'Annika' is Her Own Worst Enemy as the Series Introduces a Love Interest

Picture shows: Nicola Walker as Annika and Paul McGann as Jake Strathearn

Nicola Walker as Annika and Paul McGann as Jake Strathearn in 'Annika'


Episode 2 of Annika ended with Morgan agreeing therapy wasn't the worst notion her mother's ever had. Episode 3 opens at the doctor's office, and instead of Annika talking about myths or novels, she's talking about psychotherapy and explaining how it works, as if viewers have never heard of the concept. At least until Morgan's new shrink, Dr. Jake Strathearn, played by Paul McGann (Doctor Who). Annika becomes utterly flustered and so awkward it hurts, even if his guest star turns are always appreciated.

Annika: Do you ever think we'll get to a point where we'll talk normally?

The therapy session delayed the inevitable; as the week's mystery starts, Annika starts rambling about Ibsen's The Enemy of the People on her way to a body found in Loch Katrine. There's nothing but a business card reading "Natural Water, a hard-to-hear call-in report by the person who found the body, who has a New Zealand accent, and claims of a boat, now missing. Tyrone finds the boat at the other end of the loch, but it's a rental. Looking up Natural Water employees, Blair believes the victim to be Murdo Stirling, a chemical analyst.

At Natural Water, Annika and Michael are met by executive assistant Heidi Greenshields (Kim Allan) and CEO Mel Heatherington (Moyo Akandé). The latter is being filmed for a marketing campaign by Stuart Straney (Martin Bell) and does not react well to cops turning up. She also doesn't seem affected by her colleague's death, saying he was on holiday as far as she knew, and says the company will create a remembrance pond for him or something before sending them back to Heidi for Murdo's computer and HR files. 

Picture shows: Moyo Akande as Mel Hetherington CEO of Natural Water in  'Annika'

Moyo Akande as Mel Hetherington in 'Annika'


Murdo's father, Rab Stirling (Lewis Howden), owns a motorbike shop. He claims he wasn't close with his son, at least not since his wife, Murdo's mother, died some years back. He thinks Murdo was seeing someone, a Siobhan (Charlene Boyd). Tyrone checks in with the boat rentals owner, Mitch McAskill (Paul McCole), who cannot find a transaction, even though the camera clearly shows Murdo being rung up by the shop assistant, Nathan (Sahil Arora). Nathan walks in, and at the sound of his New Zealand accent, Tyrone's head snaps up, and the kid tries to make a break for it.

Nathan is innocent; he ran because he's in Scotland on an expired visa. He doesn't even know Murdo's name; the booking and (declined) credit card were under "S. Campbell." He says Murdo seemed nervous about meeting someone, so he rolled the poor sap a spliff and left. The following day he went out on the water to get high and ran the body over, hence his panic over calling it in. Murdo's probable credit card fraud is compounded by Michael finding £50k was deposited into his account by a mystery source. Blair notes Murdo had a super expensive car, on which was spraypainted "BASTARD." She also can't figure out what the sound is in the background of Nathan's call.

Meanwhile, Annika is having *feelings* about Morgan's therapy and Paul McGann being hot. She needn't worry, he's a good shrink, and Morgan's working out her feelings. She's also friends with Blair now, sending "flirty" texts, adding to the pile of stuff Annika can freak out over.

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Nicola Walker (Unforgotten) stars as DI Annika Strandhed who juggles cases and a daughter.
Annika: show-poster2x3

Blair turns up Siobhan's address, where Neil Kelly (Dyfan Dwyfor) explains Siobhan cheated on him with Murdo. Murdo called Neil and told him; in response, Neil threw her out a few days ago. They leave him to his impending divorce until Neil calls them claiming Siobhan kidnapped the kids. Tracking her car, Annika finds she was on CCTV near the murder scene after Murdo was found. However, Siobhan has attempted suicide over Murdo ruining her life. When Annika tells her he's dead, she asks which of his women did it.

S.Campbell was one of five registered to Murdo, including the EA Heidi. Tyrone and Blair head to the Natural Water offices, which are supposedly closed "out of respect for Murdo Stirling," except someone's broken in. The two catch Stuart with his camera bags; he swears he is just trying to get his equipment back. However, Annika realizes he's got weeks of footage of possible suspects and the victim, so the team confiscates it. Blair and Tyrone then track down Heidi; she's upset but not surprised Murdo used her name for fraud. She recognizes "S. Campbell" as Sandy (Jack Hunter), listed as a client. She also points out that Murdo and Mel were both on holiday the weekend Murdo died. Annika and Michael track down the Campbells, and Fiona (Sally Reid), answers. Sandy is Murdo's disabled teenage son; his deadbeat dad has been draining the kid's trust for years. 

Annika goes home to talk to Morgan and discovers Morgan's been talking to her grandfather. Annika does not get along with her parents at all; disappointing them by having Morgan at 15, insisting on joining the force at 17, and breaking away from the life they mapped out for her. It was Dr. Jake's idea for Morgan to reach out. It doesn't help Annika's crush though, as when she is late getting home, Morgan calls him and Dr. Jake turns up at the station to encourage her to go be with her daughter. He also turns out to be a history buff who totally returns her attraction.

Picture shows: Jamie Sives as Michael and Nicola Walker as Annika in 'Annika'

Jamie Sives as Michael and Nicola Walker as Annika in 'Annika'


Digging through Stuart's footage, Blair discovers Mel and Murdo having a row over him going to the press. Blair calls Sam (from Episode 1); the £50k was from them for a Natural Water expose. Sam thinks it was "career-ending" for Mel. However, she's not senior enough to have seen it, and now the article's been held due to Murdo's death. Before she leaves, she points out  Annika needs a press officer. (It sounds like she's volunteering.) Mel admits the story is "Natural Water takes money from a Well-Known Bottled Water Company," which benefits from their scaremongering about tap water. The weekend he was killed, she went to warn them about the impending article. They pulled their funding in response.

Annika gives up and heads home, where Morgan says she wants a new therapist because Dr. Jake and her mom crushing on each other is weird. She also says not to be mad at granddad; he was trying to do right by her. Finally, after two episodes, we have the "mystery that is solved when somebody says the right thing by accident." Annika realizes the noise in the background of Nathan's call is a motorbike; a quick lookup uncovers that Murdo's mother, Katrine, only died a month ago.

Murdo was meeting his father to put her ashes in the Loch that bears her name. But at the funeral, Rab found out his son stole the grandkid's trust and came out planning to confront him. Annika finds Rab at the Campbells' house; he says he didn't mean to kill anyone. Murdo just pissed him off, claiming "he needed compensating too," and Rab snapped and held him under. Poor Sandy loses his actual father figure as Rab is taken away. 


Ani Bundel has been blogging professionally since 2010. A DC native, Hufflepuff and Keyboard Khaleesi, she spends all her non-writing time taking pictures of her cats. Regular bylines also found at Elite Daily, NBC News' THINK, and others. A Woman's Place Is In Your Face. Cat Approved. Find her on Twitter: @anibundel