The Seed of Cunning
"It was always personal with us, Tommy."
Inspector Thomas Lynley (Nathaniel Parker) and Det. Barbara Havers (Sharon Small) this time find themselves within the House of Lords when doorkeeper Eric Ramsey (James Pearse) is murdered. A variety of members are interviewed including Lynley's old Oxford chum, Simon Featherstonehaugh (Roger Allam as a polished hierarchy). Soon after the uptight Clerk Geoffrey Crammond (Clive Merrison) is found floating in the Thames. Surveillance footage reveals that Ramsey gave some documents to Crammond beforehand. Laetitia Ganes (Claude Blakley), a hot go-getter with sexy legs, is questioned several times since she works for Bell Regis, which lobbies on behalf of an American company interested in the workings of the committee. With the closing of the deal she could find herself with a lucrative opening in the States. (It really isn't hard to figure out who's involved, but whytheydunnit is carefully articulated along the way.)
Meantime, Barbara has hired a dating service where she meets her dates at a pub. Her second ding is truly memorable. A hangin', self-absorbed character with the slang "Wicked!," "YKWIM?," and "Like, really cool." stirred in just the right liqueur. (I can hardly believe well into Series 4 the program still plods the "other side of the tracks" class differences between Lynley and Havers.)
Through persistence and cunning the detectives manage to get ahold of the documents and the seven missing pages. Lynley takes them to a private meet with Deputy Christine Miller (Matilda Ziegler). She discovers the documents are for a defense contract between American and European contractors that are worth billions. The seven missing pages are a preliminary evaluation of American company Mercury Aeronautics' guidance system that could jeopardize their bid.
So who gains from the suppression of the files and why? Only time will tell. (Richard Henders' performance as the ambitious-yet-pressed Tim Sadler is a good one.) B