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'Unforgotten' Recap: Season 5 Episode 2

Daniel Hautzinger
Jess James and Sunny Khan flash their police badges
Jess and Sunny's dislike of each other is making working together difficult. Photo: Mainstreet Productions

Unforgotten airs Sundays at 8:00 pm and is available to stream on the PBS app and Recap the previous and following episodes and previous four seasons.
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Sunny is increasingly taking charge of the investigation into a body found in a once plastered-over fireplace in a home under renovation, as his new boss Jess seems distracted—by her breaking-down marriage, not that anyone on her team knows that. Sunny sends more plaster from the house for testing, to see if different pieces are different ages, since the body is more recent than the plaster that was initially tested.

The debit card used to purchase the dress the corpse was wearing belongs to a Maggie Bowden, but she’s alive and well. She reported the card as stolen along with her handbag in early June, 2016, and the dress was bought immediately afterward. The store from which it was purchased was right near the scene of the theft, so the thief must have used the card quickly before it was canceled.

Bowden reported the theft and even acquired CCTV footage in which the face of the thief—a small woman—was visible, but the police never followed up. Sunny leads this whole investigatory path without informing Jess, who tells him important information should come to her first. He responds that it will, when she’s actually in the office.

Sunny has told his team to run everything through him, and Jess did almost go to the superintendent to resign, thanks to the turmoil brought on by the revelation of cheating by her husband. He won’t talk to her or their kids until he returns home from a trip, and then he tries to sneak in after Jess has left—except she was late in getting out of the house that morning.

He explains that she felt like a roommate, given how much she works—and difficult conversations are hard to have with her, because she always wants to “win” them. Jess’s mom later tells Jess that she has always been unfazed by everything, and that that can be difficult on the people close to her—perhaps including Steve. He’s going to move into his brother’s spare room for now.

Sunny’s no winner at personal relationships and difficult discussions either. When his fiancée Sal reveals that she has accidentally become pregnant and that she might want to keep the child, he can’t hide his initial distaste at the idea, but tells her they both need time to process.

Karol Wojski also has a complicated relationship. His French girlfriend has two daughters, and her ex suddenly wants to share custody. She vows to fight, but Karol worries about the legal costs, as he wants to have his own child with her, which would require moving to a bigger apartment. 

Jay Royce is much more desperate for money. In order to fund his girlfriend Cheryl’s addiction, he steals purses and phones, using the debit cards before they’re canceled and selling anything else of value. He tells Cheryl something needs to change, however. But then the police come to his miserable apartment and arrest him.

Lord Tony Hume is also in dire straits, even though he has plenty of people to love and support him, as is evident in the surprise birthday party his wife Emma throws him. His doctor has given him three months to a year to live, but Tony has vowed to spare no expense and try anything in order to extend that time. 

In the meantime, he’s tending to the next generation, trying to acquire a grant for a youth club and lecturing his errant teenaged grandson, who was suspended from his posh school for taking advantage of a drunk girl. Tony will get the suspension revoked, but he vows to make his grandson’s life very difficult if he hears even a whisper of similar behavior.

The detectives manage to determine the identity of the woman who stole Maggie Bowden’s purse by looking for similar thefts nearby around the same time, and learn that her name is Precious Falade. She was arrested in one of the thefts, and had a long history of offenses: drugs, sex work, theft. She was born and raised in London but a lot of her criminal offenses were in Wales. She gave as her address the house where the body was found in the chimney. 

Neighbors of that house recall some harmless squatters living there in 2016. The woman who owned the house had died intestate, so there was a dispute over who would inherit it that led to it sitting empty for four years. A now-deceased neighbor called a relative of the deceased owner about the squatters, and he went to the house and dealt with them, and also sent out a locksmith.

All of these deaths—the lawyer who worked on the sale of the house has also died—make it difficult to ascertain much detail about the squatters or the relative who confronted them. There are notes in the lawyer’s files about an “LA” calling, although those initials don’t match any of the homeowner’s relatives. 

The detectives feel confident that the body in the home is Precious Falade’s, given her small stature and drug addiction: the body’s missing teeth are consistent with drug use, as are track marks found on a patch of skin. The cause of death was a gunshot. 

The detectives eventually find out that Precious had a son and a mother who were both estranged. They track down her mother, Ebele Falade.

Ebele now runs a popular restaurant and has a tense relationship with her cook, Dave. He has returned to her after she punched him, telling her she has one last chance. Things with her have been getting worse, he says—but at least she didn’t turn to drink after he left.

Ebele learns that her investors still want to help her expand the restaurant, despite Dave’s misgivings. She apologizes to Dave, and tells him that she will change.

And then Sunny and Jess appear, and tell her that they believe they have found her daughter’s body. Ebele screams and goes into a frenzy, and Dave tells the police to leave. Jess does, bringing Sunny with her, to his annoyance. Outside the restaurant, she tries to call Steve, who has texted her to call ASAP—but he doesn’t pick up. 

Sunny tells Jess they shouldn’t have left, and they go back in. Ebele has calmed down a bit, and says that she has only seen Precious two or three times in the last fifteen years or so, the last time being around 2014. She was tired of her daughter stealing from her, using drugs, and blaming her mother for it all. Ebele also doesn’t have any contact with Precious’ son Joseph, who would be 24 or 25 now. 

Sunny shows Ebele a photo of the house in which Precious’ body was found, but Ebele says she doesn’t recognize it. Sunny doesn’t believe her, as he tells Jess once they leave. He and Jess argue over each other’s decisions during the interrogation. They do not like each other.