This episode confirmed what I thought the promos were telling me–Simon was murdered.
The episode kicks off with Simon’s dead body floating in the river to inform the viewers what they most likely would have suspected, it then cuts to Fairley doing Tai Chi in the park where it’s also revealed Harrow is gleefully watching Fairley. Harrow gets a call from Pavich, which he doesn’t answer, however its moments later when Pavich proceeds to call Fairley that they realise something is wrong. They go to the river and see Simon’s body for themselves to their horror. Harrow immediately calls Fern to tell her about it, who then tells Steph.
During the course of their investigation, Harrow realises how little he knew about Simon. He learns Simon had a sister, Karina, when she comes up to identify him, and he finds out from Maxine that he split from his partner, David, three months earlier. He also finds out from Karina that Simon had epilepsy.
Due to Harrow’s closeness with Simon, Maxine assigns Grace the autopsy and Fairley supervising. When Maxine talks to Pavich, he tells her Harrow needs a distraction and assigns him the case of the week.
The case of the week is the electrocution of Ross Moran, who has been found dead in his bathtub. This moment shocked me but also excited me as it added another layer to both Simon’s death and the overall Harrow-Francis Chester subplot. Harrow watches surveillance footage which placed him at Duralong Point and wants to know why he was there. When he gets there, he finds an ad for The Gunner’s Daughter pub, which matches the stubby holder in Moran’s house. When he gets there, the bartender is annoyingly uncooperative until he informs her Moran is dead. It is then she reveals to him Moran punched Simon.
When he returns, Harrow tells Pavich he thinks Chester shot him, which surprises Pavich but he believes him. When Harrow sees Simon in his dreams, he tells Harrow his death is not about what but why. This leads him to go back to work and question Grace’s autopsy and whether the paralytic agent that Chester used on his other victims was tested for, which angers her and she reveals she can’t care about how Simon or anyone dies as it leads to making bad choices. Nonetheless, Grace tests for the agent anyway.
Harrow continues to investigates Simon’s death, which leads him to go to Karen Chanson’s house as she didn’t claim Brendan Skene’s body and Fairley tells him Simon was looking for Skene’s next of kin. Karen tells him she showed Simon the letters Skene would send her and that his cellmate, Moran, wrote them as Skene couldn’t write, and the last few letters were written by a different person. Harrow recognises the handwriting as Chester’s. When Harrow returns, Grace and Maxine reveal that smart drugs were found in Simon’s system, which he most likely took due to his long work and study hours.
The episode than cuts to Simon’s funeral where Harrow admits to Karina he feels guilt over his death, however she tells him there’s no need as Simon made his own choices. She also gives him Simon’s journal as it had a lot of entries about him. Fern comes up to talk to him and like Simon, she doesn’t believe Harrow is right about Chester.
When Fern goes to Ross Moran’s house (after having previously been there before), she finds Tim looking for Ross, unaware that she is clearly being followed by Chester. The episode unexpectedly ends with Maxine pulling out fingerprints from a file and throwing them into an incinerator.
I was looking forward to this episode all week due to the previous episode ending on the cliffhanger of Chester finding Simon. The episode didn’t disappoint, however I felt Simon was developed more as a character with his death, which was a shame as there had been plenty of episodes to develop him beforehand.
Now that we’re roughly halfway through the season, Simon’s death adds stakes that will only propel Harrow and the team into investigating Chester and his shooting further. The episode filled the gaps of the Simon subplot, specifically what he was up to and trying to accomplish, in the previous episode. The ending was unexpected but not a cliffhanger and will now have the viewers questioning Maxine and whether she is involved, not in the shooting, but with Chester somehow. Hopefully she is not an unexpected villain as I feel it would destroy her as a character.
Overall a solid episode, I’m looking forward to seeing where the second half of the season will go.
-The title of the episode, Ab Initio, translated from Latin is “from the beginning”. A fitting title as the story goes back to the beginning of the Simon subplot from the previous episode.
-Unknown facts we find out about Simon:
- He was 27 years old
- He had a sister
- He had epilepsy
- He hated boats
Best one liners and interactions:
- “Dr Harrow doesn’t understand the point of the wardrobe.” (Simon in his journal about Harrow)