Follow TV Tropes


Recap / Inspector Lynley S 06 E 01 Limbo

Go To

Havers: [visiting Lynley after his arrest] Are you okay?
Lynley: You mean, "Did I do it"?
Havers: No! I mean, are you bloody okay? God, I've been asking you that for the last six months!

Six months after his wife's death, Lynley is letting himself drown in the bottle. Havers' attempts to reach out to him are unsuccessful. In the middle of this, news arrives that a child's body has been found. The child in question is Justin Oborne, Lynley's godson, who went missing 12 years ago on the night of his 5th birthday party.

At the request of Justin's parents, Sam and Vivienne, Lynley goes to Rome to bring back Justin's older sister, Julia. Julia distanced herself from her parents soon after Justin's disappearance. Lynley persuades Julia to return, but they end up sleeping together on their first night back to London. The next morning, Lynley wakes to an ugly shock: Julia is lying dead on the pavement after a fall from the window, and he is the prime suspect. The arresting officer, DSI Michelle Tate, is determined to have Lynley convicted. It looks like Lynley's best hope is to argue that Julia committed suicide, but Lynley is instinctively sure that she didn't.


With Havers and Lafferty's help, Lynley tries to run an unofficial investigation to find Julia's true killer. But will the three of them be able to defeat DSI Tate's scrutiny — not to mention the killer's maneuverings — and gather enough evidence to clear Lynley's name?


  • Alone with the Psycho: Havers, yet again.
  • Always Save the Girl: Second verse, same as the first; in a choice between 'save Barbara' and 'anything else', Barbara wins.
  • Beard of Sorrow: More like "stubble of apathy", see page image. It goes away soon enough to reinstate Lynley as Mr. Fanservice.
  • Berserk Button: McCaffrey finds out that taking a jab at Lynley's Survivor Guilt over Helen's death isn't a good idea.
  • Blatant Lies: Lynley tries to convince Havers that he's completely fine, and fails spectacularly.
  • Broken Bird: Julia.
  • Advertisement:
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The lady who stares at Lynley and Julia as they kiss in the stairwell comes in very handy to establish that Lynley didn't rape Julia, contrary to DSI Tate's belief.
  • Clear My Name: Lynley, with Barbara and Lafferty's help.
  • Conflicting Loyalty: Barbara and Lafferty are torn between their loyalty to the Met and their loyalty to Lynley. No prizes for guessing who wins.
    • After Tate grants her special permission to talk to Lynley on the condition that anything he does or says is admissible, Havers completely betrays Tate's trust by smuggling away a piece of evidence that Lynley wants examined.
    • Similarly, Lafferty conceals an incriminating post mortem result from Tate despite being under an obligation of full disclosure.
  • Crime After Crime: What started as a cover-up for manslaughter ends up being a manslaughter plus two other murders. Oh, Conrad, you connard!
  • Crusading Widower: Lynley, after Helen's death.
  • Dark Secret: A surprisingly large number of people know what really happened to Justin.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Lynley, in this episode. Havers tries to reach him — and fails.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: Lynley and Lafferty try to reason why McCaffrey's confession isn't quite convincing, despite the DNA results on the rubber glove showing a close match.
    Lynley: Is it possible the DNA on the glove wasn't his?
    Lafferty: Possible, but unlikely. I mean, if it's not his, it's a close relative's. [They look at each other in sudden horror.]
  • False Confession: McCaffrey tries to make one in order to cover-up for Conrad.
  • Guilt by Coincidence: Someone up there must have been really pissed off with Lynley. To begin with, he is the only one in the flat when Julia falls out of the window to her death. Later, when Christine is murdered, he suddenly remembers that his blood is on her sleeve from earlier in that afternoon, when she cleaned up an injury he had sustained. Appropriately, his reaction is: "Shit."
  • Heroic BSoD: Lynley is in one. Barbara is trying desperately to break him out of it, without much success.
  • He's Back: Oh, come on, you didn't really think Lynley would end his career like this, did you?
    Havers: [last lines] Welcome back, you.
  • Hypocritical Heartwarming: When DSI Tate is particularly nasty to Lynley during the interrogation, Havers asks her if she's taking this personally because he is an earl. Now this, coming from someone who believes that Aristocrats Are Evil, is nothing short of a volte-face. But very sweet, nonetheless.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Barbara and Lynley both desperately need one after the events of the episode. Barbara acknowledges Lynley's earlier drinking problem, but clearly trusts him not to go off the wagon again this time, as his addiction wasn't physical but psychological.
  • It's All My Fault: Sam, during his BSOD after Julia's death. An exasperated Lynley tells him that unfortunately, it isn't all his fault.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Covering up a genuinely accidental death is morally slippery ground, but committing more murders to keep it a secret? Not so much.
  • Kick the Dog: Lynley is fairly beastly to poor Havers in this episode, snapping at her for no reason at all and generally being an arse the likes of which we haven't seen since the pilot episode. (Actually, he was kinder in the pilot...) Barbara takes it with what is, for her, astounding grace, always matching him shot for shot but never once giving him the sort of telling-off he truly deserves from her. The reason for this is unspoken but obvious; she is the only safe outlet he has, and if it makes him feel better to snap at her, she's going to let him.
  • Leave Me Alone!: Lynley, to Barbara. Poor girl. But when shit does hit the fan, he has to eat humble pie and openly say: "I need your help."
  • Love Martyr: Barbara is a platonic version in this episode. She would have been well within her rights to tell Lynley just where he could put his attitude toward her, but she does nothing of the kind, instead letting him rain verbal blow after verbal blow on her with about as little complaint as she's capable of. She has her reasons.
  • Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: Justin.
  • The Mourning After: Lynley's in the middle of one, and not coping well.
  • Not So Stoic: Lynley generally manages to appear stoic about Helen's death in public, but briefly loses his composure when Julia sums up his hurt and anger: "She changed you and then abandoned you. What a bitch."
  • One of Our Own: Partly because of this, and partly because of his peerage, DSI Tate goes out of her way to treat Lynley like everyone else. Meaning she treats him like crap.
  • The Power of Friendship: Once again, the power of friendship between Lynley and Barbara can work miracles. Add to that Lafferty's coming out as a die-hard Lynley supporter, and not even the worst combination of circumstances can defeat Lynley.
  • Quit Your Whining: Lynley takes this approach to Sam when trying to get him to see reason. It very nearly backfires. Interestingly, Sam's attitude to his personal tragedies — which is Wangst — arguably shows Lynley what his own behaviour might be looking like to others, and gives him a wake-up call.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Averted. DSI Tate is anything but reasonable, although she does have a few kind moments, like when she allows Havers to speak to Lynley before the interrogation. Big mistake — for her, anyway, as it saves Lynley's bacon.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Oliver, to Sam and Vivienne.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: When it's a choice between clearing Lynley's name and following the rules, as far as Barbara and Lafferty are concerned, there is no choice.
  • Sex for Solace: Lynley, with Julia. Havers isn't impressed.
  • Talking Down the Suicidal: Lynley tries to do this with Sam, during the latter's BSOD. Thankfully, Lynley succeeds.
  • Undying Loyalty: Once again, Barbara's to Lynley is on full display, but that's about as much of a surprise as water being wet. The real surprise is Lafferty, who drops his bunny ears and establishes himself as a sincere and devoted friend.
  • Villainous Rescue: Conrad rescues Lynley from DI Tate's one-eyed interrogation.
  • What Is Evil?: How about this as a piece of philosophy from a triple-murderer?
    Conrad: Life is binary — sunny day, rainy day. There's no good or evil or free will. We just react to the hand we're given.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Havers is not impressed by Lynley's method of seeking solace, and is characteristically blunt about it. "I don't think it was your finest hour," she tells him. In response, Lynley retreats to the gents' to sulk.

Example of: