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'Guilt' Recap: Part 2

Daniel Hautzinger
Jake and Max McCall in 'Guilt.' Photo: Expectation/Happy Tramp North
Max makes a bold gamble that Jake signs on to as a way to make a fresh start. Photo: Expectation/Happy Tramp North

Guilt is available to stream. Recap the previous part.

What exactly has the late Walter’s neighbor Sheila done, apparently abetted by Angie?

Walter left Sheila everything in his will—everything except his record collection, which went to his niece, who lived abroad. His attorney insisted that the estate couldn’t be wrapped up until the niece was located.

Not a problem, Sheila told the attorney—she could contact the niece.

Off to the Scottish Highlands she went, to a bar owned by a naïve friend who had mentioned that he had an American girl working there who was in need of money. Sheila explained to the girl—Angie—that she had paid for all of Walter’s care, and he had left her the house as repayment. She’s in debt, and needs the estate settled so that she can sell the house and send the rest of the money to charity.

Angie sees through Sheila’s lies—no money will be going to charity—but accepts the offer to pose as Walter’s niece—as long as Sheila pays her double the initial offer.

But now Angie is realizing Sheila may have been lying about even more. Going through Walter’s medicines, she thinks she has found a pattern of overdosing. Calling a meeting with Sheila and the bar owner, she asks about the medicine and why all of Walter’s checks were going to Sheila.

Walter was housebound, Sheila explains, so she had to buy everything for him and be reimbursed. As to the medicine—and a note Walter left his real niece about his medicines—Walter was of unsound mind at the end. Leave now, she tells Angie, who asks for her cut of the money—she doesn’t trust Sheila to send it to her later. But Sheila threatens to blackmail Angie, given that she is pretending to be Walter’s niece.

Jake has become suspicious of Angie, and asks her where she got a matchbook from a restaurant in the Highlands, and why there’s a photo online of her bartending there. She tells him that she came to Scotland months earlier, wanting to see Walter before he died. Told he had several months left, she traveled around, enjoying her escape from a bad boyfriend in America. She ran out of money and so began working at a bar, which was a violation of her tourist visa—hence lying about it.

Jake still wants her to stay in Scotland with him. She shrugs him off, especially when she learns that he doesn’t control his own finances at the record store—Max does.

The next time the person Jake calls his accountant arrives with tax papers to sign, Jake refuses. He wants to see the full picture of his business, and has plans to make it more successful, by setting up a website and maybe even moving downtown.

Max goes to his moneylender and tells him Jake is out of their deal. You don’t want to know what the reality behind this arrangement is, the moneylender says. Max tries to convince Jake to change his mind, but Jake demands to see all of the paperwork surrounding his business, despite Max’s warning that he will want plausible deniability.

Meanwhile, Kenny visits garages near Max’s home on the hunch that Max hit Walter and is one of the two men in the neighbor’s surveillance footage of the night Walter died. He then meets Max, who laughs at Kenny’s accusation—until Kenny mentions that he has spoken to Max’s mechanic. Kenny wants to win his family back, and that can happen in one of two ways: either he turns Max in, restarting his career with a successfully solved case; or he joins Max’s practice as a full partner. He can protect Max, who doesn’t have a clue how dangerous the people he is involved with are. Be careful, Kenny tells Max.

Too late. A car blocks Max as he’s driving away. A man gets out and gets in Max’s car, telling him to follow the other car. Kenny follows, too, at a safe distance.

They pull up to the docks, and Max’s moneylender gets out of the leading car along with another man, whom Max recognizes as a notorious gangster boss, Roy Lynch. Roy explains that Jake’s record store’s address is the site of 43 limited partnerships being used to launder money, a flow of money that will soon be doubling. Don’t mess this up right now, he warns. Unbeknownst to Max, Kenny is watching from behind a shipping container—and is caught and beaten by one of Roy’s men.

Max visits Jake at the grave of their mother. While she was dying, Jake visited her everyday. He asked for one day off, to play with his band for a record label. Instead, Max went on holiday, and their mother died that day. Jake never got to play for the label. He thought Max’s purchase of the record store for him was an admission of guilt; now he’s not so sure.

Max explains that he opened his law practice at the height of the recession and got into some trouble, but Jake doesn’t want to hear it. I’ve got nothing to lose, he says. He finally has the chance for something bigger and better. We’re both in deep trouble if you walk away now, Max warns. Jake walks away.

Kenny is recovering in the hospital from his beating at the docks. Jake’s “accountant,” who works for Roy, is also a policeman, called to question Kenny about the attack—but Kenny won’t give any details. When his partner leaves, Stevie, the corrupt policeman, goes back to Kenny, possibly to silence him now that Kenny has seen him—but Max is there, visiting.

Later, Max calls Roy. I tried, he tells him. You’ll just scare him?

Angie texts Jake: I have something to tell you. So do I, he replies. On his way to visit her, he’s grabbed by two men and shoved into a van.

Claire has decided to end things with Tina, deleting her number. But Tina appears at Claire’s house, and Claire admits that Tina was her first bit of happiness in a long time. Tina then decides to end it, telling Claire not to do anything drastic. She returns to her own flat, where Roy is waiting. Claire doesn’t know anything, she tells him, silently imploring him not to involve Claire.

Claire and Tina in 'Guilt.' Photo: Expectation/Happy Tramp NorthClaire feels lost in her life, but Tina has at least been a spot of happiness, if a confusing one. Photo: Expectation/Happy Tramp North

Tina is also at the moneylender’s when Max shows up to ask Roy where Jake is. Roy doesn’t know, and sends a man to follow Max. But Max eludes him and goes to visit Jake in the locked backroom of a bar. Max orchestrated the kidnapping to protect Jake. He explains about the money laundering through Jake’s record store; Kenny shows up with a bruised face to reinforce that Jake should listen to Max.

Max has a plan. Roy is too old-fashioned to be in charge of the money-laundering operation. Max will appeal to whoever is above him and bid to take it over—he could make them more money as a white-collar professional. They just need to figure out who the boss is.

Jake agrees to the plan, demanding enough money to start over once it’s all done. Kenny has a way to the boss: he recognized Stevie, the corrupt policeman, as one of Roy’s men when he questioned him at the hospital.

Stevie, tied to Roy because of gambling debts, sets up a meeting with the boss above Roy. Leaving the meeting, Jake asks if their ploy worked. Of course! Max reassures him, even if the boss never explicitly agreed—that’s not how this business is done.

Kenny is excited to play a big part in this new operation, but Max tells him that for now it would be best if Kenny still works for him, instead of as an equal.

Angie is also trying to assert herself in her partnership with Sheila. She refuses to leave town when Sheila tells her to—Walter’s attorney has heard from Walter’s real niece, in Australia, after she received a condolence note from a family friend, and has referred the matter to the police. So Sheila tells her a secret about Jake and Max.

Angie furiously confronts Jake about the hit-and-run. I’m leaving tomorrow, she says.

Tina is also skipping town, and wants Claire to join her. She explains that she works for a moneylender and that Max is a client. He’s in debt to bad people—just ask him about Roy Lynch. Claire tells Max that Roy called, and sees through his panicked attempt to appear nonchalant. She later tells Tina that she’s leaving Max.

The problem is, she doesn’t have any money. Tina leaves Claire in the car while she stops by the loan office to take some—but Tina is apprehended. When Claire follows after waiting for a long time, she finds Roy and Max’s lender there. They claim not to know Tina or Max, and send Claire on her way. She receives a text from Tina: Sorry.

That’s not the only plan Roy interferes with: Jake’s store is destroyed in a mysterious fire, and he didn’t have insurance. Max’s practice also goes under: he finds Roy and some thugs waiting for him there. The boss values loyalty above else; Roy is not being cut out of the money-laundering business. In fact, Roy is taking over Max’s business. When Max refuses to sign the paperwork, a thug breaks his nose on the desk.

Despite their antagonistic parting, Jake shows up at Angie’s and tells her about the fire and the money laundering. She in turn admits that Walter wasn’t her uncle. Feels like we’re even, Jake says. Angie asks Jake to come with her when she leaves, and he agrees.

Then she’s brought in for interrogation by the police. Max acts as her lawyer, and is stunned when she reveals the truth about Sheila and posing as Walter’s niece. He’s even more worried when he learns Walter’s real niece is having the body exhumed. He tries to get Stevie, who is one of the interrogators, to prevent the exhumation. Stevie refuses; he’s the one who told Roy about Max’s plan to cut him out of the money laundering.

Meanwhile, Jake is meeting with Kenny, who has texted him a still from the neighbor’s security footage of Jake and Max moving Walter’s body. Kenny suggests they blame Max by saying Jake took a taxi back from the wedding. He can take care of the footage, and has the mechanic as well as the cleaner at the paint-testing lab Max bribed as evidence against Max. Jake refuses: even Max wouldn’t push the blame on his own brother.

Max assures Angie and Jake that he’ll handle the exhumation, and tells them to get to the airport and fly out as soon as possible. He apologizes to Jake, and promises to get him the money he owes him for a fresh start.

He then goes to Sheila and lays out the facts. Walter is being exhumed, and he suspects a toxicology report might reveal some overdoses of medicine. Why else was a letter about his terminal cancer so prominently placed in his home, and why would he be wandering across the street late at night towards Sheila’s house? Did she accidentally not give him enough medicine to kill him, thus leaving him in pain and coming to her for help?

Max can help them both out of it: he’ll say Jake took his keys from him because he was drunk; when he got his car back in the morning it was dented. Your own brother… Sheila says. He’s leaving the country, Max says. He’ll be okay.

But he hasn’t left yet. Angie suspected Max was going to Sheila, so she and Jake got there first. They heard the whole conversation.

Max returns home to find bags packed for him by Claire. I tried, she says. Now leave—and you’re not going to make things difficult for me, she tells him, because who knows what might come out about you if you do.

Having lost his wife, home, and business, Max goes to meet Jake. We should have called the police, Jake says. Max explains that he has locked a lot of emotions away in order to succeed in their world; Jake responds that he can’t lock guilt away like Max can. You stopped protecting me a long time ago, he tells Max.

I’m sorry, Max sobs as he hugs Jake. Look what had to happen for you to say it, Jake says, as the police approach and take a shocked Max away. Jake, Angie, Sheila, and Kenny all watch as the man who tried to use them by pretending to help them is put into a police car.