I first heard about Retribution / One of Us on Twitter, from a reader, and once I realised it was Scottish...I'm a sucker for anything with a brogue and biccy! I blame it on my love of the prose of Alexander McCall Smith, who is still the only writer I read with a dictionary handy. Let's roll into this new series, shall we? I'm sure we'll figure out the name soon enough.
We open at the Braseton Gala with a young boy and his sword, he's our narrator and he met his little princess that same day! We see them grow up together, Adam and Grace forEVER!
We're at their wedding now and we've been hearing his vows and their first song is "Crazy Love" by Van Morrison and I need a minute.
Oh. We were watching the video, rather, as Adam and a pregnant Grace have just been brutally murdered in their home by a very scared looking man. I assume he was the perpetrator, given the long knife in his hand, but perhaps he found them?
We're in church with Bill Douglas (John Lynch and I'm trying my hardest not to imagine The Fall, but his ruined and lovesick Jim Burns is staring me in the face) and family, contemplating the nature of God's favour then in the car listening to Hank Williams (Sr., course).
I love Hank Williams.
Oh but the police are waiting at home with very bad news about their daughter Grace. Charlie Fuller (Gilly Gilchrist, who was also in The Replacement, the other Scottish drama I recapped) just blurts it out like nothing, doesn't even come in! All three members of the family cry separately, devastation in the driveway.
Adam's mum Louise Elliot (Juliet Stevenson) is pheasant hunting when Charlie shows up, she is all fists and fury when she hears.
The scared young man we saw in the apartment with the murdered couple is still shaky, but is trying to ease his nerves by smoking crack, which is not at all how I've heard that works. Heroin?
He keep flashing back to the scene of the murder, but again: I can't tell if he actually committed the murder or just broke into the place to steal things, because he's got a sack full of swag from their place.
We meet the lovely Claire Elliot (Joanna Vanderham) next at her job at an old folks home. She's gifted jewelry by a resident, it's a bribe from Meredith (Anne Kidd) for a spot of euthanization. Meredith believes the laws are porous, like a spider's web.
We see a lot of spider's webs in the credits, so it bears mentioning.
Rob Elliot (Joe Dempsie - Gendry from Game of Thrones! IS THAT SUPPOSED TO BE A MUSTACHE?? I canea tell!) is up, we saw him in the wedding video as we did Anna (Georgina Campbell), who wants to know why he can't give her a lift to work?
For one thing, he doesn't want her to go to work, some trauma happened and he wants her safe and home. She doesn't want to lock herself away.
Now this is odd, Rob said he was going to work to help a Mrs. SomethingOrRather, but instead he's stalking a barman while sinister music plays and I stare at his almost-stache.
Claire calls then and that day is over.
Louise cracks up silently at home while Rob identifies the bodies.
Matt (James Harkness) isn't very impressed with the stuff our shaky guy Lee (Owen Whitelaw) knicked from the flat and I have to cry uncle over their accents. I've been hanging in pretty well, but it seems the streetsmart peeps are gonna kill me. Lee can't get any money in advance, when he presses it freaks Matt out and we know it'll just be a matter of time until he spills.
Juliet (Laura Fraser) hands over a massive order of LSD to Jay (Chris Fulton) and then carefully counts the dough in front of him, I'm totally down with that. She doesn't like that he's been hanging around her block, however.
Grace's mum Moira (Julie Graham) and Adam's mum Louise are drinking and crying, Louise feels the worst about killing a bird right before she heard, what kind of person gets pleasure out of death?
Lee's kicked things up a notch, his nerves have led him to mugging a stranger and stealing his car. He's in an awful hurry to get to an address written on a piece of paper.
There are a lot of complicated family dynamics at play with the Elliots, in one conversation we find out that the patriarch is estranged from everyone and Louise used to drink. Everyone is very much on edge.
Not on edge but acting oddly is Grace's little brother Jamie (Christian Ortega) who is using the name Sam online...and texting Claire. Earlier Claire mentioned a Sam that she had a fling with, I can't see Jamie pulling that off, he's clearly a teenager. Hm. Perhaps he's hacked her phone?
It's as ineffably sad at the Douglas home as the Elliot abode, Moira hated Adam it seems. There is a huge storm blowing, their farm helper Alistair (Gary Lewis) joins them in the kitchen.
Lee can't see anything in the storm and crashes right outside the Elliot residence, what the? Was he headed out there? They're all hysterical and a female voice keeps screaming that she knows him, but Rob does a full stare when he gets Lee out. Hm
So when I say storm, I mean there's been a lot of flooding in the area and no ambulances are out in this, neither are any hospital helicopters. Claire's using all of her medical training but needs supplies, which the Douglases have at their farm. Rob runs over.
Lee wakes up to Claire ministrations, Louise pulls her off helping when she finds their postal code written on a piece of paper in his pocket. It's the same postal code as Bill and Moira, who has he come to see?
All of a sudden Rob sees the news report with Lee's picture, he runs back as fast as he can but Lee is GAWN.
He won't get far in this "bit of weather" but nobody will be able to find him either. Never mind, Rob finds him and starts beating the shite out of him until pulled off by the women.
Bill explains to everyone then Rob is sent to call the police. Instead, he cancels the ambulance so he must be thinking frontier justice.
Nobody knows exactly what to do, but Moira gets the ball rolling by accusing Rob of knowing exactly who Lee is and then Rob shouts then Bill and it's essentially a slightly less genteel Agatha Christie murder mystery, families glaring at each other across the divide.
Rob and Bill manage to agree on locking Lee up in a dog cage until the police arrive; the only problem is that we know the police WON'T be arriving any time soon.
These are truly the most enormous dog cages ever!
Claire finds the watch she gave Adam in Lee's pocket, she's inconsolable and no longer as worried about keeping Lee warm.
They'll all be sleeping at the Douglas residence tonight, who wants to give me odds on whether or not Lee will make it through the night?
But why is ROB trying to kill himself in the bathroom???
We don't know yet if Rob is marinating in grief or guilt, even Alistair cries alone in his room and we have NO idea what his role is, in the family or our drama. Moira seems wary of him.
Alone in the kitchen in the middle of the night, Louise drinks away her years of sobriety, her fear and shock.
Who will be first into the barn to take a run at Lee? If it's Rob will it be to avenge his brother or ensure Lee's silence? Louise sees a dark figure make it's way to the barn. It's Jamie and he's not inclined to give the help Lee begs for.
We make it through the night and over to Juliet's house where she has great news for her very sick daughter: she found the money for an expensive, necessary operation!
Claire is the first to the dog cages in the morning, she looks horrified by what she sees but it takes a little longer for us to understand. Lee's throat has been slit and it was one of them. Or "One of Us" as they say.
Rob comes clean about canceling the ambulance and not calling the police, he wanted "nature to take its course." Anna is horrified and runs out.
Moira and Louise are at each other's throats immediately but Rob follows Anna outside. The man Rob was stalking was Anna's rapist, he'd thought about killing him for Anna but he didn't, and he didn't kill this man either.
Alistair saw Jamie head out into the barn the night before, he and Jamie's parents confront him in his bedroom (where he's stalking Claire on Facebook). They leave him alone after he admits to looking at Lee, what? They all just file out; this is an odd, separate family.
Oh ho, now we're learning all kinds of things. Juliet is not just Juliet With The LSD, but rather a police lieutenant of some stripe, she and her team will be working to track Lee.
Now that his son is implicated in Lee's murder, Bill suggests to everyone that they don't inform the police.
Jamie bursts in with the police on the phone while Bill is negotiating with Louise, Moira and Bill just about push him out the door so he doesn't say or hear anything.
It's a headsup from Charlie Fuller, the detectives from Edinburgh are coming! What will they do with Lee's body?
We end on a bizarre note; Adam's dad Peter (Adrian Edmondson) listening to a message from Claire saying that his son is dead and then hanging up and not telling his wife. I mean. Divorce absolutely sucks, but to not have a reaction to the news that your child is dead? And by murder? Bizarre.
So, that's it, what did you think? Thanks to CB on twitter for the recommend, it was an interesting watch with so many familiar faces! Until next time, cheers!