My review of the previous episode: The Moth Catcher
My review of the first season of Vera.
My review of the second season of Vera.
My review of the third season of Vera.
My reviews of the fourth season of Vera.
My reviews of the fifth season of Vera.
Vera has spent plenty of time around the ocean, so I suppose it was inevitable that an episode finally move the investigation off-shore. Vera even gets to strap on a life-jacket and head to sea - surely, one for the memoirs.
The body is that of Tom Stonnell, and it's dredged up with a load of fish by a group of very alarmed trawlermen. It's uncertain whether the bloody wound to his head was an accident or a deliberate attack, but it's certainly suspicious enough that Vera can cackle delightedly - she has a murdah, pet.
Hanging around are family friends, Anna Marshbrook and her son, Jack - a colleague named Michael Quinn who seems to be hiding something - the harbour-master, Frank Mcafee - and an immigrant, Zahra Suleiman, who flees when Vera and Aiden first meet her. Steve was involved in a fight with an anonymous stranger in the car park, the night of his father's death - Vera quickly discovers he's the new beau of Steve's ex-wife Karen. The story carries us through a plot including smuggling, secret deals, and lies until the inevitable revelation of guilt.
An odd thing about this episode: there are lots of suspects who hang around the corners of the story and never present solid alibis or are discounted as red herrings. It means the plot spins along quite efficiently, but the investigation doesn't seem as thorough or tight as Dame Agatha (patron saint of detective fiction) would like it. The emotional story-lines are interesting but not engrossing, which means we're a bit indifferent to the outcome.
children - seems quite sanguine about the blessed event, even getting the kid a gift (two months late, but still). Hicham and Kenny hang around, being there. Vera might have complimented Aiden, but coming from the new, milder Vera, that's not as noteworthy.
Overall, this season has made some good efforts to try and shake things up - but hasn't appeared willing to follow through. It had an effect, but not a long-lasting one. Vera is still a solid show - Blethyn's mere presence ensures that - yet I do wish we could return to seriously examining Vera's inner life, as was done in the first three seasons. She's a fascinating character - we want to know about her - and not just the occasional unexplained act of random kindness (as satisfying as that was). Aiden is not a fascinating character, but he never will become one unless he gets to do something beyond look annoyed.
My review of the next episode: Natural Selection.
Want something good to watch? Check out my full list of British detective shows.