Hi everyone! Welcome back to Unforgotten with our awesome Nicola Walker and the one and only Sanjeev Bhaskar. We know what Unforgotten is; we're going to meet someone after they've died the sort of unfortunate death with layers that need to be carefully unearthed. Cassie will lead us gently through the moral decay that weaves its way around people's lives, and Sunny will calm her down whilst carrying a backpack for us to ponder. There will be crying! But also moments of hilarity because few have better comedic timing than our Nicola of the Clan Walker. Without further ado, let's roll into my recap of the first episode of the fourth season of Unforgotten, S4:E1.1 Found after the break.
We open with tremulous music in Haringey, London (which I assume is pronounced like Chumley) driving along to a construction site with a man of generous proportions and not nearly as much musical talent as he imagines. To be fair: he was stuffing his face at the same time.
It's all smiles and giggles with the man directing the large machines pulling apart scrap metal, until he spots a human leg sticking out of a fridge.
We cut to police headquarters where DI Sunil 'Sunny' Khan (our Sanjeev Bhaskar! from Good Omens and Yesterday and so many other wonderful shows) is getting a sense that he won't be able to have a romantic dinner with...Sal (Michelle Bonnard) *sigh*. I've always held out hope for a Sunny/Cassie romantic liaison, for that I blame Moonlighting and every other television show before 2015. All partners of opposite genders are the romantic equivalent of a gun on stage: they must be fired by season 3. HOWEVER. I credit Sally Wainwright with taking gender out of that equation, cheers!
ANYWAY. Sounds like they're happy and love each other and stuff, great. *kicks rocks*
Ah I just love the theme song, I have no idea why it makes me so happy and I think the credit sequence is beautiful when it's packed full of terrible images.
HEY. tangent. Did you watch Harlan Coben's series The Stranger? I swear to all that is holy; it must be the same company who did the credits because it featured very similar images and one singular murderously intent alpaca.
iTV was running some sort of a competition; What's in Sunny's Backpack? but I had no idea it was so posh. Leathuh, darling!
Sunny grabs his backpack and signals his partner...DS Fran Lingley (Carolina Main whom I watched in an Irish series called Blood, it was beautifully done but unintentionally hilarious for me). The boss's desk is still empty.
At the end of the last series, DCI Cassie Stuart (Nicola Walker!! from Last Tango in Halifax, Collateral, River, The Split and so many more. I love her work) walked away, she'd had enough of the blood and pain and sorrow of lives lost before their time.
Finally, FINALLY we see Cassie, in the kitchen in the light chatting with her son Adam (Jassa Ahluwalia), she's due in at 3. Due where?? OH. WAIT. That's not her son! That's a dishy MAN!! This may even be John Bentley (Alistair MacKenzie) that I swore we met before...
I mean, he's not Sunny, but he's very attractive if you're into that sort of thing.
Speaking of Sunny, he and Fran have just arrived at the crime scene where a headless, handless body and DS Murray Boulting (Jordan Long) await. Dr. Leanne Balcombe (Georgia MacKenzie) is with the body, but this must be quite early in the investigation because it's still dressed and looking oddly relaxed.
Because of the lack of melon and mitts, Dr. Balcombe doesn't have quite as much information as she normally would at this point. Sunny hazards a guess for our victim's age between 20 and 30, the odd thing is that he's been frozen. He's frozen solid, even displaying some freezer burn. He's covered with white shmutz and sports a MFC tattoo, which I tried in vain to make into a dirty word.
Off we roll to Southall, London, to a packed communal market that makes my COVID-19-enduring self very uncomfortable. A well-dressed man blaring East Asian music pulls up outside a women's clothing shop he must own. This is Ram Sidhu (Phaldut Sharma), very handsome, very comfortable in his own skin and clearly master of his domain.
He goes through the shop to his mother Riya Sidhu's (Inidira Joshi) house, where his brother Bal Sidhu (Ronny Jhutti) tut tuts at his brother's hangover. Happy birthday Riya!
It's interesting watching the family, Ram's mother clearly loves him but the others...he seems to be skating by on the skin of his teeth. Later, he's contemplative and wistful about the past.
Off we go to a completely different area, Buxton in the Peak District where Fiona Grayson (Liz White) and Geoff Tomlinson (Daniel Flynn) are measuring their office-to-be. Hm. She's nowhere near as into it as he is and he's barely bothered, why does it seem as though she strongly distrusts him?
Back at the scrapyard, Fran and Sunny find the freezer where the dead body was undoubtedly kept, unless people are randomly screwing locks onto blood-smeared freezers for other reasons.
It's weird to just see Sunny and Fran working and no Cassie leading then, we immediately switch to Cassie getting unwelcome news from her boss. She had a sort of breakdown at the end of the last series and she would like to retire for medical reasons, but bureaucracy has stalled her three months shy of her 30 year mark. DSI Clive Andrews (Colin R. Campbell) wishes he had better news for her, but the bean counters have added up all the beans and there's quite a lot: $124,000 pounds she'll lose if she doesn't make her 30 before retiring.
Because it's all the same to them, isn't it? They're not out in the field, mopping up all the blood, tears rage and despair as Cassie and her brethren are. Will she go back? She needs to think on it.
(That perfect Nicola Walker sardonism)
We zip over to Cambridge which is SUPER fancy; Liz Baildon (Susan Lynch from Apple Tree Yard, Happy Valley Series 2 and many others!) and her intriguing tooth gap (for real, she looks like Lauren Hutton) rides her bike to her mother's house so she can walk a minefield of recriminations and parental disappointment. Her mom Eileen Baildon (Sheila Hancock) is a piece of work, one WASPy putdown after another. I should point out that Liz is the picture of middle aged respectability.
There is a housekeeper, maybe it's not as much fun to emotionally bully Eugenia (Mina Andala).
Sunny has googled the make and model of the bloody freezer, it turns out it was only manufactured between 1998 and 2008, which means...nothing. I assume they have a service like Kijiji in the UK, used freezers abound there and maybe you wouldn't use a brand new freezer for a decapitated body, right? A chocolate bar wrapper found on the body may be able to narrow things down.
What DID we do before Google? As Sunny muses: "how was life even worth living?"
We're zooming all over London and area today, now in Rochester, Kent where Dean Barton (Andy Lyman) is explaining how to make money at a charity fundraiser to Jill on the phone. He hangs up to fill out a Mother's Day card, this is a very matriarchal episode, isn't it? From the lovely Riya to the poisonous Eileen and Dean's absent mum, interesting.
He leaves his office to join his grown disabled son Jack (Rory Averdieck) singing and dancing to Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes, it's the only time he looks close to happy.
Cassie and Sunny talk in the cafeteria, he wants to know if she'll come back but she's afraid she'll lose it again.
Ahh onto catching up, Cassie's dad was diagnosed with rapid-onset Alzheimer's, his life has been filled with confusion and rage. That must be why we've not seen him, he was all over the other three series of Unforgotten. Sunny drops a few tidbits from the case, she's drawn in a little, even as she tries to work against it. We know she'll be back, and it has very little to do with 100 thousand pounds of pension. Nobody does a job for 30 years without getting something out of it, even if it does take so much more than it gives.
Back at the office, Fran's tracked down the freezer to a buyer named Rob Fogerty, Murray knows that name! He owned that freezer until two months ago when he died and the freezer was cleared out. Wooooo. We're already done, yay! I'll make a cuppa and make moony faces at Sunny, you find something on the telly!
Okay, we've got a bit to go yet.
Dean gets into his fancy office where he is clearly very important; Felix has called and needs him to call back ASAP. (That is an extremely British name. I know of zero Felixes)
Sunny and DC Jake Collier (Lewis Reeves whose hair has calmed down and he's sort of grown into his face. I notice that we stopped zooming in on him in random moments, that's new) go check out where the freezer was stored; unlike what Cassie thought, another freezer with the rest of the body was not kept on those premises. Where are the other bits then? The doctor tells us toxicology has nothing so we'll really need the melon to figure out what happened.
I didn't know what the MFC tattoo meant, but Murray is disdain itself contemplating the number of men who *chose* to get a "Millwall" tattoo. 31! He will never understand "the vagaries of human nature."
Oh wait, we do get to see Martin Hughes (Peter Egan) again, yaaaaay. Cassie's dad is everyone's political uncle on Twitter, raging about Cassie setting a precedent by trying to welsh on her 30 year pension because she's "upset". Or having broken a nail, anyway, he's being an arsehole. I see he's still with Jenny (Janet Dibley whom I remember from Broadchurch), double yaaaay. She is quite established, however, following Cassie out to ask her to call her dad about his will.
Sunny eats a much more peaceful meal of pizza, alone surrounded by packing or unpacking and his girls shouting in the background. He looks content.
Fiona of the office-moving-in above overhears her (must be) husband Geoff reminding their kids about Mother's Day, she brings it up on their breathtaking drive through the beautiful English countryside. She never knew her parents, which seems like a major clue. Later, at work counseling a teenage girl, she contemplates the nature of lying. It keeps people from knowing us, from understanding us and maybe that's the point, innit?
Over in Cambridge, Liz struggles with a household problem: Eugenia is thinking of quitting. She's only received a one-pound raise in the last three years and that seems like a lot. I don't know, I'm not in England and I haven't worked anywhere steadily enough to know if that's normal or not but Liz defends it. Ah I feel bad for Eugenia, this was a difficult conversation for her to initiate.
As usual, our suspects, I mean main characters, are all affluent; I wonder if that's to make their imminent downfall more poignant. A rich house of cards built on LIES.
Cassie is back in the saddle.
She takes a deep breath and enters the workroom where Jake swallows his tongue at the sight of her. She should take a picture of her clean desk, it will NEVER look like that again. She's a bit disappointed in nobody getting really excited to see her, but that's because she asked Sunny to warn everyone. But not that much!!
(I am absolutely like this; I never want anyone to make a fuss but I'll grieve every single second of the time when people don't when they should. I will never tell you I don't want a fuss on my birthday, remember that.)
She looks so happy to be back, she's glowing. A quick case update: they've identified the victim!
They're not going to tell us yet, boooo, first we watch Ram Sidhu and his babymama look at their baby-to-be in utero, hmm. We all know Anna Sidhu, she's Clare Calbraith from Downton Abbey and Home Fires! She's also 46, which is slightly long in the tooth for babymaking (it is, that's statistics, not ageism) and makes the tech have to search out her supervisor.
Okay! Our victim is most likely Matthew Kieran Walsh, he disappeared in March 1990 but we know the freezer was only manufactured between 1998 and 2008, where was he frozen before that? We don't know much about him, given the age of the files, etc, but he did have a girlfriend named Karen Chambers who reported him missing.
Awwww, Liz is getting married! Her fiancee Janet (Amanda Douge) is lovely and calm and is sensible; she does not want Liz's nightmare of a mother at their wedding. I couldn't agree more, but Liz is all duty. I do love seeing her smile for once.
Sunny brings Cassie some information, they've managed to put Fogerty a mile away on a DUI arrest the night of Matthew Walsh's disappearance, what's really interesting is the four other people in the car with him. Were they on their way back from a NIN rave?
Dean finally calls Felix from his posh office late at night after everyone else has left, Felix has a bit of a problem he's hoping Dean can help him with. He's lost a shipment. Dean isn't the guy any more, he's a legitimate businessman, going on 11 years now, mate! Felix waits. I mean, "how much are we even talking about, here?" asks The Guy, The Legitimate Businessman.
Cassie and Sunny track down the police officer on the Fogerty DUI case, he remembers the 30-years-old case very clearly. Not because it was unusual to pull over a speeder and catch a drunk driver, but because of how he reacted. Fogerty started to cry like a child, he'd just ruined his career. A career as a copper, just like the other four people in the car, all newly qualified police officers.
*Cut to shot of Fiona, Ram, Dean and Liz.
And we're out! Cheers, everyone, I'm so damn happy Unforgotten is back, you guys have no idea. Until next time.