Unforgotten's second episode is traditionally where Cassie and Sunny spend the hour hunting up the four suspects that the audience met in the first episode. To that end, last week's traffic cop who ties the five together cannot give much on them, other than vague personality impressions. All four acted shellshocked at being pulled over, one was an aggressive male, one was an unflappable girl.
Of course, all Cassie wants is to get their names and start searching their files. If any of these people are still her colleagues, or worse, her superiors, this case will cause a massive crisis.
Collier: You know what we actually need as detectives? A magnifying glass.
In terms of case details, Walsh's disappearance was allowed to slide at the time, partly because of his run-ins with the police — he was popped for failing to appear in court after disappearing. It's evident that even if there hadn't been a coverup by those in the car (and we're not ruling that out yet), internalized prejudices against the kid for being a drug-dealing hooligan made it, so no one was all that concerned he'd fallen off the face of the earth. As for next of kin, parents are dead, there's an older brother, Clive, but most importantly, there's a son Jerome (James Craze), born of Walsh's girlfriend of the time. (She's also dead of a drug overdose.) He, at least, is sober and stable and wants little to do with this.
While Cassie handles Jerome, Colliers heads up the search for head and hands in the storage facility where the rest of the stuff from Fogerty's flat wound up. And Fran is looking into what was done on Walsh's case, trying to see if there was an internal coverup of his disappearance or if he just slid through the cracks. Sunny digs into the files from the traffic stop, hoping to find some details of who might have been in the car. He does turn up the notes from the time with all four first names: Liz (the unflappable one), Ram, Dean, Fiona.
Of course, Cassie is dealing with all of this amid her family dramas. Adam is currently unemployed. Her dad is changing his mind on his will, insisting on giving half the house (which Cassie was planning to sell) to Jenny, reigniting her suspicions. At least John, who is rapidly gaining the inside track for "partner of the year," is being dreamily supportive, though not stupidly so, which is a hard line to walk.
Not that the lives of those Cassie is about to crash headlong into are having it much better. Fiona is out of the business, though she is lying about her evening plans to her husband. Fiona's "run" is stopping at the church where her parents are buried to lay flowers on their grave. Her mother died in 1980; her father in the line of duty in 1991. As for Dean's not-so-legal job, he starts by calling in the registration on a specific car, even though he has no business doing police work, but it's more in the service of smuggling goods out of France than anything else.
Though the show doesn't come right out and say it, it seems like Ram and Anna's baby is exhibiting signs of prenatal developmental issues, which Ram is simply trying to ignore. Besides, he's got bigger, manlier problems of sexually harassing one of the temps in HR after having one too many drinks. But the real news is when he shows up to discuss the incident with his boss is addressed as DCI Sidhu, which makes him Cassie's equal, with 30 years under his belt as well. And he's a ruthless bastard, turning the charges on him right around and insisting his accuser is racially motivated because she's mad he turned her advances down and searching for any criminal records on her when that doesn't work.
Ram's not to only one working on the force. Liz Baildon, she of the god awful elderly mother. She's heading to an interview for promotion but is waylaid after failing to stop a motorbike hijacking. She does a bang-up job with the panel even though she's a little late, but the show saves the best bit for last. She's not just a rank and filer trying to get something that pays enough to look after her harridan of a mother. In Cassie's own words, she's THE Liz Baildon, about to be named Chief Constable of the East Anglia Constabulary.
With Matthew Walsh's DNA confirmed well enough, Cassie decides to make a significant splash in the evening news with the case. All four of them freeze when the announcement goes out live on the telly, with Liz going so far as to drop her tea. Even so, Cassie greenlights going live before Fran calls with the news the one witness who the cops never deposed correctly insists the man she saw running after Walsh was South Asian. Ram may have a bigger problem on his hands than he thought.
As Cassie tells Sunny, this is the one that's going to make it better. If she does this by the book and puts away the right person, all the doubts that she has about the thing she's dedicated her life to will go away. Perhaps this will be the saddest season of Unforgotten after all.