This week on Annika, the Marine Homicide Unit is in a transition period. The police assign Harper from the Edinburgh investigation in Episode 2 to the unit as Tyrone has started his new job. (Unfortunately for fans of Ukweli Roach, his new show Wolf is not available in America yet.) Blair is now on office duty as her due date approaches. The rest of the team is sent to the islands of Jura and Islay in the Scottish Hebrides as there are no police stations there to investigate a murder victim found frozen in a block of ice. Annika still has to negotiate working with Michael while someone else from her past reappears to upset the balance of her life. Let’s find out how George Orwell’s writings tie into Annika’s emotions — and the case.
The victim, Ronan McEntire, was last seen a few days before he was found. Claustrophobia and facing the elements alone are two common fears and this is where Annika’s monologue connects this case to Orwell. She mentions 1984’s Room 101 where characters encounter their worst fear. In the novel, the main character Winston is most afraid of rats. I’m assuming they’re the size of the NYC subway rats!
Annika also says Orwell left England and parachuted into Spain. This is a bit of an oversimplification of his methods of travel, but not of the dangers he faced. Orwell traveled to Spain in 1936 to join the Spanish Civil War to fight for the republic against the fascist forces. Within the republican ranks, there were huge political divides and Orwell ended up in the middle of infighting between differing communist and anarchist groups. Orwell eventually was wounded in the neck and left Spain in June 1937 after his haters tried to attack him while he was in treatment. He wrote about his experiences in Spain in his memoir Homage to Catalonia.
Jura is important in Orwell’s life because he wrote the manuscript for 1984 while he was living there between May 1946 and December 1948. The novel was published in 1949. Jura, for Orwell, was a nice respite from the distractions of busy London. The plot of the novel was clearly inspired by his experiences in the Spanish Civil War as well as his reporting career during World War II, with Fascist Spain and Nazi Germany inspiring Oceania, Eurasia, and Eastasia in his dystopian future world.
While Annika and her team are interviewing people who knew the victim and possible suspects, there is a psychology conference at the hotel in Islay. We then see Jake return to the story, this time presenting a PowerPoint using his patients as examples. For many Annika fans, Paul McGann’s return has been the thing they’ve been waiting for. However, for Annika herself, this is the worst possible time because she’s slowly starting to patch things up with Michael. Annika then overhears part of Jake’s presentation where he mentions a patient that is clearly based on his sessions with Morgan and Annika.
Annika crashes the post-lecture reception to confront Jake about airing her business to his colleagues. Jake explains that case studies are reflections of real situations and not necessarily identifiable to patients and their families. Annika’s anger is clearly short-lived because we then see that Annika has spent the night with Jake. She calls Morgan and has to hide the fact Jake is in the background.
Back at home, Morgan is dealing with the aftermath of her breakup with Erin. Blair calls Erin a cowbag, which is a hilarious insult. Morgan wants to go away for a work-study program. Annika is concerned about it, but Michael believes it’s a good idea for Morgan to have a distraction from the breakup. In fact, Michael is actually the one who convinces Morgan to go.
Annika also mentions in a monologue that in 1984, the main characters Julia and Winston passed love notes to each other as their affair was a secret. At the time both of them were considering what it would take to overthrow the government. This is of course a clear connection to Annika’s conflicting feelings towards both Jake and Michael. She also references the telescreens that Big Brother uses to observe Winston when she’s reviewing CCTV footage of the victim boarding the ferry to Jura. Orwell technically predicted where technology was going and the dangers of it in the wrong hands. The Marine Homicide Unit eventually figures out Ronan’s killer was his rival Oliver. His wife, who’s about to give birth to the child they always wanted, rats him out to the police. Annika mentions that in 1984, Julia rats out Winston to the government, and he’s separated from her and tortured until he admits he’s a loyal citizen.
The episode ends with Annika’s own Room 101. Annika drives home with Jake and then notices that her father is outside the gate. We’ve already seen hints that their relationship is not a good one. We’ll have to find out next week on Annika and what she says to her dad.