Reader, I’m honestly not sure how we are somehow already at the LAST episode of this season. There’s still so much left to untangle, and that’s just talking about the interpersonal nonsense everyone’s dealing with! Anyway, we’ve only got one television hour left, so let’s jump right in: that sniffer dog from last week was right on the money, and New Cassie, Sunny, and Pathologist gather under a forensics tent to discuss the newest remains this season. The body is that of a young man, and there are two bullet holes in the head. Other than that, there isn’t a lot to say now, but New Cassie asks for rush DNA so they can try and confirm that this is, as we all assume, Precious’ older son.
New Cassie: Sunny, can you get looking into whoever lived here or rented this place? Also, we need to place Posh Guy at the scene.
Sunny: Assuming he was there at all.
New Cassie: Don’t be silly, he was DEFINITELY there. Eager to hear everyone’s thoughts!
Dang guys, talk about turning over a new leaf! And in case you were wondering how the team was going to talk to Posh Guy, given his whole “leaving on a plane to die” thing, have no fear: DS Grumpy is at this very moment pulling our rich friend off the plane and bringing him back to the station. Speaking of the station: DS Stringbean has just found out from Jack of All Trades’ bank statements that he took out money to pay Precious’ blackmail for his dirty laptop, but ended up depositing the cash right back into his account. Why? I have some guesses, and I’m sure you do too, but we’ll just have to wait and see.
First, New Cassie has to go home and face Dirtbag Husband. Annoyingly, he’s still there, but he’s not even in a state to be yelled at, having fallen asleep in the guest room. In a similar vein, the next morning finds Manager sleeping in her car outside of Posh Guy’s house. Posh Guy’s Wife wakes her up by knocking on the window and telling Manager in no uncertain terms that whichever tabloid she works for, they won’t be making a statement. Seems like somebody doesn’t know about her husband’s secret daughter! Well, not yet, anyway: Manager takes a second to get out of her car and then yells after Posh Guy’s Wife’s retreating back that she’s his daughter.
Back at New Cassie’s house, she meets up with Dirtbag Husband in the kitchen. What’s he playing at, she wonders?
Dirtbag Husband: Nothing, I just want to talk.
New Cassie: Ok, but since you walked out, if you want to talk you CALL. And don’t expect a long chat, given that you had sex with my SISTER.
Dirtbag Husband: One problem with that: I didn’t. I did kiss her, once, which was horrible and I don’t expect you to forgive me, but we never slept together. It was emotional, not physical.
New Cassie: So you’re saying my sister is lying to me and making herself look worse?
Dirtbag Husband: She’s got a lot of issues, we know this. I screwed up. A lot. Look, I felt like you abandoned me, and I wanted to hurt you back, which is why I said I wanted to leave. Now that I’ve cooled down, I want to come back.
New Cassie: I don’t think I believe anything you just told me.
You know what, I don’t care if he’s being honest: “I wanted to hurt you, deliberately did, and now it’s hard for me and I want it to be easier” isn’t super compelling! Elsewhere, an equally tense conversation is going down between Manager and Posh Guy’s Wife.
Manager: I found out when I turned 18. I first talked to him when I was 23, and I’m in my 50s now.
Posh Guy’s Wife: What kind of relationship have you had?
Manager, emotional: In the multiple decades he’s lied to you?
Posh Guy’s Wife, unflappable, somehow?: Yes.
Manager: Almost entirely financial. He gives me reparations.
Posh Guy’s Wife: So if that’s the case, why are you here?
Manager: I wanted to see him. There are a few things I wanted to say before it’s not possible. But I see I’m already too late. Maybe you can pass on a message? Please tell him that I hate him; I always have, and I always will.
Posh Guy’s Wife: Ok, but you still took his money even though you hate him?
Manager: You ruined multiple generations of my family, and you think a little money fixes that?
Posh Guy’s Wife: I didn’t do anything.
Manager: Sure, not directly, but you’re part of the privileged upper class. Your happiness is built on the bones of people like me, and you knew what he did. You knew his horrible policies ruined millions of lives, and you didn’t do anything to stop that. You looked the other way. I didn’t come here to talk to you, but you’re here, so listen up: I hate you too.
She’s right, and she should say it. I don’t know how or if Manager was involved in her daughter’s death, but the bravery to show up to her dad’s house and spill these secrets is amazing. Back at the station, Posh Guy and Jack of All Trades are both in custody. The forensics team looks for more bullets at the house, and prepares a sample to attempt a DNA match. And DS Grumpy finds out something interesting about the property where the second body was found: the tenant on file in 2016? Manager. She hears the news about the second body on the radio, and reader, her reaction suggests that she was, at minimum, aware that there was a second body.
In interrogation, Sunny and New Cassie start with Jack of All Trades. He gives a brief overview of what the social worker job was like before he left: budget cuts left them extremely understaffed, so the team was not only taking on extra work, but their normal workload is already very challenging given the nature of the job.
Jack of All Trades: I was really struggling. I lived alone at the time and I started to fixate on some messed up intrusive thoughts, specifically about taking upskirt photos of women in public. In late 2015, I was attacked, and then in February of 2016 I was attacked again outside my synagogue. It was pretty soon after that that I took my first photo.
Sunny: You think the attacks and the photos are connected?
Jack of All Trades: Maybe? I don’t know. I’m not making an excuse, but I grew up being made to feel different from early childhood. And when that ends up leading to a violent attack, it can impact a person.
Sunny: These pictures… did they make you feel better?
Jack of All Trades: In the moment, maybe, but not in the long term.
Sunny: So why did you keep taking them for so long? You even did it at work!
Jack of All Trades: Why does anyone do something they know is wrong? The temporary relief was enough.
Sunny: Ok, I’d like to go back to June 2016. You visited Precious for the last time that day, according to your statement. Was that also when you left your laptop there?
New Cassie, reacting to Jack of All Trades’ surprise at that reveal: Just assume we know everything and this will all be easier, bud. So Precious found the laptop and tried to blackmail you for 2k — we know that from your bank statement. We also know you never actually paid her. What’s up with that?
Obviously we need to wait for the answer to that one. First, we go to Mugger, who’s dropping off flowers at the hospital for the lady he knocked over in the first episode when he stole her bag. Aww! Was that nice moment a relief? Good, because now we’re heading back to hear whatever Jack of All Trades will tell us.
Jack of All Trades: When I got to the house, there was a car out front. I walked in, and didn’t see anyone, so I called out. No answer, so I went into the sitting room, where we met before. The floor was wet all over, like someone had just mopped it. And in the corner, I saw my laptop. And it was mine, so I grabbed it and left. On my way out I saw him: an old man in the hall with a mop and bucket.
Sunny: Did you talk to him?
Jack of All Trades: I called out, and introduced myself. Told him I came to see Precious. He said she was out, that he’d tell her I came by, and then asked if I’d been into the main room. I lied and said no and then left.
New Cassie: Could you describe him?
Jack of All Trades: Late 60s, well spoken.
New Cassie: The day after this, you resigned, and then a few weeks after, you left the country. Why?
Jack of All Trades: I assumed that she’d saved the images and would keep blackmailing me. I figured my life here was over. You’d have a hard time finding someone who hates himself more than I do for what I did to those women. I hope I’ve become a better person, but I also know I may be fooling myself by saying I only did it because I was having a hard time. I honestly don’t know. But I’m sure I didn’t see Precious after our last meeting, and I never hurt her.
A lot to chew on there, huh? Back in the bullpen, the squad catches each other up: DNA tests have confirmed that the second body was Precious' eldest, and that Mugger is also Precious’ son. Sunny wonders if it’s at all possible Manager didn’t know about her second grandchild.
New Cassie: Yeah, I think it’s fairly likely. He was invisible to the government, why not to his own family? The real question is what he saw. DS Grumpy, what do you have?
DS Grumpy: Forensics found a bullet at the second crime scene, and it was fired by the same gun.
DS Beanpole: One other thing — remember how we were trying to place Posh Guy at the scene?
Whatever DS Beanpole found will need to wait. First, we return to the restaurateurs’ houseboat, where Manager is spiraling about the second body.
Manager: My name was on the lease, but he paid for it! He probably had KEYS!
Manager: And then the day after, he paid for me to leave for a few days! He sent me to CORNWALL!
Chef: Calm down, babe: who did this?
Manager: My horrible dad! He put Joe there!
Chef: I thought you didn’t know your dad?
Manager storms out, leaving Chef like this:
Back at the station, it’s finally time to talk to Posh Guy again. New Cassie isn’t even remotely playing around, and leads off by asking point blank if he killed his granddaughter.
Posh Guy: I don’t have a granddaughter?
New Cassie: I’m talking about Precious.
Fancy Lawyer: Do you have any evidence that Precious is my client’s daughter?
New Cassie: We can do DNA checks with time, but I think for now his daughter Manager can confirm. And if he denies that she’s his daughter then I guess I’d just ask why he’s been paying her money for all this time.
Posh Guy: I didn’t kill her.
New Cassie: Did you kill your great grandson Joseph?
Posh Guy: Of course not!
New Cassie: Were you with either of them the night they died? Or at or near either house that night?
Posh Guy: No.
New Cassie: When was the last time you saw either of them?
Posh Guy: I’ve never even met either of them.
Sunny: Yeah, that’s not true. Here’s a copy of one of your credit card statements; you’ll see that there’s a charge from a filling station literally right down the road from the house where Precious died. That same evening. Care to comment?
Posh Guy: No.
New Cassie: Ok. The next day we have a witness who says they saw you with a bucket and mop near a room shown by forensics to have been covered in Precious’ blood.
Fancy Lawyer: What witness?
New Cassie: Her social worker. He was able to identify you from a photo VERY easily. What’s your response to that?
Fancy Lawyer leans over and whispers something in his client’s ear, and then Posh Guy reverts to the classic family line: no comment. New Cassie tries to goad him into saying something: maybe there’s an innocent reason he was at the house mopping up blood! Now’s his chance to tell them! Hilariously, that works, and he starts by talking about his daughter, who he says was the result of a brief relationship when he was young. After her mother died, he offered financial support, which she accepted.
Posh Guy: There was very little other contact, by her choice. I knew she had a daughter, but I had no contact with her until late 2015, when she called me out of the blue, also wanting money. I gave it. A few weeks before she died, I got a call from Manager telling me that Precious was homeless. The house was empty, and of course I wanted to help. So I met her, to give her keys and let her in. She was obviously struggling, and I felt sorry for her. The night she died, a man identifying himself as Precious’ son called me from the house. He threatened me, and also asked for money. I called up Manager, and she said she’d go right over there. But uh. I also decided to go myself. I got there first, and found that Joseph was in a bad state: coming down off of something, very disturbed. He was threatening violence to both me and his mother unless I took him to an ATM and withdrew thousands. And then, totally out of the blue he pulled out a gun. Precious lunged for it before I could stop her, and it went off. Hit him in the head. I was trying to help him when I heard another shot: Precious had turned the gun on herself. Right into the chest. She died really quickly, and so did he: I never had a chance to call for help. And THIS was the scene that Manager walked into. I explained what happened, but I’m not sure she believed me. Obviously we were both freaking out; I agreed to dispose of Joseph’s body, and she took Precious.
New Cassie: Why did you bury Joseph’s body in the garden of your daughter’s flat?
Posh Guy: I had keys and it was private.
Sunny: Sure you didn’t want to just incriminate her if anything came out?
Posh Guy: No!
Sunny: Then why did you anonymously call this police station and tell us where his body was?
Reader, Posh Guy wasn’t expecting Sunny to know that. And Fancy Lawyer clearly didn’t know either!
Posh Guy: I panicked.
Sunny: Did you know Manager had hidden Precious in the fireplace?
Posh Guy: No. She told me she buried her in the woods.
New Cassie: So this is the truth now? You’ve lied to us repeatedly both times we’ve questioned you.
Posh Guy: This is the truth. I swear.
By the way, if you thought things were just bad for the suspects, Mugger’s having a terrible night too: his girlfriend, who he clearly would do anything for, has decided to go stay with another guy because he found a squat with hot water and she thinks Mugger needs to sort his life out. Yikes: pot, meet kettle?
Back at the station, New Cassie and Sunny agree: they need Manager’s side of the story, and they need it asap. But that’s tomorrow’s problem: first, New Cassie has to go home and interact with Dirtbag Husband some more. Annoyingly, IMO, her mum seems to be taking Dirtbag Husband’s side: she says that the kids and New Cassie need Dirtbag Husband, and that at least he was discreet about it.
New Cassie: I don’t believe him.
New Cassie’s Mum: I’m sure you don’t. Nothing’s perfect, not even you. Bye!
Horrible position to be in, and I don’t envy her. But I guess it could be worse: she could be involved in a multi-generational family murder coverup! The next day, we move on to Manager’s side of the story. She starts by giving some more context for her parentage, and unfortunately it’s as bad as I thought: her mum worked in the same office building as Posh Guy. One night, he came back to drop off some paperwork while Manager’s mum was working nights, pressured her to have a few drinks, and then raped her. Her parents blamed her, not Posh Guy, and she ended up deciding not to go to the police, assuming that she wouldn’t win against the rich, white, titled son of her boss. When she realized she was pregnant, she tried to tell first Posh Guy, who ignored her, and then his dad, who told her that if she ever brought this up again he’d fire her and her parents. After manager was born, her mum wrote a letter that was meant to be given to her daughter on her eighteenth birthday, and then died by suicide.
Manager’s grandparents treated her like a shameful secret, and once she read the letter from her mum which laid this all out, she started to understand why. Manager also says that Posh Guy was horrible when she first made contact with him; he wanted to protect his reputation, and made threats against her. She ended up grabbing one of his used water glasses to get DNA, and threatened him right back: she’d go to the newspapers. That did the trick, but she still doesn’t trust him, and says whatever he said about that night won’t be true.
Sunny: So can you tell us what you saw?
Manager: He called and said Joseph called him with threats.
New Cassie: Did Joseph know this was his great grandfather?
Manager: I told Precious, so I’m guessing she told Joseph.
New Cassie: Why hadn't you told her about him before?
Manager, guilty: Because I knew she’d mess up the financial arrangement we had, and I needed the money. So, after my dad called me, I headed there and found a nightmare. My daughter was dead, and my grandson was dying, and my dad told me my daughter had shot her son accidentally and then killed herself.
Sunny: Did he say what led up to this?
Manager: Pretty much the same thing he already told you guys.
New Cassie: Did you ever question this version of events?
Manager: Not when it happened, no. I was in shock, and I didn’t know Joseph very well, but I did know that he’d been incarcerated for using a gun. In the moment, panicking, I’m embarrassed to say I believed him.
Sunny: So what do you think did happen?
Manager: I don’t know, I just know that he’s an evil lying monster and he could have done anything. Maybe he shot them both.
New Cassie: And the disposal of the bodies?
Manager: He told me that if we called the police, they might not believe it was an accident because of my criminal record. He wanted to take them both but I said I’d look after Precious. I stayed with her all night, and in the morning I went out to try and move her and saw workmen in the street. I have regretted what I did every day since; it was a horrible way to treat my daughter. A few weeks later I had a friend put up some plasterboard.
New Cassie: Ok, one last question: does Mugger’s real name mean anything to you?
Manager: Who’s that?
I really hope these two can get some closure from meeting, but honestly this whole thing is such a mess, who knows. At minimum, Sunny and New Cassie need to see if Mugger can tell them whether or not Posh Guy is lying, so they head to the tower block where he’s staying to talk to him.
Mugger: Why would I help you? Nothing changes: people like me don’t win against people like him.
Sunny: I’m so sorry that that’s been your and your brother’s experience. But I’m here to tell you that if you trust us we will act on what you say. If you stay silent, he probably will win again.
That’s enough to convince him, or maybe he just has nothing to lose, so Mugger goes with them to the station, and tells them what he saw.
Mugger: I was upstairs. Mum didn’t want me to meet my grandmother, or Posh Guy, so I was playing on my gameboy. I saw him arrive, about 10 minutes before my nan. I didn’t want to meet either of them, so I was waiting for them to leave, but then I heard yelling. Joe mainly, but my mum too. I came down to the landing, and saw that my brother was berating Posh Guy for what he’d done to our family. Suddenly Posh Guy grabbed Joe by the neck, slammed him into the wall, and said he could have him disappeared if he wanted. I thought for sure he’d choke Joe to death, and that’s when Joe took out the gun. Posh Guy got quiet, and started to back away. Mum told Joe to put the gun down, but he wouldn’t. So she tried to grab for it, and the gun went off. She fell to the ground, and Joe was in shock. Posh Guy asked for the gun and Joe just gave it to him. Joe knelt next to mum to hold her hand, and that’s when Posh Guy shot him in the back of the head. And there wasn’t anything I could do; I was 14. I was so scared he’d hear me and kill me too, so I froze. Nan arrived and started crying, so I used the noise as cover to go hide upstairs. I came down after two days and everyone was gone. I took some of my mum’s stuff, and I ran.
After he leaves, New Cassie sums it up: no wonder this poor guy’s struggled! With new witness statement in hand, they turn next to Posh Guy. He’s surprisingly self-aware, and admits that he’s been lying to himself all this time about everything, starting with his rape of Manager’s mum.
Posh Guy: I finally saw who I really was in that moment at the house, and I couldn’t handle it. So I killed that impulse.
New Cassie, who is completely unaffected by his sad old man facing down death vibe: So you killed Joseph Bell?
Posh Guy: Yes. I did. And I’ve tried so hard for the last six years to make amends, but obviously I can’t come close to making up for that. I’m so sorry for what I did.
New Cassie, still doesn’t buy it:
I mean, don’t quit your day job, but you’re a good actor, bud! You’re not trying to make amends, you just finally realized how catastrophic your contribution to society has been and decided to try and be remembered better. We see through you. And guess what: you’ll only ever be remembered as a rapist who murdered his own great grandson.
Sunny: We’ll uh. Get someone to take you to your cell.
While Posh Guy thinks about what he’s done, Manager shows up at Mugger’s place, where he’s packing up his stuff to leave. She asks if he knows who she is, and introduces herself before going in for a hug.
Manager: I’m so sorry kiddo.
Mugger: I told them he did it.
Manager: I know, they called me. So now we know the truth.
Mugger: Except we don’t.
Mugger: I lied. Mum killed Joe accidentally trying to get the gun from him, and then died by suicide. But it was all his fault, what happened to our family. So I just thought, you know… even the scores.
Whaaaaaaat?!?!? Back at the station, Sunny finds New Cassie in the canteen, where she apologizes for her unprofessional (but pretty badass) behavior earlier.
Sunny: Nah dude, it was awesome. I was thinking the same thing. Just got word that we can charge him for both the murder and the rape.
New Cassie: Nice! I wasn’t expecting both.
Sunny: And FYI, that’s a 57 year old crime. Do you know that’s a record for us?
New Cassie, apparently has caught the cold case bug: For now. And please, call me Jessie.
And with that, they head off to get drinks and celebrate, leaving all the rest of us to process the complicated truth. Whew, what a season, huh? I for one can’t wait to find out what this squad will look like when they actually all like each other. In the meantime, we’ve got plenty of drama to tide us over: next week World on Fire and Annika both return for season 2!