Silent Witness recap: What happened in episode three? And who is the mysterious hacker?

Nikki and Jack teamed up with DCI Naomi Silva to track down a blackmailer using stolen medical records to extort money

Silent Witness, BBC Pictures, SL

You’ve watched episode three of Silent Witness and you probably have some questions. BBC’s long-running crime drama loves a convoluted mass of plots which it weaves together in one episode and quickly solves over the course of the next.

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The first in two-parter Duty of Candour saw the murder of Karen Sawyers linked to the deaths of Adam Hayes and Pete Sawyers. How did the three separate cases play out? Read on for our recap…


The episode opened with the discovery of estate agent Karen Sawyers’ body – the team soon determined that her death came at the hands of her husband Pete after finding out she had conceived a child with another man.

That other man? Dentist Adam Hayes who confessed his affair to his wife Maria moments before he met his own death, again at the hands of knife-wielding Pete. His horrified spouse called the cops who were just minutes too late after tracking down Adam through Karen’s free dental treatments.

Jamie Michie in Silent Witness, BBC Pictures, SL
Jamie Michie in Silent Witness, BBC Pictures, SL

Heading up the investigation was DCI Naomi Silva (Kiza Deen) who we first met in the boxing ring sparring with Jack (David Caves). The pair were surprised to come across one another at the crime scene but soon set about solving the case, teaming up to give chase to Pete – a sequence that led them to the roof of a car park where their distressed suspect committed suicide by plummeting to the ground.

Parallel to their investigation was the tale of hotshot barrister Jason Farrell who – by the look of his apartment – was earning a pretty penny for his work in family law. But Jason had a secret cocaine habit and looked shifty every time he left the glare of court. What secrets was he hiding from fiancé Shelley?

Back at the Lyell Centre, Thomas was feeling the pressure after his daughter Rosie ended up in his care while her mother was admitted to hospital for pre-eclampsia.

Naomi and Nikki (Emilia Fox), meanwhile, visited Simon Laing, CEO of Hamilton Ash hospital, to get hold of Karen’s medical records. (And yes, that was EastEnders actor Nitin Gandra playing the hospital chief – more on him later).

Their visit gained extra significance when an examination of Adam Hayes’ body produced a crumpled up Hamilton Ash letter shoved down his throat detailing Karen’s pregnancy termination. How did Pete get hold of it? A mysterious sender had made sure the evidence ended up in his hands after unsuccessfully attempting to blackmail Karen. The question was: did the blackmailer work inside the hospital?

Naomi and Nikki were tasked with finding out and the investigation soon swerved in a different direction when boss Laing revealed a cyber hacker – codename “Splinter” – had stolen the files of 30,000 patients and was demanding payment. For Nikki, the revelation carried extra significance – earlier in the episode she had been seen at the hospital in therapy with Dr Eleanor Hill, trying to process her traumatic burial in Mexico during last series’ finale and work out Jack’s frosty demeanour towards her.

Emilia Fox, BBC Pictures, SL
Emilia Fox, BBC Pictures, SL

Someone Jack certainly wasn’t feeling any frostiness towards was Naomi who he shared a drink – and a kiss – with before the episode was out.

But in order to crack the investigation, he and Naomi’s sidekick, DS Walters, visited the hacker’s drop zone and managed to pull up some CCTV footage of their suspect. With a blurred image leading them one step closer, Clarissa’s husband Max Thorndyke helped the team decipher cyber evidence from the hospital in a bid to track down their man.

Unfortunately they didn’t get to him soon enough. Barrister Jason visited the drop zone in an attempt to take out his blackmailer, waiting in the shadows while the hacker came to pick up the money. But when Jason attacked he came off worse, suffering a serious stab wound. He was last seen crawling towards help – will he survive? You’ll have to wait till episode four to find out…

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Silent Witness continues on Tuesday at 9pm on BBC1