Unforgotten series four, episode three recap – when will Fiona fold?

There are flashbacks and cash lacks as as the crime drama continues and the pressure mounts on our four suspects

The investigation

Matthew Walsh will soon be reunited with his head and hands and were he able to, he would offer a tip of the hat to that industrious team player Jake for the assist. Perhaps just as important, midfield dynamo Fran unearths a corroborating witness to confirm that Walsh was being chased by two men – one Asian, one unusually tall. The fun really begins when we get our first face-to-face meeting between the suspects and plod. Cassie and Sunny show up friendly as you like – just a few questions, completely routine. No one is buying the good cop act though, least of all the Ford Granada Four.

Ram Sidhu

When chaos comes calling in life, this is how you take control. Ram puts the formal complaint against him to bed by surreptitiously recording his accuser racially abusing him (after apparently lowballing her with a frankly derisory £50 bribe). It is done with the steady hand and swagger of a true veteran. Ram has been fighting misconduct cases like Vic Mackey for years and is undefeated on the unforgiving grievance circuit. No wonder Sunny is swiftly dispatched from his office with “maybe you’re just one of their coconuts”. Charming.

We see his softer side when he and Anna discuss what to do if their child has Down’s syndrome. Anna can’t see herself raising a child with complex needs, possibly factoring in that Ram has a few complex needs of his own. He couldn’t be more supportive, though, expressing his desire to continue the pregnancy regardless while making it clear it’s ultimately her choice.

“There’s a crack in everything, Anna,” he tells her. “That’s how the light gets in.” Let’s see how he feels about that when the cracks appear in his 1990 timeline.

Liz Baildon

Liz gets unofficial confirmation that she will be the new chief constable of East Anglia. No champagne corks are popped, though, as Cassie’s visit triggers the first patented Unforgotten flashback of the series. There’s a shower head, an airborne graduation mortar board, a car air freshener, a pub table and a swing. It rattles her enough to give a deeply unconvincing performance for Cassie, only remembering the drink-driving incident after heavy prompting. With the eavesdropping Eugenia overhearing something about a dead body in a car boot and Mommie, Dearest hovering upstairs, it looks like Liz’s problems have only just begun.

Susan Lynch as Liz Baildon.
Susan Lynch as Liz Baildon. Photograph: ITV

Fiona Grayson

I think we know now who is going to fold first under pressure. Fiona is all over the place during Sunny’s visit and throughout the episode. Her panicked attempt to stop the mortgage deposit and subsequent visit to Geoff’s brother Mark betray a frazzled mind. Her tale of a simple girl who joined the force just to please her daddy, then boozed her way through the misery is touching but hardly satisfying. She pleads with Mark to change her name on the mortgage forms to prevent a supposed criminal conviction from showing up. It all poses more questions than it answers.

Much more promising is her flashback: an intriguing montage of Mexican rum, broken glass on a car seat, blood spots on a certificate of accreditation for counselling and psychotherapy, and Fiona engaging in a drunken knee trembler.

It may even be with Ram, but I don’t want him to get the BPA on to me so it’s a John Doe for now.

Dean Barton

A smuggler (definitely), a killer (possibly), but above all Dean Barton is a father. His commitment to giving Jack the best life possible is showcased at the fundraiser. And, whatever amount they raise, Dean knows that Jack gave him something money can’t buy, something he never thought possible: “An ease with the world.” That ease quickly evaporates once Cassie shows up provoking his first flashback. We’ve got a passport stamp, a leather strap being wrapped around a fist, two people dishing out a kicking to a hapless victim and, most disturbingly of all, a packet of Opal Fruits (Starburst to younger viewers). I’m not sure what it is with this series and retro confectionery (remember the Marathon/Snickers wrapper from episode one?), but I’m comforted that we have our best people on the case.

Notes and observations

  • Why is Liz apparently strapped for cash? A chief constable pockets a six-figure salary, so pennypinching over domestic staff doesn’t add up. I don’t buy Fiona’s criminal past as a reason to withhold the mortgage deposit either – as if Cassie and crew missed that. Blackmail is always a possibility, but perhaps too obvious?

  • Let’s try again. Fiona’s flashback sex gives credence to AvidViewer’s theory of a baby being conceived on that fateful night. Might the money be going into a trust fund for said child?

  • “And what would you do for me in return?” I don’t think that’s the kind of deposit she has in mind, Mark. Are we to believe he is willing to risk his career for a bunk up with his brother’s girlfriend?

  • Dean is not unusually tall, which leaves either Robert Fogarty or an unknown party chasing Matthew with Ram.

  • “You were a proper dickhead.” Jake silently removes “beloved prefect” from his LinkedIn endorsements.

  • “You’re good.” Liz acknowledges a formidable opponent in Cassie. Game recognises game.

Who’s having sex with Fiona? Why is everyone broke? Who is the tall man? If you have a theory, please post it below


James Donaghy

The GuardianTramp

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