(Series 21, episode 3: part two, Graham Mitchell) Starting scenes switch seamlessly between a gormless, silent Nikki, and a loud police investigation asking, “where the hell was security?”. Our annoying British DCI has no time for Nikki’s emotions, questioning her about what had happened the night before. Something wonderful in this opening part of the episode is the subtle references to Nikki’s experience in Mexico, showing it is still an important arc. Her senses have heightened, picturing exactly what had happened, and being able to replay the muffled sounds she had heard while being trapped in the bathroom, mirroring her experiences while being trapped ‘underground’ in Mexico. Because of her personal involvement with Mr Garcia, Nikki is moved off the case, but knowing Nikki, viewers realise this won’t be for long.
DCI Ben Solomon continues to question Fergus, the mentally-ill prime suspect, as though he’s barely a human being. My hatred for him only grows throughout the episode; aside from him being unable to question people in a professional way, he’s also rude to everyone around him. At least our annoying police officer is trying to find out information, though. In this part, the FBI continuously hold information back, claiming the Fergus killed a US marine while he was on his jollies in Miami – the only evidence they have for this are some crime scene photos and the fact that Fergus was there. Mali is becoming more of an issue now, with both Ryan Reed and Helen Vine over there at the same time – discovered by the similarities in the body pathology showing they’d both contracted something native to there. The marine who was apparently killed by Fergus, may have also had something to do with Mali… Something fishy is definitely going on.
Nikki is taken home after being questioned by the police, and as we knew, she just can’t sit still. She begins to analyse the crime scene pictures, and of course goes back to work. When Nikki is told that she is off the case, she does her utmost to be on the case, and barges into a meeting where they are discussing the letter-bomb that never was (just a normal memory stick with confidential files on it, standard) and the killing of the marine. Luckily Nikki has figured something out at the exact moment that they are talking about the positioning of the bodies – they are all killed in the same way as, and then posed as, former assassinated presidents. With only three victims so far, and four murdered presidents, one more American faces murder. Are we about to say goodbye to Matt in the same why that President Kennedy was assassinated? We’re about to find out!
Thankfully, we find Matt bloody and beaten in the back of the van, but alive! Phew, they really are putting us and Nikki through so many emotions. Even luckier is that the bomb is a dummy! Both Matt and the man, who tries to disable the bomb extremely calmly, make it out alive after a ten second countdown amounts to nothing. Sighs of relief all round!
While they are sorting Matt out, we see Leon Novak, an acquaintance of Fergus, giving further evidence for the fact that Fergus could not have had the time to get across town to do some killing. Instead, it turns out, he left the pub early to visit someone for sex. DCI Ben Solomon seems disappointed in an odd way that he might have to go and look for another suspect, seeing as there’s a perfectly good, vulnerable one, who has already admitted to the crime. Fortunately for him he’s got the great Clarissa Mullery and Jack Hodgson figuring things out for him. Clarissa is looking at some pollen found around the dummy bomb that comes from a Western-African country, and Jack’s working on the sequence of numbers that came through with the letter-bomb. He works out that it’s actually a date: 8th of November 2016. Interesting that they chose that date, as pointed out to me by my friend, that’s the day Donald Trump was elected President. It’s also the date that in Silent Witness land, our victims were all in Mali, the coordinates of which are the rest of the sequence of numbers.
Matt tells the team that the memory stick contained information about what the victims were doing in Mali, but the FBI are suppressing that information as the team at the lab are realising. Now that Matt isn’t the final victim, the team are trying to work out who is, and this involves Matt doing his best oblivious American impression when giving a description of the man who kidnapped him. Unfortunately, Matt only heard the man’s voice, but he was sure that they were a member of the Made in Chelsea cast as they said ‘yah’ and not ‘yes’ or ‘yeah’. Thank goodness for Nikki’s heritage, she immediately notices that only posh gap yah students say yah, and in fact the accent was South African, and she’d heard it before! No, not when she lived there, just earlier on that episode, inside the police station. Now we know that the real killer is Peter, Fergus’ sister’s boyfriend.
After some persuasion from Matt, Kim (Lola Griffin) gives him the information that Washington have been holding back. Fergus was trained to fly a drone that would take out extremists in Mali, but it turns out that they’d not had that great intelligence, and it was just innocent families there, including Peter’s wife and child. Thanks to Lola Griffin finally doing the right thing, there is a hunt to find where in the UK those African plants Clarissa was looking into can be found as this is probably where Peter has taken the last victim, Fergus.
It’s a good job the team have Clarissa; she gets her head down while the rest of them are busy with their personal lives that interfere rather than help the case (Max is always a wonderful addition to any episode and case). Not only is she the one to find the information about Peter’s real family, but she’s also the one to find out which garden centre they need to rush to. This leads to Peter’s capture and shooting, just before he shoots Fergus, taking to heart the last words of his wife: “we’ve suffered enough”.
There’s lots more security outside Matt’s house now, just to make sure he doesn’t disappear again – Nikki has had enough, those are her policeman outside, nothing to do with the embassy. Nikki and Matt have a lovely heartfelt conversation about how Nikki is finally ready to settle down, with Matt of course. What viewers are not expecting is for Matt to pull Nikki her bobble out and use it as a makeshift ring. “You can’t marry a man you just met!” Elsa, from Frozen, yells. So apparently, does the writer, as he sends Matt back to America to be a congressman. This isn’t before Nikki gives him a bobble-ring back. I’m not quite sure whether this is a relationship of Nikki’s that has worked out or not, because they’re somehow engaged and yet extremely far away from each other, with seemingly no chance of really getting to know each other properly… Perhaps that’s what Nikki needs to make a relationship work – distance.
Two questions from this episode: one, what does Nikki do that makes men who fall for her want to move 3668 miles away from her? *cough* Harry and Nikki forever *cough*. Two, has Fergus’ sister been let out from the cupboard under the stairs yet?