Last week, things FINALLY seemed to be looking up for our squad, at least when it comes to their interpersonal skills. Personal lives?
First things first: our team is finally taking a wee field trip to investigate this horrible cult we keep hearing about. DS Grumpy pulls up looking super official and is, obviously, immediately clocked as an outsider by the bucolic people milling around the farm, one of whom approaches.
Farmer Lady: Can I help you?
DS Grumpy: I’m a cop and I’m here to talk to David Bell.
Farmer Lady, resigned: Fine. Follow me.
Meanwhile, Posh Guy’s wife is fussing over his black eye, and wondering, very reasonably, why he’s still out here working super hard when he could just retire and chill out.
Posh Guy: I just feel like I need to fix my mistakes and wrongs as I get… older.
Posh Guy’s Wife: You haven’t done anything wrong!
Posh Guy: Um, actually…
Posh Guy’s Wife: You did what you thought was right at the time!
Posh Guy: I’m not just talking about politics, although I was objectively wrong about that too. There’s other stuff I never told you. Like for instance, it’s starting to look like I’m one of the main suspects of this murder show.
Posh Guy’s Wife: Well I don’t want to hear about that. Move on, we don’t live in the past.
Look, I get it, but also: if your husband did a murder we’re going to at least have to take a field trip to the past, my dude.
Back at the cult, Farmer Lady escorts DS Grumpy out into a paddock, asking as they walk if he’s here about Precious. According to Farmer Lady, you see, the only trouble they ever had was related to Precious, who, in her words “betrayed him for money.” Does she mean David Bell, or God? Unclear, because she seems to be talking about them interchangeably.
DS Grumpy, not amused: He was in his 40s when he got her pregnant and she was 15, so. I don’t have a ton of sympathy.
Farmer Lady: He’s here.
Well, he is, in a sense: she’s pointing to a grave. That’s going to make this slightly more complicated, huh?
Back in town, New Cassie’s stopped by Dirtbag Husband’s brother’s house (where said dirtbag is supposedly staying) to try and speak to him. His brother claims Dirtbag Husband isn’t there, which New Cassie doesn’t believe, but she isn’t about to actually storm into her brother-in-law's home to confirm. Instead, she loudly informs him that his sibling cheated on her with HER sibling (which, to his credit, clearly upsets Brother-in-Law) and leaves. That little nugget of information has the desired impact: when Brother-in-Law gets back inside, he tells Dirtbag Husband he’s got to hit the bricks.
Meanwhile, Sunny arrives home to find suitcases in the hallway (NEVER a good sign) and a resigned Sal in the dining room.
Sal: I thought I at least should wait until you got home before I left.
Sunny: You don’t owe me anything.
Sal: What was it, that night you proposed to me? Because it feels like you might have been trying to cope with feeling lost.
Sunny: No. At the time it felt utterly genuine. I don’t know what’s going on with me now; I’m as confused as you are. I feel stuck and, yeah, lost.
Sal: You get that the worst part is that this is the most you’ve said about this to me, right?
Sunny: I thought you were jealous. And I get why.
Sal: Look, let’s not make any decisions right now. But I need to tell you how I’m feeling.
Sunny: Of course!
Sal: What I think is that over time we can probably get through this.
Sal: Except then I got pregnant. And that made me realize that I actually really do want a baby, and that you really do not. And that’s a different story. I’m going to go stay with my mother, and we can keep talking, but I need a break.
Sunny: I get it. I’m so so sorry.
Sal: Me too.
UGHHHHHHHHH. Good decision? Probably. But that doesn’t make it any less horrible. The next morning, DS Beanpole tries to get in touch with Jack of All Trades so they can interview him again (no luck) and DC Babyface finds out that Mugger has been bailed out by a fancy lawyer. She gets his address, but asks DS Beanpole to call the boss to get them firearm backup for the visit to his flat. The real question is, which boss?
New Cassie, who’s in the canteen, readily approves the request for backup over the phone before having a frankly charming convo with Sunny where they both share their horrible life updates and agree to distract themselves with work. Friendship? In this economy?? We simply love to see it.
You know what I like a lot less? Seeing what’s considered “firearms support,” which turns out to be a group of heavily armed guys in full tactical gear, who break down the door to Mugger’s flat. The only upside is that they got there just in time: our pal had just packed up a laptop he’d hidden (which makes me think there’s something pretty important on said laptop) and told his girlfriend that they needed to leave town for a while when the cops arrived. The officers lead both Mugger and his girlfriend away in cuffs and start packing up their belongings, including the laptop, into evidence bags.
Meanwhile, over at the office, DS Grumpy shares the update from his visit to the farm. Apparently, Farmer Lady remembers Precious having “a sugar daddy” that she talked about the last time she visited Wales. He was also able to confirm that David Bell died a few months before Precious, so he can’t have been the murderer. Everyone speculates that Posh Guy is the most likely suspect for “sugar daddy” of the bunch, and that that would also explain how Precious got access to a supposedly locked house. The problem now is linking Posh Guy to the house beyond his initial visit, but DC Babyface might be able to help: she did some research on the assumption that Precious must have had some kind of phone, and found a payment to a phone shop where, hopefully, they can get some records. But first, they have a visitor: Manager has arrived at the station.
Before we can find out how that conversation goes, we head to Paris, where Jack of All Trades is having a decidedly bad convo with his partner. He tries to hand her a big stack of cash, but she, understandably, wants to know where he got it. She also wants to know why the British police wanted to speak to him.
Jill of All Trades: Look, Second Dirtbag Soon To Be Ex Husband went and talked to the police about this, and they told him that you’re a person of interest in a murder. A murder that might have a sexual component. You can see why that’s concerning to him, and to me, since you’re basically my daughters’ stepdad.
Jack of All Trades: What the cops said isn’t true! You must know that, right?
Jill of All Trades: Look at me. You need to leave.
Huge bummer, and also absolutely the right call given the information we’ve got. He leaves the money for the kids, and packs a bag. Back in the UK, the office dynamic has SHIFTED: DS Beanpole gets an important call and turns to Sunny to ask if he’s free to chat.
Sunny: Yeah. One second: GOV!
New Cassie, from her office: Yup?
Sunny shoots DS Beanpole a look that says “it’s time to start treating her like the boss, because she is, and it’s gonna be ok” while New Cassie makes her way out to the bullpen, and then DS Beanpole shares her update: Jack of All Trades denied the upskirt photos accusation, but wouldn’t turn over his phone. HR agreed to let him resign for mental health reasons without a complaint on his file, but after he left, another person came forward with allegations against him. New Cassie tells DS Beanpole to apply for access to his work emails for 2016, with special attention to any referencing Precious, and then grabs Sunny to go talk to Manager.
DS Beanpole, watching her bosses actually getting along:
On the way to interrogation, New Cassie and Sunny go over all the various reasons why Manager might have gotten into an altercation with her kid (many). Inside, they start off with the biggest inconsistency in Manager’s story: timing on when she last spoke to Precious.
Sunny: You told us it was January. Here’s a bunch of paperwork that basically proves you had a mobile phone with a number that called a mobile phone we can prove was owned by your daughter. And that call happened in late June, specifically the day we’re pretty sure your daughter died. Remember that call?
Manager: No? It was six years ago!
New Cassie: It was the day your daughter DIED, dude.
Sunny: Well the call happened in the evening and it went on for several minutes. Still no memory of that?
Sunny: Ok, and right before that you got a call from a number we haven’t identified yet, do you remember THAT call?
New Cassie: Ok, and switching gears, do you remember the fight you had with Precious a few days before that? We have a witness who remembers an altercation where the younger of two women called her attacker “mum.”
Manager: Attacker?? I didn’t touch her.
New Cassie: So you were there?
Manager, thinking about saying something and deciding not to: No comment.
Sunny: Next topic: why didn’t you tell us that Precious had FASD?
Manager: Because she didn’t!
Sunny: All her medical and social service records say otherwise?
Manager: She told them that! She wanted an excuse because she was small and had trouble in school.
Sunny: Did you drink while you were pregnant?
Sunny: We know you have a history of alcohol issues, you told us that. I think you’re denying the FASD because it was such a source of conflict between the two of you, and you didn’t want us to know that you got into frequent, violent fights with each other.
Manager: No comment.
New Cassie: Did you have another fight with her the night she died? Maybe it got out of hand? Maybe you didn’t even mean to hurt her!
Manager: I wasn’t even with her! No! I did the best I could for her. I’m sorry if that wasn’t good enough. I don’t get why she spent so much of her life hating me! I also had a crap childhood, but you move on, right? I’m sorry if I failed her, but I never hit her. I never hurt her. And I DEFINITELY didn’t kill her.
While they digest that, DC Babyface sits down in the very fancy offices of Posh Guy’s Posh Pal to get some background on Posh Guy.
Posh Guy’s Posh Pal: I mean, yes, people often change their politics as they get older. It’s just usually the other way around: liberal to conservative. And not usually such a total 180. I mean he was like a full on Thatcher style Tory: don’t spend what you don’t have. And then, around 2016, a few years after he basically invented the austerity policy, he suddenly came out the opposite and said we should borrow to spend on public services.
DC Babyface: And any idea why the change?
Posh Guy’s Posh Pal: Some people thought it was his cancer diagnosis. But that was in 2014, and he kept arguing for cuts through his whole treatment. Some say Brexit. But I think it was a woman.
Back at the station, Mugger finally arrives on the scene, escorted by a bunch of uniformed officers. Meanwhile, DS Beanpole arrives at the social work IT department only to find out that all of Jack of All Trades’ emails were deleted… by him. Can they be recovered? Possibly, but it depends on time and money. Way back in episode 1, I’d have worried that the very idea of spending real department resources on this case would have been the end of the story, but I have a feeling New Cassie will approve it now that she’s invested. Speaking of whom, New Cassie and Sunny are at this moment getting an update from DC Babyface, who tells them that Posh Guy’s Posh Pal saw Posh Guy with Precious in 2016.
Sunny: How did he know they weren’t just coworkers or whatever?
DC Babyface: Oh, they were having a fight. And also their vibes were closer than colleagues if you catch my drift. I showed him a picture of Precious and he couldn’t be sure one way or the other, but he was sure that the woman was petite, and probably mixed race. Oh, also: when I was looking into his earlier life, I found this interesting detail: the first company Posh Guy worked for? Same place Manager walked into with a gun.
New Cassie: Oho, interesting. Any leads on that doorman?
DC Babyface: I’ve been focusing on this.
New Cassie: Well let’s get on that ASAP because this lead you found is BRILLIANT.
Over in Paris, Jack of All Trades says goodbye to his friend from the airport, who basically says “I’m going to ignore whatever crime you did or maybe didn’t do, love ya buddy.” Why does it seem like they're saying goodbye? Because they are: Jack of All Trades waves, and makes his way into the train station. Destination? London, apparently, because when he arrives back in the UK it’s to a message from DS Beanpole that essentially says “welcome back, come to the station right away.” Reader, not gonna lie: heading back to London doesn’t seem like something a guilty person would do, but nothing is certain in Unforgotten land.
Speaking of the station, DS Grumpy has just found the owner of the gun that they think killed Precious, and tells Sunny he’ll set something up to interview said gun owner the next day. Sunny, meanwhile, finds himself alone in the home he shared with Sal until about 12 hours ago.
The next morning, Sunny and New Cassie interview the gun owner.
New Cassie: Look, we don’t expect you to tell us where that gun is. But we want to know if there’s any chance Mugger would have had access to it after you got arrested.
Gun Owner: Oh, I’m 100% sure he had access. He was the one who used it in the robbery, not me. I took the fall for him because I thought he’d look after me and my girl, but I never heard from him again so I will HAPPILY tell you that he had access to the gun: I gave it to him.
On the other end of the spectrum, Manager and Chef are having a much harder time than they could have anticipated with this investment situation. Chef has just explained to their prospective investors that he’d like to set up the business and then leave his second in command in charge when Manager interrupts.
Manager, choking out this line and then running out of the room: I’m sorry, you were right, Chef. This was my mistake, and we’ve wasted your time. I’m sorry.
Chef makes their excuses and follows her out of the room, leaving the confused pair in their wake. Back on their houseboat, Manager fills Chef in more.
Manager: When I was a teenager, and just pregnant with Precious, I came home from school to find that my grandmother had invited over our pastor to perform an exorcism on me. I refused, and fought them off, but when I came back a few days later to get my things so I could move out, my grandfather was waiting. He told me that if we “got rid of it” before anyone found out, I wouldn’t shame them like my mother did. He tied me up, forced me to drink a large amount of alcohol, and tried to induce an abortion. Obviously that didn’t work, but it did trigger my alcoholism, and it damaged me for life. I’ve felt shame and guilt my entire life, and the therapy I had access to was minimal at best. I’ve self medicated with alcohol, and with love, and sometimes those worked, but the damage is done.
Just horrible all the way down, huh? Meanwhile, at a super fancy bank, DS Beanpole has asked a smarmy banker for account info. He refuses, saying it’s bank policy, even in the face of the official paperwork DS Grumpy already sent over.
DS Beanpole: Ok, well I guess I can come back with a warrant and toss the place, if you’d prefer?
Smarmy, chuckling: I need to speak to my boss.
If he thought that’d deter DS Beanpole, he was wrong, and she settles in to wait.
Back at the station, Sunny and New Cassie interview Mugger, starting with an overview of what they know about him. For starters, they think that that mystery phone call on Manager’s record earlier was from him, her grandson. They know that the call was placed in or near the house where they found her, which he already told us (and Posh Guy) earlier, but won’t confirm for them. In fact, he’s returned to his “no comment” tactic from last time. Next, New Cassie asks him about the guy who owns that gun, and whether Mugger had the gun.
Mugger: No comment.
Sunny: Look, we talked to a LOT of people from your childhood. We know how bad things were with your mum, and it would be understandable if you fought, and something happened. Maybe it was an accident.
Mugger: You don’t understand anything.
Fancy Lawyer: Hey, don’t say anything.
Mugger: You hush.
Sunny: Please, help us.
Mugger: I’m not who you think I am: I’m his half brother. My birth wasn’t registered, because she didn’t want me taken into care like he was.
New Cassie: But what about school? And healthcare?
Mugger: I lived with my parents until I was 11. I was homeschooled.
New Cassie: How old are you?
New Cassie: You were only 14 when your mum died? Did you go to your dad then?
Mugger: No, he died in 2015. His name was Eric Royce. He lived with a traveling community.
Sunny: So how did you survive? All alone in London?
Mugger: I did fine. Stole, got little jobs, lived in squats. And when I was 16 I took over my brother’s identity to get access to benefits.
Sunny: Okay… did he not need his identity?
Mugger, to his lawyer: You can leave now.
It takes some convincing, but not as much as it probably should, TBH, before Fancy Lawyer walks out. Once he’s gone, the detectives press: what happened to Mugger’s brother?
Mugger: There’s people out there who want to hurt me because of what I know. I’m not saying any more.
New Cassie: We wouldn’t let that happen.
Mugger: Yeah, and people said that to my brother. People like you told him he could trust them. They lied. I’m not telling you anything.
Honestly? Understandable. But perhaps his laptop can fill in some of the blanks. Speaking of mysteries, remember how we found out last episode that Jack of All Trades’ parents had gone back to Poland? And remember how he was on the phone with his mum in the first episode? Well now he’s back in the UK and sitting in her kitchen, so I’m slightly confused.
And speaking of Jack of All Trades: back at this former employer’s IT Department, the tech confirms that all of his emails were deleted properly: he knew what he was about. However, there are two emails to him from Precious, and those emails? They’re juicy.
The first email: Hi bud, you left your laptop here, and I found some… interesting pictures on it. How much will you pay me to not tell your boss?
The second email: See you tomorrow. Bring 2k.
Those emails? They were sent the day Precious was killed. And since we currently have a mystery laptop in the station tech lab, it’s hard not to assume that that laptop might have some incriminating stuff that implicates Jack of All Trades. DS Beanpole heads right down there to talk to the police tech about the device, which, based on usage, almost certainly belonged to Precious.
DS Beanpole: See if you can recover any images, specifically any that are tied to Jack of All Trades. Thanks!
While the tech gets to work, Fancy Lawyer calls Posh Guy to pass along the “I’m his half brother” news. Posh Guy doesn’t buy it: there wasn’t a half brother, as far as he knows. Posh Guy tells the lawyer to do whatever he can to get Mugger out of there, and then rings off: he’s got another call, this time from the bank. You guessed it: it’s Smarmy’s boss, who informs Posh Guy that the cops have asked about an account set up by Posh Guy in the 80s.
Posh Guy: Ah. What did you tell them?
Smarmy’s Boss: Oh, you know. I try to keep things anonymous, but unfortunately I had to tell them. About both things.
Back at the station, the front desk officer calls up DS Beanpole: he’s just had a deeply weird call about Precious’ case, and needs her to come down to chat. Meanwhile, New Cassie and Sunny, leaving the super weird interview with Mugger, try to figure out how they’d be able to prove anything he said. DNA will be hard, since both potential dads are dead.
Fancy Lawyer, butting in: How long will that take? And regardless, you have no good evidence to hold him. Doesn’t matter that he just kicked me out; he’ll want me back as soon as I tell him I can get him bailed out of here.
DS Beanpole, interrupting: Gov, I need a word, urgently.
Turns out that that mystery call? It was about the body of the real Joseph Bell. The caller was anonymous, obviously, and they’re already working on tracing it. The address is a relatively small area, so if the caller was right, our team will know pretty quickly. But the fact that this call came in right now? Seems notable! New Cassie tells Sunny that the lawyer is right: they don’t have anything to hold Mugger with. She sends Sunny off to arrange the bail, but then asks a fun question: did the forensics team stop looking after they found that first bullet? Probably, so Sunny also arranges to have them return to the scene. Meanwhile, DS Beanpole talks to the tech about Precious’ laptop. There’s a folder of pictures labeled “Jack of All Trades Pics”, and the photos were downloaded from an email sent from an address that was created specifically for that purpose, it seems. There’s over forty photos, and they’re not just confined to work: apparently Jack of All Trades really liked taking secret photos up skirts, the creep.
DS Beanpole is pleased to have this new evidence (and TBH she’s been crushing it this season so she has a reason to be happy in general) but you know who’s NOT happy? New Cassie, who’s just gotten a call from her mum, informing her that Dirtbag Husband has returned home. New Cassie basically goes along with this, because she doesn’t really have an alternative, and is a little busy preparing to possibly exhume a body. Actually, upgrade that to probably exhume a body, because one of the sniffer dogs has just alerted.
Back at the office, DS Beanpole’s looking through Jack of All Trades’ bank statements when the man himself arrives to speak with her. Mugger is released on bail into the waiting company of Fancy Lawyer (and he doesn’t look happy about it; he looks scared). Posh Guy checks his boarding pass and gets into a rideshare to go to the airport to fly to Switzerland (alone, by the way: he apparently hasn’t told his wife of his plan to die abroad). And DC Babyface meets up with the security guard who called the cops on Manager for waving a gun around a stock brokerage all those years ago. He makes them some tea, and then spills the metaphorical kind.
Security Guard: Oh, yeah, I changed my statement. I was told that if I wanted to keep my job I’d need to downplay what happened.
DC Babyface: And who told you to say that?
Security Guard: I’d rather not say.
DC Babyface: Look, according to my research Posh Guy’s dad was on the board of directors… was it him? You know what, don’t say anything — and maybe don’t take up poker. Was there anything else he asked you to change or omit?
Security Guard: Yeah, what she yelled when she came through the door: I want to talk to my dad. I want to talk to Posh bloody Guy.
Well well well. I can’t say that I’m entirely surprised, but this revelation does leave us with some rather urgent business to clear up, not just because we only have one more episode to solve this case, but because Manager’s putative father is terminally ill and at this moment heading to another country with the intention of dying! And now that we’re starting to see how tangled this family situation is, the possibilities for the murderer’s identity are only getting more depressing. Who killed Precious? And who killed her older son? We’ll just have to wait for one more episode to find out!