wed 08/07/2020

Shetland, Series 5 Finale, BBC One review - Sicario-on-Sea? | reviews, news & interviews

Shetland, Series 5 Finale, BBC One review - Sicario-on-Sea?

Shetland, Series 5 Finale, BBC One review - Sicario-on-Sea?

Unflappable Jimmy Perez solves murderous North Sea crime wave

Love actually? DI Jimmy Perez (Douglas Henshall) and Alice Brooks (Catherine Walker)

Thing is, a lot of this unpleasantness could have been avoided if DI Jimmy Perez had just watched the second series of The Missing. From this he could have deduced that there was every chance that Derek Riddell (who plays Chris Brooks in Shetland (BBC One), and was sinister kidnapper Adam Gettrick in The Missing) was a thoroughly bad egg, and cut to the chase a good deal sooner than he eventually did.

However, Perez’s sleuthing instincts had been severely blunted by his growing entanglement with Brooks’s wife Alice (Catherine Walker), and as a couple they seemed potentially to have quite a lot going for them. Alice had a pleasing knack of thawing the taciturn Perez, who actually began to behave in a sociable manner when in her company. But he baulked at the prospect of their relationship prompting Alice to leave her husband (pictured below, Derek Riddell and Mark Bonnar as Duncan Hunter).

Then, as the plot unravelled, he found himself having to ask her why there was a dodgy company registered in her name, and if she’d had any idea that her husband just happened to be at the centre of the people trafficking operation that has been the subject of this series. She wasn’t best pleased, impaled on the double prongs of Jimmy’s accusations and being played for a mug by her husband. As the final credits rolled, you felt inclined to assume Alice wouldn’t be back for series 6.

Douglas Henshall’s Perez is still the best thing about Shetland, though he’d be much better off getting a dog rather than keep trying to tread the slippery tightrope of interpersonal relationships. He’s the classic existential gumshoe-loner, mostly solving cases inside his own head. His subordinates – the amusing but inconsequential Tosh (Alison O’Donnell), obedient Sandy Wilson (Steven Robertson), plus the odd anonymous downy-cheeked youth purporting to be a PC – do very little beyond making daft mistakes and turning up just too late to do anything useful. His daughter Cassie (Erin Armstrong) pops over occasionally from Glasgow to make his life more complicated by needing police protection.

The second best thing about Shetland is the scenery, which is frequently viewed in rain-drenched wide shots as the sea is whipped into a foam and the wind howls through bushes and long grass. Narrow roads wind dolefully into the distance between stunted shrubs, rocky outcrops and shivering sheep. Most of the buildings look like temporary shacks left behind by long-vanished explorers (pictured below, Sandy Wilson, Tosh and Perez).The loneliness of the geography made a suitably depressing backdrop for what has been an irredeemably ugly story, crammed with an inordinate amount of sadistic cruelty and an astonishing body count. In addition to the abused, imprisoned girls, we’ve had multiple murders in the Hayes family, the road-crash death of the despicable kidnapper and Guns’n Roses fan Paul Kiernan, the firebombing of Morag Dunwoody’s house and flotillas of bodies washed ashore.

So, given that Shetland had apparently become the Colombia of the North Sea, why didn’t Perez’s tiny police contingent get some help from the mainland? A crime wave on this scale would have had the place crawling with helicopters, dogs and heavily-armed cops wearing body armour, with probably a bit of discreet SAS activity in the background. But no – they left it all up to Jimmy and Tosh. If I was a local taxpayer I’d be up in arms.

The loneliness of the geography made a suitably depressing backdrop for what has been an irredeemably ugly story


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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Is it just me, or did we never find out who tipped off McGuire?

We didn't, but it was probably Alice. Note her comment to Jimmy about him trying to "set her up" in their final scene together and the message sent to McGuire warning him that he was being "set up".

No we never did - I thought it was Tosh's new boyfriend and that, while drinking at the pub, she has spoken to him about what was up on her work agenda the next day - or maybe it was pillow talk? Maybe they are going to let Tosh get deep into the relationship before series six smashes her heart to bits by revealing her lover as a master criminal?

No we never found out who tipped off McGuire...I loved the series but that left me very annoyed with the programme after sticking with it all these weeks!

Yes, I was very cross.The last episode hinged on who was the 'mole', and we were not told. Maybe the script was not checked properly? Left a huge plot hole in what was otherwise an (unbelievable, really) enjoyable watch.

THANK YOU! Binged and finished last night, asking WHO tipped him off. I actually awoke several times wondering if I'd missed the answer.

Gave up after episode 2, the irredeemable ugliness being far too much for my delicate sensibilities. I really don’t want to be entertained by seeing black girls locked in cupboards. . How I loved Jimmy Perez, notwithstanding his Viking instead of Spanish heritage, when all he had to solve was a nice domestic murder

Hmmmm. Alice swore that she hadn't told her husband about it and if that was a lie it doesn't tie in very well with her "noble" decision, as a woman wrongly accused, to walk away from Perez in order to let him do his job in splendid isolation.

Yes, my sense of it was that Perez felt duty bound to ask Alice about her involvement with her husband's dealings, but the price he paid was that she couldn't forgive him for not trusting her. A policeman's lot etc.

In ep 01, who's the guy who goes with Prentice to visit Rosie? Perez watches them from afar. Is it Jamie, or Tosh's boyfriend? Quite the suspicious character

Just checked. It was Jamie.

If the trafficking was all that involved and international surely Mi6 would be involved. In addition, I really doubt he would going up against people traffickers with no weapon or bullet proof vest and by himself.

Just finished bingeing the normally terrific Shetland season 5 and I cannot believe they didn’t tell us who leaked to McGuire! C’mon guys!!! Not fair. Also so many times Perez, Tosh, and Sandy went to investigate (or confront) the bad guys without bulletproof vests, helmets, or police backup! And why, after the Dunwoody house was fire-bombed presumably in the late night, was Morag STILL there with a small child and a baby in the morning? And why did she think it was a good idea to GO OUTSIDE?! Makes me want to watch seasons 1-4 all over again! They were a lot more believable.

Why, when they are desperate to find Zezi, don't they go on TV to ask anyone who's seen McGuire to contact the police?

Why was Sandy dismissed? Such a shock

I agree. Just finished series 5 and felt there were far too many holes in the story and a lot of continuity issues. Nowhere near as well written and tight as previous series. The tip off bugged me as well. According to what we were shown, Alice was the only person outside the police that knew of the set up. Are the writers leaving this confirmation for series 6? While enjoying the episodes, I still found too many times that I was saying no way.

It's a decent series but think it loses it's way going with the long format. Just too many diversions into romance (thwarted romance that that feels like stalling. I prefer the shorter 2 ep. stories. Everything is tighter and I don't have those "OK, I guess I have to swallow THIS BS" feeling as much. Tosh needs better writers too as does Sandy. The just seem like furniture too much in the scenes at the station and the boss seems to hide in her office too much. Overall, I thought Season 5 suffered from trying to do too much. And I agree with most of your comments. So well done by all...:)

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