'Unforgotten' Season 5 Sees The Suspects Lie Themselves Sideways

Sanjeev Bhaskar as DC Sunny Khan and Sinead Keenan as DCI Jess James at the site of the second body in 'Unforgotten' Season 5

Sanjeev Bhaskar as DC Sunny Khan and Sinead Keenan as DCI Jess James in 'Unforgotten' Season 5

(C) Mainstreet Productions

Unforgotten's penultimate episode of Season 5 does not open with new lead Jess James or old lead Sunny Khan but with Murray, having reached the end of his long drive to the Welsh countryside and Llagavelly Farm. It seems idyllic: kids playing, women standing in the sunshine, issuing hard stares at this strange man intruding on their world. One of them, Niamh (Madeleine Potter), approaches and says she'll take him to David Bell, sighing that this must be about Precious, the only one who brought trouble and the only one who put another god (of money) before their "Dear Leader." Unfortunately, Bell is dead; it's an altar she takes him to; so much for answers here.

Jess: Jesus, we're in worse bloody trouble than I thought.

Back in London, Jess is trying to track Steve, hiding out at his buddy Nick's (Dan Tetsell). Not for long, though; Nick's face at learning Steve was bedding Jess' sister says this is beyond their friendship paygrade. Meanwhile, back at Sunny and Sal's, she's packed up, though she waited for him, partly to say goodbye but mostly to ask if his marriage proposal was ever really about them. She thinks they could ride this out, but the pregnancy made her realize how much she wants a kid and how much Sunny doesn't, and that's never going to work.

The following day, Jess and Sunny decide to distract themselves with some work while Fran and Kaz get some firearms support ready to go re-arrest Jay now that they have found out he's been released. While that raid goes down, pulling in both Jay and Cheryl before they can get out of town with a laptop Jay had carefully stashed in the flat, Murray reports Bell died in April 2016, removing him as a suspect. However, Niamh believed Precious had left them for a sugar daddy, one she'd boasted about the last time she'd been to see them earlier that spring, who the team is pretty sure would have been Hume. Dave pulls in with Ebele in the car as they prep and debrief.

Sinead Keenan as DCI Jess James on the phone in 'Unforgotten' Season 5

Sinead Keenan as DCI Jess James in 'Unforgotten' Season 5

(C) Mainstreet Productions

Ebele is there because Jess called her in; she and Sunny are going to confront her with the police report of the drunken row between her and Precious on the stoop of the Hammersmith house, plus an exchange of phone calls the night Precious died between their mobile numbers which Kaz tracked down and identified. It's the type of teamwork that makes the dream work; Sunny throws Ebele off balance with all the phone records, showing just how deep they've dug, and then Jess pops up with the row report referring to Ebele as Precious' "assailant," having the woman protesting she never touched her, accidentally confirming she was there. 

Over in France, Karol's been ignoring calls from Fran, who's uncovered multiple women who came forward after he was allowed to resign. Since Karol couldn't return the stock at the end of last week, he went through with the deal he made with his black-market contact. It wasn't the best of life choices since Elise had already heard the worst version of UK cops coming to question him, including that there was a "sexual element" to the case, and now he's got thousands of euros out of nowhere. She throws him out, and he leaves her the money, packing and heading home to the UK.

Unable to get ahold of Karol, Fran attempts to get his emails and data from when he worked for the government, but he wiped his laptop upon resignation and even the server. (Were that we all were so smart.) However, adorable IT wiz Sheila (Amy Trigg) is proud to announce she did uncover one incoming email from Precious to him, saying he'd left his laptop and blackmailing him over the upskirt photos. Whether or not that story is true may be proved by Jay's laptop, which Fran is 98% positive belonged to Precious. The other IT whiz, the sadly less adorable Daryl (Lewis Ian Bray), does prove the laptop is hers and has his upskirt photos in the cleverly named "Karol's Photos" folder, just as Karol presents himself for an interview.

Sinead Keenan as DCI Jess James and Sanjeev Bhaskar as DI Sunny Khan are the team work that make the dream work in the interrogation room in 'Unforgotten' Season 5

Sinead Keenan as DCI Jess James and Sanjeev Bhaskar as DI Sunny Khan in 'Unforgotten' Season 5

(C) Mainstreet Productions

It says a lot about Tony Hume that his explanation to his wife for the bruiser Jay gave him was "drunken carousing," and it says a lot about how Emma sees him that she buys it, scolding him he's not 21 anymore. When Tony tries to confess how much he regrets his youthful follies, she turns hard, refusing to hear it. Meanwhile, Kaz is checking in with Hussein about Tony's change of heart from Thatcherite to bleeding heart leftist, which began precisely when you think it did, "not long after the Brexit vote." However, Medhi doesn't believe it was Tony's Remain leanings but a woman who changed his heart, having seen him rowing with a "petite, mixed race" woman around that time.

Jay's re-arrest brings Graham as his lawyer instead of Keith. Those diligently dug up phone records put him at the Hammersmith house, and former gang associate Elton King (Samson Cox-Vinell) is mad as hell because the gun was Bell's all along — he took the fall in the robbery with the understanding he'd be looked after, and was not. But then Jay dismisses Graham, and suddenly everything turns sideways: he is not Joseph Bell. That was not his phone. Joe was Precious' firstborn. He's Jay Royce, four years younger, son of a Romani, and 14 when Precious died. At sixteen, he stole Joe's identity after his brother was killed, which he suggests was due to their mother's death.

While the questioning is going down, Fran gets a call announcing a second body found in a London garden, belonging to (you guessed it) Joseph Bell. Jess and Sunny head out to the row house where the call came from and the back garden where the body is claimed to be buried, while Jay is allowed out on bail once more, with Graham meeting him at the exit. Jay starts to make a break for it; as Tony quietly heads for a taxi to Gatwick, one assumes to leave the country.

Martina Laird as Ebele bares her soul in 'Unforgotten' Season 5

Martina Laird as Ebele in 'Unforgotten' Season 5

(C) Mainstreet Productions

Hume certainly doesn't seem to believe it when Graham reports back having listened to Jay's confession despite having been asked to leave. But that'll have to wait, as Ben (Simon Treves) and Jarvis (Alexander Forsyth) are calling from Morgan Lavelle. Fran came to visit, and she and Murray got access to Hume's accounts on pain of a warrant threat. Ben is very sorry, but the police now have all the details, including his directives should he die. Considering Tony was just considering updating those at the end of last week, one has to wonder what they say.

As for Ebele, she's hit rock bottom now, walking out on her investors and finally confessing to some of the stuff she's denied all her life, like Precious' FASD, though it was not from her own drinking, but from her own grandfather's failed attempt at forced home abortion remedies. She admits to Dave she's been screwed up her whole life, probably even before she got knocked up at 17, because of her own mother's out-of-wedlock pregnancy and the shame her grandparents felt at having to raise their granddaughter after her mother died.

But Kaz has an ace up her sleeve, the one I've been expecting since Ebele's firearms charge surfaced in Episode 3. Prior to his career in the House of Lords, Hume worked at Morgan Lavelle, which Ebele claimed she entered "in a drunken dare." Kaz and Jess laughed over this last week as it was so obviously false. Kaz tracks down security guard Christopher Blackwood (Derek Griffiths), who went from calling 999 to backing Ebele's story. He admits he downplayed the incident after having his job threatened, and he omitted what Ebele said when she came through the door, demanding to speak to "Tony bloody Hume...I want to speak to my dad."

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Police officers investigate the murder of a boy whose diary implicates four couples.
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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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