After part two’s cliffhanger with Strike’s declaration that he knows who killed Lula, the third episode in Cinemax’s C.B. Strike starts with a flashback/dream of Strike when he was back in the military. After his convoy stops due to a broken down bus, Strike senses trouble but is too late to stop an explosion from going off. The bomber walks up to Strike and points a gun at his face, pauses to look down at Strike’s leg, winks and spares him. The subtly of this shot is exquisite. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, if this were an American TV series, we’d get a shot of Strike’s missing leg and a huge music swell to up the dramatics to get the point across.
In another part of town, we find Robin on a clue-finding mission, reinvigorated in her choice to continue to work for Strike for little pay after her dull office job interview in the last episode. She’s searching for some more answers at a boutique that Lula was known to frequent under the guise that she’s helping her brother pick out a dress for his wife. Strike catches up with her, spots her in a stunning green gown (hello, sexual tension), and the two whisk off to Guy Somé’s atelier for some more answers.
During their visit, it becomes very clear that Guy is annoying about not being *with* Lula, but not enough to end her life. The CCTV footage that’s been plaguing this arc of the series show a logo looking suspiciously like the designer’s, an assumption confirmed with the detectives’ visit.
After an exercise in attempting to recreate what the night of the murder was like, Strike goes to visit Lady Bristow and John to gain some more information. While there, Strike confirms that Lula was looking for her biological family, which visibly makes John Bristow uncomfortable. He relays this to Robin, who goes to find Lula’s father, a professor at a local university. It appears Robin (and before, Lula) was too late in, as Lula’s biological father passed a year previous, leaving behind a wife and adult son.
Strike tracks down the brother, confirming that he was the one seen in the CCTV footage. The brother, who was upset, was supposed to meet Lula the night of her murder. He got cold feet, not wanting to upset his mother, and leaves. This still leaves the mysterious, Somé-clad culprit in the other CCTV footage (seriously, this is such a focal point) unaccounted for.
Robin, being an I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T woman calls the boring office job hiring manager and politely declines, leading her into yet another fight with Matthew (who will now be dubbed (“Drab-tthew”) because he doesn’t want her to work for a detective (read: he doesn’t want her working for a man who is twice his height, more attractive and gruff).
Strike makes a return visit to the Bristows’ estate to speak to Lady Bristow. John, thankfully, is no where to be seen, which Strike takes full advantage of by snooping around the house and, eventually, finding Lula’s Guy Somé bag with the hidden pocket and *drumroll* Lula’s missing will.
Back at the office, Strike tells Robin to go home for the night; letting her know he won’t be able to pay her once the case is over. The deflated look on Robin’s face is soul crushing, and you can tell she’s heartbroken that this may be the end. With Robin gone, it’s time for Strike to confront the killer.
After the requisite montage of all the facts, John Bristow walks in and Strike confronts him about being the murderer. Many will say that they saw this coming. the series thus far did such a good job making everyone the ideal suspect that you could’ve dropped any of them in John’s place and you’d still scream at the screen, “I knew it!” After recounting how Bristow murdered his sister and why, John attacks Strike (who would’ve thought someone that frail would give Strike a run for his money). Pinned down and about to lose, Strike is saved by Robin (huzzah!). Always one to have the last word, so to speak, Strike beats the living hell out of Bristow, only to be stopped by Robin (the dark, violent Strike is a great foreshadowing to what’s yet to come).
The episode ends with Robin and Strike agreeing to continue their partnership (and their sexual tension, my god) — leaving the door open for the next big case. Did you figure out Bristow was Lula’s killer? Sound off in the comments with your thoughts on the third episode!