Welcome to the penultimate episode of Unforgotten series 4; I hear it's a doozy. I also heard other things that I very much did NOT want to, what do you suppose leads people to post spoilers on social media, hm? Do you think they like to snatch candy from children in between posting a cliffhanger as quickly as possible in order to spoil as much as possible? My dear friend Old Ain't Dead @oldaintdead doesn't care, but I sure get cranky about it. Don't make my hand hover over the Unfollow button, spoilerers!! At any rate, let's see what all the fuss it about in my recap of Unforgotten S4:E1.5 after the break!
We open where we left last time, at the alotment where the police believe Matthew Kieren Walsh met his accidental/on purpose early death. Large signs are posted along with his picture, will anyone remember seeing someone being chased there at night more than 30 years ago? We've already had two surprise witnesses do exactly that, one was even Matthew's brother Clive (David Schofield) who saw Matthew being set upon by no less than four people, presumably our four suspects.
At the police station, a very tired DCI Cassie Stuart (Nicola Walker) prepares to go home; even though it's dark lots of things are humming along. Like DC Karen Willets (Pippa Nixon) digging up suspect Dean Barton (Andy Nyman)'s real name: Dean Quinn.
Alllllll our of suspects: Liz Baildon (Susan Lynch), Fiona Grayson (Liz White), DCI Ram Sidhu (Phaldut Sharma) and Dean have hinky relationships with their parents / families. PARTICULARLY with their mothers, but just in general, so I have to wonder if Dean changing his name had anything to do with that. We already know he's got a mother hidden away from his family that he ignores save for an impersonal card sent late after Mothering Sunday.
Ram's having an extra challenging night; he and his wife Anna (Clare Calbraith) are expecting a baby that has proven to have birth anomalies. He was formerly in favour of having the baby, but changed his mind recently when he realised he may soon be arrested for the murder of Matthew Kieren Walsh. That's how Anna sees it, anyway (I totally do too), but Ram downplays the amount of trouble he could be in (like, a lot). From all accounts, the death (probable murder) of Matthew Walsh was a retaliation for a physical attack on Ram, who was defending Fiona, whom Matthew possibly sexually assaulted. So whatever Ram says about not being guilty, every single sign we've seen points to him being just that. As writer Chris Lang is no dummy, I assume this is all a red herring and Fiona is the real murderer as our least likely suspect.
For real, though, I could see Liz Baildon doing it; she's the only one with the presence of mind and planning ability under pressure. There is also a strong possibility that she and Fiona were a couple, defending your partner is a time-honoured reason for murderous revenge. Usually by men torqued up on testosteroni and their own injured ego, but perhaps it's not a gender-specific act.
Karen calls Cassie with more information about Dean; who changed his name before applying to be a police officer presumably because he was born into a crime syndicate of a family. Two of his brothers followed into the family business, is one of them named Felix??? Booo we're not going to find out yet.
Cassie hangs up and heads into her dad Martin Hughes's (Peter Egan) house, or rather she tries to but Martin's girlfriend Jenny (Janet Dibley) blocks her way. She doesn't want Cassie seeing her dad like this, when she's angry, which Cassie denies.
But. She is angry. And Martin really does not want to see Cassie, he finds everything he'd dealing with too difficult. It's "Don't you think it's hard enough me losing me, without feeling as though I've lost my daughter as well?" He has rapid onset dementia or Alzheimer's, I feel quite terrible for not knowing which.
Cassie goes home and calls her lovely boyfriend John (Alistair MacKenzie) who thinks her near-constant anger is fear and pain at losing her dad. He suggests again, gently, that she could be finished work now and they could be happily moved to where he's now stationed, by as soon as the next day.
(He knew she would say that)
DS Murray Boutling (Jordan Long) has been looking into the incident at a pub that preceded Matthew Walsh's final night on earth; Matthew had indeed sexually assaulted Fiona and had been stopped by Ram Sidhu (whom she calls handsome; everyone fancied Ram! I also fancy Ram, I get it), who got his face messed up for his trouble. Liz was around as well, no word on Fogerty or Dean yet.
About Fiona, the past has been knocking on her door loudly as well. Besides all this Matthew Walsh murder business and his attack on her, she also killed a child during a dangerous driving offense. Given her prodigious drinking habit at the time, it is also assumed that she was drunk at the time, covered up by her mate/girlfriend Liz Baildon. Fiona had mentioned absolutely none of this to her husband Geoff Thomlinson (Daniel Flynn), he's treating her like a dangerous stranger, questioning her tentatively as things occur to him. Such as: how did she get a therapist license with this conviction on her police record?
Well, about that license, rather, the lack of one. She isn't licensed and unfortunately they've just placed a massive deposit down on her own therapy shop that they are now likely to lose. She got a degree and all the practical parts, she just never applied for a license and has been practicing that way for 16 years.
I'll just say: he's not being very supportive.
DI Sunil 'Sunny' Khan (Sanjeev Bhaskar) briefs Cassie in the cafeteria; they did get a witness from the boards by the alotment AND are able to put Dean and Ram together three days after the news broke.
I've mentioned how gathered and self-contained Liz Baildon is; that partially has to be considered because of her upbringing. She's got a nightmare of a mother, Eileen Baildon (Sheila Hancock) who takes a break from harassing her daughter to be terrible to her carer Eugenia (Mina Andala). Eugenia has been working in an untenable situation for far too long for too little money, she actually ended up blackmailing Liz for a pay rise and her overdue gas bill. She's basically the worst blackmailer ever, she didn't ask for anything unfair AND she has empathy for Liz.
Eugenia is a woman stretched almost to breaking, she still finds it within herself to give.
Sunny and Cassie decide that the most likely outcome of that night was one person killing Matthew Walsh and the other four (newly appointed coppers) agreeing to cover it up. Then Sunny swears and I need a minute
I know!!! I KNOW!! I know people talk like this and he's a grown man and why shouldn't he swear?? I just felt...sad. The tears were probably unrelated.
Onward to parsing who is the mostly likely of the four: Ram Sidhu. First out of the car with the most obvious grievance (I would argue FIONA has the most obvious grievance but)
They workshop a path forward; perhaps they'll bring everyone in and try to divide and conquer. Make them think they know more than they do and they should definitely find more out about Fogerty. Fogerty is the only member of the group not alive, and he stored the body for a solid 30 years. If push comes to shove, the smart choice is to blame the murder on "the dead guy with the body at his house." 100 percent.
The new witness from the alotment from the night in question has a bit more information to add; he saw two people carrying something in a tarp, then a man and woman arguing, the woman crying as they put the tarp-clad object in the boot. Our witness playfully asked them: "What you got there? A dead body?" but there's no word on whether they answered or peed themselves.
Liz's mother told Eugenia that Liz had killed someone, Liz wants to know when her dad ratted her out. Lookit this perfectly evil woman. She's basically a pink Grinch.
Liz has had enough. She swears (sigh) and asserts herself, finally, with a not-veiled-at-all death threat.
Her mother is quiet at last.
Cassie and Sunny track down Dean's mother, yikes. Now there's a dysfunctional family if I ever saw one. When Dean's dad found out he had applied to be a copper, he set two of Dean's brothers on him to kick the living shite out of him while he watched. While Cassie and Sunny are speaking with Mary Quinn (Kate Williams), Dean's brother Sean (Brett O'Shaughnessy) comes in to swear at them (sigh) while posturing. That his mum still holds the reigns is obvious, even as she fights for oxygen. She begs Cassie for Dean's address, please do not do that! Dean would be in so much danger should this woman know where he lives.
Dean is just then explaining his secrets to his wife Marnie (Lucy Speed), all the foreshadowing about the havoc his family would wreak on his life. He cries as he begs her to not make him go back to that family that was such a terrible life for him.
A briefing back at the office brings more gold; Murray has dug into Ram's violent past, DS Fran Lingely (Carolina Main) looked for the same in Fogerty's past and found nought. He was a sweet lad, easily led, with a drinking problem at the end of his life. DC Jake Collier (Lewis Reeves) hasn't been able to prove that Liz lost Fiona's drink driving test, but she was on custody duty that night so that's something. They'll be "tugging" on Liz and Fiona right away, DS Fran will be finding out what happened to the fourth Quinn brother, who died. Dean never mentioned that, nobody else did either so maybe it's squirrely.
Liz Baildon is not just Liz Baildon, but rather DCC Baildon, I don't know if that's the top job or not but that's the peak she's falling from right now. She sees Murray and Jake coming for her and withdraws her application forthwith.
Fiona calls a family meeting to explain about her past, the police tap at the door as her husband listens in horror, her kids in perplexed silence. It doesn't really make sense that she lied about her upbringing just because of her dad's "A Copper's Copper" headstone, but then: not much is making sense to them and the police keep knocking knocking at the door.
Fran walks in as Fiona gets to the child killing part of her narrative, which was right after the suicide attempts and years of alcoholism, her "you've come about the body" is like the icing on a gruesome cake that literally nobody wants a bite of. Her kids look absolutely traumatized.
A hilariously taut interview between DCI Cassie and DCC Liz.
Liz is on the ropes and there's too much to answer for, too many lies already told on record. Cassie offers her the classic criminal carrot: who wants to be the first to take a deal and flip on their co-conspirators?
Liz has no comment.
We have a suuuuuper weird cause of death! Matthew Walsh was stabbed in the head with something metal, I had sort of assumed it was a piece of rebar or something associated with the brick wall he presumably died next to. Turns out he was stabbed in the head with a gold-nibbed fountain pen, says our Dr. Leanne Balcombe (Georgia MacKenzie). That's...not possibly an accident, is it? Which is the other thing I was half-assuming.
But who stabs someone with a PEN??
Hm. Okay, a much more fruitful interview with Fiona, Cassie is able to lead her exactly where she wants, which is to Fiona saying Mathew Walsh was absolutely not ever stabbed, he fell and died by accident. That's what Ram said.
Game: set and match.
One thing they mentioned that I had missed was that Fiona used the secret of that night as leverage on her former girlfriend Liz to get help with hiding the blood sample from her reckless driving offense. I had assumed it was Liz helping out someone she cared about.
In fact, Fiona gives them everything, from the beginning of the fighting to the end. She is consumed with grief over what this night did to her life, but. Matthew Walsh didn't need to die that night.
Dean's mum is at his house and he couldn't be any less happy than Ram, whose dad refuses to even look at him.
Look, we're all assuming it was Ram, but that is exactly what means it CAN'T be Ram.
Cassie heads over to the mortuary to talk to Dr. Balcombe; turns out gold-nibbed fountain pens sometimes have serial numbers and recorded purchasers, so wooo!
It's near 7:30 when she leaves, literally everyone is in a car right now, all four suspects and our Cassie. Most of them are crying, she just looks exhausted. She's been calling her dad all day without any luck. She checks her phone again then moves ahead as a car comes out of nowhere and t-bones her at full speed. Ahhh and English drivers are ON that side!!
Okay, who was it? Dean was all cold steel, I have my eye on him. He's been a bit of a sleeper, but he is always there, in the background and organized and unemotional. Even Liz had tears in her eyes just then, but Ram seemed determined.
Sorry, I slept on this and I woke up annoyed. WHY would anyone think that hurting Cassie would end the investigation? There is literally a team of officers which everyone has met at least two of; so it can't be that. That leaves a personal axe to grind and that brings two people to the forefront: Liz Baildon but really: Dean Barton/Quinn. Cassie and Liz exchanged some cheeky banter in the interview room, perhaps Liz saw the long game of the squad being disrupted by Cassie's accident. BUT. Cassie told Dean's evil mum where to find him, bringing that into his current life and I could see him being very, very angry about that.
Also: there's no way they would kill Cassie.
I will see you next time, everyone, cheers. If you haven't checked out my audiocap series on Unforgotten, make sure you do! Cheers.