This review contains spoilers.
After Alan’s close encounter last week, the investigation turns back to finding the serial killer terrorising Lochnafoy. Dr Marr is in the spotlight once again as a warrant is granted to search his property, but he decides it’s finally time to reveal his secret. Craig Petrie continues to behave suspiciously when visiting Dessie to let him know about a geography field trip. After Petrie is shot at, Annie investigates and heads down a path that leads to a murder weapon.
After requesting answers last week, the fifth episode served them up in spades. First of all, another big cross off the suspect list for our not-very-friendly Dr Marr. Bethan’s mother covering for her daughter’s pregnancy by the local GP is quite the small town gossip, but it serves to show that Marr isn’t the one scrambling brains or ripping out hearts. It’s been a mystery that’s bubbled along the background, tied to Bethan’s absence, but the reveal, even if spotted ahead of time, was somewhat anticlimactic. The episode chooses not to dwell on how creepy it all is because soon we’re dealing with the next suspect.
One thing that The Loch has consistently been good at are the big episode set pieces. There might be a couple of time and continuity wobbles, but each time the show has done a race to get somewhere, the atmosphere has ramped up considerably. It helps keep the show watchable amidst its soapier small town elements. As soon as Annie starts racing through country lanes, you know something is about to go down.
This week’s feels especially tragic as Annie realises Dessie is a suspect, in possession of a gun, and on his way to the geography college trip. In the midst of everything else, slightly odd teen Dessie didn’t really register until he showed up be-rifled in the last episode. Long-bullied and isolated, he meets a particularly sad end. This immediately puts Petrie back in the frame though because, like Blake, I can’t buy that Dessie did this on his own. That, and we still have another episode to go.
Speaking of Blake, he keeps on assuring everyone he’s essential, but I’m not entirely sure what he’s contributed to the investigation so far apart from tanking it at every opportunity. He announced that it was a serial killer to the press before anyone was ready, punched a suspect, and generally annoyed everyone. It’s Annie and Quigley who have been instrumental in discovering the leads they have so far. The women have been getting the job done and as Quigley states rather emphatically at the beginning of the episode, she doesn’t need anybody. Of course, it looks like they’re setting Blake up to solve it after all…
So does this mean that Craig Petrie isn’t a red herring, but the real deal? Who else is left on our initial list of suspects? Are we going to get someone completely leftfield like PC Denny? I’m quite taken with this last theory; I’m not sure how much sense it makes, but we’re talking a potential Keyser Soze-level reveal there. Let’s face it, given the twists The Loch has lobbed at us so far, it could still throw out something monumentally surprising. It may be a bit of a haphazard affair, but the combination of genuinely not having a clue anymore about where it is going next and the solid cast keep it compelling.
Read Becky’s review of the previous episode here.