The Vanishing Triangle – Season 1 Episode 4 Recap & Review

Episode 4

Episode 4 of The Vanishing Triangle picks up in Burkley’s hotel room. Since he has been called on duty, he asks Tommy to make the trip to London. He needs to stay hidden for both their sakes until this witch hunt dies down. Burkley has arranged a temporary safe haven with a friend. Mandy’s grandmother is identified as Sinead Clarke, who is found by the police in Rathkilly. The killer drove to Castlemoy from this place to abduct Susan. Burkley decides to bring in both Frances – Amy and Susan’s mother – and Sinead to Rathkilly for making a televised appeal.

The police investigate the house and find the hidden cash from Mandy’s things. Sinead points towards Mandy’s changing behavior and they are then prompted to interview Laura. She doesn’t talk to them but confides in Lisa, who promises not to publish anything. The police want to review CCTV footage from all three routes that could have been taken from Rathkilly to Castlemoy and tally any familiar vehicles to scope out the killer.

Chris, Lisa’s father, is told by a fellow inmate that someone named Evans, who is in the same prison, told him that he had intercourse with Mandy. The appeal is televised so the inmates have access to it. However, Chris isn’t able to reach Lisa since she isn’t at the office. The Billy Miller lead is also a dead end as one of his acquaintances tells Lisa that Miller died recently. Chris holds Evans at knifepoint to learn of a spot frequented by schoolgirls and paedophiles.

Lisa is paged to urgently meet Chris and he gives her the address to the brothel in question. Lisa goes alone to investigate and informs Burkley via a message. He immediately leaves for the address and also asks the local police to apprehend Lon McDermott, who can be a possible suspect. Lon lives near Mandy’s house and has been charged with rape twice in the past. Lisa finds an open window and breaks into the place. She inspects the place and finds a trunk upstairs. Inside, Lisa finds a slew of photographs of the girls and the customers.

She is shocked when she sees Mandy in one of them with a local officer, Gough, whom we saw working with Burkley. Someone tries to burn down the place and locks Lisa inside. But she is able to find a way out. She hands over the photograph to Burkley, who immediately informs Carey, Gough’s partner. When he radios support, Carey learns that Gough isn’t at the station. He hasn’t arrested Lon either and Carey suspects he may have gone underground. The clock is about to hit five and Lisa cannot bear facing that moment. Burkley has set up a team to tap the phone lines, although it is a distant possibility.

While waiting, Lisa confronts Burkley with his well-kept secret. She promises to keep her mouth shut about it, much to his relief. But he has a lot to figure out as Burkley hasn’t planned out his next move. The killer calls Lisa at five but cuts the call shortly after as he calls her a “liar” for involving the police and lying to him about it. Lisa is desolate but Burkley comforts her by saying that there isn’t much she can do in this situation.

A guard is posted outside her hotel room in Castlemoy for her safety. However, when she hears commotion at night, Lisa wakes up to find the guard’s throat being slit. The killer apprehends her from behind and asks her to choose. Lisa isn’t able to say at first but as the killer is leaving, she takes Susan’s name.

The Episode Review

The Vanishing Triangle keeps offering timely red herrings and jolts to keep the narrative pumping. The police still do not have a clear-cut plan to apprehend the killer. It is reflective of how ineffective and languid law enforcement was back in the 90s. We have made great strides in shoring up our systems and processes, although a lot of room for improvement remains.

Lisa and Burkley’s character arcs are quite interesting in and of themselves. The writers do a good job of making sure that enough time is dedicated to spurring them on in episode 4. We have seen good consistency in the episodes until now. The storytelling has a sense of familiarity but there are still many pockets of well-timed surprises in the plot. 

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You can read our full season 1 review of The Vanishing Triangle here
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