'Annika' Recap: Episode 4
November 6, 2022
Cara Gibson was a popular author, but not necessarily a popular person. She ruined various lives with her alarmist books, including the singer Evie B., whose band broke up because of reportage by Cara, and many of the people who lived in a project called Braebank, whom Cara depicted as lazy takers from the government in her book Workshy.
So there are plenty of suspects when Cara’s dead body is discovered underneath a bridge. Despite the cold, she wasn’t wearing a coat. Traces of her blood and hair are found on the bridge; she was knocked out, fell into the water, and drowned.
First suspect: Evie B. Cara had been frequenting a restaurant where the singer performed. Evie apparently doesn’t begrudge Cara’s effect on her career; she even considered accepting Cara’s proposed interview for a new book, until she realized Cara wasn’t paying. Cara told Evie she didn’t want to write the upcoming book, but she had to—and it would either improve or destroy Cara’s life.
Fraser Clanahan was Cara’s cowriter on some of her books, and is a new vice chancellor at Glasgow University, where Cara taught and where he got her a house as part of a cushy arrangement. He says he hadn’t seen Cara in a while, as she had started Alcoholics Anonymous and so no longer frequented the pub with their friends.
Graham Kennedy, the university maintenance person who lets the police into Cara’s flat, corroborates that she had a drinking problem, but says he doesn’t know much about her otherwise. A toxicology report shows that Cara had fallen off the wagon the night she died: she was very drunk, and also had red fibers on her. Her laptop is missing from her home, but the name “Maggie Fisher” is highlighted in an open copy of Workshy.
Maggie was from Braebank. Fraser and Cara took out a restraining order on her years ago, and she has an ankle tracker for assault. The signal on the tracker went out right around the time Cara died.
Maggie has an excuse for everything. The assault was from defending her daughter in a pub. The tracker is faulty and simply failed for a time; she reported it. She was with a man in her flat the whole night Cara was killed. Cara had recently called her and left a voicemail, but Maggie deleted it without listening.
Annika does notice a photo of Graham at Braebank, where Maggie is active on behalf of the residents—it’s due to be demolished soon.
Graham is defensive when Tyrone asks him about his past: Maggie thought Graham was a lawyer now. And indeed, he was studying to be one before dropping out after being accused of stealing from the dorms. Graham says the accusations were false and simply arose because he was a Black kid from Braebank. Tyrone later admits that he too feels a need to excel, as a Black man in a largely white profession. But for now he suspects Graham, given that he spots Cara’s missing laptop in his van.
Graham claims that Cara gave it to him, and CCTV footage places him at the gym at her time of death. He didn’t kill Cara.
Cara’s friend Ming Mei Zhao, a grad student whom Annika already met when she left flowers at Cara’s door, thinks she knows who did. She goes to the police with Fraser for support to tell them about her part-time job working for a cab company. Cara called a cab from her apartment to the university the night she died, and was very drunk. Ming always tried to avoid sending the driver Lachie Nevin to pick up solo women because she was nervous around him, but he was the only driver available. He didn’t check in for a long while after picking up Cara.
When Blair and Michael approach Lachie, he flees and is only caught when Michael hits him with his car. Lachie says he kicked Cara out of his car when she asked him to pull over because she felt sick—he didn’t want to clean up vomit. She went into a pub near the bridge where she was killed, but left her coat, with her phone in its pocket, in his cab. He threw it out the next day—and his story checks out.
Cara’s newly recovered laptop shows what the new book she was writing was about: it was a memoir of sorts, about her alcoholism and also the way she twisted stories to paint a dismal and not-quite-true picture of Braebank. She was going to reveal that she paid Maggie for stories; in their one recent contact, Maggie begged Cara not to ruin her reputation.
Annika is struggling to save face in front of her daughter as she inches towards a relationship with Morgan’s former therapist, Jake. But then Morgan offers her a way in: Morgan doesn’t like her new therapist, and asks Annika to speak to Jake for a recommendation.
Annika makes small talk with Jake and finds out they are both interested in an exhibit at the aquarium. When Annika takes Morgan, they happen to run into Jake—and Morgan abandons Annika to hang out with Blair’s younger sister, who is in town and Morgan’s age. Annika and Jake enjoy the aquarium without Morgan, and then spend the night together while Morgan stays at Blair’s. Morgan, too, is beginning a romance with Blair’s sister.
Both Annika and Morgan are coy to each other about their nights, and quickly turn away from each other with a smile when they both receive texts from their new interests.
Oh, and Cara? Her old cowriter Fraser killed her. Phone records from the pub show that Cara, missing her phone, called him from there. He left his own phone in the conference center at the university so that he couldn’t be tracked, and took advantage of her drunkenness to kill her. The conference center has new red carpet, fibers of which transferred from him to Cara. He was trying to prevent her from publishing her new book, which would reveal him as a fraud.
When confronted, he flees and then tries to fight off Tyrone with a spare piece of metal. Tyrone subdues him after an extensive fight. Tyrone gets to excel and be the hero.