What. An. Episode. Thursday’s action-packed episode of Safe House saw Simon Duke finally unveil himself as the mysterious Crow before kidnapping Sam at gunpoint only to be almost drowned by Tom. After a slow start, looks like viewers are on course for an explosive finale…
What’s that? That was the last episode? It’s over? FOUR HOURS of TV ended with this?
Alas, it’s true, we’ve been served a finale that wasn’t so much an open-ended showstopper, but one giant pudding with unanswered questions leaking from all sides.
It’s down to us to clean up this mess. As unwise at it may be, we’re going to try and meld the last hour of TV into something comprehensible.
This isn’t going to be pretty.
1. Was that reallythe last episode?
Yes. Genuinely. The second series of Safe House only contains four episodes and this was the last. You haven’t watched it out of order.
Is this the last we’ve seen of Stephen Moyer’s Tom Brook? ITV haven’t yet made a decision on whether there’ll be a third series of the show.
2. So, what happened to Sam?
We may never know. Although Tom deployed his best Batman husk to bark “WHERE IS SHE?” at Simon, Jason Watkins’ character gave no solid answers. He did, however, try out a Joker-style laugh before squawking “She’s gone!”.
Does that mean that Sam (Zoe Tapper) is dead? Or was Simon just saying that to further anger Tom?
And if Sam is alive then where is she? Tom found Simon by the car he bunged Sam into, but there’s no sign of her – or any blood. If Simon forced Sam to walk away from the car then where did he take her? If she’s tied up somewhere, is Simon using her as an ill-conceived bargaining chip? Surely he’d know that wouldn’t help him with the police?
And there’s more: if Simon did walk a short distance with Sam before murdering her, then why? Previously he imprisoned his female victims, so why change tack now?
Or, to throw yet another scenario in the works, if Simon parked up elsewhere and killed Sam, then why leave the car on the beach by Tom?
Whichever way you turn it’s the worst evil plan ever.
3. Why did Simon Duke give himself up?
Okay, you probably figured out Simon was The Crow long before the big reveal (after all, why would they hire the brilliant Bafta-winning actor Jason Watkins to play an occasionally mumbling Dad? It was inevitable he’d have a bigger role).
But why would Simon abduct and possibly kill Sam only to stride over to Tom the next morning? Why didn’t Simon run away?
We’ve got two possible explanations – and they’re both rubbish. Firstly, it could be that Simon knew he would eventually get caught by the police so he wanted to see Tom grieving before he was locked up. Since Simon apparently kidnaps the wife to see the husband squirm, this is his golden opportunity.
But it’s not wholly plausible. Even if arrested, Simon could see Tom again in court and could potentially spend years emotionally torturing him from jail via the likes of letters. That would be more in line with his character: terrorising from the shadows.
Instead, we’re left mulling over explanation number two: Simon has suddenly inexplicably lost his mind. We know, this often happens to the best of us, but isn’t it odd how Simon kept it together while kidnapping women and keeping it a secret for a decade only to go barmy now?
Granted, in the last episode Simon suddenly finds himself on the run from the police (a situation he could have easily avoided – more on that below), but he’s been evading arrest for years. Why stumble now?
Sense: it makes none.
4. Why didn’t Simon kill Tom?
In the final episode, Simon managed to sneak up behind Tom and knock him out with the butt of his shotgun. He had the chance to kill off the cop that had been hunting The Crow for over a decade – an opportunity to cover his tracks for good.
What did Simon do? Strap Tom to a chair, made wife Sam say goodbye to him and then leave the ex-detective alone to escape (which he managed in minutes). A few hours later, he openly gave himself up to Tom.
At that point Simon didn’t even know the police suspected him, so, as far as he was concerned, killing off Tom would be a brilliant idea. Plus, Simon is supposed to be an expert at staging an accidental death – it’s how he murdered John Channing (Ashley Walters) earlier in the series.
And it’s not even as though Simon has major qualms about bumping off a few innocents to keep his secret – we saw him blow out Macbride’s brains a few episodes ago to stop word getting out.
We love you Tom, but to make sense of the series, it really should have ended with your nearest and dearest deciding whether to go open casket or not.
5. Why wasn’t Tom arrested?
You know when Tom encountered Simon at the end of the episode and attempted to drown him? He does this in full view of the police. Worse still, he does this under the gaze of DI Vedder, the policeman who was determined to arrest Tom when he almost drowned Luke Griffin eight years earlier.
Was Vedder so wrapped up arresting Simon that he forgot to get angry with him? Or could he just not believe how such a call-back was shoehorned into the final seconds of the show?
6. Why did Simon bring the balaclava and gun with him to the safe house?
It’s possible that Jason Watkins was still carrying around the mask from his Line of Duty days, but we’re guessing it’s because the plot required Simon’s son Liam to stumble across them, revealing his dad as The Crow.
There’s no other reason. Yes, there was a danger somebody might discover these incriminating items if Simon left them at his home. But surely it was better to hide them there rather than to bring them into a safe house monitored by an ex-copper determined to solve The Crow case at all costs?
7. Actually, why did Simon become The Crow anyway?
Remember how Simon revealed he kidnapped his wife because she was continually having affairs? What on Earth was that about? Safe House gave the impression that Simon abducted women to harm their husbands – through the police interview with estate agent Roger Lane we learnt the wives kidnapped were married to men who had affairs with Simon’s wife.
If he was targeting husbands, then why kidnap his own wife? He knows who she’s married to, right? It doesn’t fit the pattern.
Furthermore, why kidnap John’s wife Julie? John had never even met Simon’s wife.
The answer, Simon says, is that John hired his son Liam to work on the construction site and encouraged him to relocate. “It’s worse enough that he employed you – he had to send you to Manchester,” Simon explains. “He was trying to take you away from me, Liam. To come between us. The ****ing arrogance!”
You might be able to tenuously say that his motive was to keep his family together; that he was a control freak to the extreme. But killing somebody because they made your son move to Manchester? It’s not exactly the shock reveal you’d see in a Sherlock Holmes story.
8. Why didn’t Liam help? Like, at all?
We understand finding out your father is a mass murderer is certainly an eyebrow-raiser. But even in shock, would you really act in the way Liam did?
Let’s try it out: if you found out your dad was an active murderer, would you (A) Alert the police (or the ex-copper you’re living with) to prevent further bloodshed? Or, if you’re incredibly loyal to Simon, choice option (B) Keep quiet about it?
Liam’s choice? Secret answer C. He runs away from the safe house without telling Tom or the police. That leads to Simon kidnapping and possibly killing Sam, which then leaves Tom at the end of the episode, sinking in the rising tide.
We don’t mean to point fingers, but absolutely all of that is Liam’s fault.
Granted he would be distraught by The Crow’s unveiling, but we don’t really see that on screen. Once Liam runs off, we don’t see him wage that emotional war. Why? Was it just that he needed to be out of the picture for the climactic meeting between Tom and Simon, perhaps? (Hint: yes).
9. What happened to Luke Griffin?
Although playing a major part in the first two episodes of the series, the man originally jailed for The Crow kidnappings didn’t have a line in the finale. In fact, we only saw one shot of Griffin in intensive care, unable to reveal how he’s connected to The Crow.
Sure, the police suddenly become sure that the two were kidnappers-in-arms after learning Simon and Griffin spoke together at a party (evidence that would go down well in any courtroom) – but how did that relationship work? Did Griffin kill the husbands and Simon kidnap the wives? Or did Simon somehow persuade Griffin to take the fall for his crimes?
It’s not the top question we have, but we really want to know why this connection was the source of so much meaningless speculation. Scratch that, we just really really want those four hours of our time back.
10. Oh yeah, what on earth was that John and Dani storyline about?
You know the one: in episode three we learned that John and Dani were in secret cahoots – despite being step-dad and daughter. Apart from being stuffed with the ‘ew’ factor, we’re now left wondering what the point of that storyline was.
Although we saw John die at the end of episode three, Dani doesn’t feature at all in the finale. So why did the drama spend three hours building up this bizarre relationship only to ignore it at the last minute? Why didn’t we see how this news would have impacted on Dani and her mother?
Did an intern accidentally delete a bundle of footage and was too embarrassed to tell the editor? Please please please let us know.