Collateral has been billed as a "state of the nation over four days" but let's just say reviews online were not...ecstatic over some aspects of the show or that description in particular. It has Nicola Walker from Last Tango in Halifax, Unforgotten and River so of course I'm in! Rolling S1:E1.1 after the break.
We open in a very busy pizza place, the counterperson Laurie (Hayley Squires) gets an order that makes her face go funny and she calls for Abdullah (Sam Otto) to deliver instead of the Mikey (Brian Vernel) right in front of her. Is it the address? Something Gardens? I can't tell, the music is too loud and I am an old!
Abdullah is off on his little scooter across a bridge to a posh residence, which is not at all what I expect when I (sort of) hear Something Gardens. He buzzes Karen Mars (Billie Piper) and gains entrance to a swank apartment building. Karen is not at all swank, she looks totally normal with a screaming baby on her hip and another kiddo behind. She's not happy with the pizza but pays Abdullah anyway.
Is it normal for people to keep their motorcycle helmets on while talking to people? That looks weird.
Karen throws the pizza on the floor? What? And then Abdullah is shot several times as he exits, WHAT?
Are those things connected?
A streetperson Linh (Kae Alexander - whom I've only just met in Retribution / One of Us!) sees...something? A shadowy figure. Karen went to find out what the noise was and saw Abdullah laying on the ground covered in blood but hasn't raised the alarm as far as I can tell.
The odd thing is that Abdullah was wearing his helmet (as noted) and had put his faceshield down, so it's highly unlikely he could have been recognised.
Meanwhile, Jane Oliver (Nicola Walker!! See resume above) listens to sirens in church (Karen DID call it in!) as DI Kip Glaspie (Carey Mulligan) is woken across town. Awww, she's very pregnant, calling to mind notable fecund female police/agents such as Olivia Colman as Angela Burr in The Night Manager and Frances McDormand as Marge Gunderson in Fargo.
Kip isn't headed to where her murder victim is, rather she headed to the pizza shop where it's still very much in business. Kip can't believe it, or further when she has to insist more than once that the shop be closed during the investigation.
Police detective Nathan Bilk (Nathaniel Martello-White, I just met him in Kiri! He made quite an impression, his presence is unreal and I can't believe I've only seen him twice now. You can't teach that intensity or gravitas, where has he been?) interviews Karen, it seems she makes the same order every Monday night. Not to judge, but that seemed pretty far away to have someone drive for a handful of coins.
Nathan's wondering same thing I am: why did she throw the pizza on the floor? She doesn't answer then gets defensive when asked about a husband. Apparently the baby wasn't his? She has an odd demeanor.
David Mars (John Simm) and Suki Vincent (Kim Medcalf) are fighting in bed and not about the usual, but rather that he keeps bailing on date nights. What if there isn't even a Labour government, David? WHAT IF?
Kip is trying to understand why Laurie went off the rota to use Abdullah instead of Mikey, Laurie is not very helpful.
Jeeus wept, lady, this was a guy you knew and worked with and he died an hour ago! That's stone cold. Kip doesn't get any further and Laurie's stonewalling is one massive red flag waving in Kip's face. Why wouldn't Laurie say why she changed the rota?
Kip gives out and heads to her car, where Mikey is waiting with DC Rakhee Shaw (Vineeta Rishi), he's just sussed it could have been him. Kip asks a bunch of questions about why he thinks he could be a target, nothing jumps out because he's not sharing the good stuff. The pizza place isn't a paperwork kind of place, they're going to have to look elsewhere for information on Abdullah, a recent immigrant from Syria.
A woman jogs along the bridge we saw Abdullah cross, pausing to throw the gun in the water and then loping off steadily.
Suki has had it with David tilting at political systems, the system is the system is the system! They're all the same, Labour or Tory and his obsession with it is BORRRINNG. She's outtie.
We see our various players across the city then we're at the crime scene with Kip and Nathan. Nathan thought Karen's comment about her baby "not coming into it" was odd and yeah, I guess it was. I thought she meant that the baby wouldn't be able to give any evidence, unlike her older child, but who knows.
Robert Walsh (oooooh dishy Mark Umbers from Home Fires!) from the Evening Standard tries to worm some information out of the detectives, he wants to know why the delivery driver was killed AFTER delivering the pizza, not before? And the victim is Muslim, yes?
DC Euan Johnson (Rob Jarvis) is waiting to fill Kip in on all he knows, Lihn thought the shooter was wearing a diving suit. Huh. They keep referring to the shooter with male terms but I'm sure those were female shoulders I saw on the running person. Not a dude.
Fuzz Gupta (Nick Mohammed) arrives to do the forensic evaluation, hasn't he heard of Kip? She was an athlete once, a pole vaulter.
Kip helps Lihn up and sends her home, that's odd, yes? To not interview an eye witness again? Nathan's found a lead on Abdullah's home address and they're off.
Sukie wrote a letter to David and pushed it through the slot, he heads outside to read it while walking. She likes his soul?
He walks over to Karen's flat, where his status as a politician gains him access inside the yellow tape. There's an odd vibe between Karen and him, is he her dad or former husband? I can't tell. He's bothered that she's NOT bothered by the fact of this young man's death and ah, he's the father of her child and they were married for four months.
Karen is one of those people that just emanates drama, hard pass.
She convinces him to spend the night, you know, for Elfie's (Molly Simms) sake.
Nathan and Kip find a hidey hole with two women inside, this must be where they've been squatting. Kip tries to explain what's happened, but there is a definite language barrier.
Lihn is dropped off by police, but of course that wasn't her address and of course she won't be coming in to see them in the morning. Why would they believe that?
Oh! She's with Jane, our vicar! Oh and WITH with, making Jane our gay vicar which I swear I've read about. Jane is smothering young Lihn who just wanted to go to a club and get high. Lihn tells Jane about lying to the police at the scene of the murder, if they knew who she is, she would be in trouble. Why? She doesn't want to go home, though, she wants to live in England. "People do," murmurs Jane. Oh! Lihn thought one thing she didn't share with the police.
HA! Told you!
Our totally female murderer is very professionally removing her outward clothing at the moment, on a square of plastic in a public bathroom. Very professional.
She's blonde and quietly efficient, finally stepping out to reveal herself as Sandrine Shaw (Jeany Spark) who we've not met yet but know is a very careful murderer.
The two women living with Abdullah aren't sharing much information about themselves or their situation, Nathan calls them "provisional" but I don't know what that means.
Sandrine texts someone "JOB DONE" on her flip-phone and looks conflicted. BIT LATE FOR THAT, YEAH?
They've been working with a translator, Shelley (Raghad Shaar), who passes on the women's political views but not concrete details as to: who brought them over from Syria? Where are they working? Etc.
Mikey wants to sleep at the police station, he doesn't feel safe but won't say exactly why. Most of the people we see on these shows are doing their level best to stay away from the police station, I think it's brilliant that Mikey wants to hang out.
David's up early the next morning and turns on the TV to see his girlfriend Suki interviewing Labour politician Deborah Clifford (Saskia Reeves) and pressing hard on her stance on immigration.
Kip and Nathan brainstorm with their boss DSU Jack Haley (Ben Miles) who has been coordinating with MI5 and Immigration.
I guess David left without taking care of his kiddo, since she doesn't know who's taking her to school and Karen's determined to sleep in. An angry young woman stomps around and shouts at everyone, I really thought au pairs would be all friendly and shy. Not Genevieve (Alais Lawson)!
David's gone because he went to go see gay vicar Jane, she doesn't think much of his TV interview.
Oh but not always gay, Jane and David were a thing once and really? This guy gets around, honestly, has he been shagging Kip as well? She chastises him for his blasphemy, she doesn't care if that makes her a "fcking hypocrite" *NicolaWalker smile*
Lihn is serving soup below the church when David and Jane pull her outside for a chat, it seems David vouched for her and signed Lihn's student visa. Well the second one, the first one had already kind of...expired. Sort of. So Lihn is here kinda illegally but has a visa signed by an MP of the official opposition.
David is not happy.
I feel David probably gets into unfortunate situations with women who take advantage of him all the time.
Kip takes another run at the Syrian immigrants, how did they get here again? Kip and the other woman stare at each other in a slow standoff carefully translated by Shelley.
We find out why Mikey wanted to sleep at the police station, he runs into two guys that beat the shit out of him because he doesn't have what they're looking for.
Laurie says goodbye to her infirm mum with lots of long, meaningful looks, is she off to die? She looks like it, rather, but as though she knew about it in advance.
A car follows her as she walks along the street, then we cut to Sandrine showing ID and being buzzed into...an army base? Embassy? And she's a Captain! WHO WAS ABDULLAH?? Was he a fancy immigrant?? What brought a Captain down on his head??
Sandrine takes to the gun range where she shoots (dark-complected??) targets in the head over and over and over.
Well. Okay. That was quite a lot all at once, wasn't it? And while I like the idea of taking the temperature of a nation over four days, I can't see that involving vast conspiracies between an Army Captain, a pizza pie manager, a Syrian immigrant and a member of the Official Opposition. Truly, David comes across as ineffectually as possible, what's the deal with Karen? So many questions! Only three more episodes to find out!
Carey Mulligan was excellent, she's got a great dry style and you know I loved Nicola Walker's cheeky piss-taking as always. Was almost the best part of River.
Until next time!