Written by Hannah Dunleavy

Arts

The crime of the (last) century

Is Unforgotten about to hurtle towards another ‘WTF?’ ending? Hannah Dunleavy talks episode five. Contains SPOILERS.

“Trust me, things make a lot more sense on this side of the fourth wall”: DS Sunil ‘Sunny’ Khan (Sanjeev Bhaskar) and CDI Cassie Stuart (Nicola Walker) puzzle it out. Photo: ITV.

Mercy, that threw a lot of stuff at the wall and saw what stuck. I have to be honest, I’m not enjoying this series of Unforgotten as much as the first. But that’s not entirely the fault of the series, as much as the times we live in. While, of course, the subject matter of this week’s hour was, as the pre-show warning said, “upsetting”, it’s hard to ignore the fact that what’s going on out here in the real world is pretty fucking horrific at the same time.

But there are some faults in the series writing too, as Cassie’s last act drunken ‘Eureka!’ moment seems to suggest we’re hurtling towards another ‘Oh, shit, really?’ ending. Which is a shame because, as I mentioned back when the series started, what Unforgotten does best is the slow plod through the early stages of the investigation.

Cassie is all the things that Sunny’s pissed-up woo said she was, but she’s not Sherlock.

A couple of other flaws also grated this week. Why, for example, has no one considered that Walker’s son, Jason, might have been abused? It’d give Tessa, sorry Det Insp Nixon, one hell of a motive. And why, given the sheer volume of historic sex abuse cases being investigated in this country, is no one on the phone to any of them?

“I wrote the words ‘Piers Morgan’ in my notebook when watching last night but I can’t think for the life of me why. Suggestions?”

I’m also more than a little baffled as to the casting, given that Tony Gardner and Bryony Hannah are present but have had as close to nothing to do as possible. Are they about to play a role in the bigger picture? Are they red herrings? Did they just fancy a cameo?

And finally, really, is it possible that a man would believe he raped someone that he didn’t, for all those years?

The rogues’ gallery

It was Sara who got to play the role of ‘brick wall’ this week, which would ordinarily make her the prime suspect. But she’s also got an alibi (or a photo with a date stamp, which may or may not stand up in court; I’ve no idea).

All four suspects got to sit in front of Cassie and/or Sunny this week and it was four for four in terms of performance. Although I’ve got say that Mark Bonnar was excellent, transforming Colin, who up until this point has been the ‘that twat’ of the series, into a sympathetic character.

Other things

I’m pretty sure they were actual pictures of Bonnar, Rosie Cavaliero and Badria Timimi as teenagers rather than the badly Photoshopped stuff you usually see. Nice touch.

Oh Marion ….

Cassie’s dad continues his delayed midlife crisis/teenage rebellion, which is a nice plot thread but one that’s given far too little time to have any great impact.

People on TV always get a seat at a cafe or a pub. If only real life was like it.

I wrote the words “Piers Morgan” in my notebook when watching last night but I can’t think for the life of me why. Suggestions?

It was Jason, wasn’t it?

Catch up on previous episodes of Unforgotten here.

@thatdunleavy

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Written by Hannah Dunleavy

Hannah Dunleavy is the deputy editor of Standard Issue. She likes whisky and not having to run anywhere.

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