Will There Be a 'Criminal Record' Season 2? The Show Certainly Leaves the Door Open

Peter Capaldi as DCI Daniel Hegarty in the interrogation room in Criminal Record Season 1

Peter Capaldi as DCI Daniel Hegarty in Criminal Record Season 1

Apple TV+

The finale of Apple TV+'s tense crime thriller Criminal Record certainly ended the series' run with a bang, both literally and figuratively speaking. The series which followed the story of two police detectives who find themselves at odds when an anonymous emergency call reignites questions about a decades-old murder case, wrestled with questions of systemic racism, institutional failure, generational conflict in the work place, and corruption within the police force throughout its eight episodes, so it probably shouldn't surprise anyone that it's conclusion isn't a completely tidy one. 

The action-packed finale, titled "Clara," did manage to wrap up most of the season's outstanding storylines, from the story of the anonymous Hayes Lane caller suffering from domestic violence to the truth about Adelaide Burrowes' murder and Errol Mathis's involvement in it. The technical aspects of the story this show set out to tell are mostly resolved. But the emotional aftershocks are far from over, for both DCI Daniel Hegarty (Peter Capaldi) and DS June Lenker (Cush Jumbo). Plus, this is the year of our lord 2024, and the entire concept of a "limited series" appears to have gone out the window. So, we have to ask --- is this really the end of Criminal Record

The show itself certainly doesn't seem to think so. In fact, even as it answers the bulk of questions this season raised, the finale also does its best to ramp up the complex, adversarial conflict between Hegarty and Lenker to a whole new level. The revelation that Hegarty knowingly manipulated witnesses and evidence in order to make sure that Mathis confessed to a crime he wasn't sure whether he committed is brutal enough on its own, but now that June herself has figured out he used the innocent words of Errol's son Patrick against him, it certainly seems as though she's ready to stop at nothing to bring him to justice. 

Peter Capaldi as DCI Daniel Hegarty prevents Cush Jumbo as DS June Lenker from stabbing someone in Criminal Record

Peter Capaldi as DCI Daniel Hegarty and Cush Jumbo as DS June Lenker in Criminal Record

Apple TV+

The last shot of the finale features a positively villainous-looking Hegarty hanging up on June as we hear her voice doggedly asking why he didn't follow the facts,  leaving the audience with a chilling sense that we still don't know this complicated figure as much as we might think we do. No matter how genuinely taken aback Hagerty may seem about the fact that he and his colleagues didn't do their due diligence in terms of tracking Adelaide's killer, he's still a man who was willing to use the innocent words of a child to convict a man of a crime he didn't commit and left him to rot in jail for a decade. 

The complexity of Hegarty as a character is almost reason enough to bring the show back for another run --- from his shaky, one part mentor-ish, two parts adversarial bond with June to his unexpected kindnesses and clear, if occasionally flexible moral code, this is the sort of character who deserves to exist for more than eight episodes. Plus, Capaldi and Jumbo are dynamite together, and the prickly combination of grudging respect and frequent dislike between the two means that any interaction --- or heaven forbid, alliance --- between the two is going to be a shaky, untrustworthy thing. In short, this is precisely the kind of complex television we as viewers deserve to see more of.  

To be fair, Criminal Record was never actually marketed as a limited series, nor has anyone involved at Apple TV+ or behind the scenes of the show position it as one. Capaldi himself was cagey on the subject when speaking to The Hollywood Reporter ahead of the series premiere earlier this year. 

“Who knows? We’re just excited that we’ve done it and it’s out there, it’s been a real journey getting it to the screen. Working with Apple has been great but it’s a whole new world,” he said. “When I was working with BBC or ITV, a show might get sold to Australia or Hong Kong or whatever. Now Apple just presses a button, and 130 countries all over the world get the show. Instantly. It’s a whole different ballgame for me. But I’m delighted, at my age, to still be part of it.”

Which is, of course, a lot to say we'll all have to wait and see.

Criminal Record is currently streaming on Apple TV+. 

Lacy Baugher

Lacy's love of British TV is embarrassingly extensive, but primarily centers around evangelizing all things Doctor Who, and watching as many period dramas as possible.

Digital media type by day, she also has a fairly useless degree in British medieval literature, and dearly loves to talk about dream poetry, liminality, and the medieval religious vision. (Sadly, that opportunity presents itself very infrequently.) York apologist, Ninth Doctor enthusiast, and unabashed Ravenclaw. Say hi on Threads or Blue Sky at @LacyMB. 

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