Photographer: JOHN ROGERS
With the four prime suspects in the 39-year-old murder of drifter Jimmy now firmly in her sights, Cassie’s problem is which will crack first. Philip Cross admits to associating with some dodgy sorts, but denies being capable of murder; Cassie thinks he’s just the type. Eric Slater seems to be bullying his frail wife, but is it to hide something from his past? It turns out he does have a conviction for violence, in a homophobic assault. Does this suggest another possible motive for Jimmy’s murder?
Lizzie’s relationship with Ray is fracturing, as he feels he can’t be sure of her innocence; has her involvement with the youth football team been a way to assuage her guilt?
Father Rob is buckling under the strain of his guilt, and confesses to his wife Grace that he had an affair with Jo-Jo; he too denies any involvement with Jimmy’s murder, but his daughters wonder what other secrets he might be hiding, and he is forced to leave home. It looks like he might also be unmasked as having robbed the community centre.
Pathologists find marks of gangland torture on Jimmy’s skeleton; has he in fact, Monty Python style, ‘transgressed the unwritten law, and had his head nailed to a coffee table’ by Doug & Dinsdale Piranha and Spiny Norman (er, sorry, the Fenwicks?)
Cross has been rattled by Gordon Fenwick’s threats to reveal more dirt, and asks his son to set his Turkish gangster mates to sort him out. But his daughter Bella gets incriminating photos from the Fenwicks, apparently showing Cross torturing someone – not Jimmy, though.
The cops track down some of Lizzie Wilton’s old associates, and find out more about her violent skinhead boyfriend Erskine, who allegedly planned to rob Jimmy.
Cassie finally tracks down the mysterious Jo-Jo, Joanna Bridges (Caroline O’Neill), by tracing Rob’s phonebox call to her. The first fact to emerge is that her affair with Father Rob happened when she was 15 (hooray! we wouldn’t have feel all the current TV drama boxes had been ticked unless there was a paedophile priest involved).
So did Rob and Jimmy fight over the affair? Was Jo-Jo pregnant, and had Jimmy borrowed money from Cross to pay for an abortion?
Cross’s tissue of lies starts to tear apart when Bella confronts him with the torture photos. Okay, it isn’t Jimmy getting nailed, but the photos could still destroy Cross and Bella; he resolves to pay off the Fenwicks.
Under questioning, Lizzie confesses that she and Erskine had robbed Jimmy of the money he borrowed from Cross, but maintains that Jimmy was alive when she last saw him. Still, she’s charged with assault with intent to rob, and news soon gets back to her estate, causing her young, gifted and black protege Curtis to go into a downward spiral.
Eric’s anniversary party goes pear-shaped when his wife starts to crack, implying that he did something in the past; Lizzie leaves what looks like a suicide note; and Rob looms menacingly over the parishioner who could finger him for the theft – which one will end up dead?
As each suspect becomes more embroiled in the case, guilty of Jimmy’s murder or not, it looks as if no-one is wholly innocent, but will they get what they deserve? Or, as Cassie has begun to suspect, was it all just too foggy are far in the past for the truth ever to be clear?
The series continues to be absorbingly realistic; the police are portrayed as real people rather than cardboard cutouts, and fully rounded too, their family lives giving them perspective on the case; the procedural elements are convincing too, relying on a combination of foot-slogging and inspiration, rather than the ludicrous coincidence or CSI-style magic of many other series.
If there was a failing in this episode, it was perhaps that the revelation of ‘Jo-Jo’ seemed rather underwhelming; after the time we’ve invested in it, we expected something a bit more dramatic.
But the drama will certainly be stepped up next week, when another death is on the cards – this time, one that’s fresh in the memory.
For our episode one review, go here
For our episode two review, go here
For our episode three review, go here