The episode and the case of the week kicks off with a man being seen over the body of a woman at the bottom of a staircase.
Meanwhile, Fern runs from Markides’ house to tell Harrow that everything that has been happening over the season is connected, before she is arrested for arson and murder of Markides, this forces Harrow to tell Steph everything. Markides’ body is then sent to QIFM and Maxine assigns it to Fairley and assigns Harrow and Grace to the case of the week.
The woman at the bottom of the stairs is revealed to be Taylor Ford, a popular health and wellness vlogger who is famous for her claim that natural supplements that she takes and sells cured her of a brain tumour. They also discover that the man seen with her was Connor Harris, a man who was active on her site and making death threats as his girlfriend, Rebecca, was a fan of Taylor’s and stopped using conventional medicine to treat her terminal illness after watching Taylor’s vlog posts.
As Harrow and Grace are autopsying Taylor, they not only discover her organs are impaired but there is no evidence that she had a brain tumour. Grace’s oncologist, Dr Sally Peterson, fills Harrow in on Taylor’s medical past, that Taylor came to see her about symptoms she was experiencing, however there was no tumour present on her MRIs. It’s later revealed that Dr Peterson sent her a letter to confirm this, however Taylor didn’t see the letter because her manager, Danica, hid it from her. Although Danica admits to this, she says that she didn’t kill her.
After Connor confesses to killing her, Harrow eventually figures out that Rebecca came to see Taylor and overheard her making her vlog confessing that she had no brain tumour. Rebecca than confronted Taylor about this and the fact that the supplements don’t work and that Taylor fell down the stairs, however she did suffocate her out of anger.
Overall I felt that this was an interesting but partly predictable case of the week.
Meanwhile, Fern is stuck at the Women’s Remand Centre on the arson and murder charge, where it’s revealed that she has been assaulted. Callan calls Steph out for not believing her, and Harrow asks Badcoe about his autopsy on “Francis Chester”. When he wasn’t investigating the case of the week, Harrow spent his time arguing for “Chester’s” body to be exhumed. When the Deputy Coroner finally returns Harrow’s call, he encourages him to get the permission of Chester’s mother, Louise.
It’s revealed that Louise became a criminology professor in an effort to understand why Francis became the murderer that he is. When Louise refuses to give Harrow permission to exhume his remains, Harrow resorts to forging Maxine’s signature on the exhumation request form. Shortly after this, Fairley tells Harrow that he ruled Markides’ cause of death as smoke inhalation from a lit cigarette, so the arson and subsequent murder charge against Fern is dropped and she will be released.
The episode ends with Maxine storming into Harrow’s office to tell him that the Coroner won’t be proceeding in exhuming “Chester’s” remains as she has discovered that Harrow forged her signature on the exhumation request form, and she fires him. Later that evening, Harrow goes to the cemetery armed with a shovel to dig up “Chester’s” remains.
Overall I found the progress of the Fern-Chester subplot to be slow, steady and necessary. My only bugbear about it was how Harrow didn’t see Maxine finding out and firing him coming. Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next.
-The title of the episode, Parce Sepulto, is Latin for “forgive the interred” or “it is ungenerous to hold resentment toward the dead”. You could argue this title could apply to Louise’s guilt about how Chester turned out and Taylor being unaware that she didn’t have a brain tumour as she wasn’t told by her manager.
Best one liners and interactions:
- “Harrow, the cleaners are complaining about you again!” (Fairley to Harrow)
- “I think I’m the one she wants babysat.” “Makes sense.” (Harrow-Nichols on Maxine)
- “My interests are broader than what you give me credit for.” (Nichols to Harrow)
- “Mercury, even I know that’s crook, that’s why I gave up eating fish and chips!” “Not because Maxine wanted less of you to love?” (Nichols-Harrow)
- “Personal congratulations for letting the cleaners in?” (Harrow to Maxine when she storms into his office)