Episode 3 of Stay Close continues to add layers of intrigue to this series, picking up with our psychopathic couple as they kill Tawny. Wrapping up the body, they take her to a secluded spot overlooking a large bridge and dump the body.
Meanwhile, Megan finds out that Jordan is actually back home, safe and sound. He’s not missing after all. It turns out the man was actually a scout, looking to entice him into the videogame industry… which happens to be a lie. Later in the episode we see that the letter this man gave Jordan actually had a flyer of Cassie inside. It seems this could well be Stewart Green – and that’s certainly what Megan thinks.
Another call from Frances, Dave’s mother, continues the mystery. She tells Megan she’s worried, claiming “the man from my room is back!” Frances also describes him as having shiny shoes, a shaved head and asking questions about Cassie. So naturally, Megan decides to try and move Frances to a different nursing home in order to cover her tracks and keep the woman safe.
While Megan tries to handle this, she also receives a call from Harry, confirming that Green stashed considerable funds before he went missing. Could he be back now to get that big payday?
Ray has been a separate strand to Megan for the first couple of episodes. We haven’t mentioned him much because beyond dropping off the photos anonymously, he hasn’t had a lot else to do. Here though, we see his connection to this whole case.
It turns out Ray was actually Cassie’s old boyfriend. He’s the one who was given the ring by “Cassie”. He also has numerous photos of her on his computer, including some hidden ones which could be a link to something more.
One of those pictures happens to be that of Guy, but naturally Ray doesn’t have any recollection of the night’s events. Of course he doesn’t, the classic amnesia trope!
Heading to Viper’s, Ray speaks to Lorraine, who promises to look around for him. She also lies and claims Cassie is dead. When Ray heads outside though, he notices Kayleigh and Bea retracing their steps from that night and follows them.
The girls get spooked and rush away, refusing to talk about Viper’s and driving home. When they do, Ray hastily snaps a photo of their registration plate. He also finds Guy’s body too, dead in the woods against a tree.
Further revelations are made later in the episode. Broome shows up at Lorraine’s, kissing her passionately while handing over the recorder for Viper’s. The pair clearly have a history, and this certainly distorts the narrative somewhat.
Another interesting twist sees Megan decide to talk to Broome after all. When she makes the call, the camera pans out and shows a strange man watching her car from a distance. Is this Stewart Green?
Meanwhile, Harry rings Broome while he’s at the Guy murder scene and confirms Cassie wants to meet, just north of the pier at 8.30pm. When Megan shows up, all alone, she and Broome both miss each other. However, Mike notices her from afar and is shocked, seemingly recognizing her.
Remember the dancing couple from the start of the episode? Well, it turns out they’re actually working for Broome’s boss, the Sergeant at the station. He orders a hit on Harry next, determined to keep him quiet. It seems he could well be responsible for these serial killings.
The Episode Review
While the mystery itself is interesting, with numerous different layered threads, applying any sort of logic to Stay Close completely destroys the illusion this series is going for.
This town doesn’t look awfully big and the premise here is that Cassie ran away from her old life, changed her appearance and and managed to live a brand new life… while still remaining within a simple drive to Viper’s club. But yet, Michael Broome recognized her immediately so surely she can’t have gone for 5 years or more without a trace? She would have shown up at the hospital, with records of her giving birth to three children, wouldn’t she?
This is a really big elephant in the room and it’s in danger of tipping the balance of the whole show if this isn’t explained properly. Or maybe it’s just me and the town is more like a huge city. In terms of geography though, it looks like everything is quite closely contained, with characters coming and going from Viper’s with ease. I mean, even Kayleigh showed up and managed to make it home the same day so it can’t be that far away!
Quite how Kayleigh is connected to this, alongside Broome’s strange cliffhanger last chapter, is still to be decided. For now, Stay Close is classic Harlan Coben territory but it does feel a bit recycled, with many plot threads grabbed from The Stranger. There are also some pretty massive jumps in logic too. Let’s hope some of this is explained going forward.