Agatha Raisin 1.08: “The Murderous Marriage” Episode Review

Our season is at an end, and it couldn’t have been a more exciting finale. The entire season seemed to be leading up to this event. Agatha Raisin (Ashley Jensen) is getting ready for her upcoming nuptials—to James Lacey (Jamie Glover). 

Drunk at her hen party, Agatha tells Gemma (Katy Wix) that her only wish is for Gemma to get together with Bill Wong (Matt McCooey). Meanwhile, a homeless man is looking at a newspaper announcement of PR guru Agatha Raisin’s upcoming marriage, and he seems quite disturbed by it. We know this will not bode well for Agatha.

Church bells ring and James and Charles Fraith (Jason Merrells) are in the church waiting for the bride. Roy Silver (Mathew Horne) walks Aggie down the aisle. However, the blissful event is interrupted when Bill Wong runs in yelling “Stop!” Is Bill trying to stop the wedding because he has a crush on Agatha? Nope. He’s putting an end to the wedding because Agatha’s husband—and the homeless man we see at the beginning—Jimmy Raisin (Jason Thorpe), is still alive. So she’s kinda still married; great timing on Bill’s part.

Bill and Charles get Jimmy to agree to a quicky divorce, but James is having none of it. It took a lot to get him to the altar, and he blames Agatha for lying to him. Slightly judgmental, and methinks he isn’t invested in the marriage as much as Agatha—or her fans—are. I have to say, I lost a little bit of respect for Mr. Lacey there. Agatha explains that she thought Jimmy was dead and never meant to deceive or hurt James. (Is anyone else noticing that the two men have the same name?)

Agatha is in a bit of a pickle because, in preparing to move in with James, she sold her cottage to a woman named Karen Hardy (Clare Wille), who recently moved to town. She approaches her to see if, perhaps, she regrets her decision and is willing to sell it back to her. Unfortunately, she’s extremely happy with her purchase and has no intention of leaving. Agatha is now homeless and staying with Gemma, since James kicked her out of his house.

The next morning Agatha goes out for her morning bike ride and encounters a drunk Jimmy Raisin. There is an altercation, and she pushes him off and rides away, leaving Jimmy lying at the bottom of the hill he’s just rolled down. Karen Hardy witnesses the whole thing, and soon the police—in the form of DCI Wilkes (Jason Barnett) and Bill Wong—show up to question Agatha because…Jimmy is dead.

Agatha and James briefly share a police cell, but they are soon released when the police discover that Jimmy was strangled and not killed by being pushed down the hill by Agatha.

Here’s where Agatha’s team starts to investigate. Roy Silver (Mathew Horne) asks around the homeless community about Jimmy. He finds out that Jimmy has a habit of learning people’s secrets and trying to blackmail them. He also finds out that Jimmy used to be friends with a woman who ran a charity, Gore Appleton. Ms. Appleton has since disappeared, and there seems to have been some funny stuff going on with the so-called charity.

As much as James wants to rid himself of Agatha and the drama, he ends up helping her investigate. Of course, he takes out his frustration on her at an alcohol abuse clinic where Jimmy stayed when he introduces Agatha as a hopeless alcoholic who needs their help. Agatha is still feeling guilty and contrite so she puts up with it. What the two discover confirms Roy’s findings: Jimmy was a blackmailer.

I found it troubling that James was so eager to ditch Agatha. Those viewers who also read the books will know that they have a troubled relationship at best in M.C. Beaton’s acclaimed series. But, I find that the show has smoothed over a lot of Agatha’s rougher parts, making her much more likable on screen than on the page. So James’s behavior makes sense in the context of their character development, but is still tough to swallow at the end of this first season. 

The show ends with our last helicopter pan out. I thought it fitting to end to view the village from above—it’s a great send-off to go along with a cliffhanger of sorts with the cast. 

I haven’t found any definitive information about whether or not Sky1, the producers of the show, have decided to film a second season. I really hope they choose to continue with the show—it’s a fun and entertaining series with a great cast. Until then, we can be comforted by knowing that we can always turn to the books to visit Agatha and her friends whenever we need. 

 

Kerry Hammond loves all types of mysteries. She is a Book Reviewer and Blogger for Mystery Playground. Follow her on Twitter @kerryhammond88.

Read all posts by Kerry Hammond for Criminal Element.

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