Criminal Record – Season 1 Episode 4 “Protected” Recap & Review


Criminal Record Episode 4 begins with June Lenker’s mother, Maureen, watching the press conference with her daughter and Leo and their son. She is proud of June but can’t hide her hatred of the police for the racism they showed towards her husband.

Hegarty interviews Jason Reeve, who has been arrested on suspicion of shooting the young boy, Isaac. Hegarty asks Jason if he was actually the shooter or if someone gave him the firearm. However, Jason confesses and confirms Isaac wasn’t the target and it was a case of rival gangs clashing. Hegarty thinks they should prosecute him and tries to get Lenker to agree with him in front of the entire office. However, Lenker isn’t so convinced Jason was the actual shooter. 

Lenker and Sonya meet with a woman who recognises the woman in the flyer. She reveals the caller is someone named Carla. However, she doesn’t know where Carla is. Someone calls the police helpline saying they witnessed Isaac’s shooting and says it was a white man who shot the boy. Hegarty interviews Jason again, and he says the actual shooter was Turkish. Lenker is handing out flyers trying to appeal for information on the shooter. Meanwhile, Hegarty has a heated discussion with Cardwell, who is worried about Lenker looking into the Errol Mathis case. Hegarty tells him not to worry and to stop ruining his day. 

Lenker talks with a man called Hasad to appeal for information on the shooting and takes his number. He notices she spelt his name right whereas others usually get it wrong. This makes Lenker think back to the alibi witness, Mustafa in the Errol Mathis case, and the possibility of the police questioning a different person to the one that Errol met, due to a spelling error in his name. Lenker then raises this issue with Sonya.

Errol’s son Patrick gets some flowers and takes them to his mother’s grave and sees his grandmother there doing the same thing. Turns out, it would’ve been her birthday. She says sorry to him for how things turned out, but reveals there is new information in the case that could lead to Errol’s release. Elsewhere, Lenker searches online for the right Mustafa. She trawls through multiple options until she finds one that matches the description.  

Patrick visits with Hegarty after getting all battered and bruised in a fight. He tells him about some woman with new information. Hegarty talks Patrick through the case again: the car accident, the trouble at home. He says Errol’s alibi witness had made it all up, and the evidence was overwhelming for Errol’s guilt, and of course, he confessed. 

Lenker tracks Mustafa down to his current place of work and meets him. Mustafa comes clean about things. Turns out, when Adelaide was murdered, the police showed him a set of photos of black men to choose from. Mustafa said he wasn’t racist but all the black men looked the same, and he made a mistake by saying he met someone different. He said he felt guilty about it every day and told Lenker to tell Errol he was sorry. 

Lenker is on call to Sonya after the meeting and reveals the information about Mustafa, but is interrupted by finding her car on fire. Lenker is at home with Leo and their son. She now has 24/7 protection after the car incident, which Lenker thinks is a ridiculous waste of money. Hegarty turns up at her house and tells Lenker he’s going to have to stand her down from the investigation, and it’s all related to gang stuff. 

Lenker watches a video online where a group of men claim responsibility for the torching of her car in a stance against the police. Hegarty meets Jason in a hospital bed after he’s attacked in jail and pleads with him to give him a name. Lenker gets a visit from internal affairs, and there’s been a new complaint made against her of workplace bullying.

Lenker tells DCI Chambers she suspects Hegarty is making it all happen: the torching of her car, blaming black men for the ‘attack,’ and finally, the bullying complaint. Chambers insists this isn’t the case, but there’s no changing Lenker’s mind. He then reveals Hegarty managed to get the real shooter’s name out of Jason. He also warns her she should stop messing with Hegarty due to his connections in the department.

Patrick visits Hegarty with leftovers from his work but is warned that he can’t keep showing up like this. Hegarty’s daughter, Lisa, who it turns out is the girl Patrick has been dating, returns home. They claim not to recognise each other in front of Hegarty.

Chloe accepts responsibility for the complaint made against Lenker. She wasn’t happy that Lenker got to be in the press conference and let the department portray itself as being inclusive. She also reveals she was being hounded for revealing the details of the path report. Later on, Lenker gets a call from a shelter saying a male officer had been looking for Carla. Lenker calls Sonya to tell her about it. 

Lenker and Sonya try to figure out who leaked the information about their search. They decide Latisha from their search group did it. Lenker questions Latisha about a deal she had with Detective Tony Gilfoyle, who arrested her for shoplifting but agreed to drop the charges in return for information that she had been giving for 8 years. Lenker tells her to call Doris tonight and tell her the truth. Hegarty calls Lenker to warn her of everything while having Gilfoyle and Cardwell on loudspeaker listening in. 

Lenker talks to Leo about everything. He thinks she needs to keep pushing for the truth and make a complaint. She agrees. She admits that she has rattled Hegarty as he was nasty with her over the phone, but says he sounded worried.

The episode ends with Lenker and Sonya meeting up to talk about Gilfoyle’s connection to Errol’s case. They then receive a call from Carla and she warns them to stop searching for her. She thinks someone is protecting the mastermind behind the convictions and is worried for her safety. 

The Episode Review

Things are heating up as season 1 reaches the halfway point. Peter Capaldi plays Hegarty as such a conflicted character and he is a joy to watch as he elevates the material he’s been given to a much higher level. Cush Jumbo is every bit his equal as the officer trying to bring him down and they share some tense scenes in this episode.

The series isn’t without its issues, with a lot of plot points that don’t quite work, and things can often feel a bit too convenient, but it’s entertaining nevertheless. 

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