WARNING: contains spoilers
Up until now, Paranoid’s rather incompetent police people have happily displayed their problems. Their deep-set, unavoidable, stultifying personal problems. Anxiety, emotion based, freudian – you name it, they’ve got them.
But they’d shifted these problems slightly to one side while they dealt with the vicious murder of a local doctor which first appeared to be fairly straightforward but has now unravelled into a great, big old conspiracy featuring hit men and shadowy figures with accents and everything. But now the investigation itself is causing them problems. Because the people behind this conspiracy – they aren’t very nice.
This is unfortunate as our pals at Woodmere CID were already hopelessly out of their depth dealing with a single homicide. Now that they’ve blundered into this huge, stinky Euro scandal… well, they’re just as damaged and self-obsessed as they’ve always been, but now have people trying to kill them at regular intervals.
The formerly mysterious Ghost Detective, now revealed to be the slightly swivel-eyed Stefan Fairweather, blames a German drug company for destroying the health of his wife – or, as he delicately put it, ‘these drugs bent my wife’s brain’.
In order to get information out of him, the police seem willing to allow him to take part in all sorts of day trips and excursions back home – which they soon come to regret. This lot are always doing insane things that they soon come to regret.
The detectives have finally cornered the mysterious man in a hoodie who has been bumping people off throughout the Cheshire area. Finally Nina and Alec can meet the man who has been making their miserable lives even more of a misery and who threw Alec off a large metal structure (though this fact seems to have been forgotten). They rush to face him, but then have their obligatory chat in the car before embarking on this time-sensitive part of the investigation.
The chat this time is about the fact that Nina is pregnant. I’m slightly baffled by the relationship between Nina and Alec: one second she’s blubbing over the fact she’s messed everything up between them, the next she’s moving furniture threateningly in her ex’s car hire office and trying to get back with him, which Alec seems perfectly fine with. If they are trying to imbue some ‘will they won’t they’ suspense into proceedings, the characters have to actually care about being a couple. Which Alec and Nina don’t appear to do. They’re too insane.
Anyway, their hooded assassin is slowly crawling through the undergrowth and is soon identified by Lucy, the ‘Quaker Sex Queen’ (Nina’s words not mine). But the baddies want their man dead and are happy to go full Die Hard on the local hospital to accomplish this. Alec tries to hide, and appears to fatally injure, their prime murder suspect in the process, which just seems counter intuitive to me.
Over in Dusseldorf, Bobby continues to pop pills and act bizarrely, this time in the offices of the drugs firm that appears to be at the centre of everything. But when Bobby goes rogue and unearths some unexpected evidence, the detectives themselves suddenly find themselves implicated in the conspiracy.
So where are we? The hooded assassin is dead (I think), vengeful European hitmen are now roaming freely in Woodmere, the former Ghost Detective has finally handed the CID the information they need, while in Germany the investigation has riled up the bad guys, and Linda is even more perky than usual (‘No one makes French pastries like the French!’) which doesn’t bode well for her.
This week’s Paranoid was the usual mix of taut thriller and an episode of Emmerdale on a mild dose of Mescalin. I’m starting to feel that if they’d focused on the interesting conspiracy part and scaled back the quirky character traits, we could have been watching a decent thriller in half the time. Oh, but how I would miss people blurting out things like ‘spooky-dooky cards’ and ‘lump of piss’ while utterly ignoring evidence and legal police procedure at every turn. It’s unique, you cannot deny that.
Did you tune in for Paranoid episode 5? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!