Now that the Season 5 Unforgotten premiere determined the deceased's body was stuffed up a chimney recently enough for government funding, the second episode starts with a meeting in DCI Jess James' office. It will surprise no one that this, too, is deliberately staged to be the complete opposite of Cassie's usual MO of casually standing in the middle of the office asking for reports and popping the critical points on the community whiteboard. Instead, the group is uncomfortably crammed in James' office, sitting in front of her desk like naughty children called to the headmaster's office, arranged like they're posing for a staff picture while Sunny stares daggers at the new boss.
Sunny: When you're actually in the office, I'll make sure they bring you stuff first.
Honestly, it's unfair that Sunny is trying to burn James to the ground with his mind, and Fran is rolling her eyes. It's only the woman's second day, and let's be honest, did you know which brunette DC Willetts was before this moment? (You wouldn't be blamed for not knowing; she was in Season 1 and then left, only to return in Season 4.) And let's not forget her impending divorce problem, which one of her sons already picked up on even before Dad came home with plans to move out and Jess' mother move in. (Yes, "one of;" there are actually two, and grammar school-aged twins at that.)
Besides, she's passively seceded control of the team to Sunny, and they're treating him like the boss as well, with Balcombe calling him directly with autopsy results and Fran not blinking when he goes behind James' back to get more plaster tests done. She and Willetts bring him the information they score from their various leads, and then he reports to James. He's running the investigation; she's just signing off on him doing whatever he deems appropriate. Heck, the second meeting of the hour, he runs (much more in the Cassie-style, with the whiteboard) while she sits by, staring at her toes.
Speaking of their reports, we're beginning to get a picture of our victim. The dress was bought on a credit card belonging to Maggie Bowden (Laura Pitt-Pulford) shortly after her purse was snatched near the dress shop. Fran learns Maggie went as far as to get the CCTV footage of the theft, and then the police did nothing with it. Willetts confirmed that the summer of 2016 was when the property was a squatter haven while the house was part of an inheritance lawsuit, with the next-door neighbor saying they were pretty nice for homeless addicts. Balcome found it was a bullet to the heart that killed the victim, and her arms were covered in track marks.
And speaking of addicts, Jay is off to score some more heroin for Cheryl because he's a sucker, lifting a purse at a cafe and snatching a phone at the park, the end result of which is the cops coming to his house to arrest him. Our other soon-to-be suspects are going on about their lives. Karol, who we learn is Jewish, is playing at being stepdad to the daughters of his girlfriend Elise, much to the irritation of her ex-husband, Serge (Louis Bernard), who decided to sue for custody as a result. As for our houseboat-living, AA-attending, abusive restauranteur, Ebele Falade, her investors said yes, and her boyfriend, Dave, comes back to her despite her giving him a humdinger of a bruised face.
Lord Tony Hume gets the call from his cancer tests while drinking with Medhi Hussein (Abhin Galeya), smoothing the way to approve his grant funding proposal for the youth center. He comes home with the bad news, only to find his wife has thrown him a surprise birthday party filled with his peers like Dennis Grimshaw (James Quinn), who praises his work with the poor. She also invited their grandson, Will (Archie Rowell), who, it turns out, is on suspension for getting a classmate drunk and raping her. Tony agrees to make it go away, but he is horrified at the kid's behavior and reads him the riot act first.
But let's get back to Sunny and his desperate need for therapy. As noted last week, he failed to come home to Sal when she asked him to join her for dinner, preferring to sit and cry in the cemetery and then lie, saying he was working late while Sal looked disappointed. As we learned this week, the dinner she was planning was an announcement -- she's pregnant and wants to keep it. Sunny is... not okay with this, to be honest, but not in a meltdown way, more of an "I need to digest and mull this development." Not that Sal reacts well to that. Might we suggest a therapist's office?
Sadly, that does not seem to be the case. Instead, James manages to walk in at the right time to learn about Maggie's saved CCTV footage, so Fran has to report to both her and Sunny about the findings, including our first look at the victim, a Black girl who looks to be 15-16, even though Fran says her birthday makes her 34 at the time of her passing, with a giant bush of dark hair. Sunny still runs the joint, declaring that the next steps should be digging for more thefts on that patch to see if the girl was caught stealing elsewhere. Not only was she caught, but she was arrested and, at the time, gave the squatter house she was found in as her address and her name as Precious Falade.
With that, the episode ends with our first connections and perhaps an explanation for her short stature. Ebele Falade is her mother, and (one assumes) she probably drank heavily during pregnancy. (Her investors are going to love this.) Upon learning Precious is dead, she has complete hysterics, screaming and banging her face against the wall, forcing Dave to tell Jess and Sunny to get out. Much to Sunny's dismay, Jess does but then heads back in after letting Ebele calm down. There was also a son, Joseph, and it's pretty apparent this will be Jay (whom PC Ellis called "Joseph" during his arrest). How tragic he grew up to follow in his mother's footsteps.