The second episode of Guilt Season 2 opens with a flashback to a few days before Max's prison release and the violence in Erin's basement. A young man is making his proposal to an executive at Phoenix Estate Development concerning the New Leith project. He gets turned down because his projected costs are too high, but on his way past the building site, another bright idea occurs: offer to buy the church nearby from a priest of questionable ethics. His partner isn't thrilled with trusting their life savings to such a risky venture.
The money (with a tracking device in the bag) gets picked up by our ex-Army fellow, Joe (Paul Tinto). He drives to a casino and takes the money in with him. A bearded man – likely the bent minister- arrives and finds no bag of cash in the boot of Joe's car. Meanwhile, Adrian is probably conducting a drug deal with the roulette croupier and notices the bag stuffed with bills on the floor by Joe's feet. When the intoxicated soldier steps out for a quick smoke, Adrian snatches the loot and hightails it out of there. Joe threatens the croupier at gunpoint and follows Adrian home. Bang bang, two men are dead, and we're all caught up!
So it seems that Jackie (Sandy McDade), the lady with the dog on the bench, is an undercover police officer, and Max is one of her informants. She's on a years-long mission to bring down Roy Lynch and has tasked Max with gathering evidence against the gangster. (Perhaps Max got released early by agreeing to cooperate with her operation.) She says money laundering isn't enough to prove her case, but it's a start, and Max must record every interaction with Lynch.
Joe's family appears to have come back from his memorial service. Joe's brother Teddy (Greg McHugh) tells his father about Papillon, a book a friend gave him. It's about a boy who wanted to escape prison only to find out the prison was in his head. He thinks perhaps life was like that for Joe after all he saw and did in the Army. His father suggests what happened is somehow Teddy's fault and cryptically tells him he needs to "take care of what needs to be done."
Yvonne stops by Erin's house to check the facts on Adrian's rejected missing person's report. She passes it off as a data entry mistake, but she must suspect something fishy. Erin corroborates what was in the report to the letter and then admits she doesn't want him back. After Yvonne leaves, Erin goes to see her father. She tells him of Yvonne's visit, but she doesn't mention the encounter with Max (who we know has just followed her and realizes she does have a connection to Lynch.)
Kenny drops in on Sandy (Ian Pirie), the priest at the church where his AA meetings are held. He tells the clergyman he saw him with a bag that was supposed to have a lot of money in it. Kenny attempts to gain Sandy's confidence and warns others won't be as friendly. Sandy declines to comment, and Kenny decides to keep this information from Max for the time being.
At the police station, Yvonne confronts Stevie about his involvement with Adrian's missing person's report. She says she can't ignore corruption, but Stevie suggests she still has her job because he stood up for her, so she should butt out. Yvonne calls Kenny, who now knows she's a cop, to discuss her moral dilemma. He encourages her to follow her conscience, so she enters the Chief Constable's office to report her concerns about DS Malone.
Twist alert! Roy and Maggie Lynch are not estranged. He's bringing her a cuppa in her living room; they're chatting about their daughter like an average couple. Maggie expresses her appreciation for what he gave up, so she didn't have to and seems very much in the loop of his business dealings.
On the other hand, Leith's Legal's business dealings seem to be bringing Max down a bit. Kenny tries to give his friend a pep talk after a particularly trying consultation with a woman wanting to leave money for her cat in her will.
Kenny takes Max to meet Sandy at the church, urging him to be respectful. Instead, Max belittles religion, suggesting Sandy doesn't realize how dirty his missing money is and that he should tell them what he knows. Sandy stands his ground and isn't intimidated by Max. As they leave the church, Kenny and Max look over the massive New Leith development. Max notices the Phoenix Estate sign and suspects something isn't above board.
After Yvonne reports on Stevie to the Chief Constable, she's put in touch with Jackie. Jackie knows about Yvonne being passed over for promotion and how DS Malone was involved in it. She asks Yvonne to keep tabs on Stevie and gives her a list of addresses that are part of her investigation. If he goes to any of them, Yvonne should let her know.
While Max is gathering info on Phoenix Estates, a surprise visitor stops by the office to see him. It turns out Teddy was his lunatic cellmate. He's hoping Max will look into what happened to his brother, Joe. He gives him a photo and the pass card from the casino that the police found on him. Once Teddy leaves, Max says he was the only person he was afraid of in prison. They'll give the investigation a week and then say they turned up nothing new.
Roy shows up at Sandy's church and offers to buy it. They grew up together, so there's history there. Sandy suggests someone like Roy wouldn't pass muster with the parish board. Roy protests he and his money are clean. The priest suspects Roy is the real money behind Phoenix and needs the church's lot to build a road out of the New Leith development. Lynch confesses he has been buying up land for the past thirty years. He wants to build over the ghosts of his past and leave a legacy for his daughter. Sandy says the money is not enough; he wants redemption.
Much like the season's first episode, the final quarter of this installment picks up the pace. For one thing, there's a lot of following going on. Kenny tracks down the building with the symbol from the card found on Joe's body. Yvonne tails Stevie when he lies about leaving work early. Jackie parks outside Erin's house for the long haul.
But Erin's not in. She contacted Max after seeing her father leave Maggie's building. They go to a hotel bar where she admits to being Roy Lynch's daughter. At first, Max claims to be Roy's friend. When it becomes clear Erin is not a fan of her dad, Max turns off the recording function on his phone and tells Erin he was in prison for two years and it had something to do with Roy. Erin says she's been waiting to find someone who sees her father as she does. Max admits he wants revenge on Lynch, to take what he values and leave him in a cell wondering how he got there. The bar closes, so the couple get a room. It looks like some plotting; maybe more will be going on that night.
Confused? I know it's been difficult to write coherently about all the new characters, their motives, and their connections. I trust next week's episodes will tie things up, perhaps not neatly, but I suspect the ending will be intelligent and satisfying.