Stay Close 1.8 [includes spoilers for 1.1-1.8]

Continued from here. Keep in mind disclaimers here.

Reminder: SPOILERS. Do not read this post if you do not want to read SPOILERS.


I found this episode anti-climactic and somewhat disappointing except for the very, very end. Very little “action” and a lot of explaining (usually that’s not a great way to end a series). I don’t know entirely how I feel about the situation with Lorraine — insofar as it was easy to see how she was connected to the story, but very hard to figure what her actual motive might have been. It’s telling that in the “reveal” scene, Broome had to explicitly ask her the two main questions that I left episode 7 with. Lots of cheesy music selections. Not much to cap as there’s so much blood. I feel like this is more convincing blood than the usual British crime drama blood, though.

Episode opens with DDD male observing Lorraine. He orders tonic water from her at the bar and cuts through her mild attempts at bartender sweetness to the beleaguered male. He asks her about Carlton Flynn and she denies any knowledge at all. This is pretty lame / implausible and he sees through it. (Wouldn’t a normal investigation start with approaching her, anyway?)

Lots of grisly shots of the excavation of the corpses from that underground bunker. They haven’t found Carlton Flynn. In light of initial non-evidence (they haven’t found his body) I am more prepared to believe than Broome was that I was wrong about Flynn being part of the “serial killer” pattern. Ray calls for another meeting with Cassie: “I know what you did.” But she once again is prevented; this time it’s Grandma Frances calling because “a woman is in her room.” (How did Cassie know Frances? It’s never explained. Is it really conceivable that a mother who knew Cassie’s history wouldn’t tell her son?) Cassie drives to the nursing facility and although Frances was kind of the hostage to fortune I predicted she would be, at least the show didn’t rough up a grandma living with dementia. I didn’t think DDD female has any relationship to angels’ appearances, though. Pro tip: You’re not supposed to start conversation with people with dementia with “do you / don’t remember?” Tends to make them anxious.

However, after she leaves, Cassie gets it in the parking lot from DDD female in a fight scene worthy of Bryan Fuller (someone commented that the DDD colors were Fulleresque and I realized how much this last episode made me think of the visual level of Hannibal) in terms of gore, implausibility and mannerism. Isn’t this the first time she’s acting alone? Without any dance? She’s jinxed it.

Back at the station, they locate Ray’s phone just as Del Flynn is driving up to the excavation site. Broome convinces him that they will let him know as soon as there is anything to know. (Why is Flynn’s wife in the hospital? Why is the new wife so thrilled about looking for Carlton?) Cassie is taken to emergency, and DDD female is shown dead. The cops are driving to the boardwalk as DDD male calls his mate unsuccessfully.


First thing I wanted to cap in this episode. Kind of a neat shot with the shadow on the ground.


It turns out that the British police fire at suspects running away, even ones known to be unarmed. (This did not feel very UK to me, frankly.) Also, they can’t see the full trajectory of their shots, which is pretty foolhardy. They arrest him.


Look at those eyes.


Talk about understaffing in Blackpool — Cartwright and Broome have been at the excavation, arrested Ray, and now they have to go to the hospital to talk to Cassie. But first to debrief Ray.

DDD male follows Lorraine into the woods. Dave beats the cops to the hospital; he’s rediscovered his love for Megan / Cassie. Full on hug — she must have had a lot of drugs not to wince, after the fight she had. At the police station, Ray barters (implausibly) full honesty with the cops for ten minutes with Cassie. As she enters the room to talk to Ray, Broome learns that DDD male’s car’s been pinged near Vipers.

However temporarily ambivalent she was a few episodes ago, Cassie now fully #TeamDave and isn’t very sympathetic to Ray. They compare notes from seventeen years ago. As I suspected, Cassie found the body and ran; Ray found it, thought Cassie did it, took it away and “disposed” of it. That’s why he’s bloody in his flashbacks — it occurred after he moved the body. They also realized they were tricked into going out into the woods, though they don’t know by whom.

Learning that both Lorraine and DDD male had left Vipers, Broome rushes to her flat and does a B&E. Sure enough, DDD male’s corpse is there and she is obviously the murderer. Broome is never in severe danger; he talks her down. He also seems genuinely surprised and upset by what she tells him. We learn that she is the survivor of domestic abuse that led to the death of her fetus and the end of her fertility. Killing her husband one night when he propositioned her and wouldn’t take no for an answer led to a pattern of killing horrible men and storing them in the underground bunker.

It’s not that I find this totally implausible (although serial killers are more frequent in fiction than in reality), as much as I find it a rather pedestrian motive in relationship to all the buildup around it. I also think it wasn’t really effectively signaled, i.e., we learned a lot in the show about how Lorraine was connected to specific suspicious contexts, but not a lot about any general attitudes that would lead in this direction. There’s little explanation of how the murder of her husband — along the lines of self-defense — turned into the murder of so many others; it’s just assumed that it as a natural development. I don’t think Lorraine is given any flashbacks (unlike Cassie and Ray).

So she committed Guy’s murder as part of her project of ridding the world of annoying men (I was wrong, it was not collateral). But really? Men always fell for the trick that a girl was waiting for them in the woods? Hard to believe. She also murdered Stewart Green (but couldn’t figure out what happened to the body, after she left it for Cassie to see). And then Broome asks the $64,000 question: why revive the whole thing now? According to Lorraine, it was because she wanted to know what had happened to Cassie, and had the opportunity after she saw Cassie in her bar that night. This does not make a lot of sense to me plot-wise; Why not just locate Cassie and ASK how she’d been? (So I assume she told Rudy that Cassie’d been seen on the CCTV? Else you’d think Lorraine wanted to sicc Rudy on Cassie. And “it brought me back to you.”

THEN, Broome hugs her and promises her that the fact she’s a serial killer changes nothing: he still loves her. Huh. Chacun à son goût but I find this kind of creepy. Every man in this show (Broome, Dave, Ray) seems to have a very strangely “sticky” definition of love.

THIS LONG, WORDY REVEAL IS THIRTEEN MINUTES LONG. Almost a third of the episode. Serious ritardando. The cops come and take Lorraine away.

Cleanup phase. They take down the incident board and it seems the cops have decided for now that Carlton Flynn was among Lorraine’s victims. Some poor sod finally stumbles over Goldberg (it’s like two days later now? Three?). Del Flynn is arrested. Out at the water, Ray watches as divers enter the water to find Stewart Green’s remains.


“Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood.” Nice side-lighting again. Someone should teach the songwriter Frances of Assissi’s prayer.


Lorraine confesses to setting up Ray Levine and Jamal, and to murdering Carlton Flynn, over a montage of more gruesome corpse with maggot shots. The cops can’t find the body, though, and Lorraine can’t explain it.

The ever-faithful Fester (they are friends again) sends Ray back to war photography (I thought he said “don’t trust the police” as a farewell, but it was actually “don’t trash the place”). But Ray stops at Dave and Megan’s wedding party on his way to parts unknown and smirks mildly and approvingly before sneaking back out. I guess his obsession is over. Dave says a bunch of wonderful things.

The end is a little disturbing, though. Dave confesses hiding that car to Megan, who doesn’t say anything. (I’d like to note that my dad had that same talk with me — “I will always come and get you, no questions asked” — although I never asked him to cover up a murder.)


Troublesome: somehow Cassie escaped without any scar from that knife attack.

Dave returns to the party and finally we get to see the hidden conversation from the previous episode. Kayleigh evaded Carlton and had his car keys, but he kept chasing her and she sort of bonked him into the trunk (“boot”) of his own car. I assumed earlier in the episode that Lorraine copped to the murder in order to protect the murderer in the abstract (because Carlton would have deserved it, by her lights) and not because she had specific knowledge of Kayleigh, but now we see Lorraine seeing Kayleigh push Carlton into the trunk. Kayleigh and Bea drove it somewhere and hid it in the bushes after they ran out of gas. Dave picked them up, and when he saw the report on the news, he went back and took care of it. So now Kayleigh and Dave are actual murderers. (I was wrong about that, too, and this ending was pretty much unanticipated by me.)

But it’s a bit bothersome that Kayleigh kept a souvenir from Carlton. She “knew he would get out” when the drugs wore off, but why did she take his necklace? Another serial murderer in the making?

~ by Servetus on January 8, 2022.

22 Responses to “Stay Close 1.8 [includes spoilers for 1.1-1.8]”

  1. Now I can finally ask all my questions:

    So, if you are already a criminal, then some of this makes sense from a TV show perspective. But presumably neither Kayleigh or Dave has ever been in trouble with the law. Doesn’t Kayleigh understand that Carlton is locked in a trunk in the woods and will die one way or the other unless she tells someone? I thought we were to believe that she simply forgot to do anything about it. And if Dave is not a criminal, why destroy property? Kayleigh didn’t really do anything illegal. It would be ugly if her story got out, but surely not as bad as Dave going to jail. And Cassie, Dave and Kayleigh are all just fine about Carlton disappearing and keeping it hidden.

    Lorraine killing her husband is understandable for a TV show, but Lorraine being a serial killer is completely implausible. But if she were a serial killer, why contact Cassie, someone who saw one of your victims? Or tell her that Greene is alive?

    Ray hiding Greene’s body for Cassie is an ok plot, but Ray chopping up a body is not. And why didn’t Lorraine move Guy’s body later — why would she just leave it out in the woods?

    Ken and Barbie are really bad at what they do. As soon as they start torturing the people from whom they want information, they are going to have to kill them. And none of their torture yields useful information. How could they be the best, according to Flynn?

    On the positive side, Stay Close is #2 on Netflix this weekend, so hopefully that is making some money for Richard.

    Liked by 1 person

    • re: Kayleigh and Dave — on one level it fits in with our questions about “why is no one calling the police” — I didn’t read the original story behind this series (and don’t plan to) but I felt frequently like everyone in the show was behaving like they were members of a discriminated-against minority in the US. But then at some points they do connect with the police. On a second level: I agree that the end makes Kayleigh look awful, or else, on some level, as if she strongly takes after her mother. As far as Dave goes: don’t you think he’d ask why his daughter had the car, after he made sure she was safe?

      Lorraine: yes, agree on both counts. It’s the big unanswered question of the whole series: why not let sleeping dogs lie? Or maybe she knew she had cancer so she wanted to go out in a blaze of glory?

      I didn’t find it believable that Ray would chop up that body — based on his personality. He would have been a much more likely candidate to “disappear” for 20 years. I thought Lorraine left the body in the woods to make sure Cassie would see it.

      I hope it raises Armitage’s exposure. He could even continue being on Netflix, just maybe in better series.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. So, could you help me by answering this question: “worth or not to go back in a new Netflix subscription”?


  3. I have enjoyed reading your reviews (and the discussions) so much and, with tight-lips, nodding along to your speculations. There were so many implausible and predictable elements to unpick but there was new, magnificent, Armitage and I am glad that Stay Close has given him another opportunity for exposure (In the fame sense).

    Liked by 3 people

    • I think the days of the grand discussion are over, since everyone can binge it and most people will do that. But I thought a small discussion like we had about Spooks 9 or Berlin Station would be fun. (Also, I’ve learned that bingeing is not really for me.)

      I think maybe the average viewer who watches it all in a lump doesn’t think so much about plausibility. I was also on some level reminded of old-style TV where the shows tried to incorporate elements of a lot of genres to keep different groups watching together. (Of course, now they don’t have to watch together, either.)

      agree re: exposure.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yes I enjoyed watching one episode a night and following along with the chat too. I missed one night – We had a big storm, the power went out and Mr B chopped the tip of his thumb off getting the sun umbrella down. Daughter consulted a doctor friend about whether to attend the emergency dept. and his verdict was “Not unless you want covid”. There wasn’t quite as much blood as on Ray but it was a close thing.

        I found Ray chopping the body up completely implausible. Wouldn’t he have just weighed it down and thrown it in? Also I’ve watched enough crime shows to know it’s very hard for an amateur to dismember a body. He’d need more than that axe. And a very strong stomach. I’m not even going to start getting into the implausibility of the completely and conveniently repressed memory of the night. And although he didn’t commit murder as it turned out, he did commit a fairly serious crime so I don’t think he’d get off scot free. At best he would get a suspended prison sentence – maybe community service. Going off to a job overseas wouldn’t be an option in the short term I don’t think. And I agree that the police in the UK would never shoot at an unarmed man running away. I love the way the police always turn their sirens on early in order to alert the suspect and give them extra time to run away. Broome did this despite having a completely clear concourse to drive along and no crowds to clear.

        So at the end I’m still not clear as to why Megan only ran away to the next suburb. If she was worried about being framed for the murder of Greene staying in Manchester isn’t logical. She was no longer frightened of Greene. Was it simply that she had stolen the money and wanted to lie low? She must have met Dave and got pregnant with Kayleigh very quickly ( that timeline is still bothering me) and it seems like Ray was just a holiday romance for her ( even though for him he made life changing decisions).

        I don’t know whether the change of location from the book is what makes this so unbelievable, or it’s been poorly edited. I feel like a few small changes might have made it better. Overall, the actors were great and carried this along, making it really enjoyable.


        • I hope Mr. Bolly’s thumb recovers quickly. You know, I have a thing for thumbs.

          re: dismembering a body: agree totally. Most people can’t even successfully joint a chicken.

          the US police aren’t supposed to fire at a fleeing subject, either, but they seem to ignore the rules quite a bit.

          re: staying in Manchester — given the timetable of Kayleigh’s birth, as you note, she couldn’t have gone far. Maybe that was what got cut from episode 7: how Cassie knew Frances. She intends to really leave, she someone gets the connection to Dave via Frances.

          Agree re: the quality of the performances.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Characters are not very relatable, or credible, and they are all more or less mean. If Ray is heavily on drugs how can go happily away; and also there’s that bagatelle: mutilation and concealement of a corpse. And poor Goldberg, yes he was the unpleasant bad cop/good dad, but his body was found so late! Ah, you can’t breathe well into a car trunk, so the day after the guy must’ve be dead. Everybody is negligent, shortsighed, deceitful: a bunch of morons. Next eight series can only be better.


  5. I thought the plot was glaringly implausible, unrealistic and littered with plot holes. That said, I thought the cast and the performances were good. I enjoyed it so long as my disbelief remained suspended. I would classify it as entertaining but forgettable TV.
    I was left a bit perplexed by the seemingly innocuous peck on the cheek Ray gave to Fester when he was heading off? I know it was probably meant to be a joke but I still found it a bit odd, unexpected by the character.

    As a fan, it’s a pleasure to see RA in something readily available and watchable. However, most of his recent tv work tends to be pretty low brow or has failed to live up to expectations with flawed plot lines (thinking of Berlin Station).
    I will be interested to see what RA produces, whether it’s any better in terms of storyline adaptation, narrative and also, performances. Will it be memorable, quality TV? I can live in hope….

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think that in a normal world, two friends (even two male friends) in that situation couldn’t just wave goodbye to each other. They’d have to have a talk and clear the air and iron things out. Lots of positive and negative emotion in there, and now Ray’s just taking off. They clearly can’t just do a “bye mate” with a hug, because they’ve been through too much and Ray’s said some horrible things to him. Even a hug seems awkward under the circumstances. But they do hug — and in order to cut off the emotion, Ray fake kisses Fester. In a way, they have been emotional partners for the last seventeen years.

      I’m interested to see what he produces in a casual way, but not in an intense way. Once he starts producing, what he does specifically is just part of a sea of decisions and executions of those decisions. When he’s acting I can look at him closely and think about the decisions he’s making.


  6. I loved that wedding dress


  7. Thanks for doing these series of posts about the show, it was fun reading it after I finally watched the whole thing.
    I really, really like Cush Jumbo and was pleased that RA was with her in this and I liked it more than ‘The Stranger’ but I guess that’s all the enthusiasm I’m able to raise atm.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree about Jumbo. Would love to see her in more stuff (and I guess I should get on the stick there). Still have not watched “The Stranger.” Although Netflix is now pushing it at me aggressively.


      • I think I saw her first in ‘The good fight’ and really loved how she played her part.
        Oh boy, not sure if that’ll help you to watch it.


        • My awareness that an algorithm wants me to watch something is, as you note, pretty much a definitive reason for me to avoid it!

          Yeah, I’m stubborn, but it’s also more that I don’t always like something for the reason that a computer thinks I should. My general preference for recommendations is to find recommenders (whether professional critics or fellow readers) whose tastes are similar to my own.


          • The Netflix algorithm is totally nuts. It always sends me something as an recommendation when I’ve finished exactley that show of movie. Why would I want to watch it again the second I finished it???


            • And what’s puzzling is that if you reject something, it does exactly the same thing. If I push thumbs down on one Agatha Christie adaptation, it offers me another one! Like if I didn’t like that one, I’d definitely want to see a different one?

              Liked by 1 person

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