Death In Paradise season 13 episode 2 sees the team back to business as usual after last week's unusually personal investigation into the attempted murder of Commissioner Selwyn Patterson who, thankfully, lived to fight crime another day. But that's not quite the end of the story, as the Commissioner is struggling to accept that he needs time to recuperate from his injuries.
Meanwhile, the rest of the team have a curious case to solve when a wealthy philanthropist living in a Saint Marie care home is stabbed to death with one of her own knitting needles, at a time when almost all of the suspects in the case are occupied playing bingo — so who could have had the means and opportunity to kill Nancy Martin? Read on to find out...
As the episode opens, Nancy Martin (Hayley Mills) is giving a tour of the Paradise Bay care home to her long-lost cousin Eloise Mirie (Juliet Cowan), who she's only just been reunited with. The tour is interrupted by Nancy's nemesis Barbara Mitchell (Ellie Haddington) and the two have a fairly caustic exchange before heading off to bingo in the activities room. Eloise isn't familiar with bingo, but she's being given a crash course by bingo enthusiast Nancy, who's managing to knit at the same time as marking off her card with her dabber. Nancy apparently has a near-flawless track record at bingo, which Barbara claims is because she cheats — telling Eloise that Nancy may seem sweetness and light, but there's a scoundrel underneath that exterior. Nancy's daughter Oona (Akiya Henry) arrives, wanting to talk to her privately.
Care home manager Phillipe Varane (Kevin Harvey) calls out number 13, and a delighted Barbara cries out that she has a full house. Nancy gets up, clutching her knitting bag, and says in a choked voice that she needs to be left alone. Barbara crows that Nancy is a sore loser. Nancy goes outside and sits on a bench, muttering "stupid, stupid woman", as the others at the bingo game wonder whether she is all right. Barbara wants to crack on with the game, but Phillipe suggests they give her a few minutes to pull herself together. They might be waiting a long time though, because Nancy is lying dead on the bench, covered in blood...
Neville, Naomi and Catherine are at the hospital waiting for the Commissioner, who's being discharged — but when Marlon wheels him out, he's in a foul mood because the doctors have told him he needs to convalesce at home and cannot go to work. Naomi gets a call from Darlene alerting her to the murder at Paradise Bay, so Catherine is left to take Selwyn home.
Investigating the crime scene, Darlene has found the murder weapon — a knitting needle, which has been wiped but still shows significant traces of blood. Neville notices that Nancy's antique watch has stopped, and Naomi finds money in Nancy's bag that suggests the killer wasn't after cash. Neville finds something intriguing in Nancy's pocket - a printout of a CCTV still with "Jeremy Heston, Gatwick, July 23rd 1993" written on the back. Darlene informs them that everyone in the care home was in the activities room when Nancy was killed — apart from the murderer, Neville supposes.
It was Barbara who found the body, and she's still in shock — but Oona is quick to call out her "crocodile tears". Naomi asks Oona if Nancy had any enemies, and everyone in the room turns to look at Barbara, who's rather indignant. Neville wants details of everyone who was in the room when Nancy was killed, and Eloise is alarmed that they're all considered suspects — she only met Nancy for the first time a few days ago, she doesn't want to get caught up in all this. Phillipe points out that nobody left the room after Nancy, until they went looking for her. Neville asks if anyone knows the name Jeremy Heston, but nobody is forthcoming. He then asks why Nancy left the game, and Barbara explains that Nancy was angry because Barbara had just got a full house. Neville finds this curious, because he's looked at Nancy's bingo card, and according to the display in the room, Nancy had actually got a full house two numbers earlier than Barbara — so why didn't she say anything?
Marlon has checked the perimeter to confirm that there is security fencing all around, and the only way in or out is through the front gates. Neville thinks it's implausible that a killer somehow managed to scale the fence and then just wandered around until they found a potential victim — he thinks it's much more likely that the killer was someone in the care home.
Back at the police station, Catherine has not been successful in getting Selwyn to relax and recuperate at home because he's too agitated about the murder at Paradise Bay. Neville asks the Commissioner if he knows who Jeremy Heston is — and he does. He explains that Jeremy Heston was an accountant from Milton Keynes who came to Honoré on July 24 1993, the day after this still was taken. The date has lodged in his head because the following day, July 25, the island was hit by a storm and Jeremy Heston died at sea after falling off a tour boat. His body was never found, and there was no next of kin on record. A passing fisherman, Clement Browne, saw Jeremy fall and tried to save him, but perished in the attempt — though his body was at least recovered. Catherine explains that the storm claimed two lives and caused major damage, and it took the island years to recover. But what no one can make any sense of is why Nancy had this picture of a random accountant passing through Gatwick Airport, 48 hours before he died.
The next day, Naomi updates Neville with what they know about Nancy so far: she emigrated from the UK in 1994 and set up a charity for underprivileged children which has distributed millions of dollars — much of which came from Nancy's own pocket. But there's very little information about her life before she came to Saint Marie. One point of interest that did come up during her research is that Phillipe was Nancy's personal assistant for 25 years, and took the job at the Paradise Bay when she retired. Nancy's phone is also still missing, and there's nothing to connect her to Jeremy Heston.
Darlene has discovered that someone has been writing poison pen letters to Nancy — and that someone was Barbara, accusing Nancy of being a cheat. She explains that being alone in the care home forced her to seek comfort in the little things, and bingo was her thing — until Nancy came along and started winning all the time. Barbara never liked Nancy and always found her to be false, but she insists she didn't kill her.
While collecting statements, Darlene has found out that Barbara had a massive row with Oona yesterday, and Oona was spotted afterwards searching Nancy's room. Looking for more information on Oona, Naomi discovers that Oona applied for and received a passport two weeks ago. Oona comes to the station for her mum's personal effects, which gives Neville the opportunity to quiz her further. She explains that Nancy took her in after finding her in an orphanage. Neville mentions Nancy's broken watch and Oona explains that it has never worked, but it's a family heirloom — the one thing Nancy couldn't leave behind when she left the UK. When Neville and Naomi bring up the fight, Oona admits that she wasn't trying to steal anything from Nancy's room - she was looking for her passport after Nancy took it. She's never left Saint Marie, and says that although Nancy was loving, she was quite smothering and overprotective. When Oona planned to go travelling, Nancy took her passport to stop her from leaving — and that's why she was in Nancy's room, looking for it. She couldn't find it, so she went to join her at bingo. Neville points out that Nancy's controlling nature gives Oona motive for murdering her — and while Oona admits she was angry with her mum the last time she spoke to her, she didn't murder her over a confiscated passport.
Darlene is taking a statement from Eloise, who offers up some important information: Phillipe Varane did leave the activities room for five minutes, which means he could have killed Nancy. His background check showed a childhood in and out of juvenile institutions and a string of petty thefts — and Nancy's bank has just informed Naomi that Phillipe authorised a transfer of $100,000 from Nancy's personal account to another account in the Cayman Islands.
Naturally, Phillipe has some questions to answer, but he's reluctant to give Neville and Naomi any information, saying only that he transferred the money at Nancy's request because he had financial power of attorney. He claims that he stepped out to take a call — but it wasn't anything important, it was just a nuisance call. Naomi brings up that Phillipe is over $10,000 in debt, and had asked Nancy for a loan to help cover the payments. Neville suggests that Phillipe just took the money after Nancy refused to give him a loan, but Phillipe explains that when he first met Nancy he was to rob her on the street — but she disarmed him, and instead of calling the police, she bought him lunch and gave him a job. He says she gave him his life — it's contemptuous to suggest he would kill her for money.
Back at the police station, the team have narrowed the list of suspects from the care home down to the four people with a close connection to Nancy: Phillipe, Barbara, Oona and Eloise. Of those, only Phillipe lacks a solid alibi — but Naomi points out that his motive is weak and his connection to Nancy seems genuine. Neville gets an email from Interpol — when Nancy's prints were entered into the system in order to exclude her from the comparison analysis, it triggered a 30-year-old arrest warrant. Except the warrant isn't for Nancy Martin — it's for Gwen Jackson.
It turns out Gwen was the wife of gangster Frankie Jackson, whose gang stole £5m in one of the largest heists in UK history. Frankie was killed in a shootout with the police a year later, and Gwen disappeared with the money the next day. Nobody knew what became of her — until now. Now that they know Nancy is really Gwen, a wanted fugitive, there are a lot more motives and suspects for the murder case, and it's Marlon who makes the crucial connection: if "Nancy Martin" isn't real, how could she possibly have a long-lost cousin?
The team turn up at Eloise's apartment just as she's trying to make a run for it. It turns out that Eloise is actually a Detective Sergeant with the Flying Squad. Frankie Jackson was her first big case, and her partner, DI Max Jennings, was killed in the shootout with Frankie. She vowed to find and catch Gwen, but spent the best part of 30 years on a hiding to nothing, until an old informant of Max's came out of the woodwork and told her that Jeremy Heston was the one who smuggled Frankie's money out of the country. She tracked his final movements all the way to Saint Marie, where he brought the money for Gwen to collect — they never knew how she got out of the UK, but they at least knew how the money got out. After finding Gwen/Nancy, Eloise confronted her with the CCTV image of Jeremy Heston at Gatwick, and Nancy offered her $100,000 for the photo and her silence. They came up with the "long-lost relative" angle as a cover story while the deal went through — but then Nancy died, and Eloise wanted to get off the island as quickly as possible before her corruption was rumbled. She thinks it must have been Frankie's gang who killed Nancy — after all, if Eloise was able to find her, then they would have been able to as well.
Neville's unconvinced though — a gangster carrying out a hit is unlikely to have used a knitting needle as a murder weapon. He thinks in order to have got their hands on Nancy's knitting needles, the killer had to be someone she knew and trusted. Just as Neville is in the process of sending everyone home, the Commissioner turns up in his uniform to tell Neville that a murder like this, targeting the most vulnerable in society, has got everyone scared, and that the public need reassurance. A Town Hall has been arranged, and the Commissioner wants a full briefing so he can go and speak at it — Neville is alarmed, and suggests the Commissioner delegate the job to him as he's not supposed to be back at work yet. The Commissioner insists he's fine — but when Darlene accidentally slams a door, Selwyn panics and collapses.
Selwyn finally agrees to rest and returns home, where Catherine tells him that he can't expect people to care for him if he won't care for himself. Catherine suggests Selwyn call his daughter Andrina, but he doesn't want to bother her. Neville turns up to check on him, and Selwyn asks Neville to take on the Town Hall duty after all — extremely reluctantly, because "it will require tact, skill and diplomacy — qualities you are sadly lacking". On his way out, Neville sees a picture of Camille, Dwayne and Florence together, and wistfully asks the Commissioner if he ever hears from Florence and whether she's okay. Selwyn tells him Florence is in witness protection, and that's all that any of them need to know — that she's safe. This gives Neville a brainwave — changing your identity only guarantees you a certain level of safety, but people will only stop wanting to kill you if they think you're already dead.
Neville interrupts Naomi on a double-date night at Catherine's bar with Darlene to put his latest theory to her: what if Jeremy Heston faked his own death, and that's why his body was never found? Neville thinks that once Eloise turned up, Nancy was a liability because she was the only other one who knew Jeremy's secret. Could it be that Jeremy Heston killed Nancy to keep her quiet? This is enough to convince Naomi to abandon date night and head back to work.
Neville and Naomi break the news to Phillipe and Oona that Nancy Martin was really Gwen Jackson, and that they suspect Jeremy Heston killed her, fearing that Heston may also be targeting Phillipe and Oona. Naomi offers them police protection, and Phillipe insists that Oona accept because it's what Nancy would have wanted. Outside, Naomi explains to Neville that it's obvious that Phillipe is in love with Oona. As Naomi expresses her doubts over whether the double-dating evening was a good idea, Neville tells her not to let work stop her from having a personal life — he's learned that the hard way.
The next day, Naomi tells Neville that Phillipe's phone records show no signs of a call at the time he claimed to be fielding a nuisance caller. Furthermore, she's just had a message from Darlene saying that Jeremy Heston has made contact with Oona via an email asking for her to forgive him, and saying that she will never hear from him again. Working on a theory, Neville goes to see Phillipe and, while he's in Phillipe's office, replies to "Jeremy's" email. Sure enough, Phillipe's computer pings — he was the one who sent it. Cornered, Phillipe admits to murdering Nancy.
Back at the station, the team are waiting for Phillipe's signed confession, but something is still bothering Neville: why did Nancy, a bingo fanatic, not call out when she got a full house? He realises it all comes back to Jeremy Heston, and the secret that Nancy was so desperate to hide. He asks Naomi for a magnifying glass, consults the CCTV scan — and works out why Nancy wanted the photo, and why she didn't say anything when she won the bingo.
Time to assemble the suspects, but not before Neville stops by the care home pond, where he finds Nancy's phone — because Nancy threw it in there. He and Naomi explain to all the suspects that after fleeing the UK with £5m in ill-gotten loot, Nancy dedicated her life to giving other people the second chance that she'd been able to take for herself. But a few people lost their lives in the process: Jeremy Heston died in Saint Marie after smuggling her money out of the country, and Clement Browne died trying to save Jeremy's life. But Clement Browne has an unexpected connection to this case: he's also Oona's late father. After he died, Nancy adopted Oona and they were happy together — but Eloise's arrival on the island set in motion a course of events that led to Nancy's murder.
After paying Eloise $100,000 for the CCTV still of Jeremy Heston at Gatwick Airport, Nancy presumably planned to destroy it. But while Oona was in Nancy's room looking for her passport, she found the CCTV still — and as soon as she saw it, she realised the truth: Jeremy Heston never existed. Gwen got out of the UK by hiding in plain sight, disguised as Jeremy Heston. In order to reinvent herself as Nancy Martin, she faked Jeremy's death — but after Clement Browne died trying to save "Jeremy", Nancy spent the rest of her life trying to atone. The giveaway in the picture was the broken watch — Nancy's treasured family heirloom. When Oona saw it, she realised that Nancy was responsible for her father's death.
As for how Oona killed Nancy without leaving the room: the murder itself was committed in the activities room. Oona confronted Nancy with the picture — distracting her to the extent that she missed her full house in bingo — and was so angry at her mother's deception and betrayal that she stabbed Nancy with one of her knitting needles. Ever the protective mother, Nancy covered up the murder — she left the room clutching her handbag against the stab wound to ensure nobody would see anything, and getting as far from the scene of the crime as possible. Knowing she was about to die, she made a video call to Phillipe asking him to protect Oona, then threw the phone into the pond to destroy any evidence that she'd made the call. She then removed the knitting needle from her abdomen, wiped it to remove Oona's fingerprints, and died. Phillipe, acting on Nancy's dying wishes, protected Oona by bringing Jeremy Heston back to life to pin the murder on a man who never existed — and when that fell apart, he took the blame himself out of loyalty to Nancy and love for Oona.
After the case, the team are relaxing with a drink at Catherine's bar when Selwyn gets a surprise visitor: his daughter Andrina (Genesis Lynea). Catherine called her, and she's come to Saint Marie to make sure he's all right. And frankly, if Andrina can't get Selwyn to take his recovery seriously, we're not sure anyone can.