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'Guilt' Recap: Season 3 Episode 3

Daniel Hautzinger
Maggie Lynch stands in a rainy industrial area in a coat
Maggie is preparing to leave Edinburgh, but has to tie up some loose ends first – if other people don't stop her. 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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Everything comes together on Friday. That’s when Sir Jim Sturrock’s deal to sell his National Bank of Caledonia (NBC) to an American company will go through, giving Maggie Lynch the money to leave Edinburgh for good and pay off henchmen like Teddy for killing the McCall brothers.

Except Teddy has made a deal with the McCalls to instead take down Maggie, not that she knows that – yet. She sends Teddy on another job, to his annoyance: surveil the representative of the company buying NBC, Aliza Hillerby. Teddy tells Maggie he found nothing on Aliza. He then turns around and tells the McCalls that Maggie is interested in Aliza.

The McCalls have returned to Edinburgh with Kenny and his niece, Skye. Kenny wants to abandon the McCalls now that he has rescued them, but Skye insists on staying – she got herself into the mess of owing Maggie twenty thousand pounds. She tells Kenny he can go.

She and the McCalls need a place to stay – and hide. So Max brings them to Sheila, the neighbor of the man Jake and Max accidentally killed in a hit-and-run. Max knows that she lacks morals and won’t ask questions or report them – as long as there’s something in it for her. She demands five thousand pounds a night.

Max sends Skye to the hotel where Aliza is staying to try to figure out Maggie’s interest in her. Dressed as a maid, Skye slips into the room where the boxes of NBC documents Aliza is reviewing are stored while Aliza goes to the hotel restaurant. Jake watches Aliza from the bar and tries to flirt with her when she orders her food to be delivered to the document room. He fails to delay her, and she returns to the room just as Skye is leaving.

Skye has managed to grab photos of some documents, and integral ones: they show Max that NBC is on shaky ground. He goes to Jim and forces a meeting by showing him the document. Jim dismisses Max: you stole information, and Aliza signed an NDA, so the sale won’t be scuttled by this. But Max has surmised what is happening: if the sale doesn’t go through, the bank will go under. To prevent that from happening, Jim must be working with Maggie – hence her interest in him – which means Maggie must have something on Jim.

I’d like the money you’re planning to pay Maggie after the sale, Max demands. He has leverage against Jim: back when Max was laundering money for the Lynches, he saw a document he shouldn’t have that showed an account at the NBC. Now Max understands that Jim has been looking after the Lynches’ money for years. Max uses that evidence as further blackmail against Jim to force the banker to give Max the two million pounds Maggie has demanded.

Jim tells Max to meet him at an exclusive men’s club later – Max and Jim met there years ago, when Jim was installed as president despite his Leith background and Max was trying to climb the ladder out of Leith just like Jim.

Max buys a new suit for the meeting with the money his father just gave him. Jake suggests that they just flee Edinburgh instead of going through with this dangerous plan, but Max says starting a new life is impossible for him. Jake asks if Max was going to split the money he was fraudulently raising against Jake’s pub in Chicago with Jake, as Max claimed – and Max says no. Jake had Angie then, while Max had nothing. But that’s not true anymore. Jake appreciates the honesty, and Max tells him there will be no more lies. When they get the two million pounds, they will split it evenly after paying Sheila and Skye.

But Sheila has warned Jake that Max is only ever working for himself. She extends an offer to plan with her against Max, telling Jake to meet her for a whiskey late at night. Jake insists that he and Max are working together this time – but he still joins her for that nightcap.

There’s plenty of backstabbing going on. Maggie calls in two additional henchman. She grills her new righthand man, Danny, and offers him control of the marijuana network she was setting up once she’s gone – if he stays on her side. She suspects an attachment on his part to Skye.

Skye, the person who tried to frighten him off by firing a fake gun at him, leading to the murder of her mother’s boyfriend, Big Al? Turns out that whole thing was planned by her and Danny together to take pressure off Skye, but it went awry. Danny tried to mislead his gang from following Skye to her mother’s apartment, but they kept on her trail and then threw Big Al off the balcony on their own.

Skye sneaks out of Sheila’s house to meet with Danny and tell him that she’s getting money from the McCalls’ plan against Maggie and then leaving town – but she’ll pay him back, too. He hesitantly suggests that they could have a different life together somewhere else. She asks him if she would join her if she had proper money to do so; he says yes. He needs to help her then.

Yvonne has discovered another surprising relationship. She tracks down Big Al’s girlfriend – Skye’s mom and Kenny’s sister – at her flat, to ask about Big Al. As she’s leaving, Kenny – her boyfriend – sees her and hides before visiting his sister himself. While there, he notices a photo of him with Skye and his sister, and realizes that Yvonne must have seen it, too.

Yvonne has been ordered to cease her investigation into Maggie, which she has tried to keep secret. Her superiors must know that Maggie is leaving town and want to see her go quietly, taking her power over them with her. Yvonne knows disobeying them will end her career, but she’s ready to go – and to take Maggie down with her. Stevie, her new comrade who needs to take Maggie down to avoid Maggie’s wrath, surveils Maggie for Yvonne.

Maggie has her own eyes around Edinburgh. A hotel porter in debt to her sees Max hanging around the hotel where Aliza is staying, so Maggie summons Teddy, who clearly didn’t kill the McCalls after all. She demands to know where they are, showing him that she has his father as a hostage. He doesn’t know the McCalls’ location, so Maggie gives him until night to find them.

Teddy once again goes to Kenny to find out where the McCalls are. This time Kenny won’t give up the information, however, because he’s now also protecting his niece. Teddy ominously pulls the curtains in Kenny’s office and menacingly approaches him.

Yvonne is outside, about to come ask Kenny about his sister and Skye, but she gets a phone call from Stevie before going in. Maggie has brought henchmen to the hotel where Aliza is staying, and a sign welcoming the American company buying NBC in the lobby has led Stevie to realize this has to do with Maggie’s connection to Jim. So Yvonne goes to the hotel.

Aliza, under pressure from her boss Richard, has told him that she hasn’t found anything amiss in NBC’s documents and that she will greenlight the sale. She just needs her access to her own company’s financials reinstituted to do so – it was taken away while she was away struggling with an opioid addiction. Richard reluctantly gives her access back.

She then goes to meet Jim. She has seen that all of NBC’s money is based on collateral on a single asset, which is hidden behind a series of shell companies that trace back, surprisingly, to her own company. That’s not illegal – unless that asset is actually worthless, as it is in this case, which she found by looking at her own company’s financials. Jim has used all the money from the asset. Aliza suspects that Jim and Richard are the only people who know this, and are planning to make their money from the sale and leave before anyone else discovers the scam.

Pull the deal within an hour or I’ll go public, she tells Jim.

Richard calls her and reveals why he chose her for this job: her opioid problem gives him all sorts of ways to impugn her credibility and dismiss her. The hotel porter in Maggie’s thrall can also lie that Aliza spent most of her time in her hotel room, hitting the minibar hard.

Aliza finds that she has been locked out of the NBC document room in the hotel, and returns to her own room to find Jim waiting. He tells her that he helped the Lynches with their money at a small bank decades ago, and when his boss found out and wanted to report it, the Lynches killed him. Jim won’t hesitate to do the same thing now, but Aliza still refuses to let the sale go through. Jim leaves and sends Danny and another of Maggie’s henchmen in after him.

But Skye, back in her maid’s uniform, swoops in first with a laundry cart. When she leaves, her cart contains Aliza – not that Maggie’s henchman knows that. He enters the room to find it empty, while Danny runs off to a car. Yvonne has arrived and passes Skye, eventually recognizing her from the photo in her mother’s house. Yvonne runs after Skye and sees her in a car with Danny and Aliza. It quickly pulls away.

Max also makes a miraculous escape. When he goes to meet Jim at the club, he finds Maggie waiting with a henchman instead. They escort Max out to a back parking lot – but Stevie appears and radios in his role as community policeman about a disturbance. Maggie reluctantly lets Max go, promising vengeance on both him and Stevie. She and her henchman drive away, and Stevie radios that it was a false alarm as he and Max flee.