Sherwood recap: episode two – oh no, Andy, no! | Television & radio
Please note: this summary is intended for those who have watched episode 2 of Sherwood on BBC One.
The plot thickened with another shock murder and a supposed “spycop”. Here’s your breakdown of the second episode of the BBC drama…
The shovel meant double trouble
Ah, Andy. What have you done? Tensions had been building between ambitious Conservative councilor Sarah Vincent (Joanne Froggatt) and her new father-in-law Andy Fisher (Adeel Akhtar), who hung a Labor poster in her window. When Andy’s son Neel (Bally Gill) proudly showed off his new sound system by connecting Andy’s phone via Bluetooth, you knew it was going to backfire. Lo and behold, loner Andy watched porn late at night which woke Sarah up emanating from the speakers next door. Atrocious. Andy cried in humiliation.
When he dropped off a parcel of gardening tools for her the next day, Andy stormed into Sarah’s bathroom. He realized she was removing the adjoining doorway between them – a father-son bond that was meaningful to his late wife. When Sarah cruelly sneered that she killed herself because she was “dying inside” – not just of cancer but also figuratively – the red mist descended. Andy grabbed a new shovel and went wild. As blood pooled around Sarah’s head, it seemed fatal.
This is a fictionalized version of the second murder in writer James Graham’s hometown of Annesley Woodhouse in the summer of 2004. Just 11 days after the crossbow murder of ex-miner Keith Frogson, newlywed Chanel Taylor was shot in the kitchen by her father, Terry Rodgers. . The crimes were unrelated, but brought another wave of police to the already reeling community. After a 17-day manhunt, Rodgers was found in the woods. Will Andy go there too?
Arrow attacks intensified
We first found Andy in his happy place, driving a Robin Hood Line train to Nottingham. At least, until his cabin window was shattered by an arrow, fired 60 yards away before the archer fled into the treeline. We saw the fugitive Scott (Adam Hugill) roaming the forest, longbow in hand and quiver on his back, like an East Midlands remix from The Hunger Games.
Was Andy his target? It seemed unlikely. Well, until the next attack raises the possibility of racial motivation. Local lawyer Vinay Chakarabarti (Ace Bhatti) narrowly avoided two arrows fired at him as he was watering his garden.
Memories have returned for the detective duo
Gary Jackson’s (Alun Armstrong) murderer had been at large for 48 hours as we joined DCS Ian St Clair (David Morrissey) and Met DI Kevin Salisbury (Robert Glenister), sent to help with the investigation. His return to the area brought back memories of his lost local love Jenny and a blazing fire, presumably the fatal one that Gary was blamed for starting in 1984. The nostalgia continued when he met Jenny ( Nadine Marshall) at the supermarket and had a stilted catch-up conversation.
Forensics showed that, in addition to the arrow in his chest, Gary had a skull wound, likely the result of a final blow from the crossbow butt. The burnt polythene bag found in his backyard incinerator contained traces of ketamine and the fingerprints of the Sparrow family. Signs pointed to the local crime clan…
“We are just a family taxi business”
When the St Clair team raided the Sparrows’ farm, they denied handling any class-As or having contact with Gary. Patriarch Mickey (Philip Jackson) accused the police of a vendetta – even though they had just covered their tracks by removing a van of dodgy televisions and dismantling the click farm run by his son Rory (Perry Fitzpatrick). When younger brother Ronan (Bill Jones) mentioned Rory’s friendship with Scott – they practiced archery and talked about technology together – he cringed, before asking his brother to give him a alibi for the night of the murder.
When the arrows from their archery matched the murder weapon, Mickey and Rory were arrested. It turned out that Gary and the sparrows had adjacent housing estates. He had caught a shipment of drugs in their shed and burned it, giving the Sparrows motive for revenge. But they were still in custody when Chakarabarti was targeted, putting them off the hook. For the moment. Rory is up to something fishy, surely.
Sisters divided by death
New widow Julie Jackson (Lesley Manville) spent the episode looking haunted and broken. She bent over the family photos, smelled Gary’s National Union of Mineworkers tie, and swallowed the wine of the day. A few doors away, his estranged sister Cathy (Claire Rushbrook) wondered what to do and just dropped a condolence card through the door. The incongruous bunny illustration on the front was kind of heartbreaking.
Cathy and her husband Fred Rowley (Kevin Doyle) had their own worries, stressed by Scott’s comings and goings. He had missed his sentencing hearing for benefit fraud, so the magistrate had issued a warrant for his arrest. Cut to woods, where Scott was burying his £15,000 savings – his father’s redundancy payment from the pits – in carrier bags. It won’t get much interest there, mate.
Scott’s HQ was hardly reassuring
Salisbury suggested swabbing Gary’s dog’s mouth in case it bit his killer. The brainwave paid off when traces of Scott’s DNA were found. Good boy. After a police raid on the Rowleys’ home, the recriminations began. Cathy was appalled that her son-in-law had murdered his brother-in-law. Fred insisted that Scott’s targets could not be linked to the miners’ strike. He wasn’t even born then and didn’t care, “spending all his time on computers”. Did he work for the Sparrows click farm? Was he radicalized online? Had he somehow investigated the so-called “spy cop”? His hacking skills were rudimentary, but he had researched Gary and Chakarabarti (not Andy, it seems).
When the police raided Scott’s dungeon, they discovered the lair of a conspiracy theorist. Newspaper clippings on the walls bore headlines such as ‘They lied to us’, ‘It’s time for truth’ and ‘Was the government behind this?’ “. The maps have been marked with the locations of the attacks. “You’re all liars” was spray painted on the inside of the door. Nothing to see here, officer.
The spy plot has been hatched
Gary’s lawyer, Chakarabarti, admitted they had been pursuing wrongful arrest demands since the 1980s. His arson charge might have been dropped, but Gary believed he had been blacklisted and kicked out of his job, so he wanted to know who had implicated him. These campaigns had gained momentum since the investigation into the “Battle of Orgreave”, a violent clash in 1984 between police and picketed miners. Salisbury also believed that his own intervention in the arson case had hampered his career.
His NUM sources had convinced Gary that there was a so-called “spy cop” among them. Undercover agents had spied on suspected radicals in the 1960s and 1970s and then fed information back to Scotland Yard, the Home Office and the security services. Had they also been deployed in the mining communities of the 80s, assuming cover identities to gain the trust of locals?
Rumor had it that one of these spies had been sent to Ashfield and could have identified Gary as a militant. Moreover, they had not left after the strike ended, remaining in the community to this day. Was it related to the secrecy surrounding Gary’s redacted arrest record? Was it one of his incendiary companions? Suspicion suddenly arose everywhere.
line of the week
“Damn what does that mean?” “I don’t know but it’s not good.” St Clair and his phlegmatic sidekick DS Cleaver (Terence Maynard) ponder this garage graffiti.
Notes and Observations
James Graham deliberately included scenes of characters talking to each other – Jackie and Cathy in the first episode, Ian and Kevin here. Counterpoint dialogue adds naturalism but is not often seen on television because it poses problems with sound recording, editing, and captioning.
What’s wrong with St Clair’s briefly glimpsed brother, Martin (played by Corrie’s Mark Frost)? It seems a sore spot. More to come there, I bet.
A tribute to director Lewis Arnold’s beautiful cutaways in the Nottinghamshire countryside. They provide moments of calm amid the searing drama.
Join us next Monday as the series comes to its half. In the meantime, please leave your thoughts and theories below…