The Capture: What DCI Carey Hid in the Picture Frame

A plot point from season 1 has caught up with Rachel in The Capture Season 2. Spoilers.

The Capture photo frame screengrab BBC Holliday Grainger
Photo: BBC

Warning: contains spoilers for The Capture season 2 episode 3.

At the end of The Capture season 2 opener, DCI Rachel Carey revealed her real reason for having accepted the job with MI5. Hers wasn’t a case of “Can’t beat them, join them”, as she’d been accused by DS Flynn, but rather ‘join them so that she could beat them’. Carey was no turncoat. She had agreed to work for the intelligence service to secretly gather evidence and expose the practice of Correction, putting an end to the state-assisted fabrication of CCTV footage.

DSU Gemma Garland – the spook in league with CIA agent Frank Napier and Rachel’s ex-boss and former lover Commander Danny Hart – had no choice but to offer Carey a role in MI5. She knew that Rachel had kept a copy of an incriminating video that proved Shaun Emery was innocent of Hannah Roberts’ murder. The video was Carey’s insurance, a threat to hold over the heads of everybody involved in Shaun Emery’s wrongful conviction for Hannah’s murder. That’s what Carey had hidden behind the picture frame at her stepmother’s house… until it was removed in a staged burglary, as she found out from her sister at the end of season two, episode three.

The video had been stored on a memory card, and showed Shaun Emery’s barrister Hannah Roberts sitting on the very bus that Shaun was supposed to have stopped her from boarding. DS Flynn had recovered the bus footage from the depot when he realised that they had only searched footage from the bus that featured on the faked video of Shaun abducting Hannah, which was the preceding one in the timetable. If released, the video would clearly show the truth – that Shaun Emery didn’t kidnap Hannah at the bus stop.

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As a reminder: Garland, Napier and Hart had coerced Emery into falsely confessing to Hannah’s murder (which was actually ordered by Napier) in order to protect the secret of Correction. Activist group the Pilgrims of Justice, along with a CIA whistle blower (who turned out really to be a CIA plant), had faked the footage of Shaun abducting Hannah to bring about his high profile arrest and subsequent release when they released the real video and exposed Correction. Frank Napier couldn’t afford for Correction to be exposed, so he had Hannah killed and Shaun framed for the murder.

Armed with the bus footage, Carey had blackmailed Napier, Garland and Hart into telling her the truth by threatening to send it to the Crown Prosecutor, thus invalidating the false confession Shaun Emery had made under duress after Napier kidnapped his young daughter. Garland and co. thwarted Carey’s blackmail attempt by using tech wizardry to corrupt the file he was positioned to upload at a pre-arranged time. “I’m sure you made copies,” Garland said to Carey, and she was right.

In series two, episode two, Commander Hart asked Garland if she trusted Carey. She didn’t, and cited “what we found” as a reason. Hart replied, “That was insurance, you’d do the same.” What Garland and Hart found, we learn at the end of episode three, was Carey’s hidden insurance, the memory card in the picture frame also containing a photograph of a young Rachel and her mother.

For context as to the photograph’s significance: Rachel’s mother died of lymphoma when Rachel was 13 years old, after which her father moved her in with the secret other family he’d had for years. Abigail, who comes to stay with Rachel in her bugged and secretly filmed apartment in season two, episode three, is her half-sister from that family. It’s little wonder that the dogged DCI can’t stand being lied to.

The Capture Season 2 airs on Sunday and Monday nights at 9pm on BBC Two.