Paul Spector might have been apprehended by now had it not been for the stupid actions (or inactions) of a couple of kids. Think that’s harsh? Here’s the reasoning…
Rose’s daughter, Nancy
It seems a bit unfair to blame a girl so young for the fact that a serial killer kidnapped her mother, but what sort of child thinks it’s perfectly OK for a man dressed in black to be skulking around her house in the middle of the night? Have Rose and her couch-loving husband never taught their kids about stranger danger?
Or is little Nancy (Sofia Smyth Fuentes) so docile that she doesn’t think to scream out or even loudly demand answers from the mysterious guy claiming to be a family friend and calling himself Peter Piper? “Why are you here when Mummy’s asleep? How come I’ve never heard of you? Why are you so handsome?”
Have Rose and her couch-loving husband never taught their kids about stranger danger?
Worse still, not only does Nancy remain in silence while Paul (Jamie Dornan) forces Rose (Valene Kane) to write a letter explaining her absence, but she also doesn’t think to raise the alarm when she sees him shove her mother around on the way to the car outside. Or say anything about any of it to her dad the next day. Given she’s about six or seven years of age, that’s not asking for too much, is it?
As a result, Paul makes off with Rose, the night before she was due to go and see DS Gibson (Gillian Anderson) for an extended interview. It’s only when Gibson arrives at Rose’s house and chats to her husband that Nancy says anything, inadvertently revealing to Gibson’s protégé, PC Ferrington (Niamh McGrady) that Peter Piper was in the house last night. Nice one, Princess.
Katie the babysitter
She might think she’s a woman, but Katie is just a stupid little girl. She can’t be so naïve that she doesn’t realise there’s a good chance Paul just might be the serial killer – but is she so dumb that she hasn’t figured out that things can’t end well for her if she keeps quiet about what she knows?
And, thanks to her silence, Paul is gallivanting around kidnapping old ex-girlfriends and finagling his way into being Annie Brawley’s (Karen Hassan) counsellor. Yep, Annie, the woman who survived his last attack.
It’s also not a great idea for Katie to take off with Paul and Sally-Ann’s (Bronagh Waugh) daughter, Olivia (Sarah Beattie). And then ignore Paul’s calls. But that’s just the kind of messed-up little minx she is. Of course, she thinks she’s being incredibly clever. So switched on that when Paul tracks her down and gives her the key to his hotel room, she gets a copy cut instead of running to the cops.
Perhaps if her parents had done a better job raising her to not be a little jerk, it wouldn’t have come to this.
But as she waits for Paul in his cheap hotel room, what is she thinking? How clever she’s been to piece it all together and use it to get what she wants? How she’s doing her parents proud for helping to ruin a marriage (although to be fair, Paul’s doing a pretty good job of that without her help)? That Paul would never hurt her?
She’s wrong on the last count. And when he meets her at the hotel, he starts to throttle her. “You’re playing stupid, childish games,” Paul says. Maybe he’s not so cracked after all. “I’m not a child!” Katie protests. Oh yes, dear, you are. Perhaps if her parents had done a better job raising her to not be a little jerk, it wouldn’t have come to this.
Thankfully, Gibson is so good she doesn’t need Nancy or Katie. Forensic evidence finally comes through – with a partial print lifted from the retrieved scissors identifying Paul. Not that Gibson tells him that when he calls her again – as Peter. But is the evidence too little too late?
Watch episode 2 here.
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