Unforgotten 2.02: Episode Review
By Leslie Gilbert ElmanMay 7, 2018
David Walker is dead; murdered in 1990, his body is found folded up inside a suitcase recently dredged up from a river.
DCI Cassie Stuart (Nicola Walker) and DI Sunny Khan (Sanjeev Bhaskar) are on the case, and it hasn’t taken them long to narrow the field to a handful of suspects.
First is David Walker’s former wife, DI Tessa Nixon (Lorraine Ashbourne), because the spouse is always first on the list of suspects in such a case. Everyone knows that. Especially Tessa Nixon.
Then, there’s Sara Mahmoud (Badria Timimi), now a loving, devout wife and mother. But “back in the day,” as the kids say, Sara wasn’t living such an exemplary life. That’s when she and David Walker crossed paths.
Colin Osborne (Mark Bonnar) could be the culprit. He’s a pro-bono lawyer and devoted family man living quietly in Brighton now, but in the debauched 1980s, he was a high-flying finance guy in the City of London. He might have thrown off the trappings of his former life, but he still has a dangerously short fuse. Who knows what he might be capable of?
The outlier in the group is Marion Kelsey (Rosie Cavaliero), an oncology nurse whose always ready to go the extra mile for her patients, even if that means breaking the rules. True, her personal life is a bit of a wreck, but she doesn’t appear to have much in common with the rest of the suspects’ short list. At least not at first glance…
Episode 2.02 of Unforgotten on Masterpiece Mystery is all about digging beneath the surface to reveal what each of these individuals has been hiding, denying, or trying to escape. Everyone deserves credit for learning from his or her mistakes and figuring out a way to wipe the slate clean and move forward. Unfortunately, the past has a nasty way of catching up, and that’s what’s happening here.
Colin is in a pickle right now. He and his partner, Simon (Charlie Condou), are in the process of adopting a little girl, but the girl’s birth parents (Josef Altin and Lauren Trickett) are trying to extort money from him to keep secret the fact that Colin keyed someone’s car outside the supermarket. Paying the money is the simplest way to get rid of them, Colin reasons, but no one believes that, least of all Simon. This couldn’t be merely about parking lot retribution. There’s something Colin’s not telling. Simon is suspicious.
And speaking of suspicious partners: Tessa’s current husband, Paul Nixon (Douglas Hodge, late of Penny Dreadful), is having some doubts about her as well. Not to mention his concerns about Tessa’s son from her first marriage. Jason (Will Brown) is confused, emotionally raw, and ripe for our sympathy. Certainly, he’s wrapped himself around Cassie Stuart’s heart. Then again, he can be volatile and might pose a threat to those around him, including Paul’s teenage daughter.
Nurse Marion’s husband, Tony (Nigel Lindsay), is suspicious of her as well. He doesn’t know all the details of her past, only that it was troubled. In fact, as this episode progresses, we learn more about Marion’s past than Tony knows, and it doesn’t show her in the most flattering light.
Meanwhile, Sara’s husband, Hassan (Adeel Akhtar), wasn’t suspicious of her at all until she decided to come clean to him about her misspent youth. Now, their peaceful, happy family life is in shreds.
“I do love you, but…” is the common refrain for all of these couples. I do love you, but … you’re not the person I thought you were. I do love you, but … you’re not the person you told me you were.
Each of these suspects made a decision to leave the past in the past and start fresh. They’ve reinvented themselves in an attempt to make amends. A legal advocate for the underprivileged, a police officer, a teacher, a nurse who cares for kids with cancer—should we judge them by their past behavior or by their present actions?
It’s not a spoiler to say that they’re all lying about their connections to the dead man.
It’s also not a spoiler to say that there’s more than one reason for someone to have wanted David Walker dead. The more we learn about him, the less likable he becomes.
This episode includes a couple of reveals that it actually would be a spoiler to mention here (so we won’t!). Next week’s episode wraps up this case.