Suspects: Series 5 opens with the cold-blooded murder of DI Martha Bellamy (Fay Ripley) and spirals out of control from there. While I will admit that the character of Bellamy was really getting on my nerves last season, to kill her off without ever even showing her face (just some blood and her photo ID on a lanyard) was pretty damn cold. Of course, DS Jack Weston (Damien Molony, Clean Break) finds the body after getting a frantic call from Bellamy's teen-aged daughter. Soon, DC Charlie Steele (Clare-Hope Ashitey) is on the scene, along with some new faces from Major Crimes, DCI Daniel Drummond (James Murray) and Detectives Alisha Brooks (Lenora Crichlow) and Gary Roscoe (Perry Fitzpatrick), a Trainee Detective. As the investigation begins, it seems to be connected to a pair of club-owning career criminal brothers, Stan Turner (Sam Stockman) and Mo Jones (Neil Stuke).
As Jack soon finds out, his girlfriend from when they were teenagers works at the club and is Stan's girlfriend, leading to some strange interactions and accusations from her. Before you know it, they've got some crazy revelations, another body on their hands, (naturally, a material witness in the case), and a shocking surprise for Jack. Then throw in a kidnapping, some child molestation, more bodies, and surprise, surprise, a bent copper (that's a dirty cop to us Americans). It seems the closer the team get to solving the case, the more things go awry and it soon becomes clear that there is a mole. Now to only figure out who can be trusted and who might just kill them for digging too much.
I've got to admit that I am really tired of the standard British cop drama trope of the dirty cop and the inside job. This six episode series arch is called "The Enemy Within" so it shouldn't come as a surprise, I just wish they'd do something new. Sure, by the end, they've wrapped it all up tight and I'd come to enjoy several of the new characters, but it was difficult getting to the end. I mean seriously - their boss has just been brutally murdered and then a crack whore washes up on shore and they are told to drop everything and work on her murder? Really? It was just a little ridiculous at times. When everything finally wrapped up, I found myself digesting who the true bad guys were and what their relationships were with each other and a certain murder victim, and it was just, um, weird. I won't go into it since that would be a spoiler, but no. Just no.
The only special feature was a Photo Gallery and that's just fine. I don't really know what the writers were doing with this season other than a desperate flail to save a floundering show. I loved Series 1 and came to love Series 2, as I thought the show had really found its stride. Then along came Series 3 and 4 and ruined it for me. Suspects: Series 5 hasn't done anything to restore my faith other than introduce some interesting new characters that I did really enjoy watching, although Molony and Ashitey seemed to be phoning it in this season, almost as if they were as bored with the show as I was. Time will tell whether a sixth series will release and I hope if it does, the writers look back to the magic from the first two seasons and take some cues.