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'Guilt' Recap: Season 3 Episode 2

Daniel Hautzinger
Kenny and Skye sit in a car and look out the open window
Kenny decides to find the McCalls so they can help him and his niece, Skye. Credit: Expectation, Happy Tramp North, BBC, and Masterpiece

Guilt airs Sundays at 9:00 pm and is available to stream. Recap the previous and following episodes and previous seasons.
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With her husband Roy dead (for real this time), Maggie Lynch is clearing house and preparing to leave town. She promotes the weed dealer Danny for his quick thinking in throwing Big Al off a balcony for failing to pass on the profits from the weed he had been distributing and promises to clear Danny’s debt. Danny won’t tell her what the debt is, but promises to take care of it.

She also approaches Sir Jim Sturrock, the successful son of Leith who has just opened a community center in his former neighborhood. She’s leaving Edinburgh for good, and needs a couple million so that she never has to come back. She and Roy helped Jim on his way up in the world, and always said he would be their last resort if things really tanked. Jim says it’s a bad time, but Maggie promises to come visit him publicly, at his office, if he doesn’t help her.

It’s a bad time because Jim is in the midst of organizing the “biggest corporate sale in the history of the UK,” as he describes it at a press conference. He’s selling a bank, and if the sale goes through Maggie will have her money. But he might require her less-than-savory assistance dealing with a persistent person representing the American buyer.

Aliza Hillerby is overseeing the sale. She has been out for six months after becoming addicted to opioids following a skiing accident – not that anyone refers outright to her issues. Ensuring this deal is successful will return her career and life to where it was before the accident. So she’s insistent on due diligence, refusing Jim’s attempts to wine and dine her and instead demanding to see relevant documents.

He sends along boxes and boxes, too many for her to ever go through in a week. He also brings up her skiing accident and absence – he has also been doing his due diligence. He tells her he doesn’t want to hear any rumors of something sour in this deal, and she says she hasn’t found anything – yet.

Maggie wants to leave Edinburgh because the police have seized all her assets and frozen her bank accounts in the wake of their raid on her marijuana farm. Yvonne is determined to bring Maggie down but is already running into issues due to Maggie’s influence in the police and government. For instance, Maggie knows that there is an inquiry into Roy’s death, even though he seemingly shot himself. She tells Yvonne that, if Roy’s death is not revealed, she won’t sue for wrongful death.

Maggie also tells Yvonne that she knows her old mole in the police, Stevie, is working with Yvonne and helped her set up the raid on the farm. The danger Stevie faces from Maggie is the only reason Yvonne is even considering trusting him – if Maggie remains at large, Stevie’s a goner. Stevie tells Yvonne that the only way they can take down Maggie is by taking away her power and influence, so that no one in the police or any other position of power tries to save her.

Because of that endemic corruption, Yvonne asks Stevie to look into Big Al’s death, since Big Al was found with weed from the Lynch farm on him. Stevie is the only policeman who won’t tell Maggie or put his investigation into the system, thus alerting anyone else who might tell Maggie. When Yvonne receives the records from Roy Lynch’s phone, she tells her subordinate she herself will input them into the system – although of course she won’t. She wonders why he's been in touch with Jim Sturrock.

Yvonne is tired of her job and navigating all the corruption, so she wants to make a real difference and take down Maggie for good before leaving it. Stevie gives her the address of Big Al’s girlfriend – Skye’s mother, and Yvonne’s boyfriend Kenny’s sister – but when Yvonne tries to visit, the woman pretends she lives in another apartment until Yvonne goes away.

Skye has assumed the twenty-thousand-pound debt of Big Al, and her uncle Kenny has insisted on helping her and learning whmo she really owes. When he finds out it’s Maggie Lynch, he leaves Skye a voicemail that the situation is dire. But Skye already knows – Danny has approached her and told her he works for Maggie. Either pay up or run, he warns her. She doesn’t have the money, so she’ll run.

She goes to Kenny and tells him she needs to leave Edinburgh – and he says he does too. He has just been approached by the terrifying Teddy, who’s searching for the McCalls on behalf of Maggie – they’re her last loose end. Teddy had an agreement with Roy that he wouldn’t have to hurt his former cellmate Max, but Maggie offers him one hundred thousand pounds and convinces him to take the job. Teddy asks Kenny where the McCalls are, physically forcing an address out of him.

Teddy has surmised – correctly – that Max would seek out his estranged father Alec under duress. When Max first got out of prison, he asked Kenny to track down Alec’s address, but never used it. But now he is once again in trouble, and so he sets off for the remote cabin with Jake.

Max has never forgiven his father for what he calls the trauma of Alec walking out on the family. Max doesn’t even want to be called “son.” Nevertheless, the three McCall men give quick updates on their lives of the past forty years. Jake and Max both describe theirs as successful until ruined by each other. Alec explains that he worked on oil rigs before getting a disability pension. Now he fishes.

He also reveals that he met the boys’ mother when she was in the “loony bin.” She eventually got discharged, they got married, and she was better – most of the time. But he eventually couldn’t take it anymore and left.

When Max can’t sleep that night, he continues catching up with his father. Alec says he never contacted his sons because he had already ruined their life once; he didn’t want to risk doing so again. He just hoped they’d eventually come to him.

Jake has surmised that Max brought them to Alec because Max believes Alec’s abandonment led Max to the life – and issues – he has today, and that he also believes Alec might help him out of it. He’s not all bad, Jake says of their father, and neither are you. The three men go fishing together.

They return to find the door to the house open. Kenny and Skye are inside. Kenny decided that the best way to help Skye would be to rescue the McCalls from Teddy so that they could help him and Skye take down Maggie – Max is the only person Kenny knows who has survived a confrontation with the Lynches. Alec gives his sons money as they leave, telling them that he doesn’t feel so alone anymore – and neither should they. I’ll be there when you need me, he promises them. He then apologizes to Max, who accepts his handshake and calls him “Dad.”

But Teddy is still looking for the McCalls. He crashed on his way to Alec’s cabin, distracted by rain and haunted by thoughts of his murdered brother. A motor biker checked to see if he was ok, but when Kenny stops short in the street at the sight of Teddy, the rider is nowhere to be found – although his bike is still there, waiting for Teddy. Skye is the only person in the car not terrified by Teddy, and starts to get out to talk to him. Max reluctantly goes instead.

He reminds Teddy of how he helped him get parole. Just as Teddy needed to be taught how to get out of prison, he also needs to be taught how not to go back, Max tells him. When Max mentions Roy, Teddy says that Roy’s dead – and Max realizes that Maggie is vulnerable. He explains to Teddy that she won’t ever pay him the bounty for the McCalls; no one can trace Teddy to her, and his attack on them will simply be explained as revenge by an associate of Roy.

Maggie is alone and exposed, Max tells Teddy, offering them an opportunity. Let’s work together.