Review: Unforgotten (S1 E5/6), Thursday 6th November, ITV

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MAINSTREET PICTURES FOR ITV UNFORGOTTEN EPISODE 5 Pictured :   TREVOR EVE as Sir Phillip Cross. Photographer: JOHN ROGERS This image is the copyright of ITV and must be credited. The images are for one use only and to be used in relation to UNFORGOTTEN, any further usage could incur a fee.

With last week’s episode setting us up to expect another death, Unforgotten keeps us dangling – has Father Rob made off with his inconvenient parishioner Sheila, or has Lizzie done away with herself? Or has someone dug up Eric’s garden and found out why he won’t leave the house? Or has Cross set the Turkish gangsters on his blackmailers?  

Implausibly, it turns out that one of Eric’s sons has called the police during the anniversary party, to repeat his mother Claire’s claims that Eric has buried a body in their garden. Even more implausibly, the cops have turned up while the party is still in full swing, broken it up and started digging.

Meanwhile, Ray is still searching for Lizzie, who has gone missing leaving what looks like a suicide note after getting a brick through her window; in fact she’s dossing in the streets. You wait all your life for the knock on the door, she says, then one day you realize your life is the knock on the door. She feels she has been punished, but just for robbing Jimmy, or for more?  

A tearful Cross breaks down in front of his wife when faced with evidence of his violent past, and Sheila throws Rob out after he confesses to her that he stole the money from the community hall.

Sunny ponders on whether you can love someone who has been living a lie; Rob’s family ask themselves the same thing, when it emerges that he’s been stealing for years. He confesses that he got Jo-Jo pregnant, and has stolen to support her daughter.

When a skeleton is indeed found in the Slaters’ garden, Cassie admits to being lost – whose is it? How’s it connected to Eric? Eric is arrested, but is he actually the killer?  

With news of the arrest on the TV, Cross tries to call off the Turkish mobsters he’s set on his blackmailer Fenwick – but he’s too late, Fenwick has been done away with in a fire.

From a convenient credit card, it’s established that the body in the Slaters’ garden is that of Nicholas Whitmore, a gay trainee nurse who disappeared from Hampstead about two years after Jimmy.

Eric is linked to his last known location through an ATM transaction. Is Eric in fact a homophobic mass murderer? He denies everything but is locked up, and eventually claims that he knows who the killer is.  

 

Eric’s character has been particularly deftly drawn – while we’ve always felt that his apparent benevolence is a façade, it’s impossible to gauge his level of guilt. Tom Courteney’s performance is perhaps the best of his career, and it’s matched by that of Nicola Walker, particularly in the scene where Cassie questions Eric with a relentless calm which is the keynote of her performance.

We’re now moving towards the theory that while all the suspects are guilty to a greater or lesser extent, none of them is actually the killer; so will Jimmy’s mother ever get the closure she deserves?

Chris Jenkins

For our episode one review, go here

For our episode two review, go here

For our episode three review, go here

For our episode four review, go here 

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