WARNING: spoilers below. Still catching up? Read Steve’s review of episode 2 here.
Line of Duty returned for a fifth series with a bang this week, opening with the daring armed robbery of a police convoy full of £10m worth of heroin. Some three days later, The Bay returned to ITV1 for a third episode with a heist of its own. A bank robbery, no less.
Okay, so it was just a food bank that was getting turned over. And instead of a hardened gang of balaclava-wearing criminals stealing millions, it was just a teenage boy running off with an armful of canned food. But still, theft is theft.
Of course, the central crime at the heart of this absorbing six-parter isn’t the larceny of half a dozen tins of spaghetti hoops. There’s the very serious business of the death of Dylan Meredith and the disappearance of his twin sister Holly to concern ourselves with.
Initial suspicion fell on the siblings’ stepdad Sean (Jonas Armstrong), but unfolding events and his subsequent behaviour has all but eliminated him as a person of real interest to lead investigator and family liaison officer DS Lisa Armstrong (Ordeal by Innocence’s Morven Christie).
Last week, local lad with learning disabilities Nick (Matthew McNulty) entered the fray as a suspect, but exits it here as it becomes clear that he has the very classy and totally not embarrassing motive of ‘buying fags for his mum at the time’. Things aren’t really looking up for Nick, however. He’s soon snatched by an angry Sean, who – along with Ryan and Krzysztof – is keen to find out what he knows about what happened to the twins. Nick refuses to divulge anything and ends up being dropped off at the local A&E a beaten and bloodied mess.
Ryan arouses Lisa’s suspicions later too with his red striped trainers, bravado and history of violence towards Dylan. Could he be involved somehow?
We mentioned in our review of episode 2 that we thought the contents of Holly’s washed-up rucksack could well contain a clue or two, and we were soon proved right. Eight grand in cash and a burner phone have police intrigued but scratching their heads. Might it be that Dylan and Holly were caught up in the drug running that Vincent has sucked Lisa’s daughter Abbie into?
Back to the (food) bank robbery and it appeared to usher in the end of Lisa’s son Rob and his adventure with a rather odd social media-based dare game. At least for now, anyway. Rob may be out of his troubles, but Abbie’s only just getting into hers. A Jiffy bag full of Class A narcotics flushed down the toilet usually has consequences in these kinds of crime dramas. And not normally very nice ones.
Halfway in and this tidy little series is running along at a perfect pace and features several impressive performances. There’s the odd jarring line or slightly unrealistic scene here and there, but altogether this is a solid crime/family drama from ITV and a welcome addition to the Wednesday night schedule.
The Bay has finally stepped out of the shadows of its spiritual older sibling Broadchurch and shown it has a unique feel and style all of its own. There’s no cheap rug-pulling in terms of shocks or twists, either. Events unfold at a reasonable and realistic pace. Nor is there any showboating here – just logical and organic plot progression.
We are left on something of a shocker here, though… There’s blood under Dylan’s fingernails – his sister’s blood.
Holly Meredith is now the main suspect in her twin brother’s murder.
What were your thoughts on The Bay episode 3? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below…