This review contains spoilers.
Click click click click. The sound of the machinery turning in episode two of a six-part crime drama. Habitually, the second episode is a time for stricken visits to the morgue, slow-motion weeping and a new suspect taking the place of whoever was arrested at the end of the first episode. The Bay, not one to break with tradition, covered the lot.
Sticking with tradition appears to be The Bay’s approach. Like a shepherd’s pie, it’s made according to a tried and tested formula*, and provides a reliably comforting if uninventive end to a Wednesday.
*Specifically, a formula tried and tested in 2013 by Broadchurch, to which The Bay is sticking with fierce loyalty. The only detectable change so far is that everything Broadchurch did, The Bay does twice: not one victim, but two. Not one extra-marital shag on the night in question that the dad arrested on suspicion of his son’s murder was attempting to conceal, but two. Not one wayward child of the detective sergeant, but two. If the pattern continues, in a month’s time we’ll be staring into the faces of two killers, asking them both how they could have done it.
At present, there’s just one in the frame. After spending half of the episode in a forensic onesie angrily telling the police they were wasting their time, stepdad Shaun was released on bail. An alibi for his missing hour was provided by Hanna, a woman with whom he’s been having an affair, and the wife of his colleague Krzysztof. (“You’ve got stamina, mate,” Armstrong told him, “I’ll give you that.”)
The next suspect along on the conveyor belt? Played by Matthew McNulty (The Terror, Misfits), Nick Mooney is a character who could barely have looked guiltier this episode than if he’d stripped naked, daubed ‘I did it!’ on his torso in Holly’s blood and ran round and around the Eric Morecambe statue singing Bring Me Sunshine. Nick ran from the police, he wrote Shaun and Jess an ‘I’m sorry’ card, his mother lied to cover for him without blinking… Add all that to his previous, and Nick looks so guilty at this point that there can be no way way that he did it.
Nick is though, definitely hiding something, and judging by all those packets of crisps he was snaffling from the refreshments table, it could well be Holly. (Teenagers eat crisps. This is known.) By taking vigilante action on Nick, could suspicious stepdad Shaun – last seen bearing down on Nick’s pushbike escape in a massive van – unwittingly cut off a potential lead to Holly’s whereabouts? That would be a cruel irony.
Speaking of irony – DS Armstrong’s kids veered off the straight and narrow this week. One’s now a shoplifter and the other’s a drug mule, something Armstrong failed to detect thanks to the demands of the ongoing investigation. Will the ‘challenges’ Rob is being set by his online chum tie in with Dylan’s death and Holly’s disappearance? Just who is behind the (unforgivable) username Bantasaurus Rex?
Abbie’s story with Vincent, who wasn’t grooming her for sex but instead as a drug deal go-between, could well relate to Dylan and Holly’s case. Perhaps Holly was being used in the same way. The contents of her rucksack may tell…
Read Louisa’s review of the previous episode here.