So what’s been happening in Scott & Bailey since I reviewed the first episode last month? Well Suranne Jones’ Rachel Bailey is still having issues with her mentally-ill brother and Sean Maguire keeps proposing to her, only for her to learn that he has an eight year old son.
Lesley Sharp’s Janet Scott also has man issues, as she separated from her husband and recently ended her affair with co-worker Andy who has since become a little creepy around her. In addition she has also had to confront the man who stabbed her in series one, in order to find out about other victims of his crimes.
This week the pair have another unsavoury crime to tackle – namely finding the killer of teaching assistant Suzy Bishop who had been found covered in mould only wearing a revealing fancy dresspolice officer outfit. Once she had been identified there were any number of suspects, including her current partner, the painter she owed money to, her head-teacher with whom she was carrying out an affair and her ex-husband.
The big mysteries here were how long had she been dead, did the killer store her body somewhere else before dumping it, where it was found and why was she covered in green mould? The only thing they know for sure is that she slept around and that the numbers found on her mobile phone link to all four key suspects that I previously mentioned.
What I like about Scott & Bailey is the way the writers interlink between the central investigation and the private lives of the central characters. So this week Rachel met Sean’s son, yes Maguire’s character is imaginatively called Sean, while at the same time worrying that evil barrister Nick Savage would try to track her down after being released from prison.
The scenes in which Rachel is asked inane questions by Sean’s son brilliantly sums up the character as someone who has enough issues on her own without taking on someone else’s child or getting married. The drama also continued with Janet and Andy, as he still believed that he could win her around but his efforts seemed increasingly stalker-like. To the point that I believe he is going to do something silly to try and win her around in the final episode. Amelia Bullmore has also been given more of an opportunity to shine as DCI Gill Murray, as she is forced to spend more time with her ex-husband Dave at work and also discovers that he has been getting violent as a result of his drinking. Bullmore is even great when she is dishing out the insults, completely shooting down Dave’s offer of a drink by pointing out his character flaws, before calling him a shag bandit. Indeed despite the themes in the episode screenwriter Sally Wainwright still includes quite a bit of humour such as Rachel’s description of Suzy’s relationship with painter-decorator Royston as she tells her colleagues, ‘he was doing her upstairs in more ways than one.’
There is very little to criticise in Scott & Bailey indeed I have already forgot to heap praise upon Julia Deakin’s few scenes as the slightly twisted pathologist Scary Mary. If I were to pick some holes in the plot I would wonder how Suzy was hired as a teaching assistant when she clearly had mental-health problems, as well as some sort of sex addiction. I also thought the final revelation of who the killer was a little contrived and only existed as a way to throw the viewers off the scent until the very end. Though these are small points and indeed if you looked closely at the stories of most murder investigation series you would find a lot of things that didn’t really feel true. What Scott & Bailey does have that a lot of the other shows don’t, is a sense of realism in the relationships between the characters and especially between Sharp, Jones and Bullmore, who all banter freely as colleagues due to the brilliant on-screen chemistry the trio share. With Gill finding out that Janet has been recommended for a chief constable role, something she didn’t have time to tell her due to the issues at home, as well as the inevitable confrontation between Rachel and Nick Savage the last two episodes of Scott & Bailey will certainly have a lot to include and I for one am looking forward to them.
Have you been watching Scott & Bailey? What are you thoughts on this series? Leave your comments below.