Every season, the Drama After Dark team gathers ‘round the (currently virtual) conference room table to watch the latest and greatest in British dramas. This month, we’re incredibly excited to bring you coverage of MASTERPIECE’s new show Van der Valk. If you were looking for a moody, gritty mini-series that’ll make you want to abscond to Amsterdam, Van der Valk is for you. I’m here to recap the season as it happens just in case you, Dear Reader, miss an episode and haven’t yet been able to catch up on GBH Passport.

Van Der Valk seems determined to convince me that Amsterdam is the coolest city in the world, and so far it’s kinda working? This episode opens in a billiard hall, a thing I was convinced no longer exists, driven away by the Harold Hills of the world (I was wrong: there’s one less than a mile from the GBH offices). Anyway, THIS billiard hall has a bunch of cool cats, including Euro Cash, who opens the show by losing a game. He’s not having the worst night of the crew, because Hassell calls him, and she looks about as good as any of us feel after spending any length of time on social media these days, i.e. BAD.

A man yells "Not great, Bob!"

Hassell wants Euro Cash to go over and keep her company, and while he initially tries to decline, he loses again and decides to quit while he’s ahead (er, behind). Hassell comes down to hang at the billiard hall bar. Elsewhere, a mysterious lady with pretty brown eyes pours over some illuminated manuscripts which have a saucy vibe. I can’t figure out if she’s acting kind of squirrely because of the racy etchings or because she’s made some kind of academic discovery, but either way, she realizes it’s late and leaves the library while an intense librarian looks down on her both metaphorically and literally.

Back at the billiards hall, Hassell explains her existential crisis. It seems that our detective pal has been jilted in love. For some reason she’s turned to Euro Cash, who you may remember tried and failed to pretend to be a quantum physicist on a date last week, for advice and a listening ear. Shockingly, he agrees, with the proviso that they order more drinks.

Ross Poldark raises a toast

Speaking of bad romance, welcome to the crime portion of the episode. Brown Eyed Girl from earlier is in bed with a mysterious person. It’s clear that she’s not into this encounter from jump street, and that only becomes MORE obvious when the mysterious man pulls out a KNIFE, shallowly cuts her stomach, and then LICKS IT UP. Before I can even recover from this vampire-style nonsense, he chokes her, apparently to death. Everything about this scene is weird as hell.

A man says "I'll be honest, I have no idea what the point of that video was."

Because the Van Der Valk writers love a strong parallel, the next scene is Woodsman Cop enjoying a nice ice cream cone, a food that may now be ruined for me by association with a Dutch blood-licking murderer. Clooves is there too, and he’s also grossed out. Apparently it’s just because he’s a dorky health nut who doesn’t approve of morning ice cream, something I would have agreed with before the sickness came and we all abandoned all normal rules of human behaviour. They’re out and about because someone has to investigate that creepy murder, and if you have a legit reason to hammer on the hatch to your boss' houseboat and yell “police, open up” you might as well go for it. Euro Cash is not pleased with Woodsman Cop’s antics, because he and Hassell apparently made good on their plan to get absolutely hammered last night.

A woman drinks from a giant wine glass

Oh, did I mention that Euro Cash answered the door in sporty goth underwear, and that Hassell clearly also slept on his boat, and is wearing sporty goth underwear of her own? Woodsman Cop is delighted, and clearly ready to eat out on making fun of the situation for the rest of, well, ever. Clooves, meanwhile, makes what I can only describe as the face kids make when they realize their parents have sex.

A man yells "I don't like it!" repeatedly

Mom and Dad put on their clothes and skip on down to the crime scene where Woodsman Cop fills them in. Brown Eyed Girl’s name is Aamina, and the hotel staff (for she was murdered in a hotel room) found her this morning, dead, bloody, and next to a pool of vomit. Aamina doesn’t have a phone on her, and there are no cameras in the hotel. Even more strangely, the room isn’t under her name, but is registered to someone totally different who paid in cash weeks ago. Next of kin has not yet been informed.

Euro Cash, somehow (hangover) even more aloof than usual: Welp, you better get to steppin’ Clooves.
Clooves: ME?
Hassell: My work son isn’t ready for that yet!
Euro Cash: It builds character.
Clooves: Uhhh ok. Sure. I’ll be fine!

Man sings "wrong wrong wrong wrong"

Before Clooves can leave, Euro Cash finds a very weird diary full of ramblings, some in either code or a completely different language, and strange, religious-adjacent illustrations. The diary is from a library and museum that specializes in mysticism.

Woodsman Cop: Never heard of the place.
Euro Cash: That’s because you’re a himbo, Brad.

A man whispers "It's true."

It turns out that said mysticism library is right around the corner (go figure) so Hassell and Euro Cash pop on over to check it out. On the way they confer about their new Gossip Girl worthy rep with the boys. The takeaway? Neither of them cares what the others think; they’re only grumpy because they’re hungover, and regardless, all that happened last night was that Hassell talked Euro Cash’s ear off about her recent breakup. TBH, it’s weird to me that anyone would really think they’re hooking up based on their Big Sibling Energy, but I’m only the recapper, so what do I know.

At the museum, a staff member takes them to wait at the back of a lecture on the crucifixion so that the Intense Librarian from earlier can be fetched from the audience. Just for ~flavor~, and definitely not for any reasons relevant to the case, the lecture is about a dude named von Zinzendorf, who Wikipedia tells me was a religious and social reformer active in the 1700s. Per the lecturer, von Zinzendorf was particularly fascinated by the moment during the crucifixion when Christ was pierced in the side with a spear.

A man says "greaaaaat." sarcastically

Most of the audience, having willingly showed up to a lecture on Christian mysticism, doesn't pay any attention when Intense Librarian goes to the back of the room to talk to the cops. But there is one dude weirdly lurking at the side of the room who for sure notices. Side Lurker wanders over and inserts himself in the conversation, and confirms that he does recognize Aamina. Intense Librarian can do us one better: she knows Aamina, who came in a few times a week and kept to herself, usually sitting in the same spot. She left last night just before 8pm, and she seemed distracted. Euro Cash also asks if the museum squad knows anyone named Francis Rakoczi, and boy do they! He’s a Transylvanian composer, philosopher, and adventurer from the 18th century better known as the Comte de St. Germain. Now reader, a fun fact about me is that I can’t just take something like that on face value, so I looked it up. The Comte? REAL NAME UNKNOWN. He claimed to be the son of Prince Francis Rakoczi II of Transylvania, but not until the end of his life. I also found a real weird essay in something called Esoteric Quarterly and derailed the writing of this recap by 20 glorious minutes.

The opening from the show Unsolved Mysteries

Anyway, it turns out that that weird essay was just the tip of the iceberg, because Euro Cash knows of the Comte de St. Germain.

Euro Cash: Ah, the alchemist. He’s supposedly immortal, right?
Side Lurker, cool as a cucumber, like what he’s about to say isn’t absolutely bonkers: Oh yeah, some of the esoteric groups think that he’s an ascended master who lived for over 500 years.
Hassell, too hungover for this: Cool, so do they have his address then?

Euro Cash, it turns out, is kinda into this stuff, and knows a thing or two about alchemy. Hassell clearly thinks this is kinda nerdy but is prepared to be cool about it. Before they leave, they look up some basic dirt on Side Lurker, who is apparently a very wealthy industrialist and also one of the most “spiritually advanced people in Holland,” whatever that means. Euro Cash sets Hassell to learning more, while he heads out in search of coffee.

Now, if you thought the “hey, your suspect is immortal” conversation was awkward, I have bad news about Clooves’ attempt to notify Aamina’s family of her death. Aamina’s dad is sitting in stoic shock, but her brother is furious, raging at their dad for driving her away and causing her death. Clooves tries to comfort Aamina’s dad as best he can, and asks for more information. It turns out that it’s been a while since dad last saw Aamina, who he claims was busy with her nursing career. Dad also wants to know why Aamina was in a hotel room, assuming that she was taken there against her will. It’s possible, of course, but Clooves tells him there are not obvious indications that that was the case. Dad also tells Clooves that Aamina was devout, and bristles when Clooves asks if she had interests in other religions, saying that the whole family are strict muslims.

At the library, Hassell looks over the books Aamina had been reading the night she was killed and gently pokes at Intense Librarian.

Hassell: Sooooo, this is like a nerd palace funded by a robber baron — what gives?
Intense Librarian: Well, actually, it’s pretty normal for Amsterdam — we have a whole cultural thing about rich guys patronizing educational stuff.
Hassell: Neat. And, uh, not to be weird but… all of these books are basically church porn, correct? This one is literally a nun picking penises off a tree.
Intense Librarian: Oh yeah, that’s one of the most famous examples of medieval courtly literature! The protagonist’s name is a reference to female genitalia.
Hassell: And this is all Aamina was into? Anyone else look at this stuff recently?
Me, spends a lot of time online: Open your mind and hie thee to Tumblr, Hassell; this is barely scratching the surface of medieval church erotica.

Across town, Euro Cash and Drunkie Howser have a snark-off in the morgue. Drunkie Howser basically tells Euro Cash what we already know: Aamina was asphyxiated after having intercourse, and the knife wound is superficial, prompting Euro Cash to posit that it might be fetish related (and that’s BEFORE he finds out about the whole “someone licked the cut” thing). Hilariously, the so far pretty unflappable Euro Cash is appropriately, well, flapped about the vampyre-adjacent knife play, whilst Drunkie Howser live-and-let-lives it and keeps eating his lunch. One additional piece of evidence? Aamina had Ayahuasca, a psychoactive medicine used for spiritual and religious purposes by some Amazonian indigenous people, in her system. Ayahuasca is also a purgative, which explains the vomit at the scene.

Back at the bariefing room, the bar owner helpfully explains Ayahuasca to Woodsman Cop/the folks at home. The key takeaway is that Ayahuasca causes powerful hallucinations, which makes it a favorite of western backpackers looking for a spiritual experience. Cliff Bar (he owns the bar and is named Cliff, I’m not apologizing for this) helpfully mentions that he has a friend who’s gone to Ayahuasca church and claimed it changed his life; he can connect them to this friend. Notably missing from this chat is Scruffy Regular Frank, who Euro Cash asks after, calling him “homeless Frank.” Look here, pal: I make the reductive nicknames, not you! While Woodsman Cop eats pancakes and continues to not pull his weight in the crime solving department, Clooves recaps the family notification (yikes) and tells us that unbeknownst to her family, Aamina quit her job as a nurse six months ago to work at a well-known addiction clinic where patients are given drugs and a safe place to inject. Putting on my public health hat for a second, while this seems radical to American audiences, there’s actually very strong data to support safe injection sites.

The words "The more you know" follow a shooting star across the screen

Between the drugs and the hotel room paid for in cash, the guys speculate that this was either a premeditated murder or a love affair gone wrong, only to have Hassell to show up and throw the “religious erotica” wrench in the works. Woodsman Cop, predictably, is all about it. Hassell also reveals that one other person ALSO looked at all the same books as Aamina — someone named Sister Catherine, who gave the library a very fake address.

A man says "The plot thickens."

Poor Clooves gets sent out with Woodsman Cop to engage in what he calls “nun hunting.” Clooves thinks that’s disrespectful, but Woodsman Cop says it’s ok because this gal is, in his mind, probably not a nun. Why? Because this is Amsterdam and the idea that someone would cosplay as a nun to go to a mystical library isn’t that weird. He also makes a joke about being into women of the cloth just in time for an actual nun to open the door.

A man standing in a doorway makes a "yikes" face and leaves

Meanwhile, our hungover duo goes to check out the clinic where Aamina worked. The doctor there explains the thought process behind the clinic: they treat addiction as a health problem, and it seems to be working — overdose fatalities are at an all time low and crime is down. Then the clinic owner starts talking about Aamina, and it’s hard to tell if we’re supposed to find him suspiciously cagey or just blandly unhelpful: he didn’t know Aamina all that well, but she was well liked. She approached him to ask for work, saying she’d heard of the clinic, and he doesn’t remember from whom. She never talked about her family. They don’t use Ayahuasca. Euro Cash and Hassell seem to share my vague distrust of this guy, but then they get to see the clinic rules in action. A patron of the place, Spike, has arrived late for his appointment, which means he’ll have to wait a few hours for the next appointment. He pushes the doctor to break the rules, but no dice. He finally leaves, but is NOT happy about it.

Back across town, Clooves is practically begging Woodsman Cop to behave himself around the nuns. Woodsman Cop ignores him, jokingly speculating about what you’d call a group of nuns, because he’s a goober who hasn’t yet realized that this is exactly the kind of thing Clooves just casually knows (it’s a "superfluity," BTW). Unfortunately for Clooves, Woodsman Cop is determined to be an ass, and literally hits on one of the nuns, to everyone’s discomfort.

At the clinic, Euro Cash and Hassell are talking about the weirdness that is licking an open wound when they run into Spike outside the clinic. Euro Cash, pleasant as always, decides to question the man by belittling his timekeeping. Spike tells them that he comes to the clinic despite the strict rules because the heroin is very high quality. When asked about Aamina, he initially asks what’s in it for him, but relents after some old-fashioned shaming from Euro Cash. Spike tells the detectives that Aamina had a “thing” going with a guy named Otto.

Back at the nunnery, Clooves finally has some luck. One of the sisters recognizes the woman they’re looking for, who actually goes by the name Sister Joan. Euro Cash is summoned to question her.

Sister Joan: Look, I may have taken a vow of celibacy, but I still like looking at porn. You got a problem with that?
Euro Cash:

A woman smiles and says "Uh... no."

Sister Joan: I’m not that weird, TBH — have you heard of St. Theresa of Avilla?
Me: OMG Joan I almost made a reference to her earlier in the recap, how did you know?
Euro Cash: No, I am a normal person and not a huge nerd.
Sister Joan: She had mystical visions where she was pierced by the spear of Christ, which I think we all know is pretty obviously symbolic. I’m just not that repressed! RIP to other nuns, but I’m different!

Hassell interrupts to tell Euro Cash that the clinic found Otto: he did jail time in the past for stabbing his dealer, and while they don’t have an address, they do have a photo. Meanwhile, Woodsman Cop makes flirty eye contact with Sister Joan. As if sensing the nonsense happening behind him, Euro Cash shoos Woodsman Cop off to track down Otto, and Clooves to do more looking into Aamina’s family.

Euro Cash: Does your boss know about your, uh... library patronage?
Sister Joan: No, I didn’t want to embarrass the order, hence the fake name and address. If she found out about it I’d have to stop going, so I kept it on the DL. And before you ask, I feel totally fine about that.
Euro Cash: Ok, well do you know Aamina?
Sister Joan: I’ve seen her there, but we don’t really know each other.
Euro Cash, no subtlety: Well, she was murdered.

Hassell takes one look at Sister Joan’s predictably upset reaction and silently tells Euro Cash to take a hike.

Hassell: I, too, am a Catholic. Well, lapsed. So let’s girl talk: what was Aamina like?
Sister Joan: She was my friend — we had the same interests. We talked a lot about how two unlikely people like us ended up getting into mystical religious erotica. Aamina was definitely rebelling against how strict her dad was.
Hassell: How did she get into this in the first place?
Sister Joan: She met someone. A man, I think.
Hassell: Sister Joan, this is really important — anything at all you can tell us might help.
Sister Joan: They met up at an Airbnb. I have the address.

While all this is going on, Euro Cash notices some of the art (shocker), specifically, a rendering of Christ’s body after the crucifixion which prominently features the stab wounds the lecturer mentioned earlier. Euro Cash calls up Drunkie Howser and asks him to send Aamina’s autopsy photos, which confirm that Aamina was cut in exactly the same spot. What does it mean?

A man shrugs

Hassell is inclined to think that Sister Joan is on the level: she seemed genuinely upset. Euro Cash, not so much: he thinks it’s weird that Sister Joan knew about the hookup Airbnb. Hassell chalks it up to friends confiding in each other, but regardless, they have a lead. They ring the bell at the address when Euro Cash notices someone watching them in reflection of the door’s window. She runs when she realizes she’s been made, and of course Euro Cash pursues. He almost catches her, but she gets onto a train. Through the window, he sees her take off her hoodie to reveal that she's… Aamina???

A man sits up in confusion as if to say "wait what?"

Back at the station, Clooves bounds up to his work parents.

Clooves: Guess what I found out!!
Euro Cash, a thunder stealing jerk: Aamina had a twin.
Clooves, pressing on: Ok, well did you know her name is Zafira and she was arrested on a drug charge a few years ago? What if she got kicked out of the house and erased from the family!
Euro Cash: Stop trying to be fancy and just tell me your theory!
Clooves: Which sister is in the morgue?!
Hassell: Aamina, the dad ID’d her.
Clooves: Yes, and he checked the tattoo first. Except for one thing… Zafira is the one with the tattoo! I checked her social media pages to prove it.

A man drops a microphone and walks away, saying "bam!"

Euro Cash: Why would the dad lie? And why would she run away from us?
Clooves: That I don’t know; I can’t know everything, man. Want me to go talk to dad again?
Euro Cash: No, I’ll do it. What else do you have?
Clooves: I’ve been looking over the list of Ayahuasca stuff that Cliff Bar sent over, and it looks like footage from the library is also ready to be looked at. AND, at the Airbnb we found one of the plants used to make Ayahuasca. AND it was booked under the name Louis Tsarogy. AND that von Zinzendorf guy from the lecture earlier in the episode ran a Christian cult obsessed with the wounds of Christ!
Euro Cash: UGH stop telling me useful and relevant info, Clooves! I’m very hungover! Just find the guy who was giving the lecture!

A young man walks slowly and dejectedly across the frame


A woman says "That was way harsh, Tai."

Euro Cash: Whatever, does he want a prize?
Hassell: He’s a genius, dude — it wouldn’t hurt to encourage him. What’s your damage?
Euro Cash, internally: Big Cheese sent him to spy on me and I resent it!
Euro Cash, out loud: nOtHiNg! Anyway, if the body is Zafira, why did she have her sister’s ID and notebook?

Hassell can’t answer that, so we get an old fashioned montage of detective work. Woodsman Cop canvasses a bunch of seedy-ish bars looking for Otto. Hassell watches hours of library footage. They both turn to coping mechanisms to deal with their boredom: Woodsman Cop, a nice beer, and Hassell, snooping out a pile of newly released books by Side Lurker, which just happen to reference both of the aliases used to book the rooms that Aamina used for her assignations. She takes the opportunity for a little stroll over to the library to question Side Lurker.

Hassell: You probably could have mentioned you wrote this book about the Comte de St. Germain, pal.
Side Lurker: Well, I’ve written a lot of books.
Hassell: Who’s Louis Tsarogy?
Side Lurker: Oh, it’s another pseudonym for St. Germain!
Hassell: Fun fact: the girl who was killed stayed in rooms booked out to two of St. Germain’s fake names.
Side Lurker: Maybe she was into him.
Hassell: Except from what we’ve seen she was more into religious erotica. Though I guess she was cut with a knife where Christ was speared and taking Ayahuasca, so… IDK. Does that make sense to you?
Side Lurker: Not really, shamanic mysticism and extreme christianity are pretty different.
Hassell, not super subtle: Well, maybe she knew someone who was really into St. Germain then. And totally aside from this whole murder thing, where were you last night?
Side Lurker: At home, alone, working. I’m a spiritual person though; we don’t usually think of killing as a path to enlightenment.
Hassell: My guy, you make bullets for a living.
Side Lurker: Look, I inherited the company and I try to give back. Also I’m pretty smart, if I did do a murder I wouldn’t leave clues that led directly to me.
Hassell: Well, thanks for your time. Any other St. Germain experts out there? Or, ya know, any personal enemies?
Side Lurker: I believe in good vibes only, so no, I don’t have any enemies.

A woman says "Okay?" skeptically

Across town, Aamina’s brother is on the phone talking to person(s) unknown, but clearly whichever sister is actually alive. Don’t worry about dad, he says — we need to come together as a family, so come home. Before he can finish the conversation, Euro Cash accosts him.

Euro Cash: Oh hey, been looking for you — is your dad around?
Brother: Yeah, he’ll be by soon.
Euro Cash: And what about your sister?
Brother, playing it cool:

A man casually asks "Who?"

Euro Cash: Aamina. I’d like to talk to her.
Brother: That’s not funny, dude.
Euro Cash: I’m not being funny, I saw her earlier today. Did she have a tattoo on her chest?
Brother: No. Zafira did; the fight with dad started when she got the tattoo.
Euro Cash: What did the A stand for?
Brother: She didn’t say.
Euro Cash, distracted by dad’s appearance: OH HI. Can you explain why you mis-identified your daughter’s body?
Dad: Zafira’s been dead to me for years. I couldn’t handle the lying, the drugs, the stealing… the sex. I was just relieved it wasn’t Aamina, and I lied because I was flustered and ashamed.
Euro Cash: Yeah, but don’t you want to know who killed your daughter?
Dad: Not really!
Euro Cash: Ok, that’s not cool. And it's literally my job to find who killed her, so do you know where she was?
Dad: No, we had no contact. But Aamina did — they were close.
Euro Cash: Aamina was seeing someone, did you know that?
Dad: Yes, that’s why she left; we found out about it. She wouldn’t tell me who it was; I just hope it’s not too late. I made her brother call her and tell her I’d change if she comes back. Find my kid!

Across town, nobody told Woodsman Cop about the whole twin sister situation. He’s tipped off that Otto is sitting in the bar, and nearly falls off his stool when he sees that Otto is video chatting with their victim. In the office, Clooves follows up on the lecturer from earlier. He gets a name (Lionel), but no contact info. Fortunately for us, Clooves has a mind like a steel trap and recognizes Lionel’s name: he was also a guest at the hotel the night Zafira was murdered. Woodsman Cop sits at a random table while trying to get closer to Otto, and briefly gets his flirt on with the woman sitting next to him before approaching Otto. Otto isn’t having ANY of it — he kicks Woodsman Cop in the nards and bolts.

Meanwhile, Hassell finds something interesting in the library tapes: Aamina and Sister Joan engaging in the time-honored tradition of hooking up in the stacks. She takes Euro Cash with her to confront Sister Joan.

Sister Joan: Here’s the thing: I thought I had control over my instincts but it just felt right. It was a new experience for her.
Hassell: When was the last time you saw her or talked to her?
Sister Joan: A couple days ago.
Hassell: And did she ever mention any friends or family? Or places she hung out, other than the Airbnb?
Sister Joan: No.
Euro Cash, again not pulling his punches: You ever heard of Count von Zinzendorf? The body we found had a side wound in the same spot as Christ and somebody licked it.
Sister Joan: I get what you’re implying, but the erotica I’m into is a lot less... stabby.
Euro Cash: Ok, but you have to admit you’re a weird nun.

In the bariefing room, Cliff Bar gives Woodsman Cop some “sorry you got kicked in the nards” pie, and jokes that it’s laced with Ayahuasca. Everyone laughs at him except Euro Cash, who’s late because he’s noticing that a mysterious lady who shares his love for severe leather jackets is hanging out outside. Apparently her name is Femke, and I’m pretty sure she’s Hassell’s ex, because Hassell hauls her hungover ass outside to talk to the stranger when Euro Cash tips her off. Inside, Woodsman Cop might have actually done something helpful for once: he remembers that Aamina told Otto to be somewhere for an event that starts at 7pm. This should be useless, but Clooves remembers that the Lecturer is supposed to be at an event at the museum that starts at 7pm that very evening.

A man responds to the question "what do we say about coincidence?" with "the universe is rarely so lazy."

Euro Cash gives Clooves tentative permission to keep dazzling those of us with taste with his findings, and Clooves delivers: 1) Zafira used to be a patient at the clinic where Aamina works, and 2) when she was brought in for her first offense, it was with Otto. Could he have been dating both of them, or did Spike, who connected Aamina and Otto, just get the twins mixed up? Clooves also finds out that the A tattoo stood for atheism. Unfortunately for Clooves, Euro Cash is only half listening because he’s watching Hassell and Femke through the bar window. Unfortunately for Hassell, I was right, and Femke was only there to return her keys.

A man says "Ya dumped!"

No time for more breakup drinking! Hassell and Euro Cash head back to the clinic where they ask about Otto (a difficult patient, who hasn’t been around in a while) and Zafira (confidentiality is a big deal and her drug use isn’t relevant to Aamina).

Clinic Owner: I’m sorry, I’m confused, why is this relevant?
Euro Cash: Because the body we found wasn’t Aamina, it was Zafira.
Clinic Owner: Well that’s really sad — I thought she’d gotten clean. She was only rebelling against her dad’s religious stuff, and once she figured that out she quit. Reconnecting with Aamina was part of her healing process, and once Aamina found out about us, she wanted to come work here.
Euro Cash: What the heck, man! You should have told us that at the start! Where were you last night?
Clinic Owner: Giving an on-camera interview at a television studio.
Euro Cash: UGH I’m gonna confirm that.

Later that night, everyone’s in position at the event. Hassell, Euro Cash, and Woodsman Cop are inside, and Clooves is outside, presumably because Euro Cash doesn’t want him to have too much fun looking at the books. Euro Cash also takes the opportunity to give Clooves crap for not checking the Clinic Owner’s alibi yet, as if Clooves hasn’t already done enough for the team.

A crying man says "I'm not crying, I'm just allergic to jerks."

Inside, Lecturer and Side Lurker have a relevant exchange.

Side Lurker: Well well, bet you’d like to buy von Zinzendorf's diary!
Lecturer: Boy, would I! But I don’t have thousands of euros to drop on it. Why are you selling it anyway?
Side Lurker, ominously: Oh, I got what I needed from it.

A man says "That's creepy."

Euro Cash, approaching Lecturer: Hi, hello, I am a cop. Do you know this woman?
Lecturer: No?
Euro Cash: Well she was found dead in the same hotel you stayed at last night. Why were Zinzendorf and the boys so into Christ’s stab wound?
Lecturer: The whole crucifixion is meaningful symbolically, so in that context the wounds also become important.
Euro Cash: So if someone tried to mirror those wounds, would that be… sexy?
Lecturer: Oh definitely. Zinzendorf’s cultists were known for their extreme sex stuff.
Euro Cash: Gotcha. Cutting to the chase, the lady we found dead had a side wound… you into that?
Lecturer: Oh, uh… only from an academic perspective.

Marcia Brady sarcastically says "Sure, Jan."

Right on schedule, Otto shows up at the book event. He’s moving with purpose, and he’s mad as hell.

Otto, loudly, at Side Lurker: HEY, PUNK! You’re a murderer, and you should pay for what you did to Zafira!
Side Lurker:

A woman shakes her head and says "I don't know her."

Otto, to the crowd at large, Gladiator style: This fancy man is a dirtbag! He preys on young women, and he’s got a twin thing!
Euro Cash: Ok, this has gotta stop, come talk to us Otto.
Otto: No, I don’t think I will — I have a knife, and I’d very much like to stab that guy.
Euro Cash: Look, we want the same thing: to find out what happened to Zafia. Help us, and no one needs to get hurt.

Otto is about to agree, when suddenly, he falls to the ground, dead. He was shot from behind, but despite his best efforts, Euro Cash can’t see who did it, partly because everyone normal at the event is trying to get away from the guns. Later, they find the gun, but have no idea who it belongs to. On the plus side, no one left the building, so they should be able to figure out whodunnit. The main suspect? Side Lurker, who wasn’t visible when Otto was shot, and has been lurking in his office. He claims that was to calm down from being accused of murder, but Euro Cash isn’t exactly buying it.

Euro Cash: Seems like you should be able to handle pressure better than this.
Side Lurker: I don’t like confrontation. I also haven’t ever fired a gun, FYI.
Euro Cash: Whatever. You know a lot about this mysticism stuff, what about Ayahuasca?
Side Lurker: The basics.
Euro Cash: And what about the accusations we all just heard?
Side Lurker: No, I didn’t murder anyone, and I’m mad you’re asking me about it! Go find out who’s trying to frame me! I don’t know either of the sisters, and I don’t prey on young women.
Euro Cash: If you’re so sure someone is framing you, help me figure out who. No one left, so the murderer is still here, we can do this!
Side Lurker: Uhhh, funny story about that. We’ve got a creepy dank tunnel under the building that someone could have used to get out. And it’s been around since WWII, so anyone who knows the history of the library would know about it — it’s not secret.

Upstairs, the rest of the group interviews the event guests. Hassell checks on Sister Joan.

Sister Joan: Hey, so he said Aamina had a twin? Are they both dead?
Hassell, seems happy to be able to give good news for once: We *think* that the body we found might be Zafira. Aamina may be alive.

Back at the station, that theory is proven correct. Dad has brought Aamina in to meet with the cops.

Euro Cash: Why did you run at all?
Aamina: I panicked!
Big Cheese: Well she’s here now… when did you last see your sister, anyway?
Aamina: We were supposed to meet at the hotel last night, but she didn’t show.
Euro Cash: When your brother called to tell you Zafira was dead, you video called Otto. What was that about?
Aamina: I knew he loved her, and I was sure Side Lurker was involved.
Euro Cash: So that’s why you told Otto to go to the library? To confront Side Lurker?
Aamina: No, we were just talking and he got really mad. I tried to calm him down but he wouldn’t listen. I didn’t know about the knife!
Big Cheese: Why are you so convinced Side Lurker was responsible for Zafira’s death?
Euro Cash, seeing Aamina hesitate: Look, I have had a very long day and I STILL have a hangover. We’re gonna talk about sex now.
Big Cheese: Dad, get to stepping, we’ll call you back later. Now that he’s gone, give us the dirt, kid.
Aamina: Yes, ok, I had sex with Side Lurker.
Euro Cash: Did you take Ayahuasca together?
Aamina: No, he wanted me to though — he’s an expert at it. Zafira did. I introduced them to each other; she was always more liberated and he was into the fact that we were identical.
Euro Cash: Was she into the mysticism too?
Aamina: Nope, hard atheist.
Big Cheese: And were you jealous that your sister was also involved with Side Lurker?
Aamina: Yeah, a bit. He told me not to be, said it was social conditioning that made me jealous.
Euro Cash: Why did your sister have your ID and notebook?
Aamina: Oh we did that all the time. She couldn’t rent a car because of her priors, and she was looking through my reference photos because she was thinking about a new tattoo.
Euro Cash: Hmm, ok, and what about Sister Joan?
Aamina: Uh, what about her?
Euro Cash: Dude, you hooked up with a nun; you’re not as innocent as you’ve been pretending.

Aamina leaves, and Euro Cash and Big Cheese speculate. Big Cheese thinks Euro Cash might have been a little hard on the kid, but agrees that she’s a suspect, and points out that the water glass she left behind should be good for fingerprints. They also have some questions about dad; all the people who he dislikes keep dying, and he got his favorite kid back, which is … suspicious. Euro Cash is about to leave when Big Cheese tells him to stop being such a jerk to Clooves. He immediately assumes Clooves tattled, but he didn’t: Big Cheese is just doing her job and paying attention to her employees.

A hand underlines the word paranoia

The group leaves for the day, and Euro Cash is not planning to bring in Side Lurker. Hassell agrees: she thinks Side Lurker is too smart to have done the crime this way, and that a lot of other people left the lecture hall when Otto was shot, so they have plenty of alternative suspects… including Lecturer.

Euro Cash: Hey Clooves — add tracking Lecturer to your list. Speaking of which, got any info on Clinic Owner?
Clooves: Yeah, just that he’s a super rationalist who doesn’t like religion. He gives lectures on it.
Hassell, pointedly: Good job, Clooves.
Euro Cash, ignoring her: So he’s an atheist?
Clooves: An “irreligious fundamentalist” — kind of interesting, actually!
Euro Cash, determined to be a jerk: No, it’s irrelevant, if his alibi works.
Clooves: About that — the TV station confirmed it, he was there the entire time.
Euro Cash, doubling down: Great, somehow I’m blaming that on you. Pub time.
Hassell: Clooves, you coming?
Clooves, internally, probably: Why the hell would I hang out with you guys, Euro Cash is a JERK.
Clooves, out loud: Nope, I have to go home to my mom.

Euro Cash can, at least, detect a blowoff when he hears one. Good, maybe he’ll stop being such an ass to Clooves for no reason. At the bar, Drunkie Howser plays chess against Cliff Bar. Euro Cash asks Hassell if she wants to crash at his place again, but she declines.

Euro Cash: I never liked your ex, btw.
Hassell: You never told me that! She didn’t like you either.
Me: Yeah, that tracks.
Euro Cash, affronted: WHAT?
Hassell: Are you gonna be ok without me? By the way, get a cat, your boat has mice.
Euro Cash: It’s part of the city’s charm.
Hassell: Well that’s BS and we both know it. Cliff Bar, what do I have to do to get a drink around here?
Cliff Bar: One sec, I’m thinking about my next move.
Euro Cash: I, like all misunderstood TV detectives, am great at chess. I’m also an ASS, so instead of waiting two seconds for a drink, I’m going to ruin the rest of the game for both of you by predicting your moves!
Drunkie Howser: That was rude! And to think I was gonna tell you about some metal tracings found on the library cellar door. I have more tests to run, but interesting, no? Also, lol, what’s with the rumor that the two of you hooked up?
Hassell: Office gossip, ignore it.
Euro Cash: Ah, thank you so much for sharing that, Woodsman Cop.
Woodsman Cop: I am very discrete, how dare you.
Hassell: AND YET: I heard you say you were surprised we hooked up because, QUOTE “I batted for the other side” in addition to some other real gross euphemisms!
Woodsman Cop: I would never! And besides, you shouldn’t have been eavesdropping on me!
Hassell: You were shouting about it from the rooftops, goofus!
Woodsman Cop, bolder than I thought: Well… are you guys hooking up?
Euro Cash: Not gonna dignify that with a response.
Drunkie Howser, just getting of a phone call: Some news! Side Lurker’s fingerprints were all over the gun.

Finally we see the inside of Hassell’s place, and it looks like she went on a one woman bender last night. It turns out that you don’t need Euro Cash to have a miserable time and get a hangover, he just speeds up the process! Like a good bestie, he calls to make sure Hassell is doing ok, and thankfully doesn’t seem to buy her fake chipper routine. But Hassell doesn’t want to talk about her breakup: she’s got a question about the case.

Hassell: Everyone said that Aamina was dating someone and I can’t figure out who… probably not Clinic Owner, so maybe Side Lurker?
Euro Cash: So you’re just gonna keep pretending everything’s ok when you’re clearly miserable, huh?

A woman says "You betcha"

At the station, it’s time to interrogate Side Lurker some more. Do I think he’s a bit of an obvious suspect, and probably smart enough to cover his tracks better? Yes. Do I also think he’s creepy as hell and probably guilty of SOMETHING dodgy? Also yes. Anyway, he claims it’s reasonable that his prints are all over the gun because it’s his gun, and everyone knows he keeps it in his desk.

Hassell: Here’s the thing, why do you have a gun in the first place?
Side Lurker: It’s a safety measure! If I’d thought I’d need it I would have been carrying it. Like I said, I’ve never fired a gun before!
Me: Uhhhhh… in what world is it safe for a person who’s never fired a gun to keep a loaded one in his desk at work?
Hassell: Changing the subject, we talked to Aamina, and she told us the two of you were indeed knockin’ boots. Care to comment?
Side Lurker: She’s lying!
Euro Cash: Then why would some random stranger/library patron frame you?
Side Lurker: I have no idea, but come on, you need evidence.
Euro Cash: Duh! Now about the Ayahuasca… you said you knew a little something about it, Aamina says you’re a full blown shaman.

A woman asks, "so what is the truth?"

Side Lurker: She’s lying.
Euro Cash: OhHO, but you see, I know how to use google, so I found this article about you which claims you’re one of the few westerners to actually get an endorsement from actual Amazonian shamans to perform Ayahuasca rituals.
Side Lurker: Ok, look — I like to keep that on the DL. I didn’t approve the article. The indigenous community doesn’t like westerners to be shamans, and I didn’t want to offend them. But I only lied about this, pinkie swear!
Euro Cash: What’s it like to take Ayahuasca anyway? Is it dangerous?
Side Lurker: The visions are life-changing, so yeah, it can be dangerous if it goes wrong. The visions are based on your own belief system.
Euro Cash: And the guide is supposed to keep you safe, but if that person was a manipulative creep with a knife and a von Zinzendorf obsession?
Side Lurker: That would be completely terrifying.

Fun! Also fun? Someone’s got a vial of morphine and some shaky hands, which tends to signal an opioid addiction here in TV land. OH NO: it’s Big Cheese, and she’s poured the morphine right into her morning orange juice. She was doing some kind of PT when we first met her; looks like whatever caused that was more traumatic than anticipated.

After that interview, Euro Cash is starting to think Side Lurker isn’t the murderer (TBH, I agree, but I still don’t like him). The reason? Aamina seemed surprised when he brought up Sister Joan, and not just in a “oh, thought I’d tricked everyone and you didn’t know about my secret nun lover” way. Euro Cash heads over to the nunnery to talk to Sister Joan about it.

Euro Cash: So is your boss always so unpleasant?
Sister Joan: She is, but also I just told her all of my secrets; I might have broken her permanently, and I’m gonna be repenting for, uh, a while. Anyway, what’s up?

Hassell, banished to library footage land once again, notices something weird: Aamina isn’t sitting in her usual seat. Intense Librarian confirms, but has no idea why. She also says that Aamina was weirdly cavalier with the priceless manuscripts, and said goodbye on her way out, both things she wouldn’t normally do.

Suspicious! Suspicious enough that Woodsman Cop and Clooves head out to bring Aamina in for a lineup. Or at least that’s what Clooves says, his innocent face clearly putting Aamina at ease. The plan emerges when Sister Joan shows up in civies, looking distinctly un-nun like. Woodsman Cop, always a degenerate, can’t resist hitting on her. Joan’s job is to stand in the lineup and act like she doesn’t know Aamina at all. She’s game, but I feel like this will be easier said than done. Before it goes down, Euro Cash aggressively sends Clooves off to look into Lecturer’s movements for the last few days, completely ignoring Hassell’s attempts to make him be a good boss.

Lineup time. Woodsman Cop brings Aamina in and gestures at her to get looking. Euro Cash’s theory seems to be holding up, because Aamina looks directly at Sister Joan and doesn’t react at all: it’s like she doesn’t recognize her.

In the morgue, Drunkie Howser peers into his microscope, trying to determine the age of the body’s tattoo. He explains that while the surface looks completely healed, there are still some signs of an inflammatory response underneath. Takeaway? This tattoo is only a few weeks old, meaning that the body is actually Aamina, not Zafira. Hassell takes the unfortunate task of informing Sister Joan, who is already having a pretty bad day, given that she thinks she just got completely ignored by her lover.

A man tries to hold back tears

Now this case has gotten even more bizarre. Did Zafira kill Aamina? If it wasn’t Aamina in that library footage, what was Zafira doing there? And was the whole tattoo thing just to fool their dad? At their house, Euro Cash and Hassell tell Zafira she’s under arrest, and explain the switcheroo to her dad and brother. Zafira isn’t giving up that easily though: she claims she got the tattoo recently “in solidarity with Zafira” as a sister thing. Dad is willing to believe it, but their brother is freaking out, and correctly points out that his family is very messed up.

Brother: This is weird! You want to be Aamina so much that you did all this? I can tell you’re you! And dad, I know you’re desperate, but get it together.
Euro Cash: Right, well, I’ve seen enough. Zafira, you’re coming with us.

Across town, Clooves is trying to confirm Lecturer’s timeline, which is difficult, because he is all over the place, clearly having embraced the messy academic stereotype. Clooves isn’t about to give up. He pushes Lecturer to figure out his timeline, and try to remember who he saw coming into the hotel while he ate dinner and hung out in the lobby by the door. Persistence pays off: Lecturer finally remembers that he DID see someone.

In interrogation, Zafira keeps insisting that she didn’t do anything and that they should be investigating Side Lurker.

Hassell: So look, we have pictures of you pretending to be Aamina in the library and acting weird the other night.
Zafira: Well I’m not a robot! People change!
Hassell: Your sister died and then you called her ex pretending to be her. Why didn’t you go talk to him in person? Were you too worried he’d figure out the switch? You knew prodding Otto to make a public scene would go poorly, so why did you do it? And what’s your problem with Side Lurker?

Euro Cash and Hassell leave Zafira to stew, just in time for Clooves to appear with an update on Lecturer. Of course, Euro Cash doesn’t care about that anymore, because now he’s interested in Clinic Owner, who knew both of the sisters and Otto.

Euro Cash: Remind me of Clinic Owner’s timeline again?
Clooves: He was at the TV studio from 8-10pm. But —
Euro Cash: Ah, and we thought that ruled him out since we had Aamina at the library until 8pm, except it wasn’t Aamina, it was Zafira.
Clooves: Excuse me —
Hassell: So Aamina could have been killed in the hotel earlier than we thought.
Euro Cash: Yeah, Drunkie Howser said time of death was 6-10pm.
Clooves, finally losing it and slamming something down on his desk: WHICH is why it matters that Clinic Owner was seen leaving the hotel just before 7, like I’ve been trying to tell you! Lecturer saw him and recognized him from a fight he had with Side Lurker in the press.
Euro Cash, listening now: About what?
Woodsman Cop, finally doing something useful and backing Clooves up: Religion and hypocrisy — like how Mr. “I hate violence” makes his money on bullets and carries a gun.
Clooves: See, Clinic Owner was raised by strict Catholics and abused — he thinks all religion is dangerous. Side Lurker is everything he hates, which is why he’s been trying to frame him this whole time.
Hassell, proud parent style: COME ON, Euro Cash, what do you say?
Euro Cash, stalling: Did you complain to Big Cheese about me?
Clooves: Huh? No!
Euro Cash: Good. Don’t. Now we crack Zafira.

How? Well he’s gonna give her what he thinks she wants — some actual support from her dad. Dad’s willing to help out, and he tells her that he supports her no matter what. With some pressure from dad and Euro Cash, Zafira finally caves, and tells them that it was actually Clinic Owner who had a creepy twin thing. Zafira just wanted to go home, and Clinic Owner offered to help — he’d kill Aamina and stage it to make it look like Zafira died, so she could take Aamina’s place. Side Lurker gets framed and takes the fall. But why kill Otto? Because he was a violent loose end. Clinic Owner? Disgusting. Not only is he a murderer, but he’s also a nasty perv who took extra enjoyment in corrupting the innocent Aamina. Also pretty gross? Zafira’s dad, who basically tells her he never loved her, blames her for everything, and says she’s dead to him. Now look, Zafira was definitely complicit in her sister’s murder, but also, this is horrible parenting, especially since he pretended to turn over a new leaf at Euro Cash’s bidding. Her brother agrees, and walks away from their dad.

Over at the clinic, Euro Cash wanders into Clinic Owner’s office all casual like.

Euro Cash: Soooo, you don’t like Side Lurker, huh?
Clinic Owner: Side Lurker is a hypocritical jerk and I hate him. Faith is dumb.
Euro Cash: You know, your whole “no shades of grey” thing… pretty relatable! Is it fun to corrupt someone of faith?
Clinic Owner: What are you doing here?
Euro Cash: Well, see, we figured out that your alibi was fake. And I’m pretty sure that the gloves you wore to shoot Otto are the same ones from this clinic.
Clinic Owner, sweating: I do not know to what you are referring!
Euro Cash: See, the gloves were covered in lil’ metal flakes, which is normal for gloves that are also used to prep doses of heroin. Oh yeah, and Zafira confessed.

Clinic Owner doesn’t say anything, he just walks out of the room. Euro Cash follows casually, assuming that his team have all the exits covered. Spoiler alert: they don’t! Clinic Owner goes up to the roof. He’s about to jump, when Euro Cash talks him down in his predictably snide fashion, playing on Clinic Owner’s fear of the unknown.

Later, Hassell and Euro Cash are back in the billiard hall.

Hassell: Soooo… have you forgiven me yet?
Euro Cash: For ratting me out to Big Cheese? Yeah, I guess.
Hassell: Because you realized you were being an absolute dumpster fire to Clooves?
Euro Cash: No, because you got the breakup crazies! Anyway, you were right — there’s more to life than playing pool. But in the meantime, at least we’ll have fun.

So. Many. Questions. Is Euro Cash going to finally start respecting the real heavy hitter on his team, Clooves? What’s the point of Woodsman Cop? How worried do we need to be about Big Cheese? And who do I have to bribe to get a whole episode where Clooves gets to go on a sensible night out with some people who actually deserve him? Only one way to find out: check out the last installment of this season next week!

Episode 1 Recap: The Sound And The Furries