Previously on Scott & Bailey: Episode 1.
After no further insight as to what the hell is going with Gill’s abduction that we saw at the beginning of last week’s episode, we jump straight into what happened after Rachel let Dom run away, and why marrying Sean right on top of everything was a bad idea.
It’s not bad enough that her own brother killed her ex, for her, albeit in nothing but spirit—now Rachel’s arrested and under investigation for possibly having put him up for it. Surrounded by accusations and suspicion, Rachel is losing control, and the consequences are still going to be felt a long way from now.
’cause Dom, the little twat, isn’t (wasn’t, for a while) only saying that he did it because Nick had wanted to harm Rachel, or because Rachel was furious with him and hated him; but that she put him up to it, which is an entirely different kettle of fish. She may have said that she wanted him dead; but actually killing the man is Dom’s responsibility, not hers. Of course, influencing a gullible person with the intent to manipulate them happens and is the equivalent of murder, but this isn’t the case here. Rachel didn’t know, she was drunk, she couldn’t have known Dom would do that.
And then there’s Rachel’s mum lying to her about having changed. Now we also know why Pete has been giving Rachel the stink-eye last week… shagging her mum in the car park of the wedding venue, I don’t bloody believe it.
Twelve months ahead, there are the first cracks of disagreement showing in the bond between her and Janet—sleeping with another man can be dealt with, but revealing that Rachel believes her marriage to Sean such a giant mistake leaves Janet flabbergasted.
Rachel has lost a lot of her faith: in her superiors, the system, justice (both the legal and the moral kind).
Back in the present, Janet and Rachel are searching for Adam Armitage, an estate agent who killed a homeless man and fled the scene, a case that, in the backseat of Rachel’s story, is little more than filler, but serves to illustrate Rachel’s changed attitude. She’s bitter, and her withering prognosis of how the trial is going to go for Adam Armitage underscores that. She doesn’t believe in criminal justice anymore, and even though she wouldn’t know what else to do for a living, one gets the impression that she thoroughly hates it by now, even though her hearing went well and she kept her job without prejudice.
She was stuck in abject terror of her own situation, of what her life and her job had become. Before, her job made her safe, safe from her past. She’d escaped a dysfunctional family, she was doing well. She is highly trained, she is bloody brilliant at her job, and she loved it. And then, she had to fear for her future, and it’s soured everything. Not necessarily beyond repair, but it’s going to take a serious wake-up call and time for her to start trusting her environment again. You can also see that in her wardrobe: during the time from Dom’s arrest to her hearing and during the wedding preparations, you only see her wearing dark colours. Black boots, dark jeans, possibly a bright top, but with her black leather jacket practically hiding it, and black leather gloves. She’s stuck in that dark place, and even though in the present, twelve months later, her work clothes are less black and more purple/maroon/something, it’s still on the gloomy side a bit.
And it’s not fair on Sean. Rachel making the decision when she did… well, she was terrified and stuck and her life was going to shit, I’ll give her that. And I get her going along with it—even if you know it’s not right, what’s it gonna do to everyone if you back out just then? The week before the wedding, or even the day of? It’s not the brave nor the right thing to do; but that’s what happens when a well-written character is a flawed person. Suranne Jones said that Rachel was going to make decisions that the audience won’t agree with and potentially won’t understand, much less condone. Dragging it out and not having told Sean of her doubts even a year later—it’s wrong, and she needs to do something about it. I think she’s still a long way away from losing the audience’s affection over this, because she’s not stringing Sean along maliciously, she’s just too scared. Call her a coward, but she’s got time to grow out of it; and she’s going to need that time. Which invites the question: how many chances is she going to need? And how many are her friends and colleagues able to afford her?
Next: Episode 3.