“This Place Is Death”
The plot thickens. Briarpatch returns this week and delivers a few more puzzle pieces along with a much clearer picture surrounding where things are heading in the future. As Allegra follows the breadcrumb clues to various different hot spots around town, the warehouse and drones both start to come into focus as we’re left with one central question hanging over this one. Who really killed Felicity Dill?
Following Allegra being handed the encrypted tape, we begin episode 5 of Briarpatch with a Mexican man leaving his daughter behind with a jug of water. The day wears on and a drone buzzes overhead, watching her every move. She finds refuge in an abandoned shack and watches as the drone runs out of juice and lands nearby. This chain of events leads her away but she does become a more central focus in the later portions of this episode.
Meanwhile, Allegra awakens in A.D.’s house and after eating breakfast, has plans to sign the life insurance certificate. Before they leave however, Allegra shows A.D. the recording and suspects her sister may have been working undercover. He’s not so sure though but it’s enough to steer her away from the certificate and onward with the investigation.
Of course, this brings them to Harold and Cindy, who thank her for returning the tape. After handing over $100, Howard promises to encrypt the material and as he hands over a slip for the local Chinese take-out, this brings them on to their next clue.
Allegra arrives at the chinese restaurant and instantly recognises the waitress Grace, whom she went to school with. It turns out Felicity used to sit by the window while eating. As she and A.D. sit in that exact seat they notice it overlooking the warehouse across the road – that very same warehouse that held all the drones from before. As they head in to investigate, a hooded figure hurries away but they aren’t quick enough to catch him, as the “clean-up crew” charge out the back.
Allegra arrives at Gunther’s with Chinese take-out, asking about the slaughterhouse. He hands over a newspaper article about a drug bust from the past and it turns out this is all linked to the drones. This brings Allegra to a burger joint where a group of kids are hanging out at – including the one who ran away earlier in the episode. As she looks down, Allegra finds the smouldering remains of a drone on the floor. She also finds a tiger teddy in his pocket, matching that of the little girl from the start of the episode.
While all this is going on, Freddie Laffter arrives at Jake’s house and asks him about the case. He goes on to mention Brattle and the bombings, which certainly touches a sensitive spot with him as he warns Laffter to watch out. Intertwined around this sub-plot is Chief Kim who tells Mayor Tony about killing Floyd Ferness. He gives her another task though and this certainly doesn’t go down well with her as she pierces her desk multiple times with a knife when he leaves.
Allegra’s investigation eventually brings her to Lalo, whom she believes is mixed up in the whole affair. She heads in to see him while A.D. sits with Laffter and tells him his newspaper story is a sham. After some digging and heavy persuasion, Laffter eventually admits that the Chief fed him the story and forced him to write it. As he spills the truth, Laffter falls on the floor and passes out while Lalo tells Allegra to leave.
In the aftermath of this, A.D. tells him she needs to deal with her grief. As they both berate one another, things get unexpectedly hot and heavy as we jump forward to Allegra outside smoking. Thankfully, Harold arrives with a package holding the encrypted files. Within the files Allegra hears her sister desperate and mentioning meeting in Packingtown, which again has her head back out on the hunt once more.
Suspecting something afoul, she sneaks in to the warehouse and hears kids above playing football. As she continues on, Lalo and the little girl appear from the shadows and he tells her she shouldn’t have arrived. A power surge drops the lights as the episode ends.
What part do the drones hold in this entire mystery? What is Lalo doing? And just who is responsible for killing Felicity Dill? It’s an intriguing set-up and one that has a multi-layered view to this whole mess as we’re left to try and piece together the puzzle and figure out who’s telling the truth and who’s holding their cards close to their chest.
While Briarpatch doesn’t hit the heights other murder mysteries have done in the past, there’s enough here to keep you watching to find out the truth nonetheless. Whether the show can keep up this level of intrigue through to the end or not remains to be seen.