Whitechapel 3.5 – Case 3 Part 1

Whitechapel - ITV

The last case of the series! We’ve had a good line-up of villains this year. I wonder what they’ll pull out of the hat for the final case.

The show opens with a shot of the full moon over London and a masked madman on a rooftop. Promising start.

His tortured, heavy breathing fades into raucous laughter and we are back at the station with the team.

It’s party time! DC Mansell is getting divorced for the second time and the team put on a spread to cheer him up. We saw Mansell get married at the beginning of the series. He is not afraid of making decisions, we can say that much for him.

DI Chandler is not in favour of alcohol at work and makes them promise not to drink until the shift is over.

Meanwhile a teenager named Sasha is not being a very good babysitter to Evie Pixley (excellent name, it makes her sound like a fairytale character or a fruity cocktail). Instead of watching the little girl, Sasha is breaking up with her boyfriend over the phone. The boyfriend’s name is TC. Good riddance.

The girls have an ice cream party on the couch while the masked madman is watching through a window. This is why you should buy curtains.

Credits roll.

Buchan, the team’s resident historical researcher, is with his counselor. He feels responsible for the deaths of two girls as he did not find the historical precedent in time that would have helped solve the last case quicker. You can see he’s suffering. For someone who loves and believes in his job as much as he does, it’s been a real blow.

Miles bought Mansell some vintage porn mags as a divorce present. DC Megan Riley considers them “Real Class.” And says “You gotta love a hairy bird.” She is like the cool aunt your parents hid from you.

DC Kent draws DI Chandler’s attention to an alert about a murderer who escaped from a secure facility. A somewhat secure facility. His name is Mantus and he killed his parents and little sister when he was just 20 years old. Precocious lad.

Babysitter Sasha is checking the entire house for bogeymen to get little Evie to go to bed. No bogeymen in the bedroom. None in the bathroom. None in the kitchen. But there is lager in the kitchen, which Sasha pinches. Good girl. I like her.

The camera pans to an open window. Sasha steps towards it slowly. White net curtains sway in the breeze. Scratchy violins herald approaching doom. She is about to get killed horribly!… Oh, no. She’s fine. Phew.

Buchan’s counseling session reaches its crescendo. The professional advice he gets is to try and find a way to deal with death. That’s helpful. I’m sure he’s happy he forked out for an hour with her.

Sasha caught the creeps and is making calls to exes and family asking them to come round. In the shadows a masked figure is looming. I think he’s going to do it, he really is. Run Sasha, run!

No. She’s fine.

I wish they’d stop doing that. There’s only so much adrenaline my body can handle in any five minute stretch.

Finally, as she is still shouting down the phone, Sasha turns and sees the masked man.

He pushes her down and stands over her, all long limbs at strange angles. He almost looks insect-like looming over her. A praying mantis and its prey.

Wait a minute! Mantus? Praying mantis? I see what you did there, show.

The team back at the station are watching the clock tick towards end of shift, bottle openers at the ready. Just as the first cork pops, Chandler gets the call about Sasha’s murder. Fate loves to partyblock those guys.

As his OCD has been getting worse again, Chandler changes his shirt after a visit to the crime scene so he can feel clean again. I’m enjoying this much more than the pin counting he did last season.

Kent and Mansell go to take a look at the house where Mantus committed his first murders hoping to find a link between Sasha and Mantus. Mansell plays with Chekov’s film camera and breaks it. He lacks a certain softness of touch, doesn’t he? Kent admits to believing in ghosts. He knows all about them, too, because his auntie is a psychic. It’s times like these when I want to hug DC Bambi and never let go. Kent would prefer if Chandler did that, of course.

DC Kent’s preoccupation with all things Chandler has been more overt these past few episodes and has moved from copying his methods to full on hero-worship and is now edging beyond that into creepy territory. He pops up in the back of the shot just gazing at Chandler. I hope Bambi hasn’t gone off the deep end.

The divinely named Evie Pixley gave her statement. She says Sasha has been killed by the bogeyman. Chandler, Miles, and Riley discuss whether or not they can believe Evie’s witness statement. Buchan, who seems to have pulled himself together somewhat, holds forth on the finer points of masked killer cases of times past.

Speaking of masked killers, ours is attacking Buchan’s counselor as she’s walking to her car. This ranks high on my list of things-that-look-like-coincidence-but-knowing-this-show-very-likely-aren’t.

At that moment Mansell, who is still at Mantus’s old home is seeing ghosts. Cold spot, phantom crying baby, pictures falling without reason, the whole nine yards. (Apologies for the American football analogy. I’ll try to work in a cricket reference next time.)

Buchan’s counselor, who still has no name, is alive and giving her statement to Chandler and Miles. She was attacked from behind and after unsuccessfully trying to fight him off, she played dead. It worked. He let go of her, but didn’t leave until he had tied a piece of pink ribbon around her neck.… This guy has killed before. Can’t he tell a living body from a dead one? She can hold her breath as much as she likes, he’d notice her pulse, especially when he’s tying something around her neck. No?

Chandler clearly disagrees with me. He believes her and is visibly impressed by her.

More importantly: Two attacks in two hours? We’ve got ourselves a spree, people!

At the first opportunity Chandler changes his shirt again. The show is really trying to convince ITV to give them a fourth series and pulling out all the stops. “The stops” being Rupert Penry-Jones’s triceps. Excellent marketing strategy, if you ask me.

The team check in and none of them have new leads. No link between Mantus and Sasha and no other suspects in Sasha’s murder. The ex, TC, was out with his new girlfriend at the time. (HOLD ON A MINUTE didn’t they break up minutes before she was killed?) Mansell is still visibly shaken and doesn’t contribute much beyond vacant stares.

They really aren’t in good shape, are they? Kent’s in stalker love for his boss, Buchan is haunted by an old case, and Mansell is just plain haunted. I’m quite relieved none of them carry guns.

Chandler drives Buchan’s counselor, whose name turns out to be Morgan, to her house. At least someone is getting something done.

As they walk to the car, Kent is watching from the shadows. He is a man on a mission. The mission is to undermine Morgan. With laser precision he zeros in on the bit that doesn’t make sense in Morgan’s story. You can hold your breath, but that doesn’t make you look dead. It just makes your face go red.

Chandler and Morgan spend some time at her place with green tea and bonding. The bonding happens over tales of psychosis (other people’s) and inability to keep a relationship going (their own).

Classic stuff.

I think Morgan looks a bit like Kent. Just by the by.

Dr Llewellyn makes her first appearance of the night. The pathologist finds that Sasha died from asphyxia brought on by a mobile phone jammed down her throat. I’ve been giving my mobile the side eye since then. Not a way I want to go.

Dr. Simon Mortlake of Broughton Psychiatric Hospital is brought in to help. He was Mantus’s psychiatrist at the not-so-secure unit. Mantus’s murders involve the act of silencing. He killed his family for speaking too loudly at the dinner table. He tore out a nurse’s voice box and stole their keys to escape. He poked out his own eardrums. His favorite place is the library. No, they didn’t say the bit about the library, but the first three.

Silent-era Lon Chaney is Mantus’s favorite actor, which we knew twenty minutes ago when Kent and Mansell were at his house where an entire wall is covered with a massive painting of Chaney’s face. Mantus claimed the film London After Midnight drove him crazy. That one has got to be up there with: “My dog made me do it.”

Buchan mentions a case from the 40s where a man was driven to murder a woman in Hyde Park after seeing London After Midnight. The antipathy between Miles and Buchan is becoming more pronounced. What usually amounts to not much more than friendly ribbing is turning nasty.

People are clearly feeling the strain, but who is going to crack?

Someone has got to. They’ve been dropping hints all over the place. The main suspects for a case of the crazies among the team at the moment are…all of them except Llewellyn and Riley. So the ladies are fine. Or is it a bluff? A double bluff? Am I going insane?

Leaving my speculations to one side for a moment, there’s a masked man with a gun walking around an estate. The police with big guns are already there when the team arrives on the scene. Commands are being shouted via megaphone, which isn’t doing much good with this guy. The man in the mask is entirely the wrong body shape to be the murderer, but the police don’t know that.

The standoff is broken when a shot from a nearby rooftop hits a policeman. The guy in the mask is shot by police who thought he was shooting at them. The madman on the rooftop escapes. It’s a mess.

The team take the mask off the dead man’s face. It’s a teenager whose mouth was sown shut and a gun wired to his hand. The police shot the victim.

 

End credits roll.

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