Welcome back to Unforgotten, airing one day later than usual but always on time in our hearts. Unlike moi. We're almost halfway done this series, and we'll be past that at the end of our shared experience today. Did that sound creepy? Maybe a little. Rolling into my recap of Unforgotten S4:E1.3 after the break!
It's a very quiet day for all our suspects; since the news recently brought their pasts knocking on the door. Fiona Grayson (Liz White), The Liz Baildon (Susan Lynch), Ram Sidhu (Phaldut Sharma) and Dean Barton (Andy Nyman) are all implicated in the decades ago death of one Matthew Kieran Walsh. We don't even know how Matthew died, maybe he wasn't even murdered, but someone(s) removed his head and hands post-mortem so whatever happened wasn't pretty.
Did I mention these four were all police officers when it happened? IKNOWRIGHT? Two are even still serving, The Liz Baildon, up for the Top Job and DCI Ram Sidhu, currently embroiled in a work-related sexual harassment case. The other two drifted into other lines of work, Fiona a therapist and Dean a totally crooked air conditioning kingpin.
They're really only implicated because Matthew Kieran Walsh's body was found in the freezer belonging to former copper Robert Fogerty, who was pulled over for DUI the night MKW went missing. The other four were in the car. It's thin, but the cold cases team (wait. Is it a cold cases team specifically? I mean, we always see them investigate long ago cases but maybe in between they're hunting live murderers or something. I wonder) led by DCI Cassie Stuart (Nicola Walker!!) is determined to find out and bring them to justice.
It has nothing to do with Cassie's current problems extracting her pension for medical leave, a decision made by the top brass she's trying to take down right now lalalalalalla I can't hear you!!
Cassie's boss DSI Clive Andrews (Colin R. Campbell) wants to know why Cassie is looking for zebras and not horses; why not assume it was only Fogerty involved in the killing? Why drag in four mates that were even sworn police officers? Like Robert?
Cassie argues that maybe the live people still kicking might be a better source for information than the dead guy Clive would be happy to pin this on solely, but Clive's not impressed. She's got 48 hours to provide concrete evidence that he didn't act alone or move on.
One of those suspects, Liz, is at home in her kitchen with her red Aga when one of her bosses Robin Willard (Charles Dale) calls; she got the Top Job she interviewed for the other day. She was also involved in an altercation with a carjacker that same day, so she is at home recuperating from the physical attack.
Back at Cassie's office, her team is reviewing new evidence collected. DS Fran Lingely (Carolina Main) tells of a witness statement of a young man being chased by an Asian man (that's how they refer to Ram Sidhu on this show) in the area at the approximate time of MKW's disappearance. That's...not a lot to go on. There's too much they don't know.
Oh! We've got a new face in the room, hiya DC Karen Willets, aka Kaz (Pippa Nixon who hasn't been on Unforgotten before but apparently was in MotherFatherSon, which I loathed) who gets a 'welcome back' and smiles from the gang before Cassie gets serious again.
Fiona and her husband Geoff Tomlinson (Daniel Flynn) just signed papers to lease a new business space for at least her, she calls someone to stop that going through. Is it the money she needs or the less stress of having a new space to renovate and start in she's avoiding? She makes a weird and sketchy appointment with her husband's brother at his flat after work to discuss the legal paperwork.
Speaking of moving and stress...our beloved DI Sunil 'Sunny' Khan (Sanjeev Bhaskar!) is supposed to be off work today, he's moving in with girlfriend Sal (Michelle Bonnard) who is none too understanding about his suddenly urgent work schedule. Um, Sunny, she knows you, right?
Dean Barton shows the strain as he and his family prepare for a fundraiser for the Jack Barton Trust, I wonder how much he's stolen from his son's trust so far? All of it? Jack (Rory Averdiek) is a love but Dean's wife Marnie (Lucy Speed) knows something is up with her husband.
Ram keeps making bad choices; he follows up the alleged harassment of one Lucy Myers by forcing his way into her flat with a financial proposition.
I can't suss where Liz lives, is it with her mother, the nightmare Eileen Baildon (Shelia Hancock) or is it with her fiancee, the lovely Janet (Amanda Douge)? Either way, she's over at her mother's place enough that she could spend a little more time thinking about the wage needs of Eugenia (Mina Andala) who has brought her child with her to work. Liz is worried to see Cassie literally on her doorstep just as Sunny rolls up on Fiona.
Here's Cassie's charm, she always sneaks in a beautiful smile directed at the ground or nearby furniture, it shows her warmth and non-confrontational style.
You can trust her! Tell her about the lad you murdered, there's a good suspect! Cassie hands over a photo. This is literally what I hold my breath for the whole show; the flashbacks!
Liz keeps calm and is helpful as well as believable, until Cassie tells her they have evidence of her presence in Robert Fogerty's car the night MKW disappeared.
Cassie offers a Sophie's Choice: explain herself or she can have Liz down in the office under official caution. They both know what that would do to Liz's brand new and unofficially designated job. Liz treads carefully, managing to coincidentally remember the night in question.
Perhaps she'd processed ahead far enough to realise that admitting to being in the car is not admitting to murder. Eugenia listens outside the door, I wonder if she will use this uneasiness to press for more money.
For the record: taking care of Liz's nightmare of a mother deserves ALL the money.
For a therapist, Fiona is one twitchy bundle of nerves while being casually interviewed by Sunny. She calls Ram Sidhu a 'Sikh lad' when Ram is ANYWAY. She relaxes enough to share some deeply personal information with Sunny; she became a copper because her father and grandfather were and wanted that for her. She hated it. She hated it so much that she drank all the while through it and for three years after, one continual blackout.
That's *awfully* convenient, and not very likely either. I wish I could remove three years in a row, 100%, but I'm pretty sure that's not how any of that works. Things can get hazy!
Erm, maybe not quite hazy enough, Fiona's flashback has some, erm, humping?
Ahhhhh okay, Ram's financial proposition to "Juicy Lucy" was just a way to get her being racist on tape; turns out Ram sent one of her cousins to jail a year before with a similar racist bent. So he's out of trouble and finally calls his wife Anna (Clare Calbraith! From Home Fires!) so they can discuss the blood test she just took to determine the health of their unborn child.
Fiona meets her brother-in-law Mark (Alec Newman) at his flat late at night (okay, 6:30 but it's dark) so he can drink wine and explain to her how he can't help her not have the mortgage go through. She's worried that a long-ago criminal conviction surfacing would cause them to lose the $50k deposit they'd submitted, can she change her name on the application? He offers to try, does she have something for him in return?
You know, I have to wonder if it's some kind of deep-seated insecurity that drives some people to attempt the extortion of sexual favours. Whatever Fiona decides to do, she now knows she has a toe-rag for a brother-in-law with leverage on her he isn't afraid to use.
We get an interesting contrast between Dean and Ram's lives next. Dean at his fundraiser glowing and discussing his life with his differently-abled child and how it helped him calm down, find peace. At home with Ram and Anna, she does not want to consider a life with a child with Down's Syndrome. Not close enough, not good enough, not perfect enough. Ram does not see it that way, and you can see him realise that she wouldn't accept him and his cracks either, whether or not it's what let the light in.
How could you not love someone quoting Leonard Cohen?
The next day, Dean is still riding the high of his 'life-affirming' fundraiser when he spies Cassie approaching his office. He bolts literally seconds before she walks in. She has to chase him down at the fundraiser cleanup, which is also an awfully conveniently sympathetic way to see him, outside of his posh office.
Across town, Sunny approaches Ram, who is quick to point out their similar racial backgrounds.
Let's just say that Ram is slightly rougher around the edges than our Sunny.
Ram kicks Sunny out almost immediately, calling him a coconut and implying this interview was a move from the higher-ups to get rid of him. Imagine living with that toxic amount of stress, paranoia and anger every day. Also, we didn't get his flashback boooooo.
Ram's been reminding me of Denzel Washington in Flight, just an excellent movie.
On the side we've got Cassie dealing with some family issues, as always connected to her father. He's dealing with rapid-onset Alzheimer's and it's making him more irascible than usual. He does have a caretaker/girlfriend; he's decided to sign over his half of Cassie's house to her for taking care of him. It previously was designated for Cassie's son Adam (Jassa Ahluwalia) who has taken his grandad out for a drink at his mother's urging. It's suuuuuuuper awkward but Adam really does understand his grandad's decision and bears him no ill-will.
What is it with Nicola Walker's luck that she's cast in shows as she can't get along with her dad's romantic choices?
Dean's interview is longer than Ram's and his flashback less romantic than Fiona's.
He's very believable, he even has Cassie bucking his confidence up. He just maybe shouldn't have editorialized about the body parts; good liars know to stick close to the truth and not embroider too much. Ask Liz!
DC Jake Collier (Lewis Reeves) has been hot on the trail of the very cold body, he waits outside a storage facility close to Fogerty's house where he will undoubtedly strike gross gold. They're still looking for the head and hands and hoping it will give them cause of death, see.
Aww, Jake runs into an old schoolmate who calls him a "proper dickhead" and can't believe he became a copper. Who wants to be a copper? (That scene perfectly encapsulated all of our major themes of this series)
Ram calls...who? Fiona shows up at the police station to be met with murderous controlled rage from Liz, who directs her to a much more secret meeting place the next day. We know that Cassie had planned to put them all under telephone surveillance, does she have people following our gang yet?
Cassie and Sunny go over their day's interviews; not much gold in them thar hills. She admits to an agenda, but her instincts are still leading her on. Sunny's not as sure. He heads home to his new life with Sal, but Jake has been working hard in the storage locker and I fear his night is going to be disrupted before it has begun.
Jake finds a small freezer in the locker and we end the episode with this: Fran has found a witness who saw the victim being chased by an Asian man and an unusually tall man (Robert Fogerty was basically a giant), one called Matthew by his name! So they knew him! And the rest of Matthew Kieran Walsh has also been found, carefully tucked away in the secondary storage space of one unusually tall man.
Until next time, everyone, keep an eye out for my audiocaps of Unforgotten, coming soon! Cheers.