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'Vera,' Episode Six Recap: Silent Voices'

Miss an episode of KCET's newest British detective series? Read our "Vera" recaps here.

Previously on Vera

A friend's suicide prods Vera (Brenda Blethyn) to look into his troubled past. Read the recap for "The Ghost Position" here.

This Week's Episode: "Silent Voices"

Written by: Gaby Chiappe
Directed by: Paul Whittington

Jenny Lister (Stephanie Carey) is enjoying one of her regular swims when she is struck on the back of the head and forcibly drowned in the river below. When Vera and DS Joe Ashworth (David Leon) break the news to her daughter Hannah (Hannah Britland), who initially thought the house call was about a handbag Jenny had reported stolen, she breaks down and has nobody to call but her boyfriend Simon (James Rastall). When Vera and Joe go to get information from Simon's mother Veronica (Penny Downie) down the street, they detect that the relationship between the two families is fraught.

Jenny, a social worker, once had a career hiccup with the controversial case of Elias Jones. Two years earlier, Mattie Jones (Emma Rydal) was convicted of drowning her six-year-old son Elias in the bathtub, and some of the blame was aimed directly at Mattie's junior social worker, Connie Masters (Kaye Wragg), who was accused of mishandling their case. Being torn apart by the local media, Connie lost her job and marriage and disappeared while her superior, Jenny, was exonerated. Could this have driven Connie to murder? Tracking her down, Connie has nothing but good things to say about Jenny, admitting that it was her own fault that Connie lost her job. She mentions bumping into Jenny and a "young and fresh-faced" colleague outside of the prison where Mattie is currently being held.

With nothing from forensics to go off and no valid suspects, Vera asks Joe to look into the aforementioned missing handbag while she follows Connie's advice and stops by the local prison to see if she can have a word with Mattie. Lo and behold, Jenny had been visiting Mattie for an hour every Thursday, said to be research for a potentially provocative book of case studies she was writing. As the laptop was in the stolen handbag, Joe goes and meets Jenny's boss Craig (Antony Byrne) to retrieve a backup of the book in progress.

While everybody at headquarters pores over the provided book draft, including the new Detective Constable Bethany Whelan (Cush Jumbo), Vera sets her sights on osteopath Michael Morgan (Daniel Lapaine), who was dating Mattie at the time of Elias' drowning. They visit him at The Willows Health Spa and Club, where Vera happens to be a member. Why would a well-to-do man of medicine have been with such a lower-class woman as Mattie? He thought he could make a difference in her life, he said, but ultimately moved out because Elias' school was "raising concerns about changes in his behavior." Vera, finding the man arrogant and smug, is sure he's hiding something.

Vera and Joe return to Connie's house and are aghast to see that "R.I.P. ELIAS" has been spraypainted on the side of her house, which Joe feels is entirely the fault of their own sloppy police work. Asking Connie about Michael, she said she thought him manipulative and calculating, unhealthy for Mattie and her son.

Back at headquarters, the stolen handbag finally appears. Alas, there is no laptop, but they trace the fingerprints to a guy known for selling stolen phones, Danny Shaw (Daymon Britton), who Vera recognizes immediately as one of the staff at The Willows. Bringing him in for interrogation, he swears that he hasn't killed anybody, but does admit to stealing items from the club. When Michael caught him red-handed, they made a deal: Hand over the laptop, and Michael wouldn't report the theft. Vera has her man, she thinks, a lead completely busted when they find Michael's dead body in his office, struck on the back of the head and drowned in his therapy pool. With the health spa on lockdown, they get access to one of the facility's safes and finds Jenny's laptop. The question now stands: Did Michael want the laptop because Jenny's book would have affected his career, or was there something else on the computer that could be used as blackmail?

Vera returns to Veronica and asks again why her relationship with Jenny was so strained. Veronica comes clean: She had her own experiences with social work when her youngest son, Roddy, drowned in a nearby reservoir when he was only two years old. Simon failed to save him, and Veronica feels that his relationship with the newly orphaned Hannah is his own problematic way of atoning for his guilt.

Going over a folder labeled "Personal Stuff" on Jenny's laptop, the police happen upon a Christmas list that mentions Simon, then proceed to find dozens of e-mails exchanged between the two of them. Jenny was having an affair with Simon. Michael must have known about this and used it as leverage, and when Jenny filled in Simon, he took action and murdered both her and Michael. Vera suddenly turns white: If Connie had seen Jenny and Simon together, Simon is coming for her next.

Arriving at Connie's house, Joe finds a trail of blood and the house empty. Is he too late? Go to the reservoir where Roddy died, Vera says, and while she races to the location, Joe arrives to see Simon jump out of a car headed directly off a cliff and into the reservoir, a car still containing an unconscious Connie. Thinking quickly, Joe jumps into the reservoir and just barely rescues Connie.

As Joe recovers from his great cliffside leap, Vera goes Jenny's house to arrest Simon. As Hannah flips out, Simon claims that he never truly loved Jenny, saying he did this all for Hannah's benefit.

Hey! I Know That Actor!

Cush Jumbo, who plays the newest addition to the Northumberland force DC Bethany Whelan, is an actress of stage and screen perhaps best known for her role as Lois Habiba on the "Doctor Who" spin-off "Torchwood."

The Australian Daniel Lapaine, who played the arrogant osteopath Michael Morgan, has portrayed as Ned on "Hotel Babylon" and Prince Wendell on "The 10th Kingdom" and has appeared in such films as "Zero Dark Thirty," "Brokedown Palace," "54," "Dangerous Beauty," and "Muriel's Wedding."

Marcus Gorman is the author of the novel "Triceratops" and the editor of the film blog Ten Years Ago: Films in Retrospective.


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