Guest post by Hannah Yates
(Series 21 ep. 1 ‘Moment of Surrender’ by Ed Whitmore) This episode was exactly what we needed to ease Nikki back into the Lyell and for us viewers to ease into a new series and fully understand what was going on without having a migraine. I am joking, of course.
The episode started with a creepy house in woods where a family were on holiday, as all good murder stories should start. This was followed by the angry father grabbing a knife and shouting at some kids in creepy masks outside to match the setting. We don’t actually see what happens because this is where the new theme tune kicks in. It’s as though they know the viewers aren’t going to be happy with the theme tune change, as they follow this up with scenes of Jack in a tightly-fitting t-shirt. Less nice is the fact that Nikki is still having flashbacks and hunky Jack isn’t answering her calls. As we find out later, he feels guilty that he wasn’t the one to find Nikki and can’t deal with her being back or in fact looking at her, or talking to her, so much so that he misses various pieces of evidence. I personally feel like this episode is setting them up as a potential couple, although if you have taken a look at spoilers for future episodes, you’ll have seen that Nikki is due to have yet another love-interest this series – we’re taking votes now on whether this one is either a bad guy or will be dead by the end of the two-parter he arrives in.
One of the five murder victims is Sally, Nikki’s pathologist friend who comes to visit her in part one. The main suspect is her colleague David, who’s a bit cocky and angry at Sally for not selling him her lab. Of course it’s up to Nikki to hire him to the Lyell, stalk him, and rummage through his pockets because the police officer on the case asked her to and why not? It sounds to be well in the remits of a pathologist. And we all know everything goes swimmingly when Nikki goes to search for a missing friend *cough* Mexico *cough*. Does this woman ever learn? She has reason to be suspicious of David though, as he lies about seeing Sally, and about meeting with his ex who is giving him information about the disappearance. Not only is he angry and mysterious, he has very little tact – offering his pal what I can only assume is drinking venue advice at a crime scene. If anyone is wondering, The Wheatsheaf is apparently great. He’s also incredibly unaware of his surroundings. Every time he snuck out Nikki was approximately one meter behind him at all times, and he had no idea until his ex told him she was sniffing around. Luckily, after not paying much attention to the main crime of this week’s episode, Nikki finds out that it’s not actually mysterious David who has kidnapped and killed Sally, it’s in fact the other colleague from her lab, who partnered up with a local undertaker to moonlight in chopping off body parts and selling them on.
On to the main-ish crime of the week that everyone else in the Lyell was focussing on, including Clarissa, who had to keep reminding everyone that she could venture outside of the Lyell to do her job. Livtar Singh, a business man had gone out and apparently got drunk and toppled over a railing into a reservoir. But it’s not that simple. It turns out he wasn’t drunk because he promised his wife he wouldn’t do that anymore, and he couldn’t possibly have killed himself according to his wife. Here comes murder number two. The whole case rested on finding out why he bought a teddy bear and some flowers and why they weren’t in the car… time for murders three, four, and five! Well, remember the creepy house in the woods from the start? It turns out that back in 2001, Livtar was one of the three kids in creepy masks who murdered the family. This is where Linden Cullen from Holby City comes in, aka Duncan Pow, and the lawyer he’s sleeping with (Anna, who’s appeared in Silent Witness before, actually). Now if I’ve got this right, Anna, organised the killing of Livtar as she was being blackmailed into compensating the remaining daughter of the murdered family. But then again, maybe it was Duncan Pow who murdered him because he didn’t want to be implicated… After watching it again I’m still no closer to being 100% sure unfortunately. Maybe somebody can run me through it one more time?
The episode finishes with Jack and Nikki confronting Sally’s lab assistant and the undertaker while they are destroying Sally’s car. The undertaker runs away leaving jack to catch him and really lay into him – probably letting out some of his Mexico anger at the same time, which is unfortunate as Nikki gets caught in the crossfire and ends the episode with a bloody nose. Overall, while it was a complicated episode to follow, I’m enjoying that they’re continuing the Mexico storyline and it seems like it’s going to be an arc for most of this series, with Jack and Nikki still working things out between them next week.
Easter egg: Anybody else think that Nikki went to see Harry when she stopped off in New York for a couple of days? This ship will never sink.