Episode 2 of COBRA begins on night one – three hours after the blackout. Unfortunately there’s only three transformers for four black out areas so someone will be left without power. London should be back up and running in 48 hours but emergency services are the big issue here. There’s also trouble brewing at the Northumberland Immigration Centre and with a lack of staff, riots look on the verge of taking place.
Sutherland returns home and discusses how to navigate the drug issue with Ellie but the country’s issues come first and he leaves them to deal with it alone. Back at the office, Sutherland sees the team still undecided on what to do with the transformers. Fraser eventually agrees reluctantly with Archie and decides to leave Scotland alone and focus on the three badly affected areas in England instead. Outside the meeting, Archie praises Fraser and seemingly offers him a future job if he makes it into office. He brushes it aside though and manages to phone through to his Father’s care-home where he learns the worst news – he’s passed away.
Anna is told to go home but instead decides to head to the Hotel to meet Erin, who happens to be in Room 505. She heads upstairs and tells him she has an hour. Erin tells her he never found Amina but did hear reports that she was thrown into a river. As tears run down her face, Erin tells Anna what he’s been through and the journey he’s taken, taking the tough option of breaking her heart instead. After some time, they eventually kiss.
Back at COBRA, Sutherland struggles to juggle his personal and professional life, eventually returning home and telling Ellie the bad news that Georgia’s life-support machine was switched off and his daughter’s friend is now dead. There’s more to this story than meets the eye but while Sutherland hides the scandal, outside Archie continues to scheme behind his back.
At the Royal Northumberland Hospital, things begin to escalate as angry patients turn on the hospital staff who plead with them not to use the power supply to charge their phones. As the crowds are pleaded with to calm down, Fraser walks with them and as he sees the carnage firsthand, managing to get a lift out as the threat of immigrant criminals bears down on them. As they approach the prison, they see fires burning outside and learn the prisoners, including the high security ones, have escaped.
In the basement of the hotel, the generator goes horribly wrong and a fire spreads, burning a man alive as the hotelier struggles to keep the fire under control. It’s no good though and after Anna does her best to save the hotelier, she hurries upstairs to try and save as many people as possible before the fire engulfs the building. With all hope seemingly lost, at the last minute the group are saved, while Fraser manages to race away from the prison with the officers as the criminals swarm the car and try to break in.
As Fraser and Collier part ways, Sutherland learns that power is being restored in major cities. However, the other regions may be without power for quite some time. As the episode closes, Anna’s photo is snapped with Erin outside the hotel while Sutherland learns that immigrants from the centre have broken into the university and started attacking kids.
While the fire and issues surrounding transformers are a nice touch, it is a little questionable the route this drama is taking regarding immigrants. Of course, as a thriller there is some level of logic devoid but would immigrants that have been locked up for some time and finally given the freedom to leave do this? While there may be answers to this and a logical reasoning next episode, it’s hard to imagine that these men and women wouldn’t just run straight back home to their loved ones.
To be fair, this drama is a little political and on-the-nose, especially the topical references to Brexit and immigration. Whether this is the right slant for it though remains to be seen but for now, it’s the one dark spot on an otherwise enjoyable, popcorn-munching drama. Robert Carlyle is the real gem here though and he adds a great presence and weight to every scene he stars in. He’s a wonderful actor and a welcome inclusion to this one.
For now though there’s lots of unanswered questions in this one and this drama could go in any direction as the country looks set to explode into violence. Bring on episode 3!
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