'Annika' First Season Ends with a Case Hitting Close To Home

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

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


Annika's final episode for Season 1 opens with Morgan's 16th birthday on the horizon and a case that has our titular detective pensive. The deceased is Viola McCaskill, washed up from the drink. But it's the next of kin that's the problem: Adie McAndrews, Michael's fisherman brother, who we last saw teasing him about Annika being his boss. She shows up to Michael's to give him a heads up and is rewarded with breakfast and a portrait of semi-functional domesticity; Michael confirms Adie and Viola were in a long-term relationship and volunteers to come with Annika to notify, though in a strictly non-professional capacity.

Annika: There was a detective named Annika/Whose daughter was always ahead of her/she called her a word/the origin heard/from the Encyclopedia Britannica.

Michael wasn't up to date on his brother's love life; Viola dumped him a few months back. However, that's not the worst: Adie, once a super drinker and carouser, lies about his whereabouts. Viola was supposedly great in getting Adie to leave that life behind, calmed him down, chilled him out, etc. But his reputation and the break-up aren't going to help. Annika has to tell Michael he can't be on this case due to the apparent conflict of interest, even as he insists his brother wasn't the type to kill someone. Besides, he thinks Annika should also step off the case since she and Adie used to be close too.

Picture shows: Nicola Walker as Annika, Ukweli Roach as Tyrone and Taqi Nazeer as Gurpreet Mattu in 'Annika'

Nicola Walker as Annika, Ukweli Roach as Tyrone and Taqi Nazeer as Gurpreet Mattu in 'Annika'


Blair and Tyrone confirm Viola was killed elsewhere and driven to the bay, and she moved into the upstairs apartment over her vintage shop after the breakup. When Annika and Tyrone reach the shop, the assistant Kate Verdi (Iulia Isar) is surprised, as she just called the station to report a break-in. She seems shocked to learn they're there because Viola is dead, telling Annika how Adie would turn up, forcing them to lock the shop door. Annika doesn't seem surprised; one has to wonder if she dated Adie back in the day. (I'm also sure she hooked up with Michael, or maybe that's the actor's chemistry.)

All that was stolen was a WWII-era Military Cross previously owned by Gurpreet Mattu (Taqi Nazeer). He runs when Annika and Tyrone show up, heading to the roof and threatening suicide. The medal was his grandad's, and he never agreed to sell it. Annika and Tyrone talk the poor man down, confirm his alibi, and let him go. Meanwhile, Adie's second alibi claimed he was with Taylor Mackie (Susannah Laing), but she denies it; her mother backs her up. Given no option, Annika has to bring him in; but Adie's gone; Michael swears he has no idea where.

Blair tracks Viola's dating profile and finds she was meeting a date the night she died, Leila (Vivien Taylor), but that's a dead end. The address leads to tattoo artist Freddie Phan (Natalie Mae Kelly), who says the site is a scam; this is the second time someone has shown up looking for "Leila," though the last time, it was the stood-up date.

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

Michael keeps popping by until Annika sends him off with a flea in his ear after he tells her she and her works of Chaucer (or whatever it is this time) solve the case. He meets Adie at their mum's grave and begs him to turn himself in. Adie finally listens and owns up to what happened — he and Taylor were out snorting coke, then she robbed a shop, to his total shock, and before he could react, wound up being the getaway car. The robbery is confirmed, so that's him sorted and cleared of murder.

Chaucer has nothing to do with this; Annika is all over Twelfth Night instead. Someone made a date with Viola at Finn's Bar and lay in wait for her; the murder occurred just outside the property. Annika searches out Leila's other local "date," Lee Tanner (Thoren Ferguson), who has not realized Leila is scamming him to the tune of £7,000 so far. He's supposed to meet her, she's calling him to arrange it, and Annika jumps on the opportunity to trace the call. Leila dangles meeting for another £1,000 and mentions "a mess up" two nights previous. Blair gets the trace, and Annika tells Lee to end the call.

Lee freaks out, screaming at Leila, and suddenly Annika's bashed upside the head. The team is on the line when she goes down; Oban grabs control of the situation just as Morgan arrives expecting mum and a cake. The cake (cupcakes) currently reside in the backseat of Annika's car; she's in the boot; Lee is driving. Now on the case, Michael finds Lee and Leila's messages; the "mess up" was Leila sending the text to meet Viola to Lee on accident, claiming Viola was harassing her on the fly. Lee killed Viola, thinking he was doing Leila a favor. Leila didn't realize he'd mean he'd killed Viola when he said he'd "sorted the problem."

Picture shows: Jamie Sives as Michael in 'Annika' 

Jamie Sives as Michael in 'Annika' 


Leila knows it's time to get moving since Lee went psycho down the phone, and Michael's sure Lee's driving to her since Annika had the call trace location. By the time Blair and Tyrone pull up, Lee's been gone, leaving Leila dead on the floor. Annika, thankfully, is still in the boot, going on about Twelfth Night, not that Lee is interested. So she starts telling him about Morgan instead, how it's her birthday, and Lee should help himself to a cupcake while wondering how Morgan's dad will take learning about her, should Annika die. 

Oban has the car on CCTV, helicopters tracking, and Tyrone and Blair driving pell-mell to intercept. Lee blasts through the gate, but Annika's car doesn't do well after that, forcing them to stop. Michael arrives first and realizes Lee screaming shut up is proof Annika is alive and well in the car's boot. He approaches, getting Lee's attention, and is rewarded by the man pulling out a grenade. Lee's attention on Michael leaves Blair and Tyrone to get Annika out of the car before the guy pulls the pin, blowing up the vehicle.

The cupcakes are toast, but Michael sorts out another cake (well, a pork pie) as Annika sighs. She tells Michael her biggest fear in the car was Morgan being alone, prompting him to ask if she talked to her dad much. Annika shakes her head, though she doesn't tell Michael Morgan has no idea who her dad is. After all, he might do the math and realize what the rest of us have put together. As Michael brings over the pie, neither he nor Morgan knows it's her dad who has just rescued her birthday celebration.

Season 2 just got interesting.


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 on MSNBC, Paste, Primetimer, and others. A Woman's Place Is In Your Face. Cat Approved. Find her on BlueSky and other social media of your choice: @anibundel.bsky.social

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