Halfway through episode two of this new series of Shetland, Jimmy Perez looks exasperatedly at the witness board and bemoans the fact that they have a bunch of suspects that have no connection to each other.
I knew the feeling.
As good as it is to have Shetland back, I get the feeling that the writers have over-egged this story. With so many characters and possibilities, narrative strands and callbacks, this story is jumping all over the place.
At the end of episode one, we got a tense and terrifying Vigil-like scene inside a diving decompression tank. And in this episode, while the death of Eamon Gauldie was being investigated we got scenes in a religious retreat, more scenes at Logan Gribban’s place, scenes with a recalcitrant and defiant Donna Killick, and more gentle scenes with Jimmy’s dad.
And Sandy ended up getting run over by Lynda Morton’s nefarious pal.
There was a lot going on, and I’m not sure everything felt linear or comfortable. Every piece of this puzzle felt a bit jagged.
Take the Gribban connection. Eamon Gauldie, the man who took the drone footage above Galbraith’s house the day he died, was thought to have been murdered by his crewmate, Mick Muir. Mick Muir, Jimmy and Tosh found, was related to Gribban, who was still smarting from being turned down by Galbraith.
So could the two have conspired to not only murder Galbraith but also kill off witness Eamon Gauldie? No wonder Maggie Kean looked a bit perplexed.
As ever, what gets Shetland through all this initial jumping around are the characters and the emotional dimensions of their stories. Jimmy opening up to the (potentially dodgy) sister at the convent about grief and his mother, the complicated feelings of death and guilt swirling Donna Killick, and the touching scenes with Jimmy and his father.
I still haven’t got a handle on this series yet, and I won’t until it whittles down a few things and settles down a bit. However, this is Shetland, so I’m intrigued to see how this goes.
READ MORE: OUR EPISODE ONE REVIEW