Review: Unforgotten (S1 E2/6), Thursday 15th October

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Having identified the skeleton found in the first episode, and uncovered a diary full of names and phone numbers, dedicated DCI Cassie Stuart (Nicola Walker) is determined to find out whodunnit, despite the crime being 39 years old. Missing since 1976, Jimmy Sullivan was the only son of Maureen (Frances Tomelty). Cassie travels to Liverpool to get a DNA sample from the grief-stricken woman, who never gave up hope that she would find out what happened to the boy after he went to London in search of work, and to escape his violent father. Cassie’s own emotional attachment to the case is emphasised by her feelings for her own two children, now grown and off at university.

Of our suspects, Father Ted (sorry, Bob Greaves) has a break-in at the youth club, and the money that was “resting in his account” goes missing. Was it really stolen, or has he half-inched it himself?
His name, we find, is mentioned in Jimmy’s letters home.
Wheelchair-bound Eric Slater is watching Endeavour when his dementia-afflicted wife walks out on him after accusing him of some heinous crime – but is it all in her imagination? He was the book-keeper at a youth hostel Jimmy stayed at in 1976.
Youth worker Lizzie Wilton seems to have had a past as a violent racist skinhead known as Beth; she has the tattooes to prove it, a connection with another violent skinhead, and records of having stayed at Jimmy’s youth hostel – but does her work with black youths indicate a change of character?
Questioning the coppers originally on the missing persons case suggests that Jimmy’s mixed racial background might have been one reason for their half-hearted investigation – but one identifies ‘Frankie C’ in the diary as Phillip Cross, then a market stall-holder involved with nasty London gang the Fenwicks.
In an Apprentice-style grilling, Sir Phillip turns down his son’s business proposition, as it involves Turks with criminal connections; we reckon it just wasn’t criminal enough for the shady Sugar.
Under questioning, Cross – “Call me Sir Phillip” – denies knowing Jimmy, but bristles when asked about the Fenwicks, and throws the coppers out – “He’s shorter than he looks on the telly” comments Khan. Well at least Trevor Eve doesn’t have to have his chair raised.
Father Bob is pawning the family jewels to balance the diocesan books, but when he hears the police are asking after him, he phones Jo-Jo. Is this Jimmy’s mystery girlfriend, and what could she know about the murder?
We’re still none the wiser about who might have killed Jimmy, or why, but there may be a racist motive, or jealousy at the root of it. Perhaps we’ll know next week when Jo-Jo’s identity is revealed.
Meanwhile we’re getting more tantalising glimpses of Cassie’s private life – her father hands her a box of old letters addressed to her mother. Will these reveal some deep family secret, and will this derail the investigation?
So far we’re most enjoying Nicola Walker’s nuanced performance as Cassie, and Trevor Eve’s almost completely un-nuanced one as  Sir Philip. We almost expected him to growl ‘You’re fired!’ at one stage. Well, there’s plenty of time for that yet.
Chris Jenkins
For our episode one review go here

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