A baby is snatched from the bus station and a major incident is launched. But things turn out to be more complicated than they first appear ….
After a new title sequence we’re thrust straight into the action via a cold opening. The reason for all the rushing about quickly becomes obvious, but despite the best efforts of everybody there’s no sign of the child. It’s interesting that Jim ‘Lew’ Llewyn (David Morrissey) isn’t given a proper introduction (Lew has obviously been a member of the team for some time) but this probably works to the series’ benefit. Showing Lew finding his feet might have worked dramatically, but it also would have slowed the main story down.
But although Lew seems to have fitted in well, bantering easily with the likes of Marty, a slightly discordant note is struck by Temple. A brief throwaway comment from him makes it plain that he has little love for his latest recruit. The reason will become a little clearer as we work through the second series.
Joanne Player (Keeley Forsyth) and Matt Pearson (Paul Nicholls) play the young couple who may not be telling the whole truth. Both Forsyth and Nicholls were at the start of their careers with only a handful of credits prior to this (both of them had appeared in The Biz, for example).
When a witness later suggests that when they saw Joanne and Matt the baby wasn’t with them, the story veers off into a different direction. Temple orders the floorboards at their flat to be lifted up, although Marty comments that if they were organised enough to concoct a fake story of abduction, it’s unlikely they’d be stupid enough to shove the child under their floorboards.
Love is in the air. Tony is going out with a widow, a fellow member at his local church. Since Bruce has decided that Tony may be a little out of practice with women, he decides to give him the benefit of his advice – although it seems that Bruce is more concerned with winding the anxious Tony up.
Meanwhile, Warren meets Lucy Shaw (Nicola Stephenson) for the first time. To begin with it doesn’t appear that a relationship is on the cards, since she’s simply a witness in an investigation. Her father, Richard Shaw (Pip Donaghy), is accused of taking bondage photographs. Although he strenuously denies it, as time goes on his true colours are revealed.
Donaghy gives a chilling performance as a seemingly innocent family man. But his one-on-one interview with Becky provides us with clear evidence that there’s more to him than meets the eye (although since he’s done nothing illegal he can’t be charged). Shaw will return in the final episode, whilst his daughter features throughout. When Warren learns that a distraught Lucy doesn’t want to return home, he takes her under his wing. I have to say that the sight of Darrell D’Silva’s naked backside, as Warren and Lucy become intimately acquainted, was something of a surprise.
Even this early on it seems obvious that their relationship is doomed. She seems to be vulnerable and unstable, which suggests that Warren’s simply taking advantage of her. The sensible thing would be for both of them to walk away, but since both are flawed characters it’s not that simple.
Marty remains in fine form. On spying a teenager defacing a Missing Persons poster with a marker-pen, he gives the young lad a taste of his own medicine by drawing a pair of glasses and a beard on his face! Quite how Marty manages to get away with these sort of things is anybody’s guess, but I daresay a certain section of the audience would have approved of his brand of rough justice.
Although the main story is pretty bleak, there’s the odd moment of levity. Lew stops a man, Phil Draper (Jim Millea), who’s acting suspiciously. After Lew asks him to open the boot of his car, he reacts in horror as a sheep jumps out and beats a hasty retreat down the road. Phil coolly suggests that the sheep must have already been there when he bought the car.
The ending might not come as too much of a surprise, but Nicholls and Forsyth are both effective. Overall, another strong episode and it provides a more than decent opening to the second series.