Skip to main content

'Unforgotten' Recap: Season 5 Episode 5

Daniel Hautzinger
Jay Royce stands in shadows on a phone in prison
Jay makes a shocking claim about his family to the detectives. Credit: 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.
Keep up with your favorite dramas and mysteries by signing up for our newsletter, Dramalogue.

Jess and Sunny have agreed to reset their working relationship and revealed the personal crises that are troubling them both, but that doesn’t mean those crises have gone away. Sunny and Sal finally talk about his grief over Cassie’s death, and he reveals that he hasn’t discussed it with her because he was afraid she would be jealous. She says their relationship could endure through his grief, but her miscarriage has made her realize she wants kids—and he really doesn’t. She’s going to her mother’s place for a bit to think things over.

Jess visits her brother-in-law’s house, demanding to speak to her husband, who is staying there. Her brother-in-law lies, insisting that Steve is not there, but after Jess tells him Steve slept with her sister Debbie as she storms away, he tells Steve he needs to leave. Steve later appears at Jess’ home while her mother is watching the kids, as if nothing has happened.

When Tony tries to reveal some past mistakes to his wife Emma after coming home from a meeting with Jay Royce with a bruise he claims is the result of a drunken fall, Emma doesn’t want to hear about them.

Jay is about to move to a new place with his girlfriend Cheryl when an armed police team bursts in and arrests him, gathering his belongings. The detectives, learning that he had been bailed, wanted to speak to him again and feared he was armed. They have traced a bullet found in the house where Precious was killed to a gun of one of Jay’s associates, Elton King, who told them that Jay took part in the robbery that sent Elton to jail. Elton gave the gun to Jay when he went to jail in 2015, thinking Jay would take care of his life outside prison—but he never saw Jay again.

Karol gives his girlfriend, Elise, a bundle of cash that he got from selling luxury watches he stole from work—not that he tells her that. She’s skeptical, and reveals him that her ex spoke to the police after seeing them interviewing Karol and learned that Karol is a person of interest in a murder inquiry. She tells him to leave, and he leaves her the cash for her girls. He returns to his parents in the UK and tells the police he will come in for an interview.

The detectives have managed to track various pay-as-you-go phones to Precious and Ebele, showing that Ebele received a call from an unknown caller the night Precious probably died, then called Precious a few minutes later. Ebele claims not to remember the calls, but accidentally admits to arguing with Precious outside the house in which she was found a few weeks earlier, as an unearthed police report suggested.

She denies that Precious had fetal alcohol syndrome, saying she didn’t drink while she was pregnant, and says she was never violent towards her daughter. Precious was just an inveterate liar. Ebele did the best she could; she’s sorry she failed.

She later tanks a meeting with investors in her restaurant, to her partner Dave’s surprise, telling them that it was a mistake to try to expand the restaurant. She explains her past to Dave. She became pregnant with Precious as a teenager, and her grandmother tried to exorcise her while her grandfather later tried to make her lose the baby and thus prevent the shame that had descended upon her mother for being an unwed teen mother from also accruing to her. He tied her down and poured half a liter of vodka down her throat.

The other phone call to Ebele before Precious died came from a phone the detectives have linked to Joseph Bell—and records show he made the call from the vicinity of the house where Precious was killed. He answers “no comment” to everything, until finally admitting that the detectives have everything wrong. He’s not Precious’ son Joseph Bell; he really is just Jay Royce, and Joseph was his half-brother. Jay is Precious’ son by another man who died in 2015; his birth was never registered. He was fourteen when Precious died, and adopted his brother’s identity when he was sixteen in order to access welfare.

Jay then dismisses the expensive lawyer provided by Tony, but he won’t say more to the detectives other than that people will hurt him because of what he has witnessed. He doesn’t believe anyone’s claim of protection: no one protected Joseph.   

Just then, someone calls the police station to report that Joseph Bell’s body is buried in a garden. The detectives send dogs to sniff it out, and also start to search the house where Precious died for more bullets. Tony’s lawyer bails Jay out again.

The father of Joseph—if he is in fact a different person from Jay—is the cult leader, David Bell, but he died before Precious was killed. Another cult member tells the detectives that Precious betrayed the cult for money, saying she talked about an older, wealthy man the last time she was on the cult’s farm:  a sugar daddy?

The detectives also talk to Mehdi Hussein, a government minister who has fallen out with Tony Hume. Mehdi explains that Tony shifted from an archconservative to liberal view of government spending around late 2016. Mehdi thought it was because of a woman: he saw Tony arguing with one around that time. She matches Precious’ description. And Tony once worked for the bank that Ebele tried to rob in 1986.

Rumors about Karol taking up-skirt photos of social worker colleagues seem to be true. He denied the allegation but wouldn’t turn over his phone, and he came to an agreement to leave on his own. Another colleague then came forward with the same allegation.

Karol deleted everything from his computer upon leaving, but two emails from Precious to him slipped through, from the day he saw her for an appointment, before she died. The first said he left his laptop and that it had “interesting” photos. The second told him to bring two grand when he came the next day.

A laptop was found among Jay’s possessions when he was arrested. It has barely been used since 2016 and appears to be owned by Precious. It contains a folder of “Karol Wojski photos” created the day she saw Karol, downloaded from an email account she also created that day. It’s a bunch of up-skirt photos.

Tony’s bank calls him to inform him that they were forced by the police to reveal his involvement with two standing transfers. Tony has already been shocked to learn from his lawyer that Jay is claiming to be Joseph’s half-brother. Now he gets in a taxi to the airport, where he has a flight to Zurich—a common destination for people committing assisted suicide.

The detectives finally track down the doorman who changed his testimony about Ebele trying to rob the bank in 1986. He explains that it was suggested to him by one of the bank’s directors that he change his story, or else he would lose his job. Tony’s father was on the board of the bank. The doorman was also told not to say what Ebele was shouting: “I want to speak to my dad! I want to speak to Tony bloody Hume!”