See, what happened is…I finished recapping the last episode of Deadwater Fell and went on to another show, but I kept thinking about this one. They threw in an infuriating twist at the end of episode 1.2, I feel an overwhelming need to find out how it’s going to be resolved. So here we are, rolling into the Deadwater Fell S1:E1.3 recap after the break!
Dr. Tom Kendrick (David Tennant in a very un-David-Tennant-like role) has been brought in for questioning about the deaths of his wife Kate Kendrick (Anna Madeley) and three children: wee Charlotte (Lilac Jackson), Emily (Orla Russell) and Iris (Felicity Keenan). He’s been identified as dragging one back through the woods to his house so he could set everything on fire, but the eyewitness had deliberately lied, it was Kate herself who grabbed Emily and brought her back.
So. Why did he lie? The eyewitness is Dylan Denhan-Johnson (Lewis Gribben), your typical small town fckup, nothing major, just partying in the woods and wandering around without pants. His dad Dr. Mark Denham-Johnson (Stuart Bowman) is even partners with Tom in the local doctor’s clinic (I’m sure they call it something else in Scotland), is that related to the misdirection?
OR was Kate trying to run away with the kids and Tom caught her after that? We’re only being shown bits and pieces.
It must be said that Tom has been carefully steering everyone toward Kate being the culprit all along, which is a pretty good cover if you’d be the one who did it.
Kate suffered from post partum depression, the assumption has been that her act would have been associated with post partum psychosis, which is a much rarer condition that affects far fewer new mothers.
We see her lost in alcohol while her husband Tom helps the kiddos celebrate a birthday.
Why is the bed key to her depression?
We know that Tom has liked to at least once be in control in sexual situations, when schtupping his wife’s best friend Jess Milner (Cush Jumbo). Did some nasty shite go down on that bed on the regular that led to her feeling as though she had to set it on fire?
We cut back to a memory of their marriage, she laughing and joking on the phone with Jess and a glass of wine while he stood behind her and listened silently. Later, she’s barely in bed before he’s inside her, I think she still had a foot on the ground!
She doesn’t finish (duh, that’s like a negative amount of foreplay), he taunts her with “Jess came when I f***ed her” leaving her crying on the bed.
She walks downstairs stiffly in the morning, robotically taking the pills he hands her and moving into her day. She stares at Jess at school. It’s not until that night that she brings it up; why is it always the friends she loves the most?
*Because he doesn’t want her to have anything else.
A quiet dinner with Kate, Tom and his mum Carol Kendrick (Maureen Beattie), which gets more uncomfortable when Tom decides he needs to flex his power over Kate for his mum’s benefit, directing Kate to serve her. Carol doesn’t seem to understand either.
*I’m sorry, I didn’t realise this was going to be such a straight up rendering of domestic abuse. That’s a trigger warning for any of you that need it. I may take more breaks than I expected.
We’re back in the present with Tom being questioned by DC Gemma Darlington (Laurie Brett from Traces!) and DCI Spencer Collins (Gordon Brown) in police custody. Did he love his wife? Did she love him? Tom’s attorney Nicky (Anneika Rose I know from Guilt! 14 actors in Scotland) doesn’t say anything for ages but after they’ve played the weird video of him saying nowt, she reminds him that he doesn’t have to answer.
The police are trying to make something out of those seconds of silent contemplation, Tom and I wonder if maybe he didn’t remember his phone was on.
On to questions about his medical training and whether he understands how insulin works in the body.
Wait. What? Tom says Kate injected him, and he didn’t fight because his three children were dead in front of him. Back to the interview, he had insulin in his doctor’s bag but can’t say whether that’s standard.
He is cool, composed and not about to give them an inch. When the detectives call for a break, he’s not shy about asking the female half of the team to make sure his tea’s a bit stronger next time around, yeah?
So Tom slept with Jess, his wife’s best friend, but he’s more connected to her than that. Jess’s boyfriend is Tom’s best friend Sergeant Steve Campbell (Matthew McNulty) who has now joined the interview in place of Gemma Darlington.
Tom leans forward, expecting a softer touch, but Steve is all business. After some preliminaries, he pulls out pictures of the dead young children then rips his story to shreds.
Some points: Tom throws Kate’s boss, principal Simon Wells (Jamie Michie) into the mix, saying his questioning of her about him is what set Kate off that evening. We did notice Tom watching Kate and Simon chatting overlong at the céilí, we didn’t know yet that he was an extremely controlling domestic abuser at the point, so it was on the back burner.
- How can Kate have been chasing down Emily 15 minutes before the fire if he said the kids were all dead in their room? Insulin doesn’t work that quickly
- How can Tom have been injected in the kids’ room by Kate but he found in his own bed?
Tom has no answer to Steve’s ripping apart his story, he goes to “no comment” while Steve and DCI Collins mentally high-five each other.
Tom is brought to jail, he’s probably the most polite prisoner they’ve ever had, although he does shout at his mum. You know, I think our Tom may have a problem respecting women.
Steve and the detectives celebrate in that bar he drank in alone in sorrow the night before. Gemma with the softened eyes suggests he move to Glasgow, but he’s thinking of something more immediate, like her hotel room. She turns him down nicely.
Steve sees a counselor (Phil McKee from Traces! I swear, there are only four degrees of separation between all Scottish actors and Mark Bonnar) the next day but he’s not exactly a great patient, what with zero ability for introspection.
That’s counselor-speak for “Wasting My Time, Ticking Boxes.”
Tom’s meeting with his solicitor goes just as well, he screams at Nicky to find out the identity of the eyewitness then screams “FUCK YOU” at her when she points out the problems with that.
I am tracking how many women Tom disparages and attacks as compared to how many men and it’s looking like Misogyny 101 over here. He didn’t scream “FUCK YOU” at Steve, did he?
*Not all abuse is hitting, sometimes it’s treating someone over and over as though they don’t matter, disparaging what they do and belittling everything else. Gaslighting is a favoured tactic.
Nicky heads to the police station, led away by Gemma as Steve and his partner PC Taylor Clarke (Lorn MacDonald) book eyewitness Dylan Denham-Johnson. He’s trying to re-sell booze which they will let slide, but a baggie of marijuana gets him a charge, even with his entreaties to Steve, he “owes him one.”
Hm. You can’t ‘owe’ an eyewitness. Marijuana has been legal for so long in Canada that it seems ludicrous that someone could get into any trouble with it.
Tom’s mum Carol comes to see him in jail, he waits for her to stop crying so he can assign her some tasks. Part of the circumstantial evidence against Tom is that he and Kate were in serous debt with their house is mortgaged to the teeth. Now he’d like his mum to re-mortgage her farm AGAIN to get him some proper legal assistance, maybe she could pop over and see Kate’s parents Ruth (Lindy Whiteford) and Callum McKenzie (RonDonachie). Sure, he already owes them money, but he’s positive they won’t mind chipping in to the legal fund for the man accused of killing their daughter and grandchildren. AND for smearing Kate’s name the width and breadth of their corner of Scotland.
Carol has been told about the insulin in the girls’ systems, she keeps trying to ask about it but Tom’s not interested in giving anyone answers, just getting what he wants.
Ahhhh speaking of getting what you want by any means, it seems it was our Steve who directed Dylan to lie about whom he saw that night, Steve is really pissed about Tom sleeping with his girlfriend.
It’s a shame that he’s a shite policeman after all.
Tom could probably use that for leverage against Steve if he finds out who identified him, since he knows for sure it was not him in the woods that night.
Gemma’s already noticed how absolutely weak Dylan’s assertion is about that night, on interview he looks like he’s going to vomit directly after.
Steve’s back to see the counselor to talk about his dreams, or rather NOT talk about his dreams because he’s a man and etc etc etc. He tells the counselor that they caught the man who killed those girls, he says he’s happy but he should maybe tell his face.
Another drinky night for Steve, out with Jess and…his ex-wife and their kids. What the everloving feck? Why does this ex-couple hang out so much? We know they don’t co-parent well together, could that be because they technically are never more than two feet from each other?
Steve’s ex-wife Sandra McKay (Lisa McGrillis) is pregnant by her boyfriend Luke (Jack Greenlees), the 27-year-old fitness instructor, which is probably going to upset Jess (on her second round of IVF) and Steve, who can’t seem to disconnect from his ex. It’s unkind at best to brag “aye, we weren’t even trying” to a couple who has been trying everything.
Steve watches in dismay as the younger and more engaged Luke helps parent his boys. He looks smaller and older next to Luke.
All Steve had going for him was a strong marriage and excellence in his work, are both now corrupted beyond repair?
Steve takes his anger and frustration out on Jess, of course, she hurt him with her revelation of having sex with Tom. I don’t think he was listening when she told him she thought Tom had manipulated her into the sex, and that it was only the once.
She asks him what she should do, move out? What? What does he want? He wants to know what it was like and no, no you do not want to know that, Steve. Don’t tell him! Asking her graphic questions about their encounter excites him and she has to physically push him off her, yelling STOP.
Jaysus. Cuppa break.
All he wants is that the sex didn’t happen, that’s it.
Tom sits and waits at the jail for a visitor, but his mum isn’t coming. She’s at home on her farm, thinking about the night of the fire when her son forced his wife to serve her supper. She tried to talk to Kate about it after, but sometimes it’s hard to admit that you’re an object of pity for something you feel you have no control over.
*I will not listen to one word of “why does she stay?” until anyone who asks that can first answer “why does he abuse her?” satisfactorily.
Tom sits all alone as his mum closes out her bank account in cash and throws it through Kate’s parents’ mailbox. His emotions move from confusion to rage to finally sorrow, crying one lonely tear for himself as he realises his mum has deserted him.
I mean, it has to be pretty bad if your mum gives up on you.
You know, we’ve seen both of these spouses act like complete arseholes, it’s hard to reconcile the angry, drinky and flighty Kate with the abused wife we’ve seen today, so I don’t know if we’ve got an unreliable narrator or a big reveal ahead of us.
Steve reviews paperwork from the car crash Kate and Jess were in not long before the fire; she was over the limit and all of the above: angry, drinky and flighty. He makes another run at Gemma when she comes out of the back office, but she’s got her professional face on and she’d like a word.
Ay yuh, Dylan’s in her office too and now we see if Steve’s career is salvageable. It’s an official interview, he’s in deep shite. Even if there was a case against Tom, it’s not prosecutable now. Jaysus, I hope Tom’s mum ran far and wide because he’s getting released forthwith.
Steve’s given the opportunity for a bit of a break, that’s much better than what I expected.
Gemma follows Steve back to the lockerroom after he hands over his police stuff, was this because Tom slept with Jess? “Men and their f***ing egos.”
Steve gets locked inside a bathroom and loses it, this is a man on the verge. He runs out to find Dylan, beating him badly in broad daylight in front of Dylan’s friends. He snags a bunch of drugs off Dylan then heads to the woods, barefoot, to drink himself to death.
Jaysus Murphy you guys, I hate to generalise by gender but are the men in this show so crippled by their sense of ownership that they can’t even live without knowing their property is theirs and theirs alone? By property I mean the living, breathing people in their lives.
Steve stares at the water now, thinking back to that car crash, where Kate asked him to do a bloodtest, Tom had her on all kinds of things and half the time she was out of it. He scoffs at her, when did she last smoke weed? Because those things are two and the same, someone feeding you unknown drugs and you lighting up a joint to commiserate with a friend who was not able to conceive.
She’s desperate, grabbing his arm to say “he’ll kill me one day” but Steve’s too disgusted with her to listen. She was driving with the kids in the car! He screams into the air at the top of a cliff back in the present.
Tom grooms himself carefully in his cell, his fingernails spotless and hair just so. He’s released to his mum, who looks flatly terrified being hugged by him. We’re out.
Just one more left, you know it will be next because I just have to KNOW: we have his side, now her side, what’s the truth? What happened? But at the end of the day, we know it doesn’t really matter because those poor wee girls, whatever happened they died for nothing and no big reveal at the end is going to make that better. Until next time, which is the last time, cheers.