'Harry Wild': Episode 5 and 6 Recaps

Harry Wild (Jane Seymour) and Lucy D’arcy (Alice McCarthy). © Acorn TV

Jane Seymour as Harry "Harriet" Wild and Alice McCarthy as Lucy D'Arcy - Harry Wild _ Season 1, Episode 5 - Photo Credit: Szymon Lazeweski/Zoe Production DAC/AcornTV

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In this week’s pair of Harry Wild episodes, a social event gets messy, and Harry is arrested for murder while she tries to investigate a sexual predator. Then she, her sidekick Fergus, and her granddaughter Lola are trapped in a pub where a kidnapping attempt becomes murder, and she must identify the one responsible to survive.

Episode 5: A Corpse in my Soup

Someone has disposed of a woman’s body down a well. But following that sinister beginning, six days later, Harry is attending a dinner party given by her former head of faculty, Lawrence Cavendish (Michael James Ford) in his massive country house. Her former colleague and friend, Prof. Graham Gray (Morgan C. Jones), and his wife Beryl (Muireann Ryan) are guests, as is her replacement, Lucy D’arcy (Alice McCarthy). You get the impression that no one really wants to be there, but it’s an unspoken condition of employment.

Harry, knocking back her host’s wine, ignores Cavendish’s snide comments on her career change: Miss Marple and the case of the missing manners. Later she describes him as “arrogant, entitled, unpleasant.” When she takes a breather with Lucy, both of them are highly entertained by Cavendish’s new and very phallic sculpture. Harry glances out of the window to see their host embracing his housekeeper, Jenny Doyle (Gina Costigan) in the garden.

Lawrence Cavendish (Michael James Ford). © Acorn TV
Don't drink the water ... smiling villain Lawrence Cavendish (Michael James Ford). (Photo: Acorn TV)

When they gather together again, Harry asks where Cavendish’s wife Melissa is. Is she sick? Cavendish confesses that she’s left him, and cries. As if on cue, everyone starts throwing up, with Harry the only non-participant in the vomit-fest. Cavendish, though, is suffering from a heart attack. With everyone incapacitated and taken to hospital, Harry finds herself alone in the house and realizes she’ll need a ride home. She calls Fergus to make sure he’s studying for his important exam the next day and settles in for the night.

The next morning the police arrive––not Charlie, who is on vacation with his family––but ambitious Vicky Boyle (Danielle Ryan) and Jordon McDonald (Anthony Delaney). They’re investigating the E. Coli outbreak of last night; if Cavendish dies, the caterers will be in real trouble. But why didn’t Harry get sick? She claims it’s because she stuck to wine and didn’t drink any water.

Fergus and Glenn, Harry’s ride home, turn up just in time to see––and smell––the source of the water contamination, Melissa’s corpse in the well. She’s been dead almost a week and the two officers are convinced one of the guests is responsible. When Vicky and Jordan come to question Harry, Ray is lurking in the house, which is fairly awkward. But it becomes even more so when Harry’s discovers she is the only guest who has no alibi for the time of the murder. They’ve also found out that Harry is the only one who didn’t get on with Melissa.

Ray tries to reassure her. He suspects Vicky’s hard-headedness is to impress Charlie and enhance her career. But they both know Harry can’t provide her alibi for the time of the murder, because she and Ray were having a romantic night out at a hotel together. Since he’s her son’s boss, and technically married, it could get really awkward.

Vicky and Jordan return to arrest Harry. Her fingerprints were found on an ashtray that also had traces of Melissa’s blood in the Cavendish house. Her car was observed on roads nearby on the date of the murder, with a seven hour gap between the outward and homebound journeys. As yet she has refused a solicitor, but she’s going to be held overnight with a bail hearing the next day. All Harry’s bravado and fearlessness disappear when she’s confronted with the reality of imprisonment, cowed by the surroundings and the other women under arrest.

Harry Wild (Jane Seymour). © Acorn TV
Harry Wild (Jane Seymour) isn't prepared for the indignities of being under arrest.  (Photo: Acorn TV)

Fergus, fresh from his exam, is horrified that she’s being held. He doesn’t have a whole lot of faith in the system. It’s up to him to find out what’s going on at the university, and, disguising himself with a cleaning cart, finds Cavendish’s office is unlocked (typical of the rather annoying shortcuts in this series). He can’t access the computer, but he finds a key under the keyboard. The key opens a door in the office, revealing a love nest (of sorts. It’s in a closet, but yes, it’s a love nest).

Ray is infuriated by Harry’s arrest, and orders Vicky to get a house arrest warrant. Charlie will not be impressed that his mum is the prime suspect. To Harry’s great relief she is sent home, albeit with an ankle cuff. She makes a very uncharacteristic emotional phone call to Charlie, telling him she loves them all (even daughter-in-law Orla).

Fergus is quite horrified by the thought of “proper nasty Harvey Weinstein stuff” at the university. But who did Cavendish target? Harry calls her former colleague Graham to see if he has any information, but the subject of the phone call upsets Beryl, who leaves the room in tears.

Charlie and his family return home, and even though he tells Vicky to drop the charges, Ray won’t let him take the case. So Charlie joins forces with Fergus and they go to Cavendish’s house. The housekeeper is scared, and will only tell them to look at “the Saturday club.”

One of Fergus’s dubious friends arrives to remove Harry’s cuff, so she and Fergus can go to a meeting of the Saturday club, which Beryl also attends. It’s a gathering of women who’ve been targeted by Cavendish who was enabled and protected by Melissa, to the extent of blackmailing the victims. Beryl wants to get the Garda involved.

But Lucy isn’t among them, and Harry realizes that she was the one who knew Cavendish’s statue was a recent acquisition. Was she too one of his victims? At her house, Fergus and Harry find she is about to commit suicide. She’d encountered Cavendish at another university and had suffered for some time. She tells them she had confronted Melissa about her role in her husband’s sexual wrongdoing. Melissa had attacked her, and Lucy had killed her trying to defend herself. When Charlie arrives at the house later, her suicide note is fastened to the front door.

Cavendish is arrested for sexual assault as he leaves the hospital.

Harry returns home and finds a trail of rose petals leading from the front door to the kitchen where Ray awaits her with champagne. But she tells him he has to leave because Fergus and his little sister are coming over. She understands why he couldn’t give her an alibi, and we’re not absolutely sure what will happen next with them, although there’s a definite twinkle in her eye.

And talking of inconclusive endings––what happened to Lucy? She appears to be leaving Ireland when we see her last, but is it Harry and Fergus’s right to choose when to dispense justice? And won’t the police search for the murderer continue?

Harry Wild (Jane Seymour).  © Acorn TV
Harry Wild (Jane Seymour). © Acorn TV.

We’re now at the halfway point of the season, and the flaws and shortcuts of the plotting are becoming too obvious, although the chemistry between Harry and Fergus still carries the series.

Episode 6: Best Laid Plans

In a short opening scene, a man is trapped in the boot of a car while outside a fierce storm rages. For once, Harry’s local the Hairy Goose is almost deserted. Violent storms have kept most people at home, but Harry has taken Fergus and Lola out to dinner and they’re waiting for the weather to clear. Just as Harry discovers the one pint she’d offered Glenn has turned into several on her bill, the generator goes out, leaving them in darkness. Glenn turns on the emergency generator, but there are no phone signals.

Harry and Glenn go outside to see if they can get a phone signal, and above the noise of the storm, she hears a rhythmic banging from a car in the parking lot. Glenn rushes into action with a toilet plunger. It’s probably best not to try this at home but apparently, you can unlock the boot of a car with a toilet plunger. The man inside, Max (Cal Kenealy) is injured. and tells them he’s been kidnapped by his future in-laws, wealthy people who don’t want their daughter to marry him.

They carry Max inside and Harry orders Glenn to fetch her Garda son Charlie. She realizes that now she, Fergus, and Lola are in the company of strangers, one of whom may be a dangerous criminal.  The owner of the pub, June (Esosa Ighodara), offers drinks on the house to her few customers while they wait.

So who else is in the pub? Harry tells Fergus they must talk to the other customers to find out what they can about them. A silver fox with whom she’s already been exchanging significant eye contact, is first on her list. He’s Bogdan Andrea (Lenny Hayden), a lover of literature, and a cosmetic surgeon, or, as he ironically describes himself, a merchant of vanity. Harry allows herself to be charmed.

The couple having dinner together are Neil (Patrick Ryan) and Jessica Armstrong (Norma Sheahan) celebrating their tenth anniversary. Fergus finds their special evening will conclude with bingeing the sixth season of Grey’s Anatomy. Felicity O’Reilly (Amy de Bhrún) tells Harry she’s been stood up––again–– and tells a sympathetic Harry about her recent dating failures, before falling asleep.

The other two customers, both with beards and little to differentiate them, are Dean Kavanagh (Stephen Cromwell) and Willie Flynn (Eoin O’Dubhgaill), who are enjoying the free pints. They’re not particularly talkative.

Glenn returns, having had dangerous close encounters with high winds, mud, and vegetation. He continues to do idiotic things throughout the episode, like bad Clint Eastwood imitations (who thought it was a good idea to let him handle a gun?). Lola and Fergus think they should both go for help; Harry thinks they’d be safer staying in the pub with one or more dangerous criminals.

Bogdan circles back to Harry and takes her into his confidence. He invites her into the men’s bathroom (not the first time Harry has accepted such an invitation), and shows her a bundle of money in the toilet tank. It’s the ransom for his kidnapped grandson. When and who will pick it up? Harry takes him into the back room where Max is lying, slipping in and out of consciousness. He rushes off to get his medical bag from his car.

The generator goes out again, and after Glenn fixes it, Bogdan is found unconscious in the same room where Max is, but now Max is dead, his throat cut. The danger level has increased, and, in between attempts to kiss each other, Fergus and Lola decide that she should go to find her dad while Fergus looks after Harry.

Harry, meanwhile, has realized that the generator was deliberately turned off and anyone could have done it. She wakes up Felicity by spilling wine over her phone, suspecting quite rightly that she isn’t really asleep, and guides her to the back of the pub to clean up. Felicity isn’t involved in the kidnap or the murder. She’s trying to get justice for her mother, who was conned out of her life savings by Dean and Willie. The police won’t help. They say there’s no evidence, and Felicity has spent several days following them, trying to find proof of their crime. She tried to record their conversations, but was frustrated at getting mostly dialogue between Neil and Jessica on household matters, like toilet tanks. And when Harry listens to the recording, she hears them agree that it’s time to do the swap.

Harry sends Fergus to tell Neil that someone is trying to break into the boot of his car, and Neil rushes outside. Felicity asks Jessica if she’ll come into the women’s bathroom to help with some vague wardrobe malfunction. Fergus finds a gun in Jessica’s purse, and he, Glenn and Harry question the pair. Despite their benign suburban exteriors, they are a professional team hired by an unknown person to facilitate the ransom collection. But they didn’t take the ransom money and, Harry realizes, Neil wouldn’t have been so anxious to run outside to check his car if he’d known that Max was no longer there.

June meanwhile keeps Dean and Willie occupied and present, with unlimited shots and dartboard challenges, and then romances Felicity.

Charlie Wild (Kevin Ryan). © Acorn TV
Charlie Wild (Kevin Ryan). (Photo: Acorn TV)

Bogdan has disappeared from the back of the pub. Harry finds a bag with the cash behind the bar, not very well hidden, and Bogdan appears holding a scalpel to Felicity’s throat. He demands the gun from Glenn, and, as the mystery conventions demand, explains his villainy. His business was in trouble and his brother wouldn’t help out, so he arranged Max’s kidnapping and asked his brother for 250,000 euros, essentially adding another zero to the original 25,000 euros fee for Neil and Jessica’s services. Harry’s inner professor emerges to comment that it’s just like The Merchant of Venice and she suggests he take the money, keep the gun, and leave, no shooting necessary. Fergus tackles him, and Bogdan overpowers him and is about to shoot, when Harry dangles the bag over the fireplace to distract him. As it flames, he drops the gun and tries to extinguish the fire. Harry takes the gun and holds him off as they revive Fergus.

Charlie and his team burst in to make arrests. Later, Charlie tells Harry that after the last episode’s fiasco, his associate Vicki is on the case of Dean and Willie, trying to atone for Harry’s arrest. Lola rushes, not into her mother’s arms, but Fergus’s, to Orla’s horror. “Romeo and Juliet,” Harry comments with a smirk.

Part of the charm of Harry Wild is watching Harry bounce from one place to another, usually where she’s not supposed to be, and the bathrooms and back areas of a pub just don’t match up to cute areas of Dublin. This is by far the weakest episode of the series, and next week we’ll see how the series winds up with the last two episodes. Are you enjoying the series?

Janet Mullany

Writer Janet Mullany is from England, drinks a lot of tea, and likes Jane Austen, reading, and gasping in shock at costumes in historical TV dramas. Her household near Washington DC includes two badly-behaved cats about whom she frequently boasts on Facebook.

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