Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Shetland, series four, episode five: "Is this the social work department?" Killer heels and what's more, Thomas Malone has a shotgun in his house, which "I didn't search because I have delicate sensibilities and didn't want to mess up my handknits"

Hooray,  artist woman Jo Halley is not deceased! Which is good because we'll maybe see some more of Ruth Brownlee's excellent landscape paintings, used to illustrate the fact that Jo Is An Artist. Have a look at Ruth's website, which is here.  And that means you'll be able to see the pictures properly...

Anyway, Sandy is very upset. He's sitting on a rock, and that's how you get piles, my mother used to say.  He's feeling guilty. And cold. That jacket's useless for Shetland, even in the summer. Jo's at the hospital. Alan Kilmarnockintilloch arrives, but the abusive ex-husband is much on Jimmy's mind. Still,  Alan bothers him. He's "like a bad penny, that boy". And of course Alan is hanging out with Cassie too. That's Jimmy's daughter, and Duncan's in case you'd forgotten. Keep up!

Thomas Malone is in his kitchen. With shotgun cartridges, which he smells lasciviously. Jimmy briefs his team, glumly. The heavy mob, all Primark and Slaters Menswear, arrive from Glasgow, preferring their planes a little bigger and their runways a little longer. And their eyebrows a little more defined. Please tell me you searched Malone's farmhouse? No, I didn't want to catch my hand-knits on the skelfs and besides I might find he had an unlicensed shotgun. "Have a I stumbled into the social work department by mistake?" Not one bounded by any local government legislation I'm familiar with, darling.
Leave my eyebrows out of this, copper!

And so the suited and booted Glaswegians break into Malone's while Lars ("is he here to take a statement or make a  statement?") is in the shop of cops, grooming his upswept quiff in a suspicious manner.

(I'm grateful to emininent film critic Paul Anderson for pointing out the resemblance between Dodgy Lars The Whitrit (stoat-faced) Norwegian and Morten Harkett from the band Aha. Personally, I feel that's unfair to all Mortens, and indeed Mortons.) 

Wow, here's Downing, abusive ex-husband, completely out of the blue, not so much a red herring as a fish so out of water he's evolving into an iguana. Who it turns out was in Shetland all the time. For ALL FOUR PREVIOUS EPISODES! Apparently Jo wanted to see him, he says, to apologise and maybe start over. Do you know what? I don't believe you, says Jimmy. You're right, I don't believe myself, says Downing. I only read this stuff out. I did hit her when I was in prison but I've been to counselling and turned my life around and saw the light and I'm now a Buddhist with artistic tendencies and I came up here to see if she'd take me back. He lapses into cockney:

Oy nevver laid an 'and on her, guv, and that's ver god's honest troof! 
Most convincing accent in the entire series.

Stiletto Glesca woman: Malone wasn't there, any idea where he is Jimmy? Walking, maybe. Walking back to happiness? Wow, snappy dialogue, it could be Raymond Chandler. Or Glenn Chandler. Or Chandler from Friends. Or none of the above.

Here's Cassie and Alan, having a tete-a-tete on the beach next to Jimmy's house (actually Bain's Beach next the Lodberrie in Lerwick) Jimmy asks him if he was at Jo's last night, beating her up. No, he was walking on the beach next to the Wildlife Sanctuary, where nobody saw him. He turned up in the morning to ask Jo if she fancied some breakfast. As you do. Those breakfast dates are a big in Shetland. Sassermaet  is so romantic. And so healthy. (It's like Lorne Sausage, if you're wondering. Square slice but hairier).

Sinister Lars grins at Tosh, who's too busy for sassermaet, wisely. Lars thinks Jo made up 'this whole thing with me... I mean the Norwegian guy.' And suddenly Tosh realises that Lars has been here before, last week in fact. He's a wee liar. SOMETHING IS HAPPENING! It's the penultimate episode! I see glimmers of a plot. A taxi picked Lars up from either the airport (first scene) or ferry (second scene). She tells Jimmy, which is a relief. Because Tosh is really the only person in this whole show we care about. Jimmy phones blonde Bergen cop person and yes, Lars was lying. He's off to the airport and Must Be Stopped. Or maybe the ferry terminal. Planes, boats: what's the difference? It's an island!

Jo's awake! Sandy's with her 'You're safe now' What, with you, Sandy, are you joking? Even though you know kung fu. Look out, Lars is at the hospital  and Sandy's gone 'to fetch someone'. Careless.

OK, this really is pushing it a bit, scriptwriters: There's CCTV of Sally which seems to show her being given something by a woman in Bergen. Then there's INCREDIBLY detailed CCTV at Sumburgh Airport. 'What's that on her keyring? It wasn't there in Bergen!' Hang on a minuite, let me look closer...it's...it's a microbe! It's a rabbit's foot! No, it's a memory stick which handily, they have at the police station in Lerwick. Or Lerrick as Jimmy calls it, wrongly. Footage from this memory stick is shown.  'Looks like a meeting of far right groups' and...there's Lars! He's a Nazi And he is still in the hospital Come on, Sandy, you know kung fu! 
Aw, naw, that sassermaet sandwich is pure bowfin'

Lars is heading for the ferry. He's at NorthLink, trying to sneak past security onto the MV Hrosseyland. Has he got a St Magnus Lounge voucher?  Did Tosh really just say someone was on their way from Lossiemouth, and would be at least 30 minutes? By supersonic magical voodoo rocket manifestation, presumably. And now we're on the boat. (I always have the  Shepherds pie and 10mg of Phenergan.) Lars is in the kitchen and he now has a knife.

Tannoy announcement. There will be a delay leaving Lerrick. IT'S LER-WICK! Unless you're from Vidlin.

Car deck. Lars is hiding from Jimmy. He steals a car and the shortest and cheapest car chase in the history of TV crime ensues. He drives into...a police car, before running up the stairs. Exciting! Put the knife down, son, you're nicked. Here somes Sandy and  he knows kung fu. They've got the Whitrit!

The Glesca polis arrest Malone for wearing out of date 1980s orange earphones. Looks like Jimmy and co have got Lars for killing Sally, who was intent on exposing his membership of the Nasty Nazis, and for assaulting Jo, who saw him at the folk festival. But what else is on that fascist footage? Glesca poliswoman isn't having it. 

Lars being interviewed. No comment No comment, no comment.  Then OK, comment: He was trying to protect his country by preserving the Norwegian way of life. Eat more puffins! Suddenly we're invoking Anders Breivik and the Utoya massacre which I can't imagine the real Norwegians, big fans of this show, liking one bit.  'Our race is being destroyed! Our blood is being polluted!' Jimmy: 'My blood's already diluted - clue is in the name.' Lars is shocked, because he hates the Spanish. 'We are going to kill even more than Andres Breivik did.'

Turns out the target is a ferry being used to house Syrian migrants. Quick call to Bergen and that's sorted. Lars is in the jail, and now, so is a very shouty Thomas Malone. Calm down Thomas, says Line of Duty wannabe stiletto cop. We're from Glasgow and speak in a very strong Glaswegian accent, from, oh, Knightsbridge. Not Kelvinbridge. Where were you the night Sally was killed? I was out walking.  Time for Jimmy to have a word: What about Jo, Thomas? 'Nobody needs to know anything about me! I'm a free man.' 

Err, no, Thomas, you're not.

So where did you go ? 'The cliffs. The cliffs. Maybe I'll just let myself go - but I WANT TO LEEVE. I DESERVE TAE LEEVE!' Or possibly live.  Even if I have to wear this godless combat jacket all the time.

Anyway the refugees are safe. Lars has nothing to be ashamed of, he says. He took Sally's laptop and her phone. He didn't kill her but he did beat Jo up. And as for Sally, the last I saw of her she was arguing with an older man at the festival. But not Thomas Malone. It was...shock horror, because Jimmy has a picture of him as a screensaver on his phone and they LOVE each other...Duncan The Second Dad! Good grief. This could ruin their relationship!

Speak of the devil, Duncan meets Alan, apparently in Greenock or possibly Gourock to ask if he'll withdraw his offer a job to Cassie at the Wildlife Sanctuary, which is not in Renrewshire, in order to protect Cassie, who may be in Largs. I CAN SEE DUNOON! Mysterious. Now it's Duncan and Jimmy. I've got a witness says he saw you arguing with Sally at the festival! I offered her a lift... she seemed upset. Did anybody see you leave? I forgot I spoke to her. Jings. No alibi, but surely not Duncan with the silvery hair and the enormous bald patch? Aw, come on have a drink. Naw. Ah dinnae luv youse onymair.

Right, here's Kate Killick. In a kitchen. Is there a pulley? Can't see one. Wow, more sculpted eyebrows. She's in this 8mm film with her sister, dead Lizzie,  and Duncan Hunter, Jimmy tells her. There follows some completely incomprehensible stuff, but basically Kate was jealous of Lizzie. Absolutely. 'My feelings towards Lizzie are quite complicated.' On that day Lizzie was flirting with Duncan. oh...kaaaayyyy...

Back at Jimmy's house, he finds  an old picture of Paul McCartney and Yoko Ono. No, it's Duncan and Lizzie, or maybe Kate. Or somebody and somebody else. Cassie says he should go and watch the football.  There's Duncan wearing that tartan scarf, the one Lizzie was strangled with, the one that has an unknown person's DNA on it. Or wait a minute, is that Thomas Malone with a scarf? Or somebody else with a beard and a scarf? Frankly, I have watched this series more closely than anyone else I know, and I have absolutely no idea.

As Jimmy would say, ma heid's nippin'.

Final episode next week. We want:

More pulleys! More ponies!

More Volvos and possibly a Saab or two!

Sandy to demonstrate his kung fu skills properly.

Jimmy to shave!

Check out locations, background information and think about following Jimmy's footsteps at shetland.org/jimmyperez


Anonymous said...

Most Shetlanders I know say "Lerrik".

Dee Parted said...

Although this blog is utter tosh and makes no sense, it is actually preferable to watching that horrendous programme that is beloved of Shetlanders just because it is called Shetland. I begin to think if any of the Dictators or evil genius's of the world (living or dead) were to change their name to Adolf Shetland, Osama Bin Shetland, Vladimir Shetland (you get the drift) they would be giving a rapturous welcome here.

Nick said...

Great blog, much more fun than the actual show! Now what I must have missed is when Lars is supposed to have said some road (Hell's Road Pass?) was closed which apparently gave the game away to Super Tosh that he was on Shetland during the festival. When did he say that?

Anonymous said...

I had been reading your reviews on Promote Shetland and then they stopped....help! Fortunately after contacting the website I was given the link to your blog. Brilliant. It has been great reading your highly entertaining and amusing reviews. I still don't know how you manage to recall all the details and plot twists and turns. Just as I think I know what is going on, another piece of action or character pops up and I'm back to square one!! Not to worry, I'm loving this series and relying on your reviews to fill in the gaps and lighten the atmosphere. What has happened to the Suzuki Jimmy? Am hoping it will appear again this week as I have driven them for many years. I am now also converted to "pulley" spotting too!! Looking forward to reading this weeks review.


Una said...

Nick, he said the road was closed when he was in the car when Tosh was driving him back to his hotel. Anyway I love the show and the scenery because I’ve never been to Shetland. I love reading your blog cause it brings back all the bits I had forgotten. Now I’m wondering was it Duncan who killed the first girl or was it Alan’s Mum because she was jealous of the attention Duncan was paying the girl !