'Guilt' Season 2 Finale Recap

Mark Bonnar as Max McCall (C) Expectation/Happy Tramp North 2021)

In reaching the culmination of this season of Guilt, writer Neil Forsyth trusted viewers to work out the details ourselves. Let's see how succinctly I can wrap up this intricately tangled tale, shall I?

We start where we left off at the end of the last episode, with Maggie, Jake, and Max in a warehouse. Maggie delivers a lovely monologue about family, with a flashback to Jake and Max parting ways before the elder McCall gets arrested. Maggie said it broke her heart to watch them, but she got over it. Max wonders why the Lynches were there, and then it occurs to him that his little brother helped set him up.

Jake returned to Edinburgh due to the police notifying him Max was hit by a bus and dying. Max is annoyed he fell for it, while Maggie is impatient or Max to reveal the details of his plot. Max explains he put the land in Erin's name; she would pay him off. Only he can fix the deal, so he's taken precautions. If something happens to him, there will be retaliation against Roy and possibly others. Maggie says to take precautions, too; Max will go to Erin and say what they tell him to.

After Maggie departs, the brothers hash things out. Jake got money for helping frame Max and used it to buy a bar. Jake suggests Max should come with him to Chicago; he rejects Jake's invitation, blaming everything that happened to the family on him, perhaps to protect Jake from being the Lynches' pawn.

 (Credit: Courtesy of (C) Expectation/Happy Tramp North 2021)

Yvonne swings by the office to see Kenny, who's hurt she knew Max was helping the police. She explains her partner used her drinking problem to get a promotion and how badly she wants to bring Stevie down. Yvonne assures Kenny a domino effect will bring down Roy and possibly Max. (After hearing her story, she probably wasn't fit to be promoted.) Meanwhile, Roy hounds Stevie for more info on Max's police file.

In a phone call, Max warns Erin her mother is heavily involved. Strategies are in place; now, it's just a race to the finish line. First, Max sees Davie (Simon Weir), the front for Phoenix, and offers to sell him Erin's land for half market value. The man hesitates to cross Lynch, but Max says Roy will be in jail before word gets out. Davie asks if they have the church, and he says yes (a lie). Max also goes to Sandy, who still refuses to sell.

Jake stops by Kenny's office accompanied by a Lynch hoodlum. Max left Jake The Clash album as a souvenir. Jake warns Kenny to stay away from the office, reminding him Max shouldn't get away with this, as Max makes his fake confession at Erin's place, saying he was planning on taking everything for himself. Erin pretends to be angry with him.

In the meantime, Stevie calls Roy to brief him that Max is out on license working undercover, and he imagines it's her (i.e., Jackie). Roy demands the file; Jackie is next to Stevie and happy to give Lynch what he wants. As Max and Roy leave Erin's house, they have a civil chat about ending on good terms for both parties; Roy suggests a meeting the following day. Both know one of them is going down.

 

Erin's parents tell her they're going to reunite, but she insists on clearing up the past, starting with Christmas Eve. Maggie explains as a child, Roy was abused by a teacher; Maggie killed him, and she'd do it again. Erin knows Maggie selfishly let Roy take the blame to keep Erin for herself. At the legal office, the Divorce guy stops by again, giddy to end his marriage with a pun. Kenny asks Max for the details of the account he set up with the cut from Roy's dirty bag of cash. Max apologizes, hands over the paperwork, saying the business is all in Kenny's name. Theirs is a surprisingly emotional goodbye.

Roy drops Jake off at the airport, bestowing the parting gift of a slash across the palm, forcing him to hold the handle. As the henchman puts the bloody weapon in a bag, Roy says he's glad Jake likes it in America because he can't return now. Max decides to try to approach Sandy less aggressively. He explains he became a lawyer to move from chaos to rules and clarity, but all he got was grayer. He understands Sandy's life has been damaged, too, and he has a child who doesn't know he exists.

As Roy pulls up, Sandy invites Max to stick around. In the sanctuary, Sandy mentions to Roy that the Church higher-ups fell over his offer, as Max discovers a picture of a brunette little girl in the office: Erin is Sandy's daughter. Roy is devastated and leaves. When Max joins Sandy in the sanctuary, Sandy kindly asks him to use what he knows. Roy shows up at Maggie's place as she wakes. He says he doesn't want to live with her and never wants to talk about it, but she can tell Erin after he's gone. Maggie's parting excuse is that she had no good options; Roy's trauma kept him from being intimate with her.

Max is disappointed Erin got a murder confession from her mom but deleted the recording. Max needs the confession for Jackie, but Erin suggests they leave Edinburgh. Max feels Erin has gotten soft on Roy and says to meet him tomorrow. Max tells Jackie that Joe McLean, a recent suicide case, was most likely killed at Erin's house over the money Roy later brought him. He emphasizes Erin didn't have anything to do with it, but Roy did. Jackie is satisfied, and it seems Max is in the clear.

 (Credit: Courtesy of (C) Expectation/Happy Tramp North 2021)

Jackie and Stevie meet with Yvonne, dismissing her from the investigation, and threaten her by mentioning her misconduct on the joyrider case and to stay out of Leith. When Stevie asks why, Jackie confirms Max is being set up for Roy. Stevie objects, giving Jackie info on an attempted murder stabbing involving Roy, ordered by Maggie. Erin stops at Roy's to tell him she sold the land. She knows Maggie holds the most significant blame, but the time has passed for father-daughter bonding, so she's leaving with Max to start over. Roy shows her proof that Max is helping the police. Sensing they may never meet again, Roy expresses his pride in getting to call her his daughter. There's a nice moment between them, as Erin's like, "Bye, Dad."

Jackie comes to arrest Maggie for the attempted murder of the "investment" salesman; Maggie says she feels terrible about what happened to Jackie's family. (Really? No details revelations about Jackie's prolonged vendetta!)  Immediately, Maggie goes into preservation mode, claiming she takes pills for dementia. Mr. Lynch's fate is direr than Maggie's. On a tip from Max, Teddy walks into Roy's flat. Understanding why he's there, Roy seems at peace with dying at the hands of this grieving brother as long as Teddy accepts Erin's innocence. Maxie told him that as well.

Despite his wish for his former partner to get caught, Kenny steps out of his AA meeting to call Max and warn him of the trap. Max doesn't take the call. Yvonne shows up, and they leave (I assume Yvonne will be going the force.) Meanwhile, at Leith Legals, the Divorce guy enters instead of Max, surprising Lynch's henchman. Erin is waiting outside Sandy's church; Max calls to give her what she needs to heal. She walks inside, and she and Sandy smile at one another. Max must have left for America after meeting with Jackie because he's walking into a bar in Chicago where the bartender knows his name.

I hope you enjoyed the twisty journey of Guilt's second season. I'm looking forward to the third and final installment due next year. You can be sure the road ahead for Max and Jake will be anything but smooth.