Unforgotten Series 5 Review: Dark, angry, but the old magic is still there

From Series 1 through 4, longtime colleagues and friends DCI Cassie Stuart and DI Sunny Khan investigated cold cases with a cordial relationship where they always agreed on which suspect should call a prick as soon as they left the interview room. Cassie and Sunny expressed their love in the most British way – by lovingly taking the piss and knowing each other’s Costa order. They uncovered terrible truths and lived difficult lives at home, but they pulled it off togetherwith a kindness to the victims that soured the sadness.

Then Cassie was killed off in the Series 4 finale, and nine months later, after several mid-bosses, Sunny has a new boss in the form of Sinead Keenan’s DCI Jessica James. Keenan is great in the role, but her conflict with Sunny early in the new series removes an important pressure relief valve on this show.

There’s a good reason why DCI James doesn’t make a good first, second, or third impression with the team, which becomes clear as we go along (unforgettable is available for the first time in Series 5 as an ITVX box set, so instead of watching weekly you can choose to booze the lot). Before all of that is revealed, though, James’ cold and distracted start puts her in opposition to Sunny, Fran, Murray and Kaz (Lewis Reeves, who plays Jake, doesn’t make an appearance this time).

As a result, there is no safe haven for the viewer for most of Series 5. It’s animosity and lies from the suspects and more of it around the office. What could have been a stimulating workplace rivalry ends simply unfortunate because everyone involved is in pain so there is little fun.

In the new series, home doesn’t even offer a respite for a grieving Sunny. After his wife left him with two teenage daughters, Sunny’s home was chaotic but full of love. His new place and his new relationship with Sal are only colder and sadder these days. And the same goes doubly for DCI James, whose marriage we quickly discover is at breaking point. Granted, happy stability is rarely conducive to drama, but lightness is necessary in a show with so much shadow.

This shadow is largely cast by the case where a woman’s body is discovered behind a fireplace. As always, four seemingly unrelated suspects emerge, this time from different ends of the class spectrum. There’s House of Lords member Sir Tony Hume, restaurateur Ebele Falade, Polish gig economy worker Karol and crack-using violent mugger Jay.

https://www.denofgeek.com/tv/unforgotten-series-5-review-bleak-angry-but-the-old-magic-is-still-there/ Unforgotten Series 5 Review: Dark, angry, but the old magic is still there


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