So, the plot has thickened – but after the second episode of The Bay season two, we’re barely any closer to discovering who arranged for Stephen Marshbrook (played by Stephen Tompkinson) to be assassinated in his hallway during a family barbecue.
DC Lisa Armstrong (Morven Christie) and DS Med Kharim (Taheen Modak) are busy getting to grips with the family dynamics, making the most of their position as Family Liaison Officers. And back at the police station, their boss DI Tony Manning (Daniel Ryan) is on the hunt for a) the killer, and b) whoever hired the killer.
So what do we know so far? And what do we not know? Here are all the details to mull over before episode three:
Who was the hitman? And how is Cassie involved?
Traumatised young Oliver Marshbrook (Leo Ashton) has started to open up, with Lisa’s help – revealing more about what he saw in the moments before his father’s murder.
Firstly, he’s provided a crucial clue that may help track down the hitman: the man had a double-headed eagle tattoo, as well as a foreign accent. Based on that, the police reckon this man is from Serbia, the Russian Federation, or Albania.
Then there’s the “boy on the bike” who Oliver saw cycle past the house just before the shooting. This actually turns out to be a troubled 12-year-old girl called Cassie; someone got her to collect the murder weapon and cycle away with it, but she dumped it en route (likely out of fear).
So who is the hitman, and why is Cassie involved, and who paid/blackmailed her to help? Answering these questions would take us one step closer to discovering who actually ordered the hit in the first place.
Was someone stealing money from the firm?
It turns out Stephen Marshbrook had recently hired forensic accountant to investigate whether someone was stealing money from the law firm. According to the accountant, a Mr Chris McGregor (Nigel Hastings), this was all meant to be on the down low – because Stephen thought the culprit was probably one of his own family members.
If Stephen was correct, that would give a number of people a reason to shut him up. Potential suspects among The Bay cast could include his wife Rose Marshbrook (Sharon Small), the family law firm’s administrator; his brother-in-law Mark Bradwell (Steven Robertson); his sister-in-law Stella Bradwell (Sunetra Sarker); or Wendy Kweh (Lyn Chee), who’s been working at the company for the last six months. Finally, there’s his father-in-law Bill Bradwell (James Cosmo).
However, if someone was skimming money from the company, you do have to wonder if they’re in financial trouble. And if they’re in trouble, could they really afford a professional hitman?
What was Stephen up to?
It’s increasingly obvious that Stephen was hiding some big secrets.
Lyn claims he was a family man who always left the office at six o’clock and never worked weekends; on the other hand, Stephen’s wife Rose says he was always working evenings and weekends. And while his diary says he went to the gym once a week, the gym’s membership system begs to differ.
That, of course, suggests he was up to something in the evenings and on the weekends. But was this just a straightforward affair? Or something else? And if he did have an affair, is that related in any way to his death?
Then there’s the extra question of what document Stephen was burning on the barbecue just before his death…
What’s the trouble with Bill?
While family patriarch Bill Bradwell (James Cosmo) is furious at the suggestion that he might be losing his memory or going into cognitive decline, there does actually appear to be something wrong.
His son Mark and daughter-in-law Stella seem particularly concerned for his wellbeing, bringing in meals-on-wheels and hiding his car keys.
If Bill has an undiagnosed case of Alzheimer’s or dementia, that could complicate things. Could it also give Mark a way of arguing that Bill wasn’t in his right mind when he retired and left the company to Stephen?
The Bay season 2 continues on Wednesdays at 9pm on ITV, and is available as a box set on ITV Hub. Check out what else is on with our TV guide.