Maybe she realised that three is a crowd.
Lynley: What are you doing here?
Havers: I dunno. JustÖ letting you know, when youíre ready, that there is a world out there.
War-photographer-turned paparazzo Peter Rooker is shot dead on a deserted alleyway next to a pub. Shortly after his death, someone breaks into Rookerís flat and leaves bloodstains on the walls. When DC Winston Nkata of the investigation team goes inside the flat to search for evidence, he is confronted by a traumatised young woman holding a gun, who shoots and nearly kills him before running away. Lynley and Havers instruct their team to track her down and find out her identity. In the meantime, the gun that she fired is traced to Rooker's best friend, ex-armyman Michael Wren.
Following other leads, Lynley discovers that Rooker was having an affair with Melissa Booth, the editor of a top newspaper. Her husband, media magnate Eddie Price, was probably aware of it. Earlier on the day of Rookerís murder, Eddie's chauffeur saw Eddie start a fight with Rooker, which ended in Rooker punching him. Matters become more complicated when it emerges that Rookerís time as a war photographer in Serbia could hold the secret to why he was killed. And the link between Rookerís past and present is the troubled young woman who's currently on the run.
Despite all their investigation, though, there is one thing which Lynley and Havers don't see coming — and that is just how heavily the case is going to cost them personally.
- Adult Fear: Seeing your spouse get fatally shot in front of you.
- All There Is to Know About "The Crying Game": This is the episode in which Helen dies. Full stop.
- Broken Bird: Nina. Poor girl.
- Character Development: The once-reticent Havers does not hesitate to intrude on the privacy of a grieving Lynley to let him know that he is not alone in the world. This just goes on to show how close they have grown as a pair since the early series.
- Chekhov's Gun: Literally.
- Diabolus Ex Machina: Series finales don't end well for Lynley, so...
- Dies Wide Open: Helen.
- Dramatic Sit-Down: Poor, poor Lynley. It's like the ground gets pulled away from under his feet as he tries to register just how completely his life has been screwed in the matter of a second.
- Empathy Doll Shot: In the Troubled Back Story Flashback, as Nina's little brother is made to kneel by his would-be executors, the football drops from his hand and rolls lifelessly on the ground.
- Forced to Watch: The reason Nina is a Broken Bird — she had to witness her entire family being wiped out by a group of Serbians as a 10-year-old.
- Foreshadowing: When Nina holds DC Winston Nkata at gunpoint, he manages to talk her into lowering the gun. Just when he thinks itís going to be all right, she fires at him. Later, the same scenario plays out again, with Helen at the muzzle end. She isnít so lucky.
- Gory Discretion Shot: Instead of showing Nina's brother being shot, the camera focuses on the football as it gets splattered with his blood.
- Grow Old with Me: Coming from Helen to Lynley, this is replete with Dramatic Irony.
- Heroic BSOD: Let's just say that the one in which Lynley finds himself now is more severe than any he has experienced in the past.
- Idiot Ball: If only Brendon McGuire had been more forthcoming about the seemingly Useless Security Camera, the killer would have been traced within a day — meaning that Lynley would probably have ended the episode a happier man.
- Lampshade Hanging: If anyone ever thought that the only reason Lafferty gets screen time in every episode is because he draws laughs Ė well, you arenít the only one:
Lafferty: You donít really need me!
Lynley: No, but you brighten the place up for us, you know.
- Living on Borrowed Time: Rooker was so riddled with illness even when alive that Lafferty is tempted to send his body to a museum as a miracle in medicine.
- Meaningful Funeral: Helen's.
- Murder the Hypotenuse: Guess who oh-so-conveniently dies in this episode, clearing the way for the fandom's Fan-Preferred Couple?
- Nervous Wreck: According to his friends, Rooker became one after returning from Serbia.
- Parental Substitute: Rooker, to Nina.
- Relative Button: Arrghh, Pavletic! Did you have to taunt Nina before she put her gun away?
- Stuffed into the Fridge: Helen, who dies because her character dies in the novels.
- Taking the Bullet: Helen, in stead of the person who fully deserved it.
- Thousand-Yard Stare: Lynley, once again. The poor man does not handle trauma well. Thank God he has Barbara.
- Too Dumb to Live: Helen steps in front of a mentally unstable woman and tries to talk sense into her while she is hell-bent on revenge and pointing a gun at the intended target. Unsurprisingly, it doesn't end well.
- Troubled Back Story Flashback: Helen manages to bring out Nina's.
- True Companions: The last shot shows Lynley and Havers sitting on opposite ends of the same bench, looking out at the city sprawling ahead. They are silent, but they don't need to speak. Merely knowing that one is there for the other makes all the difference.
- Useless Security Camera: Subverted.
- Wham Episode: Oh, let us count the ways.
- You Are Not Alone: Havers makes this very clear to Lynley at the end. Whatever else has happened, she is still there to anchor Lynley to the world that's out there.