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'Guilt' Season 2 Episode 2 Recap: Take the Money and Run – GBH News

Last week, we started off with a whole new accidental death to fuss over, Cheekbones’ release from jail, and the newly re-recap-christened Remy’s absolutely unhinged corporate branding choices. This time, we’re kicking things off by going back in time two weeks to meet a bright eyed young dreamer of an engineer who’s pitching his small business for development work in fair Leith, where we lay our scene. It’s… not going great. He’s almost painfully earnest, and the decision-maker he’s talking to doesn’t seem convinced.
The Decider: Look, your presentation is great, but you just can’t scale the same way the big dogs can. The costs are just too high.
Earnest: Please, let me take another look at the figures, and maybe —
The Decider:
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Bummer. Later, Earnest visits the development site and watches from outside the safety fence with a real scary look in his eyes. Scary enough that he evidently decides to take his family’s life savings out of the bank, in cash, to use as some kind of leverage against the wishes of his husband. The plan seems to be to give all this cash to a minister whose church is right next to the construction site (who I’m almost certain is the big bearded fella we saw last week), with the couple’s dog’s tracking collar inside for good measure. You guessed it folks: this has got to be the bag of cash that took poor Floral Shirt out in the season premiere. Indeed, when Earnest surreptitiously puts the money bag in Big Bearded Vicar’s car, we get to see another man emerge from the shadows to grab the loot and take it to a swanky-ish casino to spend on roulette. Also at the table? Floral Shirt, there to score some drugs from the dealer. Honestly, I have to give it up for that multipurpose job title! This croupier just saw an opportunity, and boy did he jump on it. Anyway, Double Dealer brings Floral Shirt the drugs, but not before Floral Shirt notices that his table mate has just an ENORMOUS bag of cash. When the gentleman in question heads outside to smoke, Floral Shirt seizes the opportunity to grab the money and run. And, of course, we all know what happens after that: the original thief and Floral Shirt both end up dead in a basement.
Anyway, back in the present, Cheekbones is once again meeting with his pal Dog Lady, who isn’t thrilled with her co-conspirator’s recent behavior. Yes, Menacing Dad has pretty much stepped right into the trap they laid for him, but she’s still annoyed that Cheekbones deviated from their agreed upon strategy, and also didn’t record his conversation with Menacing Dad.
Dog Lady: Well fine. Now all we need to know about that money is —
Cheekbones: Where did it come from, where did it go.
Me:
Cheekbones: Anyway, if we can get that, will it be enough?
Dog Lady: No. He’s a devious and horrible guy. Money laundering isn’t nearly enough, but it’s a start, and that’s what we need. Record everything and you might get to stay out here.
Cheekbones: That guy took away my whole life. I’ll get you what you need, so I can get what I need.
I hate to be this person, but Cheekbones, you did a lot of the ruining of your life yourself there, sport. Anyway, enough about him: we’re back at the Leith Legals shop, which Remy is proudly showing off to his AA friend, Nervous.
Nervous: Nice. Hey, I need to tell you: I’m a cop. CID. Is that a problem?
Remy, inside: Uh, YEAH.
Remy, out loud: Noooo, no problem! Just processing. And don’t tell the rest of the group, they’ll flee in horror.
Nervous: Look, just think it over… and how it might impact our whole… thing.
Remy: We sure are breaking a lot of rules here, huh?
And with that, they start making out! If they hadn’t met in AA, I’d be all about it, but folks, this could be a bad call for your recovery!
Across town, the family of Dead Gambler sit morosely in their sitting room and discuss the nature of life, and depression, and death, as they try to process the supposed death by suicide of their relative. While Dead Gambler’s brother waxes poetic, his father has a different take: this would never have happened if said brother had been around, and now he’s going to have to stay and take care of business. I hope they’re talking about some kind of family shop or farm, but somehow I think it’s going to be worse than that.
Meanwhile, Cheekbones’ stakeout of Widow Floral Shirt’s home is interrupted by Nervous, who’s here to follow up on the missing person’s report that Crooked Cop filed at Menacing Dad’s behest, and as we may recall, he screwed it up. Nervous explains that she wants to do the job thoroughly, and starts asking Widow Floral Shirt some standard questions, and getting the standard responses. Too standard, in fact: Widow Floral Shirt has basically repeated exactly what was in the report, word for word.
Widow Floral Shirt: He’s on his last second chance; he was a hard guy to be married to. I’m done. Whatever he’s up to, it’s his business, but it’s hard not knowing.
Nervous: I get it, but you should prepare for the worst. Guys like that can get good at staying hidden.
Widow Floral Shirt: Well, thanks for coming.
And the second she’s gotten Nervous out of the house, Widow Floral Shirt creeps out herself, followed soon thereafter by Cheekbones, who trails her to her dad’s office (which, lest we forget, used to be Cheekbones’ office). Once inside, she tells her dad that no, she still doesn’t want to run his crime empire, and more importantly, someone came to her house! A detective!
Menacing Dad: That shouldn’t have happened, and it won’t again.
Widow Floral Shirt: You never ask about mum, and that’s messed up. She’s all by herself!
Menacing Dad: Well yeah — I feel bad, and asking makes it worse! You’re one to talk: you never ask about what happened to AJ when you left.
Widow Floral Shirt: You’re too old to change.
Menacing Dad: Still worth trying!
Fair enough, I guess! While Widow Floral Shirt tries to pretend she’s nothing like her dad, Remy visits Big Bearded Vicar and cuts right to the chase: there’s a bag that used to be full of cash; now the cash is gone, and Big Bearded Vicar has the bag. What gives?
Big Bearded Vicar: I used to be a big deal around here, and now I’m just waiting for the odd passerby to wander into this church.
Remy: Dude, you are a big deal to this community, and to me. I haven’t forgotten how you helped me. I’m on your side. Look, I’m the first person who’s going to come asking, but I won’t be the last, and some of these people will be nasty.
Big Bearded Vicar: I’m huge and I believe in heaven.
Remy, who clearly genuinely likes Big Bearded Vicar, isn’t happy about that answer, but damn if I’M not impressed. Later, Remy straight up lies to Cheekbones and tells him the bag disappeared, and the tracker is broken. Cheekbones is, obviously, incensed, but before he can unload on his colleague, a wee old lady wanders in asking for one of their cheap wills. She’s worried about what’ll happen to her cat when she passes, you see.
Kenny:
Later (possibly much later, if Cheekbones’ distraught face is anything to go by) they finalize the nice lady’s will, and chivvy her out of the office.
Remy: Drink? I’ll have a lemonade, but we can get you something with booze if you like!
At the police station, Crooked Cop is trying to justify his bad work to Nervous and complaining about her doing her job properly. He tries to pull rank, which only leads to Nervous proclaiming that she won’t back down: she’s a lot of things, but HER recap name sure isn’t “Crooked Cop.” Doubling down on being a creep, he reminds her of an early morning hearing she presumably botched while drunk, and tells her she’s only still got her job because of him, and thus better lay off. She doesn’t say anything to that, but something tells me Nervous won’t back down so easily. Outside, she calls up Remy to ask for advice.
Nervous: Here’s the thing. For a long time the job has been the only good thing in my life. And now I have to do something that will take that away.
Remy: So don’t do it.
Nervous: It’s not that simple. Something happened.
Remy, being a good sponsor but, alas, not a good PI right now: Look, something can always happen. It’s what you do today that defines you.
Nervous: Where are you anyway?
Remy: A pub.
Nervous: Isn’t that a bad idea?
Remy: Possibly!
Just tell each other what’s going on; you’ll solve it in no time! But since that’s unlikely to happen, we instead visit Dead Gambler’s Brother, who’s gotten his brother’s possessions from the police, and just found a business card for the fancy casino in the process. Next, we head over to Floral Mum’s place, where said mama, despite Widow Floral Shirt’s assertion earlier, isn’t alone. In fact, she’s chilling with Menacing Dad, talking about their erstwhile son-in-law.
Floral Mum: This is for the best. Sure, she’s sad, but at least you got to see her. Look, I know you gave up a lot so I didn’t have to, and if everything goes to plan, you’ll get it back, including your relationship with our daughter.
Menacing Dad: There’s a problem. Things didn’t go exactly right with the cops.
Floral Mum: This isn’t a good time. Fix it quickly.
Menacing Dad: We’re legit now, remember?
Floral Mum: Speak for yourself.
Menacing Dad is right to worry: over at the station, Nervous pops into the Chief Constable’s office, probably to spill the whole situation with Crooked Cop. And back at the bar, Cheekbones is too busy feeling sorry for himself to be much company, so Remy puts his cards on the table.
Remy: Look, I know stuff is about to get crazy. I know this isn’t the life you had, but if you can accept it, we can build something great! A chain of offices!
Cheekbones, sarcastic: Great!
Remy: I know you thought you escaped this town, and the people in it, but this is who you are. We could do WELL. You could get out of Softie’s place, which I know is driving you up a wall, and we could have good lives.
Cheekbones: Sure, that sounds great. If you want to buy a flat, you’ll need a mortgage. Let’s put the money from Menacing Dad, and any more we get, into a nice little account for you.
Remy: Well. Thanks for trusting me with that.
Cheekbones: Don’t be silly; I work for you! Sure, we don’t have much yet, but trust comes free.
Remy, might not actually trust Cheekbones at all, thankfully: True! Actually, you know what, there was something with the bag, but let’s just leave it. Who cares where that money came from, and where it was supposed to go?
Me, again:
Cheekbones: Who came for the bag, dude?
Remy caves like a wet paper bag, and takes Cheekbones to meet Big Bearded Vicar, explaining on the way that when he hit one of his rock bottoms (rocks bottom?) he met Big Bearded Vicar at a food bank.
Remy: I told him I wasn’t interested in God, and he said “that’s cool, God isn’t interested in you either” and then he gave me some dinner and sent me on my way. He saved me, and he deserves respect.
Cheekbones:
Inside, Cheekbones pours on his brand of charm: he isn’t a church guy, but he remembers the concept of purgatory from Sunday school, and suggests that Big Bearded Vicar might just be in an earthly purgatory himself.
Cheekbones: Here’s the problem with dirty money: you never know how dirty it is. Why do you have this bag?
Big Bearded Vicar: Why’s a lawyer looking for dirty money?
Cheekbones: Legit reasons.
Big Bearded Vicar: What if I called the cops, hm? Who are they gonna believe? Me, an actual priest, or you in your cheap suit?
Remy, worried: Nobody’s calling the cops!
Cheekbones, predictable: It’s not a cheap suit!
Big Bearded Vicar: My mistake: it must just look cheap on you.
Cheekbones: You’re making a mistake.
Big Bearded Vicar: Remy, when are you bringing the scary people?
LOL. As they leave, they spot a big sign about the upcoming development. Cheekbones, who has after all been in jail for a bit, doesn’t know what’s happening, so Remy fills him in: they’re doing over a huge section of the city, despite the challenging combination of council and privately owned land. Remy puts it down to persuasion, but Cheekbones seems to think something a bit less above board is afoot, and takes note of the company name on the sign: Phoenix. Given his experience with crime, I’m inclined to believe him, but time will tell.
Meanwhile, across town, Nervous is joined on a solitary bench by none other than Dog Lady, who tells Nervous that the report she filed was sent over to Dog Lady. Is Dog Lady a cop too? Based on what she knows, I have to go with yes.
Dog Lady: Here’s what I know about this situation. You WANT there to be something up with Crooked Cop. You were both up for that promotion, and he filed a report on your drinking that was just enough to get him the job, but not make you lose yours. But I have to wonder what else he has on you. You filed that report to even the playing field.
Nervous: No, I didn’t. I know what kind of person he is, and I filed that report to find out if he’s corrupt. I’m not, and I don’t like people who are. I won’t turn a blind eye, no matter the cost. This is about the job, not revenge.
Dog Lady: Well, he IS corrupt. Worse than you think. Your report is going to get lost in the system, and you’re going to help me.
Nervous: I don’t want to transfer.
Dog Lady: I didn’t ask you to. I can’t watch a cop without a lot of cops knowing about it. When he lies, follow him. Tell me if he goes near any of these addresses, and don’t deny yourself revenge: it can be a powerful tool.
This sure is shaping up to be a strange dream team, that’s for sure. While Nervous tries to process everything that just happened, Remy calls Cheekbones to the office to talk with a “friend” (mysterious!) and The Decider from the top of the episode gets some bad news on the construction site: they’ve found something underground, and it’s going to be a problem. The nature of that problem? Still a mystery to us, alas. We do, however, find out who Cheekbones’ mystery friend is: it’s Dead Gambler’s Brother, who knew Cheekbones in prison.
Dead Gambler’s Brother: He’s so great; almost worth being incarcerated to meet him! He helped with my case.
Remy, knows Cheekbones pretty well and is thus aware of his personal brand of “helpful”: Huh.
When Cheekbones arrives, he’s stunned by Dead Gambler’s Brother’s presence, but pretty credibly pretends to be pleased to see his “friend.”
Dead Gambler’s Brother: Look, my brother died by suicide, or at least that’s what the cops said. And yes, he had a terrible time after he got back from the army, but… I was hoping you’d take a look?
Cheekbones: I’m so sorry. Yes, I can look into it.
Dead Gambler’s Brother, probably explaining why Cheekbones was nice to him: It’s been really bugging me, and you know how I used to be, with the anger and all. Just the terrifying, overwhelming rage. Anyway, here’s a picture of my brother, and this was in his pocket when they found him.
Cheekbones: We’ll look into it, promise.
Dead Gambler’s Brother: It’s good to see you, Cheeky.
And with that, he leaves. Cheekbones, who explains that Dead Gambler’s Brother was the only person he was scared of in prison, tells Remy they’ll give it a week and just say they found nothing, but as we all know, Remy doesn’t play that way. Which is a good thing, because Cheekbones is going to need the info about Dead Gambler to take Menacing Dad down. Speaking of whom, when Widow Floral Shirt rolls up to her mum’s assisted living facility, who should she see leaving out the back door but her darling papa? Heading inside, she gently pokes around for information. What’s her mum been up to?
Floral Mum, lying through her teeth: Oh, you know: sherry, bridge, that sort of thing.
Annoyed and betrayed, Widow Floral Shirt makes her excuses and boogies out of there as fast as she can. Back at Leith Legals, Cheekbones frantically sorts through a bunch of paperwork, finally explaining to Remy that the company name on the sign at the new development? Phoenix? It doesn’t exist, and thus doesn’t actually own the land they’re developing. Yes, it looks legit on the face of things, but that only means someone’s worked extra hard to hide behind the fake business’ facade.
Remy: Sounds questionable.
Cheekbones: Sounds familiar.
Sure does! While Remy contemplates the casino card found in Dead Gambler’s things and ultimately heads over there to check it out, Cheekbones fields a call from Widow Floral Shirt, of all people. He arrives at her house, and is immediately whisked away to a second location. Meanwhile, at the police station, Nervous gently questions Crooked Cop on his plans for the evening, then follows him when he leaves. His first stop? Gambling, his vice of choice, and possibly one of the addresses on Dog Lady’s list.
At the church, Big Bearded Vicar’s evening is interrupted by Menacing Dad. What’s he doing here? Why, trying to buy the church, of course! He claims it’s for nostalgia reasons, so that he can make a museum to honor Leith history, but I think we all know better than that.
Big Bearded Vicar: Oh, sure, I’d love to, except I would need to get parish approval, say that the community doesn’t need a church anymore, AND I’d have to weigh in on whether you’re a good person to buy it.
Menacing Dad: It’s clean! Like me!
Big Bearded Vicar: You know, a man came to see me last week and made a similar offer. I took him up on it; thought it’d be good for the community. But then the money was “here,” and then “stolen,” and then his husband left him and somehow that was my fault? You know what’s funny though; when he came to see me, it reminded me of a funeral we had last year. The widower lived next to a big development; this important road was meant to go in front of his house, and he wasn’t feeling THAT. He told me about a mine they’d built in the 20s; abandoned when they hit sand. And those builders? They’d hit the sand too. And because of the sand, and the geography of the area, the only way the road work could proceed would be to reroute it. Through. My. Church. That guy last week was an opportunist, but you’re careful. You wouldn’t be here lying to me if there was any other way. You’re Phoenix, right?
Menacing Dad: Yeah, fine. It’s me.
Big Bearded Vicar: Remember the bible, friendo. Don’t build your house on sand, it says. You’ve built your whole life on sand, and now it’s all washing away.
Damn, Big Bearded Vicar! While Menacing Dad regrets his life choices, probably, Cheekbones and Widow Floral Shirt drink at a swanky bar.
Widow Floral Shirt: This city is like a small town. I always thought I’d be able to carve out a space just for me, but that turns out not to be true, unfortunately. On the other hand, if I ever need information on someone in Edinburgh, it’s easy enough to get. I just tell that person that I’m Menacing Dad’s daughter, and I get my answers. See, that panicked, scared face was what I hoped I’d see from you: you’re working for him, but he doesn’t know you’re poking around, trying to take him down. I won’t tell.
Cheekbones: Oh, Menacing Dad? He’s a friend!
Widow Floral Shirt: Sure, bud. Call him then! Tell him you’re here.
Sure, she does seem to have called his bluff, at least for now. But when she’s in the bathroom, Cheekbones pulls his phone out of his pocket, which shows us at home that he’s been recording their whole conversation.
Meanwhile, back at the church, Menacing Dad finally explains the whole land deal situation to Big Bearded Vicar: for the last 30 years he’s been buying up everything in the area, and paying off politicians. His goal? A legacy for his daughter and his family, and building something new on the land where something nasty happened. Something I’m sure we’ll hear more about later; something which impacted both men.
Menacing Dad: If you really care about your parishioners so much, why’d you take that money?
Big Bearded Vicar: We’re getting old; my pension is crap.
Menacing Dad: I know you. I know who you are. You aren’t some perfect guy. Be straight with me.
Big Bearded Vicar: You’re right, it’s not just the money. I’ve spent a long time looking for something. Maybe the only place I can get it is from you. I want redemption.
Oh sure, that’ll be easy to get. No problem! You know what IS a problem? One of the addresses on Nervous’ wee list just happens to be the offices of our pals at Leith Legals.
And speaking of the boys, at the bar, Cheekbones is busy trying to convince Widow Floral Shirt that he’s drunk.
Cheekbones: Sorry, I’m not used to booze these days. Just got out of prison.
Widow Floral Shirt: Was it because of my dad?
Cheekbones: He wasn’t uninvolved!
Widow Floral Shirt: So let me get this straight: you want me to trust a crooked lawyer.
Cheekbones: A BROKE crooked lawyer! I also have these amazing cheekbones. You gotta trust someone in life.
Widow Floral Shirt: Oh really?
Cheekbones: Nah, but people do say that, don’t they? Man, I can’t believe he has a daughter.
Widow Floral Shirt: Well neither can he. He ignores me.
Cheekbones: That parent child stuff gets ya, doesn’t it.
Widow Floral Shirt: What do you want to do to my dad? You can trust me; I think he’s poison, and I’ve been waiting a long time to meet someone who wants what I want. I can see that in you, and I think you can see that in me too. Tell me.
Cheekbones: I want to do to him what he did to me: take everything he values, send him to prison, and leave him wondering what the hell happened.
Widow Floral Shirt: Good. We just need to find something he values.
As the night progresses, they switch from wine to scotch, and start reminiscing about their childhoods until they close out the bar and leave to have an incredibly ill-advised hookup. Meanwhile, across town, Dead Gambler’s Brother, looking all the more menacing for the setting, lies in wait in someone’s darkened home. Who’s he waiting for, and what’s he going to do to them? Will our friends all realize they’re all playing on the same team? How do Big Bearded Vicar and Menacing Dad really know each other? I suppose we’ll just have to wait for episode 3 to find out.
Episode 1 Recap: I’m Coming Out
Writer, marketer and content producer with an abiding love for the weirder side of the internet. Producer and Host of WGBH’s Drama After Dark.

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