With summer coming to an end, we need some good television to see us through the autumn months and it looks like ITV’s new five-part thriller ‘The Suspect’ could be just the ticket.
If you want to avoid all spoilers, stop reading this article now.
The new series began tonight and introduced viewers to the rather complicated character of Doctor Joe O’Loughlin (Aidan Turner), who may or may not secretly be a psychopathic murderer?
Before we get into the details of how and why that suggestion came about, we’ll fill in some of the backstory. Joe is a doctor at a mental health facility that helps his patients work through their issues. At the beginning of the episode Joe was seen trying to help a woman overcome her fear of bridges before being interrupted to assist in a situation involving a man with terminal cancer threatening to jump off a building.
After a tense few minutes, Joe and the man fell off the building’s ledge but were saved by a harness attached to one of them, and subsequently rescued by the police. Joe was hailed a ‘rooftop hero’ and we saw him reprimanded by his wife Julianne (Camilla Beeput) and his own doctor Jack Owens (Adam James) for playing hero. It was also revealed that he’d been diagnosed with early on-set Parkinson’s.
Shortly after DI Vincent Ruiz (Shaun Parkes) and DS Riya Devi (Anji Mohindra) were called to a graveyard where the body of a young woman had been found in a shallow grave. Initially not sure who she was, they turned to Joe to assist as a criminal profiler (it should be noted that the victim was assumed to be a sex worker and Joe met Devi at a support group he was using to research attitudes to sex workers).
Joe visited the morgue to inspect the victim’s body and after appearing to be queasy at the sight, he went back to see the body and was caught by Ruiz and Devi touching it as he inspected the 21 stab wounds. Claiming he’d gone in because the door was open, it was later revealed that Joe actually memorised the door code when a nurse previously opened the door and let himself in. Joe did tell the police officers that he believed the victim had been a self-harmer and the viewers found out that the stab wounds appeared to be self inflicted.
Between helping the police, Joe was seen in session with a young patient Bobby (Bobby Schofield) who was obsessed with the number 21 (it was the number of the bus his dad drove) and had assaulted a woman who cut in front of him at a taxi rank. Joe made a connection between the number 21 and the number of stab wounds the murder victim had, and took his concerns to Jack that Bobby may have been the killer.
The victim was identified as Catherine McCain (Tara Lee), a Community Nurse, and it turns out that Joe wasn’t being completely honest with Ruiz and Devi. Viewers saw Joe shredding a CV from Catherine among the pile of potential interviewees for the position of receptionist at his clinic and if that wasn’t damning enough, Devi discovered that Joe knew Catherine very well indeed.
As Joe arrived home, he found Ruiz and Devi waiting and they revealed that they knew he had recognised Catherine in the morgue. Not only that but he’d been at the graveyard when the body was discovered. They also detailed the sexual assault claim she filed against him, which was ultimately dropped, and Joe said he didn’t say anything because she’d been a former patient of his that he’d cared about and he didn’t want to believe it was her.
Joe was asked to go to the police station the next day to have his finger prints and DNA taken. Julianne was fuming that Catherine was back in their lives again and a big question mark was left hanging over whether or not Joe might have killed her!
‘The Suspect’ continues at 9pm Monday on ITV.