Remember how last time, Floral Mum surprised us all by being a criminal girl boss, kidnapping Cheekbones, and revealing that she also has Softie stashed away for leverage? Well this episode starts with her explaining her motives a bit. Family, she tells us, is everyone’s weakness. She reveals that she watched last season as Cheekbones tried to cover for his brother, and Softie finally stood up for himself and turned Cheekbones in. That final conversation? That’s the kind of damage only family can do, and in her opinion, only comes from existing, deep-seated issues (she’s not wrong!). All that to say, Floral Mum was super upset about their fight, but now she’s over it, naturally.

Cheekbones: Hang on, if you were there, was Menacing Dad there? Why? Crap, Softie, what did you do??
Floral Mum: Sort that out amongst yourselves later; it’s cold and I want to go to bed, so Cheekbones, you’re going to tell me what you’ve done, or I’m going to have my goons kill you and then your brother. Or maybe the other way around?

A man in a white pinstripe suit and round horn-rimmed glasses shakes his hands and head and says "wait, wait what?"

What’s going on?
Cheekbones: Softie, how did they trick you into coming here?
Softie: I got a phone call from the cops that you’d been in an accident and were dying.
Cheekbones: Are you KIDDING ME? Two years without visiting and you just rolled up with THAT bad choice?
Softie: Rude! I didn’t have to come!
Cheekbones: Yeah buddy, that’s what I’m saying!
Softie: I’ll have you know I had a very nice life going, and then all of a sudden I get a call that my brother’s been hit by a bus —
Cheekbones: Nobody gets hit by a bus outside of movies! “Mean Girls” lied to you!
Softie: — and I didn’t even hesitate to come see you, so show me some respect, dude!
Floral Mum:

A woman holding two martinis says "drama, drama, drama" to her friend.

Cheekbones: Softie, cool it. You’re not here to help me, you’re here to help them. I just don’t know how yet. Floral Mum, it was my idea, not your daughter’s. I needed some cash after getting out of prison, so I put the land in her name, and she was gonna pay me off. I can tell you how I did it, and I can tell you how to fix it.
Floral Mum: You turned our daughter against us.
Softie: I’m sorry, their DAUGHTER? Bro, you’re never allowed to question my judgment again.
Cheekbones, ignoring Softie’s correct point: I’ve got safeguards. If anything happens to me, something happens to Menacing Dad, Widow Floral Shirt, and probably you too.
Floral Mum: Wow. Scary. Except we also have safeguards. Look, you claim you didn’t tell the cops about us when you were arrested, but that isn’t what’s saving you from my wrath. It’s the fact that you lied for my kid and tried to tell me it wasn’t her idea. Now you’re going to go to her today and say what I tell you. Or else.

Mic very effectively dropped, she hustles off into the night and leaves the guys to their inevitable fight.

Cheekbones: Wow, putting me in jail was great for you. What did he offer you?
Softie: You know what, I was going to do it anyway. Figured I might as well get paid for it. Since you were planning to do the same thing to me! And the worst part is that even though I KNOW you would have done that to me, I’ve felt bad about it ever since. Why do I feel bad about stuff you’d do without a second thought?
Cheekbones: Because YOU never had the trauma that I did. The early stuff that sticks with you.
Softie: You should come back with me.
Cheekbones: I’m not really looking for a vacation right now?
Softie: I used the payout to buy a bar. You could get away from here, from the trauma. Chicago would fix you.
Me, a New Englander:

An annoyed man says "oh, sure, of course, absolutely."

Cheekbones: Look, before you were born, things were ok. I mean, awful, but ok. Dad would come home every night drunk, but happy, and mum was only a bit mentally ill. But when you came along, dad stopped singing, and you know what happened to mum. YOU are the problem. You always were. Goodbye.

Damn, Cheekbones, that is a messed up thing to say to anyone, but especially your brother! It’s also worth noting that while he delivers this screed, the guys are being listened to by a hidden crime stooge. Probably wishful thinking on my part, but boy do I hope Cheekbones staged that mean fight on the off chance that it’d get back to Floral Mum and buy Softie come safety.

The next day, at Leith Legals, Remy, thankfully still sober, blames himself for trusting Cheekbones in the first place, and unburdens himself on Nervous, who has, surprisingly, agreed to come see him.

Remy: I should have known. Did you know he was working with you guys?
Nervous, after a LONG pause: Yes.
Remy: So the thing between us, that was just for the job?
Nervous: No, it was real. It was a complication.
Remy, hurt, and angrily trying to hustle her out of the office: Great, thanks for coming. I’ve got this from here.
Nervous: A couple of years ago, I was the key witness against a joyrider who ran over a woman. I didn’t make it to court; I was drunk. He got away with it; there was a mistrial. I was able to hide it from everyone except my partner, who didn’t report me, but just sat on that information to get the job I should have gotten. And now I have a chance to take him down, and in the process, to take Menacing Dad down, and THAT would take Cheekbones down. Then the two of us? That wouldn’t be a complication. So tell me what you know about your partner and Menacing Dad.

Finally, some teamwork! Across town, Menacing Dad makes a call to Crooked Cop, asking his dirty insider to get every piece of information they have about Cheekbones.

Crooked Cop: I can’t do that; it’d blow my cover!
Menacing Dad: I don’t care. Do it by tonight.

Speaking of the Menacing family, Cheekbones calls up Widow Floral Shirt and fills her in: her mum is behind everything, and has insisted that Cheekbones show up and confess his “betrayal” to Widow Floral Shirt.

Cheekbones: You’ll need to act shocked when I tell you this in front of them. Now that we’ve revealed your mum’s involvement, they can go down together.
Widow Floral Shirt: Wait, but they know what you’re doing.
Cheekbones: And I know what THEY are doing. So it’s a race.

A man says "I live my life a quarter mile at a time."

While Cheekbones loiters at the Council office to make good on his threat, Menacing Dad sits in a room with a bound Softie, and tells his captive all about the wild west vacation he’d like to take one day.

Menacing Dad: It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do, and I somehow haven’t done it. Why is that? Maybe I want to keep it as a dream.
Softie: I want to go home.
Menacing Dad: You’ve been there two years, and you think it’s home? Ugh, whatever man, you can go soon, I just need you to do me a favor first.

Shudder to think what that will be, not gonna lie. Anyway, while that’s happening, Cheekbones has gained his audience at the Council with The Decider from back in episode two.

Cheekbones: Look, the thing about being a puppet is that most people don’t see the strings, so you can cut them whenever you want, and nobody will be the wiser. On paper, to everyone who’d care to look, YOU’RE Phoenix. Why not make it a reality?
The Decider: Because I don’t own the land.
Cheekbones: That’s why I’m here to sell it to you. At half the value, which you could raise in a day.
The Decider: You don’t own the land either though?
Cheekbones: Well, it’s owned by a family trust, of which Widow Floral Shirt has the controlling share. And I have power of attorney.
The Decider: But what about Menacing Dad?
Cheekbones: By the time he finds out, he’ll be in jail, and you’ll be rich. Screw ‘im. This is a good deal. Take it.
The Decider: So you have the church too?
Cheekbones, definitely lying: …yup. We have the church.

Obviously, his next step is to go try and make that lie a reality, so he corners Big Bearded Vicar at the church, where said clergyman is busy loading up his car with food bank donations.

Cheekbones: What the heck, dude. Why haven’t you sold it?
Big Bearded Vicar: That guy has everything of mine already. He won’t get this too.
Cheekbones, menacing: His property holdings need to be sold, and this needs to be part of it. Play ball.
Big Bearded Vicar: Word to the wise, kiddo: whoever told you you were scary was messing with you. Toodles!

LOL. Again, this guy is hilarious, and Cheekbones would probably get what he wanted if he’d just be honest, but that’s his cross to bear. Back at Leith Legals, Softie, escorted by one of the goons, drops by to “visit Remy.” Before he can get a word in edgewise, Remy tells him that Cheekbones had said Softie might drop by, and had left a gift for his brother on his desk. Unsurprisingly, it’s a record, and while I can’t make heads or tails of what Cheekbones is trying to say here, Softie’s reaction makes me think the intended message was received.

Softie, leaving: Don’t be here tomorrow, ok?
Remy: What did you DO?
Softie: You once told me Cheekbones shouldn’t be able to get away with behaving the way he does. I didn’t let him, but you did, and now you’ve given him another chance. I don’t want it to end like this, but it’s the only option. Do not come here tomorrow.

Yikes. While that’s happening, an equally uncomfortable conversation happens at Widow Floral Shirt’s house, where Cheekbones “admits” to her that he was planning to take all the money for himself. She acts suitably angry, and Cheekbones plays his part well. Everything is going pretty smoothly, until Menacing Dad gets a call from Crooked Cop.

Crooked Cop: He’s on assignment. It wasn’t in the file I got but it is in the original. That means he’s working with someone here, and if they can edit the file, they’re undercover. They’re working with her.
Menacing Dad: Bring me the file.

And with that, he hangs up before Crooked Cop can say anything else. That might have been a mistake, because guess who’s been listening to the whole conversation on Crooked Cop’s end, and gives him the go ahead to turn over that file? Dog Lady! Look, I love bonkers machinations just as much as the next gal, but I have to say, I’m starting to wonder what her actual plan is. Back at Widow Floral Shirt’s house, Menacing Dad walks Cheekbones out.

Cheekbones: Sorry man. I just wanted to get my life back.
Menacing Dad: I get it. And honestly, you only made my life better by pushing my kid back toward me, so that’s a win in my book. It also helps that you were right: I need you for Phoenix. Tell your friend to skip work tomorrow and I’ll meet you at your office to sort it out.
Cheekbones: Thanks?

An alien yells "It's a trap!"

Over at the safehouse where they’re holding Softie, the man in question is happily chattering away about the record Cheekbones gave him to his minder.

Softie: See, the Clash was the first show I ever went to; Cheekbones took me. People said that was the day punk died, because the venue was too mainstream, but then they released this amazing album. He called it an act of revenge, which obviously appealed to him.

Revenge? Appealing to Cheekbones? No way! Across town, Menacing Dad and Floral Mum give their daughter what they think she’ll receive as good news: they’re going to live in one of the flats in the development they’re building! Together! Yay!

Widow Floral Shirt: That Christmas when I saw you washing blood off of dad’s hands. That blood was actually on you, mum, wasn’t it? Don’t lie to me.
Floral Mum: Your father was… mistreated. By a teacher, when he was a little kid. So I killed that man.
Widow Floral Shirt: What did he do to you?
Floral Mum: If he was here now I’d kill him again.
Widow Floral Shirt: So what happened to you with that car crash wasn’t dad’s fault? It was yours?
Floral Mum: Your dad sacrificed his relationship with you to protect your relationship with me.
Widow Floral Shirt: WTF? So you prevented me from having a relationship with him to keep me for yourself?
Menacing Dad, speaking for the first time: It was my call.
Widow Floral Shirt: So all this time you’ve been hiding behind this chair, just like you hide behind dad.
Floral Mum: Think less of me if you want. But think more of him.

Curious to see how that plays out, I won’t lie! Back at Leith Legals, Mr. Vasectomy “Reversal” has returned to the office for his finalized divorce paperwork, and is in a real excitable mood about the whole situation. Fair enough, his wife did tell him an absolutely enormous whopper of a lie.

Mr. Vasectomy “Reversal”: You’ve really turned my life around.
Cheekbones: God that’s upsetting.
Mr. Vasectomy “Reversal”, leaving: Seriously, you’re a pair of angels, boys!

With the client gone, Cheekbones asks Remy if Softie left a message earlier.

Remy: Nope. He just stopped by for a bit. Hey, I need the details of the account you set up for me with Menacing Dad’s cash in it.
Cheekbones, more annoyed than suspicious: Why?
Remy: I need proof of cash for a mortgage! Found a flat; it’s nothing fancy, but I’m excited about it!
Cheekbones: Good for you. Here you go pal. You know, spending all this time here, I’ve been thinking of the crappy things I’ve done in the past. I’m sorry. I also wanted to tell you that this is all yours. I put the business in your name. Start your empire.
Remy: People think I’m stupid for giving you all these chances. But they don’t know that when I wanted to go to university, my dad said university wasn’t for people like us, but my mum said “that Cheekbones down the road, his dad left him to take care of his sick mother and younger brother, and HE went to uni, and now he’s fancy” so I went to university. Because of you. And I lasted a month, because I wasn’t you. I couldn’t be around those people. You came from the same place as me, but you’re not scared, and I don’t know how you do that. That’s why I gave you so many chances.
Cheekbones: I was scared, Remy. I still am. I’ll see you tomorrow.
Remy: See you tomorrow.

What the heck is happening?? Adding to the confusion, Menacing Dad and one of the goons take Softie to the airport, and not the nice dropoff area by the terminal, the creepy grassy area by the runway. There, they cut his hand with a knife, smear his blood on the handle, and bag it, presumably to plant at a crime scene should he ever show his face in Leith again. Yikes.

Back at the church, Cheekbones has arrived to try one more time to get Big Bearded Vicar to sell him the land.

Big Bearded Vicar: Seriously? Are you here to convert or something?
Cheekbones: Do you know why I became a lawyer?
Big Bearded Vicar: Because you’re a jerk?
Cheekbones: Kinda. But mostly because I wanted the world to be black and white, good and evil. The longer I looked, the more I saw that the world was grey. I’m grey; that’s where the action is. But I look at you, a guy who’s trying as hard as he can to not be grey. What are you running from?

As they’re talking, Menacing Dad arrives outside. Cheekbones tries to leave, of course, but Big Bearded Vicar tells him to stay for “a revelation.” This should be good!

Big Bearded Vicar, to Menacing Dad: You ever been to the church office? They’re the worst; they were delighted to sell this place. It’s all yours, bud.
Cheekbones, listening in the other room, now that his scheme will work:

A man grasps his chest in relief and then smiles

Menacing Dad: So why didn’t you tell me?
Big Bearded Vicar: I wanted to see you. You think I do this job as penance for what we did, but by the time that happened I was already carrying a heavy load. Thought this might help, but it just got worse. How could it not, after 39 years.

How old do you think Widow Floral Shirt is, reader? I’m guessing 39 based on Menacing Dad’s reaction (and the groping that went down last episode).

Menacing Dad: What did you just tell me?
Big Bearded Vicar: Now we’ve both lost everything.

As Menacing Dad staggers away in shock, Big Bearded Vicar tells Cheekbones to use the information he just learned “kindly.”

Cheekbones: We both know what you really want me to do. What are you going to do when they knock the church down?
Big Bearded Vicar: I’ll figure out some way to serve.
Cheekbones: Um… if I gave you some money, could you use it around here? For sad kids or whatever?
Big Bearded Vicar, nicely pretending Cheekbones didn’t just do a nice thing: Yes.
Cheekbones: Great. Bye!

Aw! Significantly less sweet is the conversation happening right now between Menacing Dad and Floral Mum.

Menacing Dad, gutted: I don’t think I want that flat together after all. And I never want to talk about it. Don’t tell Widow Floral Shirt until after I’m dead.
Floral Mum: I had no good options.
Menacing Dad: You stay here in this assisted living facility, babe. They know you here.

Speaking of Widow Floral Shirt, over at her house, Cheekbones is about to tell her the truth about her family, when she cuts him off.

Widow Floral Shirt: My mom confessed.
Cheekbones: Well that’s great! Can I have the recording?
Widow Floral Shirt: I deleted it. There’s personal stuff on there about my dad that I can’t have getting out. Also he doesn’t deserve to end his life in prison.
Cheekbones: But we sold the land, and he’s not in jail. That’s dangerous!
Widow Floral Shirt: Then you should leave. And take me with you.
Cheekbones: You’ve got more in this city than you think you do.
Widow Floral Shirt: It doesn’t have to be just a hookup! We could be more.
Cheekbones: He’s in your head. And he’s horrible.
Widow Floral Shirt: He’s my dad. And there are reasons he’s like that!
Cheekbones: Meet me tomorrow.

Well, it’s going to be a hell of a day in Leith tomorrow, that’s for sure. Across town, Remy and Nervous chat over coffee. What will happen to Cheekbones, Remy wonders, if he’s arrested?

Nervous: I’m not sure. He might not even be arrested.
Remy: But I told you where the money is and how he cleaned it! Surely that’s enough?
Nervous: The money is evidence against Menacing Dad, it all is! It’s not about Cheekbones.
Remy: It is for me.
Nervous: Remember that trial I missed? A few weeks after the body of the joyrider was found, right next to where he’d killed that woman. Her whole family gave each other alibis. There’s justice, and there’s natural justice. Based on his behavior, Cheekbones is going to end up in prison, or worse. That’s the world we live in.

She’s not wrong! While they talk, Cheekbones checks in with Dog Lady.

Cheekbones: Look, I don’t know exactly what happened, but I’m pretty sure someone was killed at Menacing Dad’s daughter’s house. Over the money that he brought me to clean. Dead Gambler? His body was found in the woods last week and you have it down as suicide but I’m fairly sure he was murdered. Widow Floral Shirt wouldn't kill someone, but Menacing Dad would. Would that be enough?
Dog Lady: Uh, yeah buddy. Murder would do it.

After what he heard last night, I’m not sure Menacing Dad might not take the fall for Widow Floral Shirt any more! Regardless, one way or another, we’re about to get some answers. At Leith Legals, a menacing goon sits at Cheekbones’ desk, waiting with the bagged knife covered in Softie’s blood. Remy and Widow Floral Shirt both leave their homes, presumably also headed to the office. And outside the police station, Nervous approaches Dog Lady only to find that she’s looped Nervous’ enemy Crooked Cop into the investigation.

Nervous: What the hell? He’s dirty and he’s been a problem for a long time!
Crooked Cop: And now I’m here to help!
Nervous: To save your own butt! Don’t let him get away with this just to get a few more years for Menacing Dad.
Dog Lady: A few more years? I want him to go away forever and you brought me MONEY LAUNDERING. Thanks for your help, you can go.
Nervous: You’ve gone off the rails. I’m going to report you.
Dog Lady: Ah, but I know about your deep dark secret and the mistrial you caused. Get out of here, and stay out of Leith today.
Crooked Cop, watching Nervous leave: Wait, what’s happening in Leith today? Are you setting Cheekbones up?
Dog Lady: What Cheekbones suggested would have been too easy for Menacing Dad to get out of. But there’s another way Cheekbones can help us.

A woman says "sometimes the best thing a flower can do for us is to die."

Crooked Cop: You’re sacrificing him to catch Menacing Dad? You can’t do that!
Dog Lady: Well what can you give me instead?
Crooked Cop, reluctant: Last week Menacing Dad asked me to get him an address. The day, I heard that address on the radio here: it was a stabbing, close enough to the heart to be an attempted murder.
Dog Lady: He wouldn’t do it himself.
Crooked Cop: He would if SHE told him to. He’d do anything for his wife.

Well well well. Glad that random stabbing from a couple episodes back finally came back into play! Across town, Widow Floral Shirt meets up with Menacing Dad and tells him that she and Cheekbones have sold the land, and that she’s going to go meet up with him later.

Menacing Dad: I understand why you did that.
Widow Floral Shirt: I thought I was doing it because of you, but it turns out I did it because of her. I wish I’d known you better. I guess it’s too late now. I did it to find something honest and good, and I’m going to go meet him now so we can go somewhere else that’s not here.
Menacing Dad: You might want to rethink that. Here’s his police file. And if that doesn’t grab you, here’s a recording of what he told Dog Lady last night. They don’t have anything on us, unless he gives it to them.

As you might imagine, Menacing Dad neglects to play the part of the tape where Cheekbones tells Dog Lady that Widow Floral Shirt wouldn’t kill anyone. He tells her not to go meet Cheekbones; he won’t be there anyway. He also tells her that he’s incredibly proud to call her his daughter, which is even more touching given what we now know.

Over at the assisted living facility, Dog Lady finally faces off with the person she probably should have been chasing this whole time: Floral Mum. Placing an evidence bag from the stabbing on the table, Dog Lady tells Floral Mum that the victim will talk.

Floral Mum, probably should have gone into poker professionally: Sorry, I’m confused!
Dog Lady: You know what’s fun? There’s a law that allows me to charge you and your husband for this, because you conspired to do it together.
Floral Mum, cutting to the chase: I felt bad about what happened to your family.
Dog Lady: Not as bad as I did.
Floral Mum: I always said to Menacing Dad that it’d be you.
Dog Lady: I hope you get a chance to tell him that.
Floral Mum, calling to Crooked Cop, who’s lurking in the corner: Could you be a dear and go get my chair and my pills? See, Dog Lady, I have dementia. It gets worse every day. Who KNOWS what a judge will think about it!

Incredible: she has a plan for everything! Across town, as Cheekbones makes his way to the Leith Legals office, Remy, who had been in an AA meeting, finally can’t ignore his conscience any longer, and heads out to call his erstwhile partner. Unfortunately, Cheekbones is a bit of an ass, so he ignores the call. Despite his fears, Remy is probably going to be just fine: shortly after that, Nervous appears, kisses him, and they walk off into the sunset together, adorably.

You know what’s a lot less adorable? Dead Gambler’s Brother is still out there, longing for revenge, and that’s why he lets himself into Menacing Dad’s house. Menacing Dad, to his credit, realizes right away who this man is, and why he’s there.

Menacing Dad: She had nothing to do with it. Yes, it was her house, but her husband was a degenerate, and your brother… got unlucky. Now you have to do what you have to do, and I respect that, but she had nothing to do with it.
Dead Gambler’s Brother: Cheekbones said that too.
Menacing Dad: Are you from Leith, son?
Dead Gambler’s Brother: Yup.
Menacing Dad: Well that’s something.

You know, I can’t really argue. There is something poetic about being shuffled off this mortal coil by someone from our home, I suppose. Across town, Cheekbones takes out his phone and makes a call to Widow Floral Shirt. No, he’s not going to come meet her: he isn’t the escape she wanted, and neither is the money.

Cheekbones: I can give you that. I can release you, if that’s what you want. I could have told you last night, but it would have been to hurt Menacing Dad. Now, it’d be for you. If you go into that church, you’ll find everything you need. Everything you weren’t given. You just need to ask.
Widow Floral Shirt: Tell me.
Cheekbones: I need you to know this isn’t about revenge. That only gets you halfway. What I’m giving you comes from love and hope; for you and for me. I’m giving you what I never had, so you can heal, unlike me.

And with that, she goes into the church to meet Big Bearded Vicar, who’s just as excited to see her as she is him. It’s a lovely and emotional moment that’s only a wee bit spoiled by the fact that I’m afraid Cheekbones is about to get stabbed to death. The shop door opens. The goon at the desk flourishes the knife, and then abruptly drops it: the man at the door isn’t Cheekbones at all! It’s Mr. Vasectomy “Reversal,” sporting a fresh black eye! But if he’s not outside the shop, where is Cheekbones? He’s taken Softie up on his offer, and as the season ends, he walks into Softie’s bar, greeted by the strains of the Clash album he gave his brother earlier.

A crying man gestures to his smiling face and says "happy tears."

What a season, eh? Gotta say, I love character growth, especially from hot meanies like Cheekbones. And speaking of character growth (and probably grisly murders as well, if last season was any indication) I’ll be back recapping Masterpiece’s next show on the schedule, Van der Valk, next week. See ya there, drama fans!

Episode 1 Recap: I'm Coming Out
Episode 2 Recap: Take the Money and Run
Episode 3 Recap: Police & Thieves