Whoever said first impressions are correct?
Barbara Havers: Parents are supposed to take care of their kids, aren't they?
Thomas Lynley: That's the theory.
The pilot episode, in two parts. Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley, eighth Earl of Asherton, is introduced to Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers as they are assigned to a murder investigation in Yorkshire, where farmer William Tey has been found hacked to death in his barn. Tey's 16-year-old daughter, Roberta, who witnessed the event, is now mute with shock. The principal suspect is Tey's nephew, Richard, who stands to inherit the farm. Lynley and Havers have to overcome their personal troubles, mutual animosity, and a hostile local police force to try and solve the case.
- Broken Bird: Barbara Havers in this episode is not so much "broken" as she is "crushed to powder beneath the world's collective boot heel". Though she doesn't know it, that's about to change.
- Cynicism Catalyst: Barbara reveals hers to Lynley at the end of the episode — her little brother died of leukemia at fifteen.
- Daddy's Girl: Horribly subverted with Roberta and Gillian.
- Did Not Get the Girl: The main source of angst for Lynley for most of this episode. He is trying to get over the fact that his best friend, Simon St. James, has just married Deborah, the girl he loves.
- Embarrassing Cover Up: Barbara tries to claim that Lynley slept with her in order to save Lynley from the allegation that he was seen sleeping with a suspect. Even more embarrassingly, it turns out to be a Redundant Rescue, since Lynley hadn't slept with the suspect and could prove it. Yes, all of this despite the fact that she still hates the man.
- Friendship Denial: Whenever Barbara and Thomas begin to get along, something or the other happens, which leads to Barbara pointing out that the only reason she is keen to make their partnership work is that otherwise, she will be thrown out of the police force.
- Genre Savvy: Lynley is well aware of what his superiors are trying to do to them both by pairing them together, and has no intention of letting them succeed.
- Hypocritical Heartwarming: Barbara has no problem going on a long diatribe about everything she thinks is wrong with Lynley as a man and as a detective. She does have a problem when a local copper tries to tell him the exact same things. Needless to say, this pretty much sets the precedent for their relationship.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: How Barbara Havers appears in this pilot episode. She snaps at Lynley and makes snide remarks about his privileged upbringing even when he is being nice to her. We don't get to see the "heart of gold" part a lot until the end.
- Just Friends: The status of Lynley's relationship with Helen Clyde who, as we know, goes on to become his wife in future episodes.
- Noodle Implements: Lynley spends a lot of time trying to figure out what exactly Tey used to torture his daughters. It turns out that he used Psychological Horror more than anything else.
- Offing the Offspring: Stepha Odell left her baby in the countryside to starve to death, because she could not bear the thought that she might have passed on Huntington's disease to it.
- Puppy-Dog Eyes: Barbara has them. Fortunately, Lynley notices, and takes her anger for what it is — a defense mechanism.
- Repressed Memories: Gillian Tey finds it easier to block all the memories of her past life than come to terms with the horror she had to live through. She has a major Freak Out when Havers calls her by her past name (although thankfully, it looks like she will recover).
- Snark-to-Snark Combat: More than once, the viewer is caught in the crossfire of verbal comebacks between Lynley and Havers. And that doesn't change even when they become True Companions in future episodes.
- Torture Cellar: Let's just say that the cellar in Tey's cottage wasn't a fun place for his daughters...
- What the Hell, Hero?: Lynley and Barbara start throwing these at each other in this episode. They're not going to be stopping any time soon.