We are so close to having some kind of clue about what's happening on The Stranger that I can TASTE it! The Stranger comes to us from author Harlan Coben, his collaborations with Red Production Company are always top notch and The Stranger in particular stands out for it's breakneck pace and complex plots carried effortlessly by a massive cast headed by Richard Armitage and Siobhan Finneran. Without further ado, let's roll into the penultimate episode of The Stranger, S1:E1.7!
One quick note before we get going; I've been thinking about The Stranger (Hannah John-Kamen) and her prospective family tree. I'm pretty sure both murderer Martin Killane (Stephen Rea) and ruthless philandering business developer Edgar Price (Anthony Head) are involved in some facet of fathering her. Bit of a Sophie's choice, what? One who provided the, erm, biological matter (I think Ed) and one who raised her (Martin). Ed keeps babbling on about how he lived in the neighbourhood and we know he was getting a leg over whenever possible, so I think we have to consider whether or not he's involved. He could just be a blown-dry red herring, however, it just seems too pat to assume that Martin is The Stranger's dad as they keep leading us there with large flashing signs saying "KILLANE IS THE STRANGER'S FATHER."
ANYWAY! Onwards! We open where we left off, with Adam Price (Richard Armitage) chasing after The Stranger in the hospital where Martin Killane is recovering from a suicide attempt while in jail.
The footrace takes them outside to the streets, they both almost get hit by cars, they're running and suddenly on train tracks in a really pretty area. She's got the speed but he's wily and runs her to ground in an abandoned train yard, like, just STOP. Tell him where his wife is! Honestly! What's it to you?
That's what he said, right after I said that! It seems so mean that she just parachutes into people's lives, dumps a bunch of shite into their laps then expects to never ever have to explain herself. I feel like that's the sort of person who says "I'M JUST BEING HONEST" a lot.
We also left Adam's son Tom (Jacob Dudman) hiding in the back of the car of John/Patrick Katz (Paul Kaye), a murderous police officer cum security advisor who possesses one single non-toxic feature: he's a doting dad to his daughter Olivia (Humera Syed). I think Olivia is being poisoned by her mother a la Munchausen by Proxy.
Is he doting enough to not murder his daughter's friend Tom? So far! He stops on a country lane and drags Tom out for a chat and ciggie; perhaps he just needs a pal. Or a quiet, remote place with loose soil to murder someone.
Wait, Tom probably shouldn't share the Munchausen by Proxy theory on that quiet road in the middle of nowhere, but it does shut Katz up for a second while he contemplates. Katz is galvanized by the idea, he drives off, leaving Tom in the middle of nowhere to get home by himself.
There are approximately eleventy thousand storylines going on in the show, I'll try to tie the next scene together with the last. Okay, we're at the hospital with Katz's boss DS Johanna Griffin (Siobhan Finneran). She gets a notification about her best friend Heidi Doyle's (Jennifer Saunders) funeral and sighs, she's not quite ready to deal with that. Katz killed Heidi while trying to find The Stranger for his boss, who was being blackmailed by The Stranger for being a SugarDaddy to Heidi's daughter as SugarBaby.
Johanna's been waiting to interview a young kid named Dante Gunnarsson (Kai Alexander) who has been unconscious since he and his clothing disappeared from a rave attended by Tom and his friends, one of whom beheaded the lovely alpaca Louie that very same night.
Dante is awake and Johanna isn't wasting any time asking questions in front of his parents. According to Dante, he took Tom's "friend" Daisy Hoy (Ella-Rae Smith) off to the woods for a walk and ended up stripping to go skinny dipping. She stole his clothes and ran off because she's kind of a jerk or maybe she wasn't interested and forgot to say that with words.
In this scenario, literally every person ever says "ha ha, very funny." All of them! It's like a tic!
He wandered alone in the woods looking for Daisy, instead finding caretaker Max Bonner (Robert Ewens) not being creepy at all in the middle of the night clocking teenagers at a bonfire.
But it's more than that, Max starts to chase Dante, shouting "you got me in trouble!" regarding something to do with the CCTV cameras and Adam's wife Corrine Price (Dervla Kirwan). Since we know Dante's been taking a lot of footage of Corinne himself, we and Johanna take that with a grain of salt.
Doing what with the cameras? What was Max doing?
Katz listens to thrash metal on the drive home, I really think some Enya would be more effective right now. He needs to align his chakras, get in touch with his heart centre and have a good talk with his wife Leila (Kim Vithana).
He doesn't do that, he checks the garage for its horrors (what is Thick Bleach??) and tells Olivia to pack a bag. She's going to stay with her aunt.
Tom doesn't have to walk all the way back to town, thanks cell phones! His best friends Daisy and Mike Tripp (Brandon Fellows) pick him up, the former with lots and lots of hugs. Just don't try skinny dipping in the woods, Tom, she gets skittish when you prance around in the altogether.
They decide that it's time to tell the school about Olivia lying and stirring up shite. Olivia wasn't just sitting around being poisoned by her mum for kicks, she was actively spreading disinformation and alternative facts.
Olivia hacked into Daisy's little sister Ella's (India Brown) phone because she liked Tom's and Daisy's friend Mike, and she saw him talking to Ella this one time (makes zero sense but: teenagers). She sent out gross pictures purportedly of the underage girl and told Daisy it was Mike who did all of that.
Anyway, Daisy was so incensed at this breach of (completely unlikely) betrayal that she pulled out a joint laced with PCP and gave it to Mike there on the spot. He went on to murder an alpaca for NO REASON.
But what he didn't do is hurt teenager Dante Gunnarsson, which is what he was really worried about. Daisy and Mike think people at the school need to be told so Olivia can't hurt any more people. Didn't you hear? She's going to her aunt's house for convalescence!
Johanna and her "infant" partner DC Wesley Ross (Kadiff Kirwan) are off talking to the guy who most likely did hurt Dante, caretaker Max Bonner who likes to lurk in the woods and chase naked teenagers WITH AN AXE while shouting at them. This is how he gathers wood.
Ahhhhh, okay, let's add some more backstory. Dante has been filming the missing Corinne for ages, and he spotted Max messing with the security cameras in the football office. In the football office is presumably where Corinne did her treasurer work, I forgot to mention that a large sum of money is missing and the club thinks she took it. It would be awfully easy for someone like, say, Max, to take the money and erase footage from the cameras. We already know he's totally cool with holding someone up for money as he rooked Adam out of a few quid earlier.
BUT. That would make him a super easy sacrificial lamb, wouldn't he? This seemingly odd loner caretaker who likes to gather wood at night in the dark close to a large party full of teenagers off their heads. Almost tooooo good of a suspect. Let's say he was doing as he said and fixing the security camera, who broke it? Was it Coach Bob Baime (Clinton Blake) helping himself the football club funds? We know he's out of work and presumably feeling the pinch, football isn't a cheap sport to enroll your children.
That's thin, but he's the only other football club member we've spoken to more than once and he got right shirty when Johanna asked him about Dante Gunnarsson filming stuff around the club.
Okay, I'd better get back to it, this recap will be 7000 words if I keep nattering on about my crackpot theories.
Adam gets home to find his youngest son Ryan (Misha Handley) crying in bed and reassures him: he's still there. Then the doorbell rings, it's Johanna at like midnight! She looks fresh as a daisy but he looks as though he's been pulled through a hedge backwards. It's been a rough week.
She has news of Corinne to share, there is no CCTV showing that Corinne left the area by plane. With her abandoned car being found on a remote road by the airport, they had to check.
Johanna asks Adam about he and Corinne's life together, he tells her how they met. In a bar, then volunteering for the same charity. That's pretty much perfect! They ended up in Joburg together short of accommodations.
Adam breaks down, Johanna could not understand more.
The air changed in the room then, there was tension between them of a personal variety, broken by Ryan coming in to see if his mum was who he heard talking with his dad.
Well now. That was interesting.
Adam stays up late watching home videos of them all together, and of Corinne and of fun family times.
I feel as though any of my home videos of that nature would showcase more whining and mom-pinching.
A much less happy video is being sent between Katz and his wife, I'm surprised he didn't confront her personally but I guess an angry video message will have to do.
One thing: he wondered aloud if Leila was hurting Olivia because he left Leila. Now, he's older, could he have been associated with The Stranger?
Wesley spies a morose Johanna hiding outside at work, she's got Heidi's memorial today. She'd feel a lot better if she could tell anyone who did this to her (IT WAS KATZ). Wes offers to take on the caseload solo for today while she regroups, awww.
Adam's dad Ed shows up on his doorstep with a flash PI, Peter Ince (Yinka Awoni), his blue suit and his glorious tie are ready to help! Adam recounts again his fight with Corinne about possibly faking her pregnancy to Peter and his dad, but does not mention The Stranger.
Adam! Your dad ALSO met The Stranger, tell him and Peter about The Stranger!
Now the ideas are flying fast, Peter mostly standing around and looking thoughtful while Adam and his dad throw ideas around. Ed keeps going back to Martin Killane involving Adam in his case on purpose, it is quite odd that two members of the same family would end up here.
Ed and Adam decide the best next step is going through Killane's gear, Ed's got them all packed up in storage!
One more thing about Corinne, something we do know about her is that she likes to help people. Could that have been what she was doing faking the pregnancy to draw out The Stranger, who blackmailed a friend of hers who faked pregnancies all over the place? It's more likely that she was trying to entice Adam to not sleep with the dishy Sally Prentice, but I'm making a note anyway.
Johanna does a reading of Dorothy Parker's "Inventory" at Heidi's memorial because she I guess she wants us all to cry today. Wes goes through Heidi's crime scene details while Adam and Ed search Killane's belongings.
Katz didn't just murder Heidi because he's a psychopath, he was investigating The Stranger for Larry Powers (Matthew Roberts) who hired him after being blackmailed as a sugardaddy. Larry's come to Katz's house for a status update, just ahead of Johanna, who wants a chat about yelling at Katz in their police sting the other day. They were trying to catch Larry, actually, and here he is at Katz's place, practically on a platter!
Katz shoos Larry out the back door and welcomes Johanna inside. She's there because she's worried about him, he's in rotten shape and making mistakes all over the place. They spar a bit then he unburdens himself of everything he's been carrying around, his wife poisoning his daughter and him working himself to the bone to pay for the treatment she doesn't even need.
They get all American with a hug, interrupted by Wes calling on Johanna's phone. He's recognised someone on the CCTV footage right before Heidi was killed.
Ohhhhhhh I wish that hadn't been on speaker phone just then. Thank god Wes understands that Johanna is with Katz at his house, I only hope he gets there in time. Katz sets upon Johanna ahhhhh I'm so worried he's going to kill her!! They're fighting while I'm watching between my fingers, she manages to get away and lock herself in an upstairs bathroom, will the police get there in time? We know Katz is armed and she probably isn't. (Talk about getting all American)
Johanna gets Katz's confession for killing Heidi then climbs out the second story window to possibly break her ankle. She can't move very fast, so he's able to grab her and drag her back inside, pointing a gun at her head. She pleads with him; he doesn't want to do this, it isn't who he is!
We cut away to Adam finding confirmation of what I'd known for simply ages.
WOOOOOOOO!!! I KNEW IT!! Now does does Ed tie in? I know he ties in. And with that we're oot! You know I'm finishing this off tonight, right? Yeah I am! Until then, cheers!