Second episode of this mystery series is just as good as the first. In this episode, our main character, ex-jockey turned detective Sid Halley, struggles to adjust to a prosthetic hand and the show doesn’t shy away from the fact that he misses his former life. He’s not as bitter as he was in the first episode, but there’s a great scene where he visits the jockey locker room to talk to a jockey about the case he’s working and Mike Gwilym, once against knocking it out of the park, sums up all the sadness in Halley’s life with just a few looks around the room; you see him missing everything he used to have. In this episode, a horse owner wants to find out why his horse, who should be winning, keeps losing. Leslie Sands is great as the owner, a terrifying figure prepared to dish out some extralegal justice once he finds out what’s going on. This episode also opens with a horse giving birth and this isn’t done with special effects or off-screen; damned if they don’t just film a real horse really giving birth to a real foal. Now that’s just cool. CGI won’t get you that kind of down & dirty realism; it’s disgusting and also kind of fascinating if you’ve never seen a horse give birth before (I hadn’t). The plot has twists and turns that I found surprising and the show is once again about real human emotions. The final scene of the episode is devastating. The show isn’t afraid to get super-dark and both Gwilym and Sands are great in that final scene, which is nearly wordless. It’s all in the looks, in the eyes, all the pain of loss and real sorrow. This is a great episode. I am loving this show; the first two episodes are layered, morally and emotionally complicated, beautifully plotted and acted. You’ve really got to check this show out. 4 stars.
tl;dr – great performances and sharp writing elevate this mystery series into character study territory; final scene is nothing short of devastating; this episode is super-dark, super-sad. 4 stars.