We left the opener of last week’s new Broadchurch-like ITV crime drama The Bay with the stepdad of the two missing kids in handcuffs, after young Dylan Meredith turned from ‘missing’ to ‘dead’. Sean Meredith (Jonas Armstrong), whose alibi partly involves a secret sexual tryst with the case’s lead detective, is questioned here in episode 2, but soon released without charge.
The show’s writers wasted no time in replacing Sean with another lead suspect, though. Stepping into the spotlight was about as red a herring as a TV police type is likely to catch… A ‘local man with a learning disability’. While it’s zoologically impossible, Nick here will no doubt prove to be both a red herring and something of a scapegoat.
We soon discovered that Lisa wasn’t the only young lady Sean was ‘attending to’ on the night his stepchildren went missing. He also popped in for an intimate visit with his friend and colleague’s wife Hanna (Ellie Duckles) that night.
“I don’t know where you get the energy, to be honest,” Lisa spat at him after learning of his second knee-trembler of the evening. “You’ve got stamina, I’ll give you that…”
Must be all that sea air.
For her part, Scottish actress Morven Christie (Grantchester, The A Word) has been excellent so far here. As DS Lisa Armstrong she’s the lead investigator – and main Family Liaison Officer – involved in this high profile missing persons/murder case in the Lancashire seaside town of Morecambe. Her Lisa is sympathetic to the family and dogged in her work. But she’s not a very sympathetic character herself, though. And we kind of like that.
What makes Armstrong such a well-rounded and believable character are her flaws. She may be good at her job – when she’s not tampering with evidence to cover up the fact that she had alleyway ‘relations’ with one of the case’s main suspects – but she’s also often pretty rude and all but bullies her fumbling young buck partner Med. Plus let’s not forget that she’s probably only one missed PTA meeting away from officially being classed a negligent mother.
Onto Lisa’s kids then, both of which are on the cusp of being led astray…
Spiky and quick-witted Abbie – played by Imogen King who’s excellent here – has found herself caught up with a handsome older lad called Vincent who’s wasted no time in getting her to work as a drug mule. Meanwhile, Abbie’s brother Rob (Art Parkinson), a more nervous and sensitive soul, is involved with an anonymous internet pal that goes by the hilarious handle of ‘Bantersaurus Rex’ on social media. Rob seems to be mixed up in some kind of weird dare-based game that sees him doing daft things like filming himself stealing a bottle of vodka from an offy and uploading the footage online.
Kids these days, eh?
We’ll have to wait to find out how these side plots connect to the twins. If indeed they do. And they almost certainly do.
We reckon the discovery of the missing girl’s rucksack at the end of this second episode could well blow the case wide open… Well, as open as it’s going to get in its third episode, anyway.
All the ingredients are here and things are bubbling away nicely so far. This is no cheap potboiler, though. A thick, rich stew is bubbling up in The Bay. We look forward to next week’s serving.
Did you tune in for The Bay episode 2? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!