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Recap: Inspector Lynley S 05 E 02 One Guilty Deed

Lynley: [as he and Havers try to locate the caravan they're going to share] Are you sure this isn't all a bit of a ruse, Havers? You couldn't find separate caravans?
Havers: [laughing] No, there were none left!

When former gang-member Roger Pollard is shot dead in a remote seaside town, Lynley and Havers go up to investigate. As Pollard was about to give crucial evidence against crime lord Michael Shand, Lynley's initial suspicion is that the murder is the work of some contract killer hired by Shand. However, it soon emerges that Pollard had quite a history in the local town, where he was born and spent the first 16 years of his life, before leaving the place abruptly and never returning until a few days before his death. Pollard had also recently been making several telephone calls to someone called McRae, and had even sent a parcel to this person.

Due to the lack of accommodation, Havers persuades Lynley to share a caravan on a caravan park, where she and her family used to vacation every year when she was little. Lynley is completely out of his element in these surroundings, and it is Havers who takes the initiative to make friends with the locals — particularly park manager Carly Baker — to find out more about Pollard's past.

Lynley focuses his line of enquiry on Pollard's childhood friend, successful local businessman Daniel Gill, whom Pollard had visited a few days before his death. Lynley suspects that Gill's surprisingly large business investments are funded by Michael Shand, and that toppling Pollard might have been one of the prices of investment.

Things take an unearthly turn when Havers discovers that McRae — the person whom Pollard was contacting — was the name of a boy who drowned to his death in the nearby marshes about 25 years ago, and whose story provides ghostly entertainment for the children staying at the caravan park. Havers isn't too flustered until peculiar things start happening in the caravan where she and Lynley are staying.

Tropes

  • Alone with the Psycho: Havers finds herself in this situation yet again. Naturally, this is a cue for Lynley to launch into a Roaring Rampage of Rescue.
  • Always Save the Girl: Once again, Thomas Lynley does not give a good goddamn about anyone else when Barbara Havers is hurt. He sees the villain running away, but doesn't even bother giving chase. The only thing on his mind is to ensure that Havers isn't hurt — to the point that he lies down on the grass bank beside her and brushes away a few twigs from her hair.
  • The Atoner: Roger Pollard's purpose in returning to his birthplace.
  • Backstory: This episode gives us a great deal of Barbara's.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted. When Lynley finds Barbara on the moor, she is bloodied up and has mud caked in her hair.
  • Creepy Child: Nicky, whom Lynley suspects to be the "ghost" haunting the caravan park. She isn't.
  • Cute and Psycho: Carly.
  • Deadly Prank: Martin McRae's death was the result of this.
  • Friend to All Children: Not for the first time, Havers shows that she has the knack of getting frightened, vulnerable children to confide in her.
  • Guilt by Coincidence: The contract killer happens to be at the scene of the murder without actually killing anyone. Twice.
  • Hilarity Ensues: Lynley is about just as much at home in the caravan as Havers was the first time she stayed at Howenstowe. And then somebody commits the capital offence of scratching his precious Bristol 410 in the car park.

    Havers: [Trying to reason with Lynley] It's only a scratch.
    Lynley: It's an expensive scratch!
    Havers: Yeah, well, it's an expensive car!

  • Justin Time: For once, Havers fails to be Damsel out of Distress, possibly because she is too stunned by The Reveal. Thank goodness that Lynley arrives when he does, because otherwise, it is strongly implied that Carly was about to finish her off by clobbering her on the head with a heavy stone.
  • Like an Old Married Couple: The Episode puts Lynley and Havers under the same roof. The simple fact that they get along so comfortably together speaks volumes about the depth of their relationship — leaving aside the UST, of course.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: To list the spooky things that happen: Havers' watch strap gets broken in exactly the same way that Martin McRae's had the night he died; her watch moves mysteriously around the caravan; someone writes the word "KIDS" in the condensation on the window; and at the end, the figure of a young boy appears to be standing in the marshes just before Carly meets her end. There may be a rational explanation for all this — namely, Carly's psychosis — but it is is never cleared up.
  • Modesty Towel: Lynley wears one when he steps out of the shower. In the fandom's mind, though, the effect is quite counterproductive, since it only takes the UST between him and Havers Up to Eleven when she tries to squeeze past him into the bathroom.
  • Not So Stoic: Havers' stolid facade cracks a little when she tells Carly about her dead brother Terry.
  • Oh Crap: When Lynley realises what's happened to Barbara, he is slammed with one of these.
  • Peer Pressure Makes You Evil: No one can testify to this better than Carly.
  • Real After All: The "ghost" of the caravan park may not be just a children's story, or a Scooby-Doo Hoax.
  • Roaring Rampage of Rescue: When Lynley returns to the caravan and realizes that Havers has gone to the marshes alone with the villain, he just sprints after them in the dark until he finds them in the nick of time.
  • Shirtless Scene: Nat Parker gets one for the first time since the first series.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: An In-Universe example: Lynley walks into the morgue to find hard rock being played while Lafferty finishes examining a particularly grim corpse.

    Lynley: It's hardly appropriate music, is it?
    Lafferty: Well, it's not for him, it's for me. Even so, I don't play it when I open them up. I mean, obviously, it's all Gregorian chants and joss sticks then.

  • Street Urchin: Poor Nicky - her mother's abandoned her, and her father thinks that she is better off without him. As a result, she wanders around the caravan park, with Carly as the only adult who takes care of her.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Roger Pollard is already dead with a clobbering to the back of his head when the contract killer comes up and shoots him in the forehead, just to fulfil the terms and conditions.
  • There Is Only One Bed: Not quite, but there is only one caravan, which, in its cramped conditions, becomes a hotbed of UST between Havers and Lynley.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: If "Word of God" was the apex of emotional sexual tension between Lynley and Havers, this episode was the apex of physical sexual tension. Including one very notable scene in which Barbara is in pyjamas and Lynley is squeezing round her whilst dripping wet and wearing nothing but a towel. At this point, the writers were being about as subtle as a brick to the head.
Natural CausesRecap/Inspector LynleyChinese Walls

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