(Series 21, ep. 2 ‘Duty of Candour’ by Matthew Arlidge) This episode was simpler to follow than last week, and we definitely know the murderer this time, but there were still several paths and mini plots to keep us occupied for the episode. Keeping the Mexico arc going, the episode starts with Nikki waking up in a strange man’s bed, something that would have been the subject of many a joke in the Harry era, yet now it’s a symptom of her PTSD. Jack is coping by fighting like he always does, flirting with his sparring partner, and being distant with Nikki.
It turns out the woman Jack was boxing with was the DI on the case this week. Jack initially thought her partner was the ‘guv’ but I took one look at that man and knew instantly that he was not. Throughout the episode he had a scared look on his face, as though he was about to cry or be sick, or both. No, what they needed was someone to be tough, someone like Naomi Silva. It was a good job they had her on the case as it seems like she really knows how to do her job, I’ve never seen a murder be so swiftly solved in Silent Witness: 20 minutes into the episode, the suspect was pressed up against DI Silva’s car, chased up lots of stairs before finally giving in, and jumping off the roof. He must have felt guilty after killing his wife who he found out was carrying another man’s baby, and then killing that man, played by none other than Edward MacLiam, one of two Holby alumni in this episode.I wondered what they were going to do to fill the rest of the time but luckily for us, these murders were not isolated events, and so we didn’t have to switch over to another channel to avoiding watching Nikki and Jack not staring at each other for the remainder of the episode. In fact, there was quite a lot going on! It turns out, after badgering the suspicious CEO of a hospital, that their files had been hacked and they had been blackmailed. The CEO had refused to pay up, but unfortunately this meant that patients at Hamilton Ashe were being blackmailed without the middle man – this is how Peter Sawyers found out that his wife was planning on having an abortion. It is also how barrister Jason Farrell ended up being stabbed by the hacker. Jason was being threatened because of his cocaine habit, which we find out in the second part of the episode after Jason gets attacked by the blackmailer, while trying to attack them himself.
While all of this was going on, the main four had their personal lives cropping up, interfering with the case. For Clarissa, her husband Max was actually helpful when it came to tracking down the hacker and discussing all the techy bits – he was less helpful when blurting out the activities of him and his wife the night before, “fancy another nibble, do you?”.
Thomas has been distracted this week by his daughter, who was dropped off at his work with a suitcase because her mother is having pregnancy complications. This led to a lot of complications for Thomas, who spent most of the episodes shouting at Rosie, his daughter for touching files and odd-looking ornaments.
Nikki has been undergoing therapy, where her therapist (former Holby actress Wendy Kweh) has told her that she is suffering from post-traumatic stress. Her therapist wants to find a specific moment of trauma to work from, in order to help Nikki move on. We find out that Nikki is having this treatment at Hamilton Ashe, ‘coincidentally’ at the same hospital where the files have been hacked… I wonder where they’re going with this?
We find out that the CEO of the hospital is suspended for not only keeping the hacking information secret, but for giving the security contract to some of his mates so he could nab a bit of extra cash for himself and his girlfriend – Wendy Kweh. Like I said, there are plenty of plot paths, so as the CEO of the hospital continues being suspicious, and Nikki is having further therapy, the hacker is caught. Unfortunately, he’s not the one that they want. It turns out that he sold the information on to somebody – somebody who has a personal vendetta against Jason Farrell, who knows he has an allergy to latex, and who can access latex gloves to cause maximum damage… latex gloves can be found in the dodgy hospital, because of course they haven’t updated their equipment. So, now we’re back to the suspicious CEO.
Aside from the latex gloves, Nikki is also sent a blackmail text with her medical records, telling her to lose the evidence or else… what follows is a picture of Thomas’ daughter, Rosie, in the hospital. Luckily, Nikki doesn’t bow down the blackmail and shows Thomas the message and they rush to the hospital to find Rosie safe but the CEO less so. After finding a bag of money in a locker, he goes up to the roof – this wasn’t his brightest move, as we next see him lying on the floor in a bit of a mess really. So, it wasn’t him… We’re running out of suspects. His girlfriend is questioned by DI Silva, while the receptionist who has largely been a background character up until this point, is questioned by the guy who looks scared all the time.
They don’t have to be questioned for that long, which is helpful as there isn’t much left of the episode, as they find some interesting clues on the CEO’s body, which leads Jack and DI Silva to the basement, where they find the lockers that he had been looking at before being shoved off the roof. Inside the locker are Nikki’s medical notes, which not only solve the entire case, but produce a beautiful scene between Jack and Nikki, and hopefully the end to the silence between them. Firstly, the case. The fingerprints of the secretary are all over Nikki’s notes. She’s not who she says she is and is in fact a disgruntled parent who lost her children because of the barrister Jason Farrell, and so she wanted to get rid of something important to him – his fiancée. Luckily the police get to the location just in time to stop anything bad happening and the day is saved!
As for Jack and Nikki, Jack can’t help but read the words littering her notes “I’m dead” is particularly striking. This causes him to well up a little, and then for them to share the most awkward hug in history. I am short myself, and have a very tall partner, this hug can not have been comfortable – but hey! At least they’re fixed now, and he might answer her calls, if he’s not too busy with DI Silva that is, with whom he shares a kiss and the promise of a sparring session!