Despite being a massive fan of Scott and Bailey, even I have to admit that this series has been fairly inconsistent. I didn’t really enjoy the non-linear structure of episode two or how some of the police investigations have felt fairly lacklustre. However this week’s instalment, the first of a two-parter, was by and far the best episode of the series as it set up one of the show’s most interesting investigations.
The episode begins with the reappearance of Helen Bartlett who last appeared in episode one charged with the murder of her mother Eunice. Despite her father Joe eventually being found guilty of the murder, it appears as if that investigation has brought up memories of Helen’s childhood. This is why she appears on Janet’s dooorstep to reveal that, when she was a teenager, she helped Joe bury her brother Michael under the cellar of their house. When Janet tells Gill about Helen’s revelations she tells her that it’s a matter that’s definitely worth exploring and sends out a team to poke about in the cellar. While investigating in the cellar, the police discover remains of a second body which they believe may be the Bevan’s other missing child Sheila. However, after further analysis, the remains seem to be that of a second younger man whose identity is unknown. As the case is promoted to Class A-Plus, the formidable Julie Dodson is drafted in to be the case’s SIO meaning that Gill is demoted to being her deputy. As the entire cellar is excavated, the remains of another five young males are found prompting the police to go to Strangeways to arrest Joe Bevan. Meanwhile the team interview Helen to decide whether or not to treat her as a witness or a suspect. Helen tells the police that Michael’s death was an accident and was a result of an argument that her brother had with Joe. Helen goes on to say that she was forced into helping her father and that she’d blocked out the memories of the event until her return to the house. However Helen seems unaware that there were any more bodies buried under the cellar and so the police decide, for now, to treat as a witness.
But it appears as if Helen’s life may be under threat when the information about her identity is leaked to the press. As the press continue to be fed more stories, Gill is horrified that one of her team may be leaking the information in exchange for cash. Meanwhile Joe is bought in for questioning and denies all knowledge of burying Michael instead blaming his ex-wife for the crime. He also tells them that they really shouldn’t trust Helen as she’s always been a liar and that he never knew what happened to Michael. As the police continue to question why Helen didn’t come forward sooner, they also bring in various witnesses who knew the Bevan family back then. One such witness is one of Julie Bevan’s ex-boyfriends who described the family home as nasty and horrible. He told them that while Julie was a fairly wild girl, Helen was a lot more quiet and felt that she had no chance at a life while living in that home. He goes on to say that he never met Joe and he always believed that he wasn’t living at the house at the time of his relationship with Julie. The police also interview a man who was brought into the Bevan house as a lodger. He reveals that the family got him drunk before tying him up and sexually abusing him. He goes on to say that all of the family, including Helen, were involved in the incident and that he feels lucky to have escaped the house with his life. With this new information, the police have to decide what to do next but they have more problems when more of Helen’s secrets are revealed. As Helen returns to Janet’s house, Janet contacts Rachel to help her but she is unaware that Rachel is now sleeping at the police station.
Janet is also trying to cope with the fact that she is now living with her mother. However now Janet has extra help around the house, she considers becoming a full-time sergeant. The problem is that a new sergeant has already been appointed in the form of the incredibly young Rob Waddington. Rob comes across as a very nice chap but Janet can’t help but resent the fact that he’s taken the job that she believes should rightfully be hers. But I don’t think she should worry too much as I don’t think Rob will be around for the long-term. And I’ve got a theory that it may well be him who is leaking all of the stories to the police.
As I already mentioned, I very much enjoyed this episode of Scott and Bailey. Praise must go once again to Sally Wainwright for creating a compelling central case that is incredibly believable. Despite the story being fairly gruesome, I loved how Wainwright focused much more on the characters than the macabre discovery of the bodies. Indeed this was all about who to believe, either the emotionally damaged Helen or the much more manipulative Joe. As the revelations come thick and fast, I found myself changing my opinion of Helen several times over. Obviously having the great Nicola Walker involved in the episode helps a great deal as she is able to breathe life into the fragile Helen. From her first appearance at Janet’s door, Walker really dominates the episode as she employs a blank stare to play the demure Helen. Due to Walker’s performance, it is very hard not to sympathise with Helen however she may know more than she’s letting on. I’m also glad that we got the return of Julie Dodson in this episode, mainly because I think Pippa Haywood is an incredible actress. I feel that Haywood and Amelia Bullmore have great chemistry together which makes the scenes between Julie and Gill a joy to watch. The one aspect of the plot that didn’t really sit right with me was the introduction of Rob Waddington. While I feel that Danny Miller is a fine actor I feel he got a bit lost in this episode as there was a lot going on.
Overall it appears as if Scott and Bailey is back on top form as this episode was incredibly engrossing from beginning to end. I liked how Wainwright’s script puts the characters first rather than focusing on the grim nature of the central investigation. The returns of Pippa Haywood and Nicola Walker also made this episode great however I did feel a little bit sorry for Danny Miller as he appeared to be lost in the shuffle. After watching this amazing episode, I can’t wait to see what happens in the concluding part of the story and am just little annoyed that I have to wait a week to find out.
Did you enjoy this episode of Scott and Bailey? What do you think to the gruesome storyline? Leave Your Comments Below.