spots then this house in rural Ireland.
Barry fumbles through an extremely awkward explanation during pre-dinner drinks, Michael is resigned but Fiona is furious that Cat's brought Barry to their house to attack their dad again. Fiona is Jim's staunchest defender, probably partially helped by the fact that he's also her confidant for her medical issues. She has MND as her mum did but I've been wondering if the symptoms of MND can be induced by poisoning.
For no reason at all.
Ah but Fiona always believed that Cat saw Jim beat up Eddie Flood, Barry's dad. She even knew the motive; she saw Eddie physically harassing her mum at his bar and Mary in tears. It wasn't the first time and Mary wasn't the first person Eddie had sexually harassed that way. Fiona told her dad, that's what set Jim off this day.
None of this is helpful for our fragile Barry to hear.
*I want to know why Jim told Cat that Barry was suicidal and it was coming close to the same age that Eddie killed himself at when Eddie is a grey-haired man of 60 in our flashbacks and Barry is a disheveled 30-odd fella.
In Fiona's version, Jim carefully explained to Eddie that he would have to resign from the hotel and town council, I can't imagine how she knew that as she wasn't there.
Barry still hasn't spoken, his discomfort has been growing and growing and now Jim is home from visiting Frank in the hospital. Cat is not cowed by his withering gaze.
Jim has had enough of his daughter, he asks to speak to Barry, it's between them. He gives him a note, it turns out to be the missing suicide note. Eddie mailed it to Jim to make sure he felt bad about his death, but there was a mention in there of the family Eddie never wanted so Jim didn't share it with Barry or his mum.
Ahh. That's a lot.
Do NOT leave Barry alone.
Ahhhh just as I'm thinking that, Cat makes to leave and Barry pleads with her to stay, she's the only one he can talk to. Ah and she leaves, which is as much as her dad did.
Cat goes home for a drink with her dad, who wants to apologize for hurting her by calling her a liar her whole life, I guess?
I don't really care, I just wish she'd go check on Barry. She left him with a suicide note from his father lamenting his very existence and a handgun.
Jim talks about unforseen consequences as Barry cries, re-reading the letter over and over as Cat cuddles with her brother. Barry raises the gun to his head, a shot rings out as we are done for this episode.
Hey, look, you guys don't mind if I take a wee murder break, do you? I think some more low-stakes competitions with people being nice to each other is going to be my next steps for awhile. Cheers.