Strike: Lethal White – Episode 1 Recap & Review

The Pink Blanket

Strike’s back and after the third season fans have been eagerly awaiting the return of our dysfunctional duo. Well, Strike wastes absolutely no time getting right to the heart of the drama with its four-part follow-up.

With a new case to follow and lots of unresolved character conflicts, episode 1 of Strike: Lethal White settles back into a familiar crime drama rhythm.

Last season ended on a nice cliffhanger ready for this inevitable followup. Lethal White picks up moments after Cormoran’s dashing drive up to the wedding… to ask Robin back to the office.

It’s not quite the big, romantic gesture but it’s enough for her to encourage him to stick around and get into the festivities. She promises they’ll be able to talk more later. Only, midway through the first dance Cormoran decides to leave, having seen enough.

Robin, predictably, races after him. “Are you sure?” She asks. “Yes I am.” And just like that, the two hug and start working together again.

We then cut forward 1 year to find Robin back at the office working. That evening she returns home but boxes are strewn across the apartment. All seems to be well but as we soon see, this is simply the calm before the storm.

A mentally disturbed man named Billy breaks into Cormoran’s office in the middle of the night. Having stayed there until the morning, when Cormoran returns he finds strange carvings up on the wall.

This man apparently saw a young girl drowned. “They” apparently buried her in a pink blanket. What follows are a series of cryptic and fuzzy flashbacks.

Calming him down somewhat, Cormoran agrees to take on the case. Billy implores him not to go to the police and begins sporadically spewing information about the murder.

This incident apparently occurred when he was 6 years old. Unfortunately, he quickly becomes spooked and leaves.

With Cormoran believing Billy’s story, he heads out and starts investigating. This brings him to a bar where a man named Jimmy Knight leads an activist rally. As it turns out, he’s actually Billy’s brother but the group are suitably sceptical and cagey over Cormoran turning up and sniffing around.

That’s not the end for our Strike though of course, who decides to tail Jimmy and finds the plates associated with his car. While this is going on, Robin heads to therapy in a bid to help her through the psychological issues she’s plagued with.

Matthew certainly isn’t helping matters and the only person who seems to help her through the anxiety and panic attacks is Cormoran.

Strike’s investigation brings him to the snobbish minister Jasper Chiswell. Bringing him back to his “club”, Jasper admits that he’s being blackmailed by 2 men. Geraint Winn and none other than Jimmy Knight. After some contemplation, Cormoran agrees to help out.

Back at the office, Robin returns and the two discuss the juggling of cases. Although she enthusiastically volunteers to get stuck in, it’s not as easy as it first seems.

This gig will require her to pose as a minister’s goddaughter and bug Geraint Winn’s office. Needing to tread carefully, the duo divide their time and resources to get to the bottom of this.

Composing herself and ignoring Matthew’s derogatory “You’re a B minus Robin” comments (honestly, what does she see in Matthew?), Robin heads in and crucially learns where Geraint’s office is located.

As naturally as she can, Robin dons a new accent and bursts in to see Geraint. She takes on this Venetia persona perfectly and bugs the office.

Before taking her leave, Robin is shown a new promotional video but feels her anxiety creeping back. Trying to keep up her facade, she eventually bursts out and into the main atrium where she breathlessly feigns having asthma.

Meanwhile, Strike hires someone to go after Jimmy and Billy Knight. While they head out, Strike makes the most of his time and starts to dig up information about the brothers’ old addresses.

That evening, Cormoran arrives at Robin’s housewarming party. It’s a pretty lavish affair with plenty of nibbles and lots of people.

Tellingly though, Robin deflects his question asking if she’s happy. As we see from a flashback, she actually phoned Cormoran during her honeymoon and wanted to tell him she made a mistake

Only, she wasn’t able to follow through and even worse, Matthew ended up sick and desperately pleading for her not to leave.

Back in the present, Cormoran and Robin head out together and up to the Chiswell estate. Once there, they start investigating.

As day turns to night, they stumble through the woods and eventually find what they’re looking for. A gravestone. Hidden underneath? A pink blanket. It turns out Billy was telling the truth.


The Episode Review

With a light cliffhanger to end things on, Strike settles back into a consistent rhythm. Of course, all the usual political nods are here and much like previous seasons this becomes the core foundation for the themes taking place.

Alongside this are the character dimensions and this season the angst circles both of our main protagonists. With Robin stuck in her relationship with Matthew and Cormoran playing on the past, these two continue to weave their will they/won’t they game.

The case itself is certainly intriguing though and thankfully we don’t have to wait too long to find out more. With BBC One showcasing another episode tonight, this season of Strike is certainly wasting no time getting to the crux of the story.

 

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  • Episode Rating
3.5

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