Hi everyone and welcome back to our gripping thriller Collateral set over four days in today's Britain. There are so.many familiar faces, it's glorious! I am not overly familiar with Carey Mulligan's work, but I am quite liking her here. Rolling S1:E02 after the break.
Last week a young recent immigrant was killed shortly after delivering a pizza, well, okay everything happened last week, best get caught up with my recap here. I'll make a cuppa, ping me when you're ready.
Okay! So now we open with Fatima (Ahd) and Mona (July Namir) Asif, sisters (? or one might be a wife, the pregnant one, we don't know yet as there is a language barrier) of slain pizza delivery driver Abdullah Asif (Sam Otto) who was murdered by Captain Sandrine Shaw (Jeany Spark) for what must be a very good reason, obvs. Captain.
"Big Yellow Taxi" plays as the Asifs sideye the police; I don't think they're going to get much from these ladies.
The women are being taken to prison and all of a sudden, they can speak English! Okay, not prison, and not guards greet them but rather Custody Officers and we're all a bit confused now. It sure LOOKS like a prison.
Oh this is a way station, the women are to be deported. Fatima addresses herself as the sister of Abdullah, okay I was at least half right! I don't think these women are going to get much help or information.
Captain Shaw is braced by her commanding officer Major Tom Dyson (Robert Portal) as to what she was doing on her leave, she stutters through an answer.
Ah but this isn't an ordinary inquiry, it seems Major Tom is often inappropriately interested in his female subordinates and I'm sure trying to muster up some sympathy for our stone cold murderess but I'm not quite there yet. Her co-worker Amanda (Alex Reid) is as pissed as she, but there isn't anything they think they can do about it, after all, "this is the Army." Or movie business, or theatre, or sports reporting or politics or oil and gas or bookselling or basically any industry that is steeped in a super white, straight male tradition.
DI Kip Glaspie (Carey Mulligan) is caught literally sleeping at her desk, give her a break, she's eleventy months pregnant! I remember falling asleep on a treadmill while pregnant with my first, I was trying to lose these few mysterious pounds, see...
Oh never mind, she slept there, sitting up, instead of going home for the night so it's not at all like when I crawled under my desk for a nap when newly pregnant and my boss almost called the ambulance.
I CAN DO THIS ALL NIGHT!
Kip's attention is with the Asifs, they didn't seem surprised that their brother was dead and that's making Kip wonder what Abdullah was into.
Nathan Bilk (Nathaniel Martello-White), one of the other detectives on Kip's team, has gone back to the pizza place to talk to the manager Laurie (Hayley Squires) but has instead found Mikey (Brian Vernel) with a banged up face. How did that happen?? A couple of mobbies jumped him when he didn't have what they were looking for.
Nathan's looking for credit card slips from the night before, but there isn't one from Karen Mars (Billie Piper) who said that was how she paid for her weekly pizza that fateful night. That's curious. Nathan thinks so too and scoops all the receipts and heads out while two men watch in a sinister fashion from across the street.
Laurie's not at work because she's at Jane Oliver's (Nicola Walker) church looking for absolution. Jane's lover Lihn (Kae Alexander) is just leaving, STILL having not talked to the police about what she really saw when Abdullah was killed. Laurie picks up on the nature of their relationship right away.
Laurie is certainly interested in talking about Jane's sex life, more so that her own. I love how Jane heads her off with a couple of smiles but before Laurie can talk about what's wrong, Jane lets it out that Lihn saw the murder and it slows Laurie's roll a bit.
Laurie's life is wrapped up in her mum but she's having a lot of trouble dealing with what she did.
Because she didn't know...but she knew. She knew that call was hinky and she sent Abdullah anyway.
Jane has to go, but she lets Laurie wait in her place and heads out with a "fck!" that I don't entirely understand.
Eminent Labour MP David Mars (John Simm) looks very relaxed, even with the head of the party breathing down his neck as per Monique (Jacqueline Botswain). She wants him to go on TV and reassure everyone, but we all know how friend Jane thinks he comes across on TV.
Because of Jane and David's friendship, he knows Lihn and that she thinks it was a woman she saw shooting Abdullah, I wonder if that's why David wants to talk to Kip.
Speaking of Kip, she's pisssssed that Immigration (you know, the English version) came and stole her witnesses away already. Nathan is super helpful (or whatever the opposite of that is) and points out how much paperwork they'll have to go through before getting access again, second in command DC Rakhee Shaw (Vineeta Rishi) can't believe they can't get in as police. Nathan is enjoying explaining the facts of life to his bosses.
Something off about Nathan entirely, he spends the next few minutes needling Kip about working through the night, I can't figure what it is with him. Anyway, the point is that they're heading to find out why Laurie didn't go to work the day after she sent a dude to his death, knowingly or otherwise.
Captain Sandrine Shaw is grudgingly attending a mandatory psychological screening with Xan Schoefield (Adrian Lukis), she came back from a recent tour in Afghanistan angry. She disagrees.
She got quite close to the Afghani women, she respected them. Her best friend Elizabeth was killed over there, blown up right in front of her in the most gruesome way possible. If she forgets Elizabeth, it would be disrespectful.
Sandrine is fighting to maintain her calm, but she is clearly still very affected. Xan reminds her that returning to normal life isn't a betrayal of Elizabeth (he's also wondering about the nature of their friendship) but Sandrine thinks it would be disrespectful.
What could Abdullah have done to draw her aim? Was he disrespectful? To her? To someone she knows?
Kip and Nathan head to Laurie's place where her mum Alice (Nicola Duffett) sits alone and watches TV with her oxygen mask. They obtain her grudging consent to search (was a bit rough, Kip, she would have agreed) and find a thousand quid in Laurie's room. Ah I understand they have to ask difficult questions of people but harassing an elderly women in poor health seems particularly egregious.
Kip and Nathan hash it out a bit more, Nathan wants to check on Karen because she lied and there's also Mikey to be followed up on, Kip wants to know who owns Regal Pizza.
A women talks to Fatima in line at Totally Not Prison Just Can't Leave and warns her and Mona away from going to the clinic, it's another company and even worse. It's still better than being given a ticket home; "every day you stay here, you win." On the other hand, no way can you not get checkups if you're pregnant, so.
Mikey's off on his scooter to deliver pizza, Nathan and Rakhee hot on his heels as he picks up drugs from Connor (Tony Way), one of the guys who beat the shite out of him the day previous.
Are the cops ALL driving BMWs then?
Ahhhhh, Mikey is off to see Karen Mars, whose missing special topping was the drugs he just picked up from Connor.
Nathan and Rakhee are right there on delivery, Karen doesn't get into much trouble as it's not illegal (? really?) but dealing is, so Mikey's innit.
So THAT'S why Karen threw the pizza on the floor!
I'd say Karen needed a puff, she snaps at the au pair Genevieve (Alais Lawson) who suggests she not smoke in front of her daughter Elfie (Molly Simm), why at Elfie's age she was being shelled in Beirut! Uphill both ways!
Sandrine stares moodily at the office "sex pest", Amanda warns her that the last person Major Tom was interested in had her email hacked. He read all her personal stuff. Sandrine thinks she has no personal stuff to hack but...she totally just murdered a Syrian refugee, which is how people refer to Abdullah instead of by his name.
Sandrine should absolutely be careful, Major Tom is definitely playing close attention to her movements, even when she goes outside to ask someone on a call phone if she "got the right one."
He watches as she carefully locks up her cell phone, no way he won't make a run at it later.
Sandrine's message went to a portly gentleman who handles bankers mostly, who is Peter Westbourne (Richard McCabe) and who was he to Abdullah?
Forensics Lead Fuzz Gupta (Nick Mohammed) has results to share with Kip and Nathan, signs are pointing towards British military.
Mikey is in the interview room, doing whatever he can to protect Laurie and take all the blame. Obviously Laurie must have known, she takes the calls. Kip calls for an APB on young Laurie Stone, who is hiding at Jane's house.
Oh but she's leaving, don't do that Laurie! Stay put, have a cuppa! She's off, however, she knows what she has to do. She thought she would be ready, but are you ever?
Sandrine plays a hard game of soccer with other Army women, I wasn't paying attention to too much except that it was odd that they kept screaming her name AND she's no longer wearing her military greens that have her desk key.
As expected, Major Tom goes right for Sandrine's phone, calling the last number. It rings and oh! Peter Westbourne is a Travel Agent? A right fancy one, if so, his assistant Sarah (Joanna Bobin) picks up and then Tom hangs up. Peter says he told Sandrine to throw it away.
He thinks a minute, then calls the watchers watching Regal Pizza. He doesn't like what's happening, he can smell panic. The watchers are worried about lost Laurie, now the police have the wind up.
David's come to see Kip, he has to guess whether he can tell her stuff. He parcels it out in tiny pieces, giving Lihn's real name, but he wants assurances that the investigation will remain on the murder.
It's as though he's never seen one single television show or been in one real life investigation if he thinks he can direct where their focus goes. I'm pretty sure Nathan and David are at odds already.
A few more details.
That was glorious.
David spills the big beans about the possible incorrectly assumed gender of the killer and oh hey, by the way, he totally signed her student Visa without checking it. Thanks. Kip's just happy to meet someone in more shite than her!
Well now for sure we know Sandrine is a woman because for whatever reason we see her completely naked and showering. Oh but it's because she's having a breakdown, imagining her friend's bits mixed in with her hair and scrubbing, scrubbing, scrubbing.
Major Tom pops round to the changeroom, he assures her he's allowed to stand there, right outside the room with the door open.
What kind of entitlement?
He holds up her phone and finally she cracks, "fuck off. Fuck off and leave me alone."
Kip fills Nathan in on the new information, but he's fixated on Karen and he's not wrong that Karen's regular order was an impossibly perfect setup. Nathan's disgusted that Kip's making deals with politicians, especially one previously married to a suspect.
They're off to see Fatima and Mona with MI5 agent Sam Spence (John Heffernan), he's swooping in to save the day as always, he figures. "Just like in Iraq," Kip counters.
Oh but Sam's quite accomplished, he knows the women speak English AND that they have money, he's not so easily stonewalled as Kip and the local constabulary.
For one thing, they were hiding in the garage because Abdullah knew something he shouldn't, so that assassination was definitely on purpose. There was a fight on the boat they came over on and the Captain was killed by Abdullah and he grabbed the papers? Anyway, he knew who the smugglers were.
This interview has been peppered with smug remarks from our arrogant MI5 agent, Fatima draws herself up when he demands the names of the smugglers.
I felt like cheering a little for her, then. She'd reached the end of helping. One last thing: the smugglers were English and the boat was English oh but.
She's lying. Everything she's said is a lie and that arrogance git of an agent catches her innit and I go sigh and go get the kettle started again.
Fatima and Mona are Iraqi.
Interview is over!
Kip is quite interested in the English smuggler whose name Abdullah knew, but Sam leans very hard on it being a fairytale. So hard, in fact, that we have to consider that it might be true. Especially since we already met the English head of a travel company who is tied to Abdullah's murder-for-hire.
He taunts Kip over and over, but hands his card to Nathan after, what the hell?
Laurie's at the airport / train station? Trains! And everything is blurry and spinning, a text from Mum stops her from getting on.
Kip and Nathan chat on the way back, they really are very opposite.
Rakhee drew the short straw and is waiting with Laurie's mum for Laurie to show up, I have a bad feeling about that.
Gross Major Tom has some kind of a fancy dress gig tonight, he takes a minute to kiss his kids and wife goodbye before he goes and harasses another person who works with him. So sweet.
Sandrine is there as well, but while everyone else is singing and drunk, she looks on the very verge of breakdown again.
She has a stunningly obvious case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, how has nobody seen this?
Major Tom is the most entitled prick I've seen on a show like this, he starts shouting about Special Reconnaissance not being actual soldiering, it's like spying.
I BEG YOUR PARDON says James Bond.
CO Chips Benson (Oliver Alvin-Wilson) breaks the mood but it feels as though a gauntlet has been thrown.
Sandrine walks back to her room alone across an empty courtyard as Laurie similarly walks home across seemingly empty streets.
A van screeches up and Laurie is snatched and tossed in the back as someone starts pounding hard on Sandrine's door.
It's Major Tom of course, he's there to remind her that the Army is a hierarchical structure, which I'm pretty sure we all know. He brings out her phone, how odd that there's just that one number in it. Now, if she could just relax...if she relaxes then what?
Well then she could get her phone back!
She's going to have to murder him.
Laurie is thrown up against the sides of the van over and over, is she dead? She is thrown out like a sack of potatoes in an industrial area, is she dead?
Sandrine walks away from her open door, does that mean what I think it means?
Oh gross, it does, she allows him to have sex with her while she stares at the phone and we focus on his wedding ring. Jaysus. We're out.
I think we can go ahead and believe a couple of things we've seen so far, the English smuggler and English boat, etc, especially since the MI5 agent did everything he could to poop all over it.
I am confused by the relationships between the characters on this show, everyone is spiky, nobody gets along and all have agendas. It's like The Leftovers with less drinking but more murder. I love Carey Mulligan as Kip, but I don't understand the dynamic between her and Nathan. Her sideye at David was perfection and I guess technically he and Jane are the exceptions, they get along with everyone.
So: Sandrine. One part efficient, militarily-trained murderer, one part sexually harassed subordinate and one part severe PTSD. Why would they choose her for that mission? Why didn't she throw away the phone? She is clearly not ready for duty, she should not be out in the thick of anything, however much they needed to rid the world of that particular pizza delivery person. I have empathy for her, but I don't understand any of her decisions yet.
Until next week, when some more puzzle pieces shift into place! Cheers