After last week, it really seems like the case is starting to come together: the tech team found the bullet, they’re interviewing some very solid suspects, and two different people made phone calls that imply deep knowledge of the case (one from inside a prison, so we can only hope that information makes its way over to our friends). On the other hand, everyone’s personal life is in shambles. You win some, you lose some.
In Paris, Sunny starts his day off with a call to Sal, who’s still not talking to him, but at least hasn’t forbidden her mother from speaking to him, which is a start. While he heads off to find Jack of All Trades, New Cassie pulls up to the station and tries to take some centering breaths in her car before heading inside to see all the coworkers who hate her. In the squad room, DC Babyface gives the update on Manager’s firearms charge.
DC Babyface: Turns out it was her roommate’s gun. She was drunk, and it was a prank to rob a bank.
New Cassie: Wasn’t it a stock brokerage?
DC Babyface: Yup, but like I said: drunk.
New Cassie: That’s fair, but why did she have the gun on her if it was a spur of the moment dare?
DC Babyface: Dunno. Found the statement from the security guard who called the cops. He said that she pretty quickly told him it was a prank, and that he saw her friends laughing, but he’d called it in before he realized.
New Cassie: He made the call that fast?
DC Babyface: I don’t buy it either.
New Cassie: Cool. Well, other good news: forensics found the bullet, they think.
DS Grumpy: And I finally got the bank records for Precious: we were able to find her last transaction date.
That date? The same day that her social worker Jack of All Trades visited. Precious used her bank card pretty much every day, so the fact that she suddenly stopped is very significant. Also of note: there were semi frequent cash deposits into her account.
DS Beanpole: Maybe from sex work?
New Cassie: Well maybe, but meth use doesn’t usually coincide with saving money.
And reader, that gets a bit of a chuckle out of her team! Are we getting a bit of a thaw here, folks? We shall see, but first, we also find out that DS Beanpole’s located Mugger. New Cassie is naturally keen to speak with him ASAP, even without knowing about that phone call.
DS Beanpole: On it!
New Cassie: Cool, thanks everyone
DS Beanpole: Wait a sec: where’s Sunny?
New Cassie, acting like they’re the weird ones for wondering: Paris! He’ll be back tonight.
Meanwhile, Chef postpones the restaurateurs’ meeting with their investors, saying Manager’s got a cold. Unfortunately, that’s not true: she’s sleeping on a sidewalk, presumably after drinking the night before. Her partner leaves the restaurant to come looking for her, clearly worried (as he should be). Posh Guy calls up his doctor, who explains that he hasn’t been able to find anything to prolong his patient’s life. Posh Guy does not take this well, which is understandable, but is really rude to his doctor in the process, which isn’t great. And in Paris, Jack of All Trades has just finished setting up a meet with a shady character to try and offload those watches when Sunny arrives at his flat.
Jack of All Trades, unsurprisingly, has a flashback when he looks at Precious’ picture. Like her mom, he asks Sunny if Precious died from drug use.
Sunny: No. We think she was murdered.
Jack of All Trades: What?! By who?
Sunny: I’m here to try and find that out.
Jack of All Trades: Her life was chaos. Precious was hard to help.
Sunny: She was using while you knew her, right? Did she also deal?
Jack of All Trades: I don’t think so. She was staying in hostels when we first met, but she kept getting kicked out; she had trouble getting her unemployment money so she sometimes stole from other residents.
Sunny: And did she do any sex work?
Jack of All Trades: She said no, but I remember her son wanted her to get back to it. He was also short of money and might have been able to persuade her to return. He was in and out of town. I saw him a few times.
Sunny: What was their relationship like?
Jack of All Trades: Not good. He stole from her to support his own drug use, and she told me he had been violent towards her.
Sunny: What about her mom?
Jack of All Trades: Very similar; trauma all the way down. Pretty common for families with addiction issues.
Sunny: How did you try to help?
Jack of All Trades: My goal was to get her stable housing and into rehab. I didn’t succeed at either. People like Precious can self sabotage; stuff will go wrong a LOT before it can go right, and every new attempt costs money. Social services are always unpopular and underfunded; it’s not a surprise that we failed.
Just then the buzzer rings, and Jack of All Trades panics, explaining to Sunny that his step-kids’ dad, who is trying to get custody and probably will use detectives in the living room as ammunition, has just arrived. Unsurprisingly, Second Dirtbag Soon To Be Ex Husband does exactly that, taking the kids and threatening Jack of All Trades on his way out. Sunny continues his questions, asking about the house Precious died in. Did she perhaps mention Posh Guy?
Jack of All Trades: No. It was a normal meeting.
Sunny: She didn’t say anything to indicate she thought she might be in danger? No? Well here's the thing: we’re pretty sure that Precious died very soon after your last meeting with her. Like within a day, and in that house.
Jack of All Trades: I’m sorry, I don’t remember anything else.
Sunny: This was both the last meeting you had with her and your last meeting as a social worker; you resigned the day after. Was that connected? Seems like a coincidence.
Jack of All Trades: I didn’t know she was dead, so it wasn’t a coincidence to me. I didn’t like the job. I was exhausted and demoralized; we all were.
Sunny: So, once more: nothing happened in that house? No fights, disputes, anything between the two of you that I should know about?
Jack of All Trades: No.
Sunny thanks him for his time and leaves, but I have a feeling Jack of All Trades hasn’t seen the last of Sunny. Not by a long shot. Back with the restaurateurs, Chef finally manages to track down Manager, who tells him she doesn’t feel guilty about drinking. Surprisingly, that’s not actually his primary concern right now.
Chef: A lawyer in London called to talk to you. What’s that about? How can we afford that?
Manager doesn’t say anything to that. She finishes her glass, grabs the bottle, and walks away. Guess what, I hate this! Also not good? Over at the prison, Lawyer isn’t able to get in to see Mugger: his name isn’t on the list. Why? He’s been replaced, and by someone who even I, an American, can tell is WAY fancier than Lawyer. Fancy Lawyer is, at that very moment, meeting with a judge and offering a cool 10 grand in bail so that Mugger can go home and take care of his girlfriend.
Meanwhile, on the train back home, Sunny’s called the office to tell New Cassie that there’s something funky about Jack of All Trades’ exit from social services. He also says that according to Jack of All Trades, Precious’ son was violent towards her, which New Cassie points out would help provide cover if Jack of All Trades was the killer. They agree to look into Jack of All Trades’ notes, and Sunny is in the middle of suggesting that they work together (an olive branch!) when he gets a text from Sal: she’s lost the baby, and doesn’t want to talk right now. Pivoting, Sunny asks New Cassie what time he’s expected at their next meeting, and hangs up in a hurry so he can text Sal back. New Cassie definitely notices, but doesn’t seem immediately furious, which feels like progress, maybe? And speaking of progress: the lab techs might have found a match for the bullet to another one in their database.
While all this is happening, Posh Guy’s bad day (he looks worse than last time we saw him) is about to get worse: that guy who he asked to take a special look at the community center grant application seeks him out at lunch to tell him that they’re going to pass on funding the center. Money is tight; surely he gets that! They have to fund the special stuff.
Posh Guy: You saying my thing isn’t special?
Posh Guy’s Posh Pal: I mean, the application’s barely filled out.
Posh Guy: I thought we had an arrangement.
Posh Guy’s Posh Pal: That kind of thing isn’t done anymore.
Posh Guy: Well it sure was done when I helped you get your big break. And when I got your son into school. But whatever, *dont’* scratch my back, see if I care!
Posh Guy’s Posh Pal: Welp. Don’t know what you want me to say, because what’s done is done.
They hurl some insults at each other (Posh Guy’s Posh Pal wins this round, I’m afraid), and Posh Guy is left to stew in his failure. Not a great scoreboard for this guy lately, huh?
Over at the prison, Sunny and New Cassie arrive and break the news to Mugger. He claims he doesn’t care, but I’m not sure anyone’s buying that.
Mugger: Seriously, haven’t seen her in 10 years. I got away from her as soon as I could.
Sunny: Her social worker mentioned you lived between London and Wales in 2016, and saw her sometimes then.
Mugger: Not true.
Sunny: He also said you got into it at a hostel she was staying at, and that there was violence?
Mugger: Maybe he mixed me up with someone, because that never happened. If she said it did, she was full of it.
Sunny: Why would she lie?
Mugger: She’d have said anything if she thought it’d help her. Probably wanted to get into a refuge or something.
New Cassie: Didn’t you wonder where she’d been for the last six years?
Mugger: I thought she went back to Wales. And speaking of which, if you wanted to find someone who DID hurt her, talk to David Bell.
Sunny: The guy who ran the cult?
Mugger: He’s awful. I saw him hurt her many times, but for some reason she always came back. He was physically, sexually, and emotionally abusive. It’s like he owned her. I lived there on and off for about ten years.
Sunny: And what was your relationship like with him? Was he violent to you?
Mugger: Obviously. And no, I didn’t report it: how was I supposed to? We were 20 miles from anything, and we weren’t allowed phones. No internet. Maybe that’s why she was that way with me? But if you’re looking for a killer, talk to him.
Yeah, I don’t know what to tell you reader, but I definitely believe him on the David Bell stuff. I don’t think this cult leader will actually have done the final murder, but it sure feels like he contributed to Precious’ death. New Cassie isn’t so sure, and correctly mentions that Mugger’s family do lie a lot. She asks Sunny to do a deep dive into Mugger, which may be more challenging soon: Fancy Lawyer has just gotten Mugger released on bail. I don’t want to speculate unfairly, but who do we know with enough money to get such a lawyer on short notice, coincidentally right after Mugger made a certain phone call last week?
Back in France, Jack of All Trades gets a call from an irate Jill of All Trades asking what the heck is happening.
Jack of All Trades: Don’t worry babe, I’m dealing with it!
Jill of All Trades: Dealing with WHAT? Why was there a British cop here?
Jack of All Trades: I said don’t worry about it! Gotta go!
Yes, taking calls at work is tough. But uh. Not great, dude.
At the station, DC Babyface digs into her research on Posh Guy. While she watches one of his speeches from the year Precious died where he supports social services (a huge pivot, it would seem, from his early stance) she highlights a document about Posh Guy’s Posh Pal, who, as Posh Guy noted, got his big break because of Posh Guy. Across the room, DS Beanpole talks to Case Worker about Jack of All Trades.
Case Worker: He was dealing with some mental health stuff in the year before he left. Anxiety, depression, agoraphobia.
DS Beanpole: Any specific cause?
Case Worker: Yeah, he was assaulted twice. Once in 2015, once in 2016. Racially motivated.
DS Beanpole: What, because he was Polish?
Case Worker: No, because he’s Jewish. But the nationality probably contributed. First one was just him walking down the street wearing his kippah, second one was outside a synagogue. He reported the first one, but nothing happened so he didn’t report the second.
DS Beanpole: And you think this caused his issues?
Case Worker: That, and his parents moved back to Poland around that time. He was alone. Look, I’m going to tell you some rumors, but to get the actual info you’d have to go to HR, ok? I will also add that he was a great guy when I met him, so I found this surprising. The rumor is that he left after he got caught taking photos up a colleague's skirt in the stairwell.
In her office, New Cassie’s just finished leaving a message for Mugger’s probation officer when DS Grumpy enters. He’s found a record of a call to the police from the neighborhood where Precious was found around the time of her death: a neighbor called after hearing a violent fight that included one woman yelling “eff off, mum.” Seems like Manager might have lied about when she last saw her daughter. The cops didn’t get there in time to get pictures of anyone, so they can’t prove it, yet. What they do know is that Precious had been living in the house for almost a month AFTER it was supposedly locked up by Posh Guy.
New Cassie thanks DS Grumpy and heads out. Also heading home? Sunny, who goes inside to face Sal. She tells him she’s not mad; he’s been honest and up front about not wanting more kids the whole time they’ve been together. She doesn’t blame him (about that) but she’s still really upset.
Sunny: When you say you don’t blame me for that…
Sal: I guess I shouldn’t blame you for the other stuff either; that’s grief! But I have to tell you: it’s hard to feel like I can’t find this challenging, and that I can’t say anything. It’s hard to feel so shut out by you. And it’s hard to feel jealous of a dead woman, but I do. It’s been 9 months and we haven’t even talked about the wedding. I keep hoping you’ll bring it up; I sure didn’t want to! But you don’t. And while I’m saying this I keep hoping you’ll interrupt me and tell me you’re sorry, and set a date, but I know you won’t, and I know why.
And unfortunately, they can’t even get through this extremely important and hard conversation, because Sunny gets THREE calls from work while it’s happening. Finally Sal insists he take the call, which he begrudgingly does. Look, reader, I can tell you from experience that planning a wedding when someone has just died is pretty horrible, but you have to at least talk about what’s going on, Sunny! Yikes!
Also yikes? New Cassie’s finally getting that drink with her sister, and unfortunately it turns out that those of us who had “Dirtbag Husband cheated with New Cassie’s sister” on our betting cards were correct. Her sister says it only happened once and that she feels terrible, but I hate to say it: I don’t know that you can come back from this one! New Cassie asks why (ever the detective) and finds out that both parties were lonely. Dirtbag Husband claimed that their marriage was over, which is obviously not true, since this happened three months ago. Also, they hooked up in New Cassie’s house while the kids were there, which is despicable. New Cassie tells her sister to leave, and that if she weren’t such a wuss she’d have taken the secret to her grave, and you know what, facts.
Turns out everyone’s having a bad day. Mugger’s Fancy Lawyer refuses to bring him home, instead insisting that they need to go over some paperwork before he’ll send him back to his girlfriend. That “paperwork” happens to actually be Posh Guy, who greets Mugger in the fanciest setting he can find, wearing an intimidating suit, and then verbally threatens the younger man: what did he mean by that call?
Posh Guy: You said you were Precious’ son. That you were there that night, and saw it all. What I want to know is where do you mean?
Mugger: A guy like you must be so used to being able to intimidate people, huh? I’ve never had any power or control; I’ve had to adapt. It’s funny because I have been so scared of you since that night; so scared of what you’d do to me if I told them what I knew. But now that we’re here together, I can tell you’re the one who’s scared.
Posh Guy: Who are you? What do you want?
Turns out what he wants is to punch Posh Guy in the face, and he does.
In France, Jack of All Trades gets a call from his friend at the airport, who’s gotten word from one of their clients that a shipment was tampered with.
His friend is a really decent guy, and makes it very clear that there will be a window in which no one is in the office, so Jack of All Trades could come in and “look for the missing watches,” and nobody would need to call the cops. Jack of All Trades blows him off: he’s at the address of his fence already! After sitting by the door for a second, he ultimately decides to bring them back. But he’s too late: by the time he gets to the airport, the cops are already there.
Back at New Cassie’s house, she arrives home, somewhat in shock, as her mum’s putting the kids to bed.
New Cassie’s Mum: So you forgot I was going out tonight, huh? No worries, kids are ready for bed. Wait, what’s wrong?
New Cassie: She hasn’t told you yet, has she?
New Cassie’s Mum: What? Who?
New Cassie squeaks out her sister’s name while starting to cry, and her mum guesses enough: she tells her daughter to pour a glass of wine, and runs off to cancel her plans and deal with the kids. After having a wee breakdown in the kitchen (fair) New Cassie tells her mum that she can’t forgive her sister.
New Cassie’s Mum: You know your sister isn’t well.
New Cassie: You can’t excuse everything she does because of her mental health! I’m also struggling with that! I don’t know how I can ever speak to her again. And I don’t think you should want to either.
Do I get it? Yup. Do I think that’s a totally fair ultimatum?
Back in Paris, Jack of All Trades, who obviously wasn’t able to sneak the watches back in, drives off with the boxes on the seat. Posh Guy, bruised, drives home. And Mugger returns home to find his girlfriend having sex with that creep who answered the door to Lawyer last episode. She apologizes and says she needed someone to look after her, which sadly Mugger seems to accept: he’s here now.
The next day, Sunny arrives at work to find everyone else is already there. Well, everyone but New Cassie. Sunny spends the day looking into Mugger’s childhood, which is horribly bleak, as you’d expect. There’s a lot of sympathy from the social workers, neighbors, and foster parents who knew him, and it’s obviously hard for Sunny to see how terribly this kid slipped through the cracks in the system. That’s probably why when he runs into New Cassie in the hallway midday, he’s not particularly chill about asking her where the heck she’s been. She stammers out an apology, and Sunny, who’s HAD IT, asks her to chat in private.
Sunny, gathering himself: I can’t work like this. I sat in here, and listened to all these people talk about this kid; it gave me so many insights, and new ideas, and you missed it. I’ll send it to you, but it’s not the same, right? We need to be in the room together! We need to talk, we need to come up with a bunch of dumb theories to discount so we can figure out the right answer.
New Cassie: I can’t be her.
Sunny: I’m not asking you to. All I’m saying is, there’s a barrier here, and I would love it if we could get rid of it. Even if it’s just for this case and then we go our separate ways. This might be my fault, and I’m sorry if it is. I’ve been dealing with some personal issues, and um. I’m not crushing it. But can we reset?
New Cassie: What issues?
Sunny: Yesterday my fiancee had a miscarriage of a baby I didn’t really want?
New Cassie: I am SO sorry.
Sunny: Thank you. It’s really early, but still: a lot!
New Cassie: Well, less than an hour before I started the job this season my husband informed me that he’s been cheating on me. And yesterday I found out it was with my sister.
Sunny: Ah. You win.
I legit laugh out loud at his delivery, and so does New Cassie. Sunny tells her he’s sorry and asks if there's anything he can do, and they’re still kinda processing all that honesty when DC Babyface walks in. Why? Well they found a match for the bullet that killed Precious: the same gun was used in a robbery where they didn’t find the gun, but did arrest a man who’s friends with Mugger. New Cassie sends DC Babyface to bring in the guy with the gun AND Mugger, and then tells Sunny that this week has been a fluke and that she also wants a reset. Things are looking up!
But it’s never that easy: in his mansion, Posh Guy makes a call to the Swiss company he emailed last week. I was wrong: it wasn’t a bank. It was a company called Dignitas which offers assisted dying services (this was predicted by at least one eagle eyed viewer on Twitter last week; hats off!). What, Posh Guy wonders, would happen if he wanted to move up his appointment? Reader, obviously we know Posh Guy is terminally ill, but somehow I don’t think he’s just worried about the manner of his death, but is also concerned about the secrets he might take with him. Alas, that’s the end of the episode, so we’ll have to wait for next week to hopefully get more answers.