Warning: this article contains spoilers for episode five of BBC One’s Dublin Murders, so do not read on unless you are fully up to date with the crime show…
BBC One’s Dublin Murders has been deliciously confusing up until this point, but episode five felt like a real turning point for viewers.
While Cassie was off pretending to be Lexie (aka her dead doppelgänger), it seemed Rob was beginning to slowly come undone. Oh sure, we were angry at him for treating our beloved Cass so badly in episode four, but we weren’t all that happy to see him seemingly lose it in her (very understandable) absence.
Throughout the episode, we saw him become increasingly obsessed with Jonathan Devlin, with the detective convinved that he and his childhood friend Cathal Mills are dangerous paedophiles. And, as if that weren’t enough, Rob (who broke down in tears during tonight’s episode in a rare show of emotion) decided to shift his attention from the murder of Katy Devlin to that night in the woods back in 1985.
That’s right: rather than focus on the present, Rob became desperate to find the one witness to the events in the woods in 1985 that has hasn’t yet spoken to: Shane Waters. (Although, incidentally, Shane, a homeless drug addict, hasn’t been seen since Katy’s body was found. Maybe it is all connected after all?)
It all boiled down to one terrifying night in the woods: Rob, convinced it will help him solve both Katy’s murder and the 1985 disappearance of his friends, ventures out into the forest alone. And, strangely enough, it does help: amidst all those hallucinations of our favourite neighbourhood wolf (a werewolf, some viewers have hesitantly suggested), Rob uncovers a disturbing memory, which has long been buried in the recesses of his tortured mind.
Essentially, the fifth episode of Dublin Murders has left us with even more questions than last week’s installments.
Here, Stylist’s digital editor Kayleigh Dray does her best to unravel them all.
Will Cassie die before the end of the episode?
A lot of people have decided that Cassie, now masquerading as the late Lexie, is well and truly doomed to die an untimely death.
Firstly, there’s those ultra-suspicious housemates: after all, they didn’t look all that pleased to learn that “Lexie” wasn’t just alive, but ready to return home after a night in the hospital.
Then, there’s that trailer for tomorrow’s episode (episode six, for those counting). In it, we see Cassie/Lexie can be seen sitting with her housemates for dinner, before a stone is thrown through the window. Unable to quell her inner detective, Cassie gives chase, but is later seen on her knees with a gun pointed directly into her face. Will she finally meet her maker?
Well, as we’ve noted before, the books upon which Dublin Murders is based see Cassie become too intertwined in the dynamics of the house. As she falls deeper and deeper into Lexie’s life, though, she uncovers a secret about her late doppelgänger’s housemates… and a very dark one about that. Hmm.
However, as this writer’s genius colleague has already pointed out, the very first scene of the very first episode of Dublin Murders looks an awful lot like it’s going to be the last one, too. You know, the one where Rob started banging on about how the murdered are the lucky ones, and the survivors are simply rejects? That one.
“They’re chosen. And the rest of us aren’t lucky at all. Not blessed. Not watched over by some kind angel, the ones who get left – they’re just too slow, too stupid, too muddy, too dull. The Gods don’t want them. Their lumps, their rejects. We all are. Rejects.”
His speech triggers Cassie to respond that she will not see him again… and Cassie has a fringe. As in, she looks just like Lexie, they are closing a case, and she is alive and well (or a ghost, we guess, but probably alive and well).
As such, we suspect that Cassie will live to fight another day, and another, and another, right up until that elusive episode eight. In fact, we’re willing to put money on it. Any takers?
What did Rob remember in the woods?
There’s nothing like a forest sleepover to jog your memories, as Rob Reilly knows all too well. In this episode, we saw him force himself to spend a night in the very same woods from which his two closest friends disappeared (and Katy Devlin’s lifeless body was found just days ago) - and he did it all in a bid to unlock the secrets of 1985.
It worked, too. In amongst all those strange hallucinations, Rob finally recalled a key detail from that fateful night: a brutal gang rape which he witnessed from the bushes in childhood.
Could this be the key to cracking both cases? Or is it a false memory, from an unreliable narrator? Only time will tell, we suppose…
What is up with Rosalind? Did she kill Katy?
Ah, the million dollar question. As fans of the show will know, Jonathan has sent his daughters Rosalind and Jessica away from Dublin in a bid to… hmm, protect them? Help them grieve? Cover their dastardly, murderous tracks? We’re still not really sure, but we’re intrigued all the same.
It isn’t long before Rob tracks Rosalind down to a dingy caravan park, and the extent of Rosalind’s disturbed behaviour emerges. But could she really have murdered her sister? And, if so, what was her motive? Jealousy over Katy’s abilities as a dancer? Desperation to keep her sister from leaving home? Or something far more sinister?
We guess we’ll have to wait and see, although don’t bank on Rob asking any of the right questions: he seems more than convinced that Rosalind is a damsel in need of saving, and he has himself pegged as her knight in shining armour/a crumpled suit. Sigh.
What are people on Twitter saying about it all?
Once again, the people of Twitter are absolute baffled by the events of Dublin Murders.
Could this still be related to the ‘fetch’ of episode three?
A reminder for those who don’t read our recaps on a regular basis: a supernatural double or apparition of a living person in Irish folklore. And the word was used to great effect in episode three of Dublin Murders: we have Cassie and Lexie, as our first set of fantastical doubles. Then, we have Rob and Adam - purportedly the same person with a new identity, but quite possibly a changeling child that was swapped in the woods back in 1985. And let’s not forget the twins at the centre of the show’s original murder plot.
Hmm. Could we have a supernatural plot about changelings afoot? Only a few episodes left to go, and we’re liking this theory more and more. After all, surely at least ONE of Lexie’s housemates would have noticed that Cassie is an entirely different person by this point if there isn’t some sort of magic in the mix, right?
Will we ever find out what happened, or will the TV show keep the books’ controversial ending in place?
Bad news, folks: if you’re hoping for a neat and tidy ending to this series, you’re almost definitely barking up the wrong tree. As fans of the books will tell you, the original novels keep things… well, they reveal a LOT of interesting twists and turns, but they don’t exactly wrap things up with a big bow come the end of the books.
Indeed, the ending caused real controversy among Tana French fans, as Rob’s childhood mystery is left unsolved.
Speaking to Vulture about it in a recent interview, French insisted that she knows what happened to Ryan and his friends all those years ago. However, she doesn’t think that her readers need to.
“Some people hate it and I don’t blame them for being annoyed with it, but I think it lies in how the book was positioned,” she told the site. “It was positioned as a murder mystery, which was a good call… But that means that people are expecting it to fit in with the genre conventions, which do include, if you set up a big mystery, you’re going to give us the answer. And people feel cheated if you don’t.
“To me, with that book, the big question wasn’t ‘whodunit’ but, ‘is Rob ever going to take the leap to find out what has been lurking inside his mind for the past 20 years? Is he ever going to mend that damage that was done all that time ago?’ And of course, that question does get answered, although probably not in the happiest possible way.”
So, who killed Katie Devlin?
We still don’t know, although we have a few likely suspects in mind (almost all of them undoubtedly red herrings, though).
Maybe we’ll learn more next week, eh?
The next episode of Dublin Murders will air Tuesday 29 October, 9pm on BBC One.
Read our episode one recap here.
Image: BBC One