Before the start of this double-bill the BBC’s continuity announcer warned of “prolonged violent scenes”. No shit: the treatment of guitar-toting Keith at the hands of weirdo couple Eric and Edie, all of whom we saw at the end of the second episode, amounts to feature-length torture porn. Poor Keith is drugged, imprisoned in the cellar underneath Edie’s grandmother’s house, stripped, strapped to a chair, photographed, knocked around, forced to watch a video of Eric’s last victim being killed, and has a finger cut off with secateurs. He even almost escapes a couple of times, just so that he can be taunted with the possibility of hope.
But we’ll get to that. In episode 3, Delorme is put on desk duties by Cardinal, so while he’s out looking for Todd’s killers she’s back in the office reviewing anything received from the tips line. As it happens, I think this is a bit of a miscalculation on the part of the writers: if you have two big stars, and only six episodes, it makes sense to keep them together onscreen. It does, however, free Delorme up to continue her investigation into Cardinal, assisted by a dude who at first I thought she was addressing by his rank, but who I subsequently discovered actually has the surname Commanda. Presumably, like Catch-22’s Major Major Major Major, he will in due course be promoted by an IBM machine with a sense of humour. It also gives her time – as I predicted – to take her hidden birth control pills.
Having discovered that Keith is missing, most likely abducted by the person or persons responsible for three previous killings, Delorme and Cardinal are brought back together for episode 4, which is the better of the two episodes. It also sees the reappearance of the first episode’s burglary suspect Woody, whose M.O. involves identifying people with valuable property, then following them home. Thus, when he sees Eric and Edie with Keith’s guitar, he tails them back to their house, only breaking in when he sees that they have left. He finds Keith, but after untying him he’s interrupted by Eric and Edie returning, and gets a blade in the stomach for his trouble. Keith is recaptured by Eric, for more torture. However, I’d now be surprised if he ends up dead, with only two episodes to go.
Josh, meantime, has found the birth control pills and gone full-on mad: he confronts Cardinal and asks if he’s having an affair with Delorme. Not YET, says one shipping viewer. But during the course of their conversation he lets slip that Delorme is only temporarily in Algonquin Bay, and Cardinal is evidently starting to wonder what she’s up to. Hardly outstanding television – I don’t think anything really surprising has happened yet – but good.