The second part of The Cuckoo’s Calling arc of Cinemax’s C.B Strike series did not disappoint. Adding further layers to our main characters, we find Robin and Strike diving further into the flashy world of London’s elite as they take a closer look at all of the suspects surrounding the suspicious death of up and coming model Lula Landry.
As the pair work their sleuthing skills through a network of characters, including fiery fashion designer Guy Somé, supermodel best friend Ciara, coke-addicted neighbor Tansy, and sleazy rocker boyfriend/ex-boyfriend Evan Duffield, we soon realize that everyone had a strong motive, including John Bristow, the deceased’s adopted brother (and catalyst for the entire investigation.
The case takes an interesting turn when Guy Somé and Ciara Porter share with the pair that Lula was on the hunt to find her biological family, which opens up the possibility of a different kind of foul play. Lula confided that she was afraid of someone before she passed, could it be a long-lost relative with a plot to extort money gone wrong?
Though the main hook of the show is the high-profile mystery, the true selling points of the second episode are the additional layers of the two leads that continue to peel away as the episode progresses. We learn more about Strike’s childhood and late mother with the arrival of his half-sister Lucy. Lucy was one of my favorite characters in the book series, and it was great to see that sibling relationship play out on-screen.
Strike’s world is falling apart, and we begin to see a crack in his gruff exterior this episode, which features a heartfelt moment between him and Robin at their favorite pub. It was nice to see his tough-guy facade start to fade as he begins to surrender his independence and let someone in; Robin.
Robin’s excited to finally be living her secret dream as a private investigator, we start to see that her picture perfect life may not be all that after all. The underlying cracks in her relationship with her (completely intolerable) fiancé, Matthew, and the tease that there’s something tragic in her past come to the forefront in this episode, which only adds to the realness of these characters and the best part of the entire television (and book) series.
As the episode progresses, Strike learns more about Lula’s upbringing with a visit to Lady Yvette Bristow’s home. The mother of John, Lula and Strike’s late friend, Charlie, Lady Yvette is in poor health, suffering from stage 4 cancer. She informs Strike that she and John were watching a movie the night of Lula’s death. John makes a plea for Strike to revisit his evidence, mainly the CCTV footage mentioned in the dossier.
As Strike reviews the footage (after a romp with Ciara), our favorite rough-around-the-edges detective finds evidence that convinced him he’s found the killer, leaving the second hour in the series with another cliffhanger to keep us guessing.
Eagle-eyed viewers may have spotted what Strike saw. Do you think you know who killed Lula Landry?