Roush Review: An Unforgettable Fourth Season of ‘Unforgotten’
Let sleeping—or in this case frozen—dogs lie? Not in Unforgotten.
The past disrupts the present whenever cold-case detectives Cassie Stuart (the intensely watchable Nicola Walker), partner Sunny Khan (Sanjeev Bhaskar) and their team dig into long-buried crimes in this compelling Masterpiece Mystery! drama. The always-emotional series hits a devastating peak in Season 4, which is saying something.
'Unforgotten' Star Nicola Walker on Cassie's Return to the Force: 'She Cares Too Much About the Job'
The job has become especially grueling for Cassie, who wants out after nearly 30 years of “having to mop up the blood and the tears and the rage and the despair on a daily basis.” As the season opens, she’s reluctantly returning after a mental-health leave, forced to finish out another three months before she can get her pension. “This judgment does not cut me any slack,” she laments.
On the other hand, Cassie doesn’t know from slack when she has a puzzle to pursue, no matter how many lives get blown up in the process. “I’ve already given the job everything I have,” she says, and this holds true for her final case, a humdinger of a mystery that begins when the grisly remains of a mutilated and headless body are discovered, having been kept in a home freezer for nearly three decades.
When the John Doe’s trail leads to four suspects who had all just finished police training at the time of the death, two of whom are still on the job all these years later, Cassie’s quest for answers begins to look like she’s settling scores with the department that has done her wrong. “There is a small bit of me wants to punish someone,” she acknowledges to Sunny, but really, she’s just looking for “the best route to the truth,” regardless of the toll it takes on her personal life.
As the case intensifies, Cassie appears to be putting her relationship with retired DCI John Bentley (Alistair McKenzie) in jeopardy, while also alienating her ailing father (Peter Egan). Is any job worth this much angst? Even as her team keeps telling Cassie to go home and get some rest, she earns their unswerving loyalty, staying focused on the painful revelations through the last wrenching confession.
Unforgotten will continue for a fifth season, but there’s little doubt that Cassie Stuart, and Nicola Walker, are unlikely ever to be forgotten.
Unforgotten, Season 4 Premiere, Sunday, July 11, 9/8c, PBS (check local listings at pbs.org)