Still catching up on Dublin Murders episode 2? Read Steve’s review of episode 1 here.
People are rarely who they claim to be when it comes to complex and serpentine mystery stories. Be they on the page or screen, characters in crime fiction have a habit of hiding their true identity.
We mean this in something of a metaphorical sense, with most crime dramas worth their salt knowing that a line-up of suspects isn’t much use if everyone is telling the truth. We also mean it in a far more literal sense too. Take BBC One’s new Tana French adaptation, for instance. Both of the lead detectives in Dublin Murders are hiding actual identities.
Detective Rob Reilly (Killian Scott), we’ve discovered, is young Adam – the only child to survive the 1985 disappearance in the Knocknaree woods. Taking his middle name after being sent away to boarding school in England, his newly-learned plummy accent is enough to now help him hide in plain sight while working the case. His proximity to the case seems to be his driving force, as well as his potential Achilles’ heel. Surely his secret can’t remain that way for very long…?
Whatever happened – and is due to happen – is certain to take a toll on Reilly. After all, let’s not forget his monologue to his partner Cassie Maddox (Sarah Greene) that we glimpsed at the beginning of the opening episode…
‘The dead are chosen. And the rest of us aren’t lucky at all. We’re not blessed. Not watched over by some kind of angel. The ones who get left, they’re just too slow, too stupid, too muddy, too dull. The gods don’t want them. They’re lumps. They’re rejects. We all are. Rejects. What if the killed are really the lucky ones?’
Yikes. It has to be something truly traumatic to led to that kind of Rust Cohle-style musing.
Cassie also has an alternate personality and name she’d rather keep hidden. Tied in with her work as an undercover officer before her assignment to the Dublin Murder Squad, Maddox was – and perhaps still is – someone called Alexandra ‘Lexie’ Madison. We saw a glimpse of Cassie as Lexie here, speeding down a country lane in an old Mercedes. Or did we? Things aren’t exactly crystal clear at this quarterway stage.
It’s not just Rob/Adam that connects the 1985 disappearances to the 2006 murder, either. It seems as though Jonathan Devlin (Peter McDonald) is tied to both events. He is, of course, the motorway-opposing father of the murdered aspiring ballerina Katy. He was also, we learn, known to hang around with Adam, Peter and Jamie. Putting him firmly in the frame for everything. Especially give his seemingly rather abusive nature.
Also raising suspicions are ballet school cleaner Sandra Sculley, who also has a link to 1985. There’s something a little fishy about student archaeologist Damien too. And maybe even Katy’s sister Rosalind… What? Dismiss no one as a suspect at this stage. You know the rules.
So far, so complicated. But then again, we like complicated, don’t we? It gives us more of a mystery to untangle and solve.
Two episodes in and we’re fully hooked. This is a classy affair that’s patient, involving, stylish and packed full of extremely watchable performances. Sarah Greene is particularly good.
With episodes on Monday and Tuesday evenings, it did look as if the eight-part Dublin Murders was going to bring us four self-contained stories. That’s not to be the case, however. With all that’s going on, it looks as though we’re going to need all eight hours to fully explore and explain what exactly has been happening in the woods.
Did you catch Dublin Murders episode 2? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below!