Petrol In A Puddle
It’s Christmas Time at the station and it’s the turn of erratic pink-haired lady Stacey to be interviewed, as she’s accused of poisoning a man with the intent of murder.
With Tony and Hugo sitting on the other side of the glass this time, interview duties fall to Hobbs and Warren. Immediately from the off, Stacey declines any involvement but the interviewers go on to tell her the victim, Roderick, was spiked with rat poison and whoever’s done it will face life in prison if he dies. Trying to gauge her character, Stacey immediately goes for Warren, telling her to rephrase her words as she’s making her out to be guilty. Cutting off their questions, Stacey goes on to tell them that it could have been that Roderick got so drunk he ingested the poison himself.
As the detectives outside the room discuss eating at a Thai Place, Hobbs and Warren continue their questioning, asking her about three witnesses claiming she left the flat at 3am. After an ominous silence Stacey begins talking, telling them she went round there to drink before divulging the details of what really happened. As she talks about her friend Mary’s beatings, she goes on to talk about the poison, telling them she was the one who spiked Roderick’s drink to protect Mary.
With the confession in the bag, the detectives prepare for their meal and for an early night. However, Hobbs and Warren are convinced there’s more to her story than initially meets the eye, prompting Tony to begrudgingly agree to continue the interviews for round two.
With the time 7.35pm, and the male colleagues in the room next door eating their Thai food, Hobbs and Warren tell Stacey they suspect she wasn’t the one who poisoned Roderick. Despite the overwhelming evidence and her emotional confession, Hobbs opens up and tells her she thinks there’s more to this story. She hands the interview over to Warren for one final question “How long were you sleeping with Roderick Samuels?”.
It’s a question that catches her off guard too and as Stacey stares in shocked silence, she eventually goes on to tell them she’s no longer sleeping with him. From here, she spills the details of their relationship as the toxic triangle between Mary and her is revealed. Caught in the middle, Stacey feels like she couldn’t say anything about the bruises as what she’s doing behind her back isn’t much better.
Caught in the middle, her big change in fortune came about when Mary phoned Stacey calmly some time later telling her “there’s a rat in the house”. Not initially understanding, Stacey is then told by Mary to bring the rat poison around; she wants rid of Roderick and has made a decision about their future. Given she knew about the affair, Stacey begins sobbing as she tells them Mary chose her over Roderick. As the details are divulged, Stacey reveals why she went up there at 2am, as Mary opened the door in a state of shock after poisoning Roderick. Stacey decided to take the blame for the crime given what Mary’s been through.
Unfortunately her confession puts Mary back in the firing line and although Stacey is fully prepared to take the blame for it, Hobbs and Warren have the evidence they need to put Mary away instead. The taped confession proves as much and as the interview suspends, Stacey is released on bail. As she sits, head in hands sobbing, Hobbs sits on the stairs with Tony after the interview and discusses the case.
A slightly different flavour of interview this time, Criminal continues to deliver its simplistic approach with enough originality to keep the series from stagnating. Seeing Stacey’s cocky, confident demeanor early on slowly dissolve into something more innocent and fragile by the end is pretty impressive too and really showcases the acting on display in this episode.
So far the United Kingdom portion of Criminal has really delivered some well written episodes and with some nice meta dialogue here, especially the references to Fallon tying things together, all eyes turn to the third and final act of this trio of cases to see how Criminal closes things out for the United Kingdom portion of this procedural.