We're not slowing down at all here on The Stranger, where we're being shown tantalizing glimpses of the big picture. Our latest inside source is down with a bad tummy, what is befalling the teenagers and furry animals of this town? Rolling a bunch of spoilers for The Stranger S1:E1.5 after the break!
We're finally getting to know The Stranger (Hannah John-Kamen) a little better, we watch her work a couple of menial jobs then head back to the apartment she shares with Ingrid Prisby (Lily Loveless). Your basic young person, but one with four computer terminals and a giant Murder Board type of scenario set up with people's photos.
Ingrid is the getaway driver, she's worried about this next situation but The Stranger is relaxed and confident. She approaches Dan Molino (Pasha Bocarie) for a chat about the steroids he's been buying for his son.
I'm nervous because Ingrid was nervous but I still managed to notice the emblem on The Stranger's Baseball Cap Of Mystery! It's a MUTE symbol! Appropriate. Still, I keep measuring the distance between them, he's a big guy and getting angrier by the minute and she just blackmailed him for ten thousand pounds.
Shiiiit, Ingrid was right, Dan grabs her as she's walking away and starts slamming her up against a brick pillar. Ingrid has to taser him to get The Stranger free. I think her nose is broken.
Tell me this is not a sinister alpaca in the credits???
And hey! This episode was written by Charlotte Coben! One presumes more than a passing acquaintance with Harlan Coben, the author of the book the series was based on, but we shall not assume she is without her own talent. Think of Jesse Kellerman!
At the hospital, student Olivia Katz (Humera Syed) is recovering from her sudden attack of "cramps" while simultaneously being embarrassed that her murderer dad Patrick / John Katz (Paul Kaye) is crying over her. That is a feat only accomplished by those occupying the years 13-19.
He said an interesting thing while crying, that if she lived it would still be okay or something, it would have been for something. He murdered a woman named Heidi Doyle (Jennifer Saunders) for no reason other than she had been approached by The Stranger. At this point we have to assume he was similarly approached and has something sketchy he prefers hidden.
The Stranger has been around so much, I forget that not everyone has met her. I keep thinking: right, love, do me next!
We ended last episode with our hero Adam Price (Richard Armitage) being asked for the whereabouts of his wife Corrine Price (Dervla Kirwan). Her fingerprints were at the scene of Heidi's murder, Adam too would also love to know where Corinne is!
She boogied a few days ago while their marriage was in an existential crisis. The Stranger told Adam that his wife had lied to him with a faked pregnancy and miscarriage (they never use that word on this show, just that she "lost" the baby like an errant shoe); when he confronted Corinne about it she disappeared.
We found out last time the possible motive for the faked pregnancy, Adam had been contemplating/maybe had started an affair with a co-worker.
You know, you can't steal a husband or a wife. The problems must exist beforehand.
DS Johanna Griffin (Siobhan Finneran) has brought Adam in for questioning, he can't believe they're busting his hump over his missing wife, didn't they see the Missing Persons report he filed two days ago? Erm, no, but Johanna is now all over it!
She shows him evidence found at the scene, it's Corinne's school key fob. Adam does not recognise Heidi but things are about to get much more complicated. Katz is listening in to the interview as Adam tells Johanna about being approached by The Stranger.
Look, Katz, if you go shoot Adam in the knee now to find out what he knows about The Stranger people are going to start putting two and two together, capiche?
Adam explains the details of his secret to Johanna, using the word miscarriage so let me shut up. He tells Johanna about all the other people he knows were approached also and she starts taking notes on this seemingly random occurrence because Johanna knows that her best friend Heidi was being blackmailed right before her death.
Ingrid is not happy with the brutalised Stranger, she accuses her of going too far again. If The Stranger were a serial killer, we would say she's devolving according to my TV Legal Description Certificate.
Adam gets picked up at the police station by his best friend Doug Tripp (Shaun Dooley who has definitely been working out since Gentleman Jack) whom I don't trust as far as I could throw. He's just too...hearty. And was on the other end of an exasperated phone call with Corinne right before she skedaddled.
The Price boys are all feeling the pressure of uncertainty with their mum gone, youngest Ryan (Misha Handley) runs over for a hug from his dad after a goal during practice and is reprimanded by Coach Bob Baime (Clinton Blake). Bob's not happy with the Price family anyway, he and another football parent have accused Corinne of stealing money from the club.
It's Doug who speaks up to back Bob up, that was an odd flow. Doug practically vibrates he's so on edge.
The Stranger is off to see our Martin Killane (Stephen Rea) a retired police officer and owner of the remaining unsold flat in a large business development. Adam's been fighting in court to keep Killane's flat off the cutting board but the construction equipment is moving in, Killane throwing his kettle at them, having no effect.
*I have an odd feeling about Killane, I alternate between thinking he's an excellent help for Adam as far as finding people and accusing him of being a serial killer with a basement full of bodies symbolized by his tiny graveyard of porcelain Dresden dolls. He also may be the father of The Stranger and possibly murdered her mother, but that's a bit out there. The secret serial killer theory is the more likely of the two.
Adam and Corinne's other son Tom Price (Jacob Dudman) is involved in some gruesome An*nymous app thingy where they plan raves around bonfires, get all hepped up on goofballs and in the case of Mike Tripp (Brandon Fellows): behead perfectly lovely alpacas named Louie.
Mike doesn't know it, but part of the reason he was so out of it the night he murdered a helpless animal (he bit Louie's LEG) was that he and Tom's friend Daisy Hoy (Ella-Rae Smith) spiked his drugs with PCP. She did that because she thought he sent pictures of her little sister Ella (India Brown) around from Ella's phone.
Like, no offense, Daisy, but do you really see schmoob Mike even knowing how to do something that complicated?
At any rate, Tom's been pushing Daisy to tell Mike about the PCP and they had a meeting today to discuss which Daisy didn't show up for. Tom tells Mike whatsup and they're off to Daisy's house, pounding on the door. Her mum Vicky Hoy (Jade Harrison) can't help but notice how manic Mike is, he's spinning.
Mike has a super solid alibi for the day Ella's phone was hacked, I want to know who told Daisy it was Mike who did it. Stop yelling in an entertaining fashion, Mike, I want to hear WHO!
Where would she even get PCP from?
I KNEW IT WAS OLIVIA WHO TOLD DAISY IT WAS MIKE!!!!! She's been the one sticking her nose in, something is up with that one. She's also Katz's daughter, it's pretty much a whole sideways family.
I just said "sticking her nose in" without irony, somehow I've been transported to the set of a 1930s Agatha Christie novel.
Apparently Olivia likes Mike?
They head to Olivia's house and see her upstairs in the window before knocking on the door. Tom thinks he's more diplomatic than Mike so steps forward first. Olivia's mum Leila Katz (Kim Vithana) answers the door, so sorry, Olivia is at the hospital, she can't answer any Physics questions right now. Faced with the incongruity of a grownup lying to his face, Tom rallies and asks if they can come to the hospital with her. We're all shocked by the venom that comes next.
The Stranger gets home to fight with Ingrid some more; Ingrid is ready to get out of the secrets game but The Stranger is in it for the meaning. "A secret revealed is a secret destroyed." Ingrid thinks that's pretty hypocritical considering how many things The Stranger is keeping from her. They sort of slap a bandaid on the issue and start looking at some of their targets.
When they see the news about Heidi being murdered, they snap into Emergence Protocol DEFCON-1. Time to destroy evidence and any trails that lead to them.
Johanna's finding all sorts of people have been visited by The Stranger, her investigation is paused by the arrival of her previously estranged and adorable husband Phillip Griffin (Don Gilet) with lunch. Her partner DC Wesley Ross (Kadiff Kirwan) also thinks it's adorable.
Phillip would like to rekindle their recently unkindled relationship but Johanna is all done. All done.
Johanna goes back to work to find out why Corinne Price was never listed as a Missing Person, Katz pulled the file. And since we know that Katz knows her, thanks to his feral wife, we have to assume the worst reasons why.
Johanna recognises Corinne from the videos found on Dante Gunnarsson's (Kai Alexander) computer.
I forgot to share that backstory! Dante Gunnarsson was found unconscious in the woods after that same bonfire/rave night, part of the reason Mike was so angry with Daisy is that he's worried he did something to Dante while under the influence.
Anyway, Dante had far too many videos of his teacher Corinne to be considered normal, we don't know why as he's in a coma at the hospital.
Back to Killane! He calls Adam to complain about the construction equipment on his street but also has useful news. He's been looking for Ingrid and The Stranger and found out that Ingrid uses a different name, Gabrielle Dunbar, and owns a detective agency. That sounds about right! Adam's going to check out the address with his ride Doug.
I think Doug is doing the keep-your-enemies-closer thing, trying to keep an eye on what Adam finds out about Corinne.
Ingrid is busy shredding everything when she sees Adam and Doug pull up; she uses security to prevent Adam from coming up to her office so he plans a stakeout.
The teenagers are waiting outside Olivia's house when her mum comes outside and dumps the trash, but in the neighbour's bin. They grab it, did she or Katz inject their daughter with rat poison? What is going ON??
Since Corinne's school fob was left at Heidi's crime scene, they head there to talk to Vicky Hoy, who taught with Corinne. Now this is interesting, the fob left at the scene was at least a year old! Johanna and Wes ask about Dante Gunnarsson too, she directs them to Coach Bob, for whom Dante filmed football matches.
Coach Bob shares some philosophy with Johanna and Wes before throwing Corinne under the bus for the missing money in the football club (my money's still on Doug for that), it's awfully convenient that the person who's not around to defend herself is being blamed for absolutely everything, from murder to grand theft to fraud.
I also feel as though I have to point out that Coach Bob is unemployed and struggling while Adam is a partner in a law firm and Corinne a teacher at a posh school. Who's more likely to be dipping into the till?
It's Doug! You can't pry that belief from me. Also, I do understand that rich people can steal too, it's not always for purely financial motives.
Johanna processes this information then returns to her actual reason for being there.
Coach Bob bolts when he hears the name Dante Gunnarsson, that was noticeably abrupt.
Ingrid packs up her car, noisily slamming the doors to wake up Adam and Doug, who says "car chase? Seriously?" and chips are in the air and the gang is on the move! An awkward carchase later, Ingrid is in the wind and Doug is pissed at Adam. I'm just cheered that he didn't use his turn signals this time, he's getting into the swing of this intrigue business!
Martin Killane's house is under attack by a developer represented by Adam's dad, Edgar Price (Anthony Head). Ed stops by personally to do a hard sell on Killane, getting much more than he expected in the bargain. Killane knows all about Ed abandoning his first family and Adam having to care for his mother when she became ill. He rejects the hypocrisy of Ed's argument and physically throws him out.
The demolition order has gone through, Killane has two hours to clear out. He calls Adam who arrives to find Killane has chained himself to the front door. Adam convinces him to leave to safety and the machines start to claw through his house.
*I'm looking for bodies*
HA!!!!!!! THERE IS A BODY IN THE HOUSE!!!!!! WHAT DID I TELL YOU!!!!?????
Seriously, I don't even know how I'm going to come down from this high. I might have to run some laps outside or something, WOOOO!!!
YEAH YOU ARE!! WOOOOOOOOOO!!
Wow, okay, ready to shut this down, honestly, how brilliant was that? I so called that and look how un-Canadian I'm being right now??!
We're past the halfway point of The Stranger, it's been a thrilling ride and I can't wait to see what happens next! Cheers!