Halfway through The Capture, and this conspiracy thriller has become so twisty that we’re struggling to straighten everything out in our minds.
- Meet the cast of BBC conspiracy thriller The Capture
- The Capture: 5 questions we have after those major twists in episode 2
But after a dramatic episode three, we’ve sat down and come up with a bunch of questions, theories, and maybe (maybe) even some answers…
1. Did Mat kill Hannah?
At this point it looks like Shaun Emery (Callum Turner) did NOT kill Hannah Roberts (Laura Haddock) and is being set up as part of an elaborate conspiracy. But where does his treacherous best pal Mat Forester (Tommy McDonnell) fit in all of this?
Mat’s text –”I’m so sorry Shauny. I had to” – arrives once Shaun is already driving Mat’s car away from London. As Shaun then realises with a sickening sense of dread, Hannah’s cold dead body is stashed in the boot.
But “had to” what? Had to kill Hannah? Had to frame Shaun for murder so he could get away with it?
Or perhaps he “had to” comply with someone else’s orders to plant the dead body in his car before lending it to Shaun? Perhaps some shadowy figure (or organisation) threatened his family if he did not betray his best friend?
If he has been persuaded/blackmailed into helping frame Shaun, is Mat also ‘in’ on Frank Napier (Ron Perlman)’s video that appeared to show him having his fingers cut off? Was this entirely computer-generated, or did he help them film it? Did he then pretend to have no idea what Shaun was talking about when he turned up at the storage locker with all his fingers intact? Was he working with Shaun’s enemies all along, or has he only recently been recruited to do their dirty work?
But on another note: when Shaun tells Mat he wants to borrow his car and escape London, he does so spontaneously and (presumably) unexpectedly. So was Hannah’s body already in the boot at that point, or did Mat find a way to put her there after Shaun’s request? And if Shaun hadn’t borrowed the car, was there another plan…? So many questions! So few answers! And three episodes still to go!
2. Who is Frank Napier – and did he frame Shaun?
By the end of episode three, we strongly suspect – and Shaun also suspects – that CIA agent Frank Napier (Ron Perlman) and his team have been editing the CCTV feeds to frame Shaun for Hannah’s murder; and that they also faked the footage of Mat’s “torture”.
But even Shaun is confused when Frank interrogates him and demands to know where Hannah is. Why would he do that, if he actually faked the CCTV footage himself? What would be the point?
It’s possible that Frank isn’t the one framing Shaun. But it’s also possible that he is, and that he is playing a bigger game – one that requires him to bring Shaun into the unfindable CIA safe house and quiz him about a murder he knows he didn’t commit and generally mess with his sense of reality.
It’s possible he knows Shaun will be able to break out of the car boot, and expects him to escape. Even further: it’s possible he orders his men not to chase Shaun, because he wants him to escape. “Attaboy,” he says, watching via CCTV as his “toy soldier” makes his getaway. All part of the plan? Spook him out and set him loose? But if so – why?
3. Who was in Hannah’s flat?
Frank says one other thing that makes us pause. Strolling into the control room after interrogating Shaun, he asks his lackey Eli: “You see that? What do you make of that story? Do you think he was following somebody?”
Until this point, we had assumed assumed that the man in Hannah Roberts’ flat (from episode two) was part of Frank’s plan. The ‘intruder’ led Shaun on a chase, during which he jumped into the black cab which took him straight to Frank’s door.
But now it seems like Frank was unaware of this intruder. So who was he, and what was he doing in Hannah’s flat? Why did he have a flashy red car waiting for him nearby?
(And if this man wasn’t bait, how did Frank have his taxi driver in exactly the right spot to kidnap Shaun, anyway? Shaun only got that particular taxi to stop by jumping in front of it!)
4. How did the CIA fool the police at 48 Eaton Square?
Of course, when DI Rachel Carey (Holliday Grainger) and her team storm 48 Eaton Square, they do not find Frank Napier or Shaun or any trace of the CIA ops room and cells in the basement.
But why not?
We don’t have a full answer to that question. At the moment, it’s like two properties exist in parallel universes: one version of 48 Eaton Square with comically uncooperative “servants” and an empty basement, and one version of 48 Eaton Square with security guards in the hallway and a sophisticated CIA set-up downstairs.
However, as Rachel suspects (but can’t prove), the camera above the front door of the real 48 Eaton Square is connected to somewhere else entirely. This property is decoy.
While we did see Shaun entering a building with “48” painted on the columns in episode two, could it actually have been a neighbouring property mocked-up as number 48? Was the CCTV footage from the street on a time-delay, or faked entirely? Where is Shaun, really?
5. Was the CCTV footage faked in Operation Sycamore – and why?
After talking to video expert (and deepfake porn enthusiast) Marcus Levy (Paul Ritter), DI Rachel Carey has a shocking realisation which shakes her to the core.
Now she knows that the incriminating footage of Shaun’s assault on Hannah may have been fabricated using a delayed CCTV feed and an “invisible” cut where the bus goes past, she has other questions.
Her previous success in Counter-Terrorism was Operation Sycamore, in which she and Commander Danny Hart (Ben Miles) brought down a terror cell. The central piece of evidence was CCTV footage of them meeting a Birmingham-based arms dealer.
“The wipe is something crossing the frame, blocking the action,” Mr Levy says, pointing out that is the perfect place to add an edit. And what do you know? There’s a “wipe” in the Sycamore footage, too: a truck passes by just before the arms dealer steps into the frame.
Whoever faked the footage to frame Shaun may also have framed these men as terrorists. But why? What do the two cases have in common, other than Rachel?
6. Who is in on the conspiracy?
White-haired, fierce-eyed DSU Gemma Garland (Lia Williams) is one shady lady, and she clearly wants to keep DI Rachel Carey from getting too close to the truth. Is she collaborating with Frank Napier and the CIA? Why did she originally try and redact the CCTV of Shaun’s apparent attack on Hannah? What is the bigger picture here?
Also, we’re still suspicious about Commander Danny Hart (Ben Miles) in Counter-Terror. In episode three, he suddenly turns up in the surveillance room when the big raid on 48 Eaton Square is going down. Is he there just to watch?
It’s impossible to know who to trust. Someone made sure that the recording of Eaton Square was wiped clean; someone is undermining Rachel and her team’s efforts to get to the truth; someone has made it impossible to find the “technician” who witnessed Rachel’s session. But who?
The Capture continues on Tuesdays at 9pm on BBC1