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'Annika' Recap: Episode 3

Daniel Hautzinger
Michael and Annika in Annika
Annika turns to Michael for advice on Morgan while also investigating another murder. Photo: UKTV

Annika airs Sundays at 9:00 pm and is available to stream. Recap the previous and following episodes.
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Murdo Sterling spent his career campaigning for water free of contaminants, only to end up befouling a crystalline lake with his death. He is found floating in Loch Katrine, drowned by force and with wounds from the outboard motor of a boat inflicted after his death. In life, he was a chemical analyst for Natural Water, a nonprofit trying to protect the world’s water.

Mel Hetherington, the head of Natural Water, tells Annika’s team that everyone there had enemies. Murdo had been on a short holiday, so she hadn’t seen him in the past few days. His calendar simply says “Ma” for those days. Murdo’s father Rab, who is soon to retire from running a garage servicing motorbikes, says his wife—Murdo’s mother—has been dead for years. All he knows about his son’s recent life is that Murdo had a woman named Siobhan staying with him.

Another clue leads to a Siobhan Kelly—a phone found near Murdo’s smashed-up car. “Bastard” is painted on the expensive vehicle. Siobhan’s husband explains that Murdo had called him three days ago to say that he was sleeping with Siobhan, but that the affair had just ended. Siobhan’s husband kicked her out of the house, and he has been trying to explain things to their two young children.

Annika is also struggling to communicate with her daughter Morgan, even if Morgan is older. Morgan has started psychotherapy with the dashing Jake Strathearn, and Annika has a crush on him.

Annika is attracted to someone in her daughter’s life; Morgan is similarly pulled to someone in Annika’s. She has been texting Blair, the youngest member of Annika’s team, ever since their excursion to Bute.

Annika asks Michael for advice, and he eventually admits that his eldest child went to the school counselor for anxiety. He also explains that he assumes his children discuss their troubles with their friends. Morgan hasn’t made friends yet at her new school, so Annika asks Blair, her only friend for now, to be kind to her daughter.

That’s not to say Morgan and Annika have solved their problems; Morgan feels Annika is paranoid and over-protective, a point illustrated when Annika demands to know whom Morgan is speaking to on the phone. Jake told Morgan to reach out to relatives, so she is talking to her grandfather about a trip to Norway to visit him. Annika grabs the phone, chastises her father, and hangs up.

The phone call reporting the sighting of Murdo’s body in Loch Katrine contains some clues. There’s some sort of mechanical noise in the background. And the caller, who had a New Zealand accent, seemed stressed, as if he might have been involved with the death. He also mentioned seeing a boat, but there wasn’t one there by the time police arrived.

Tyrone questions the owner of a boat rental place on the lake and discovers from CCTV footage that Murdo hired a boat there—but there’s no record of him in the purchase log. An employee with a New Zealand accent arrives while Tyrone is there and flees when he realizes Tyrone is a cop—but Tyrone catches him as he jumps on a jet-ski, tackling him into the water.

The employee, Nathan, explains that his visa is expired and that he gave Murdo weed the night before he died, around midnight—that’s why he tried to run. Murdo seemed upset as he waited to meet someone. The next morning Nathan accidentally ran over Murdo’s body with his boat and called it in. But he worried that the weed or his boat had killed Murdo.

He does remember that Murdo’s credit card was declined, and that it had the name “S. Campbell.” It turns out that Murdo had numerous different cards registered to him under various names. Among them is one in the name of Heidi Greenfield, the receptionist at Natural Water. She was unaware, but is unsurprised when the police tell her: Murdo was a bastard, she says. He probably got into her computer to steal her personal information. She also reveals that Natural Water’s boss, Mel, was out for a couple days at the same time as Murdo. And she provides a clue to the “S. Campbell” on Murdo’s rejected card.

Sandy Campbell came in to Natural Water for an unscheduled meeting with Murdo a few weeks ago. He’s Murdo’s son, essentially abandoned by Murdo after his birth. Murdo doesn’t even pay child support—instead, he has been stealing money from Sandy’s mother and Sandy, who receives medical compensation that Murdo has been taking.

When Blair and Tyrone try to visit Natural Water’s office for some questioning, they find it closed out of respect for Murdo—and the door forced. A man tries to flee when they enter, but they catch him. He’s a videographer who had been working on a promotion for Natural Water for several weeks. Mel fired him, and he was trying to retrieve his camera.

The police take his footage, and find a clip of Mel arguing with Murdo on camera. Blair calls up Sam, a friend who works for a newspaper—the same reporter who pressed Annika at her first press conference. Sam reveals that her paper paid Murdo $50,000 for a story about Natural Water that was to break today, but has been delayed, probably due to legal action from Mel. Sam doesn’t know what it’s about, but seems interested in a job with the police: “You need a press officer,” she tells Annika.

Mel admits that she argued with Murdo because he was going to reveal that a bottled water company was sponsoring Natural Water behind the scenes, thus tarnishing the nonprofit’s image. Mel was gone for several days—including when Murdo was killed—because she was telling the bottled water company, who cut ties with Natural Water to get ahead of the impending story.

Murdo managed to anger plenty of women. The police track down Siobhan when she takes her children out of school; a school worker overheard her talking about flying somewhere. She’s found at a hotel near the airport, with tickets to Oslo. When Annika and Michael arrive, she’s vomiting in the bathroom, having taken Valium and alcohol. She hates Murdo, and believes a woman must have killed him. She was just having a fling with him, paying for all the dinners and hotel rooms, but when she suggested that he chip in too, he ended things and called her husband to reveal the affair. So she trashed his car.

But she didn’t kill him. Blair has isolated the mechanical sound in the background of Nathan’s emergency call, and Annika recognizes it as a motorbike. That leads her to Murdo’s father, Rab, and a realization that he lied about when his wife died: it was only a few months ago. Murdo’s calendar entry—“Ma”—was because he and Rab were going to scatter her ashes on Loch Katrine. During the boat ride, Rab explains, he asked Murdo to return Sandy’s money. When Murdo refused, saying it was his by right, Rab—who helps out Sandy and his mother—snapped and held Murdo’s head underwater, trying to stop him from hurting more people.

When Rab apologizes and says goodbye to Sandy, the boy tells him, “He was already dead to us, Grandpa,” and pushes himself out of his wheelchair to hug Rab.

At least Annika’s relationship with Morgan isn’t as bad as Murdo’s and Sandy’s was. But it could soon get more complicated, given that she and Jake have started to flirt. As soon as Morgan completes her sessions of therapy with Jake, perhaps they can date.