REVIEW Shetland (S7 E4/6)

Well, thank goodness for that.

At the end of episode three, we were left with an agonising cliffhanger – Tosh, beloved Tosh, was snooping around a caravan hired by missing Connor Cairns and rigged to its eyeballs with explosives. Surely Tosh couldn’t go up with the rest of the caravan?

Thankfully no. She (somehow) managed to escape.

The close shave for Tosh left Jimmy relived but also angry, and he doubled down on his conviction that Connor was no victim here – he was the number-one suspect. The incident also served to have some serious psychological effects on our two main characters for two different reasons. Tosh was trying to bury the emotional impact of the trauma from the explosion in the caravan and went straight back to work, leaving Donnie to look after baby. Jimmy, on the other hand, wanted to be closer to Meg, but all of this layered case focused his mind and instead he began to become obsessed, and distant.

Forensics expert DI Brooks arrived – a did Rhona, back to help out (and do some plain talking to Jimmy) – and a disturbing new twist emerged: after his investigations of the bombsite and the materials used, Brooks thought that this was the work of a terrorist. The race was on to try and find out what Connor was playing at and why. After interviewing Lloyd Anderson, Murray the librarian and latterly, Connor’s father, a theory emerged – Connor was passionate about the environment.

Could he be an eco-terrorist?

Just as the hypothesis was formulated, finally Connor’s body turned up on a beach, looking for all the world like he had jumped from the cliff above. But more examination by the redoubtable Cora found that he had actually been murdered, and some smart detective work by Tosh led them to a deserted croft, supposedly being renovated. There, in the basement, was a gruesome torture chamber.

It was a creepy scene – bloodied chairs and instruments strewn in the darkness, the torch-lit brick walls serving to add an element of horror movie to proceedings.

And that wasn’t all that was going on in this packed and really rather good episode. Martin had hidden his camera for some reason behind the back of a wardrobe, only for Abbie to sneak the memory card out of it, and then Lloyd Anderson was revealed NOT to be Lloyd Anderson, but someone who attended high school in the US with the dead man in the suitcase.

Shetland is certainly providing bang for its buck when it comes to twists.

And there were more potential outs for Jimmy in this episode(sorry, I’m a bit obsessed with trying to guess how Jimmy will leave the show). Rhona said he looked like shit and she was surprised he had lasted in the job this long, especially after everything he’d been through in the past year (his father, Donna Killick and the tribunal). And when Connor’s body did turn up, he looked broken with the prospect of telling the family the bad news.

And there was more – Jimmy had a late-night drink with Lloyd Anderson, who is obviously a wise man. He delivered some insights into Jimmy’s personality, questioning why he did the job he did and for so long. Jimmy replied: “I love it here… although the longer I do this job, the less I fit in”. Lloyd raised a toast to the loneliness of the lawman.

He was feeling even lonelier after Connor was found to be murdered. Suddenly his confidence in being a good cop was shaken to its core.

Jimmy (and Tosh) were becoming more and more like the very islands they love, work on and care so deeply for. There’s some nice symmetry there, and some good writing.

Paul Hirons

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.




Shetland is broadcast on BBC One and iPlayer in the UK

4 thoughts on “REVIEW Shetland (S7 E4/6)”

  1. This is an episode that gets better the more you think about it. As I was watching it I thought of it as strong, but contemplating it afterwards, it is so much more than that. I found the pivot this week of Connor from potential terrorist/murderer to victim more emotional than last week’s victim to assailant. His death was truly a shock. And although I expected Tosh to escape, her PTSD was really affecting, as is Jimmy’s struggle to keep ploughing on. But may I say how happy I am to see Julie Graham back, and a scene with Cassie too. And genuine question; has the new lead/DI been announced because there was a real vibe from DI Brooks-it felt as if this was his entrance? Or maybe it’s just me! Just hoping that the ending will be landed and Jimmy’s swan song will be worthy of him.


  2. Very interesting scene with Jimmy correcting Lloyd on his reference to High Noon. Jimmy’s seen the film and he knows Gary Cooper is the sheriff who cleans the bad guys out before leaving his badge behind and riding off with Grace Kelly into a better, presumably less tense and dangerous life. Throughout this last series, I’ve gotten the impression Jimmy is mulling over a change in direction. And perhaps Tosh is, too.


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