This episode marked a major improvement over the previous two episodes.
In my review of last week’s episode, I stated that Stephen is appearing to be an inconsistent character. This episode focuses mostly on Stephen, which provided the perfect opportunity for character development, which the writers certainly didn’t waste.
The episode kicks off with Stephen in a session with Kristof as he is applying to become a detective. In this session it’s revealed that Stephen grew up in foster care in England and that he came to Australia as a young man for a fresh start. Kristof tries to pry, especially when he brings up that Stephen had previously applied to be a detective and was rejected, but Stephen brushes him off. In the last few moments of their session, I thought that Kristoff might be suspicious of him.
Meanwhile the case of the week revolves around Marten Blumb, a dentist who was found dead in his car. It is later revealed that he had sexual assault charges pressed against him by his patients, and his dental assistant, Justine, was blackmailing him. In the process of the investigation, Stephen withholds evidence and then the testing of said evidence, which leads to him following Justine into her home and discovering that she was blackmailing Blumb with a video of him assaulting a patient. Stephen copies the video onto a USB and anonymously gives it to Zoe, but not before killing Justine.
His reasons for killing Justine aren’t made clear, which annoyed me, but then again, we’re yet to find out his motives for killing his other victims, so I’ll give it a pass. With Justine’s murder, we’re given an insight into his methods. He constantly has body bags with him, cleans up the scene and burns any possible evidence (e.g. clothes), he also takes the body to the police morgue and has it marked for incineration. Although the character is disturbing enough, another layer is added when he is casually drinking tea and eating biscuits next to the dead body. Interestingly, killing Justine didn’t have anything to do with his obsession with Amber.
I actually thought Stephen was going to get caught when Zoe and Dan arrived, only to be called away when it’s revealed Justine didn’t order the drug which was used to kill Marten. While I knew they wouldn’t catch Stephen in the act as it’s too early in the season for that to happen, I found being called away to be a cliche. Another interesting reveal in regards to Stephen’s methods is the fact that he kept Bob in the freezer, although why he chooses to do this (other than the possible obvious reason of an effort not to get caught) is not made clear.
Zoe and Dan manage to progress with their investigation into the serial killer when Zoe deduces that the killer takes the specific teeth as they would have identifiable features such as crowns. There was also a moment where I thought Dan became suspicious of him also, unfortunately, much like the moment with Kristof, this didn’t happen.
The outcome that Marten’s wife, Celia, killed him was okay. She wasn’t the most obvious suspect and she wasn’t random, but I thought it would have been better if it was one of his patients, making the wife the murderer is a little too predictable.
Meanwhile, in the background, Zoe and Dan set rules on being around each other as Dan expressed his desire for shared custody of Mickey and eventually took him out of Zoe’s yard without her knowledge. Kristof also proposes to Zoe at the end of the episode and she hasn’t given him an answer yet. It will be interesting to see this played out in the next episode.
Overall this episode was a major improvement as Stephen was finally focused on and developed, Zoe and Dan made progress on the serial killer case, and the case of the week was more interesting and less obvious than the cases in the previous two episodes.