(Series 21, episode 3: part one, Graham Mitchell) All focus starts on the US Ambassador in the UK, having just appeared on BBC news, seemingly being followed by a man on a motorbike. Except this is just a trick and we actually see the man who left the ambassador after the interview, being undercut by the motorbike, flipping over it and then being shot twice by a man in biking gear, even though he looked pretty dead after the first one. But hey, I’m not a doctor, so who knows?
An important American shot on British soil means lots of secrecy between the two camps. On our side we had a sarcastic and really annoying police officer this week – some counter terrorism guy who has no time for jurisdiction! And on America’s team we had the wonderful Michael Landes playing Matt Garcia: Deputy Chief of Mission, whatever that means, and we also had our Holby Star of The Week: Lola Griffin, this time with a dodgy American accent as an FBI agent. The commissioner steps in at just the right time to let the British take the lead in examining the body. The counter terrorism DCI, Ben Solomon starts off well, in that he has that dry sarcastic sense of humour that often has to be explained to the Americans, and the American team have that thing going on where they’re not sharing information, incredibly helpful, while being cross at British police because they actually make arrests/progress with the case – suspicious? I think so.
After watching Jack collect evidence, we are introduced to another character, a man wearing a leather jacket and walking through a busy town with blood dribbled all over his hands. The hypersensitive way that he reacts to walking through the streets and being barged by people is exactly how northerners react to being in London, just so you know. The music is the standard creepy Silent Witness music that goes with either a killer or their first red herring.
Now for some flirting. Matt Garcia, the attractive American, attempts to discuss Nikki’s work with her, by reciting the name of one of her research papers, except nobody outside the profession has or ever will read something like that. It turns out that he’s just Googled her, which you can decide amongst yourselves whether you think is creepy or cute. Yeah, he’s more of a John Grisham guy. What this American chap did in one sentence and a bit of pre-flirting, would take an English man 117 stolen glances, 6 months on Tinder, thousands of messages of awkward small talk, and a drunken night out. This is of course, asking a woman out on a date. Unfortunately for him though, he asked Nikki Alexander out on a date, so we all know what that means – kidnapping, torture, death, or we can go the other way and he’s the bad guy… We don’t have to wait for long for an answer to which as an envelope with an explosive substance is addressed to him, luckily, they catch it in time.
Nikki finally manages to choose an outfit after one of my favourite scenes in a Silent Witness episode: ‘a girl getting ready’. During the date, Matt cannot help but introduce Nikki to as many people as possible, one of whom is Helen Vine, our unfortunate next victim – shame really, she’d just asked Nikki on a date. She had been staying at the hotel that Fergus had been skulking in. Fergus is suspect number one after we actually had a helpful member of the American side give a detailed description of the man who had been following Ryan Reed, the first victim.
Again, she was placed in an odd position by the killer, and she had similar body issues to the first victim, things that will become important in part two. But before then, our less funny British police officer questions Fergus who has mental health issues, and it’s here we begin to dislike him through his treatment of a clearly distressed man, who then feels forced to admit to the killings. It becomes painfully clear in this part at least to viewers, that he is not the killer. It becomes more so when another member of the embassy is taken. You guessed it, it’s Matt.
After what looks like a lovely dinner, Nikki and Matt go to bed together, Nikki needs to use the bathroom in the middle of the night and is locked in by someone which I would have thought would have brought back some Mexico flashbacks, but it seems we’re all good with that now… This someone then kidnaps Matt, and Nikki is left standing on the doorstep of a magnificent house shouting after him. Shame, I was beginning to ship them.
Oh, and while all of this is going on, Thomas’ daughter is still around and giving us a bit more background to his character, finally!