The episode starts with Peter Manuel (Martin Compston) being interviewed by Muncie and Iris Laird (Joanne Thomson). Manuel has put together an entire log of his movements for the past few days. Manuel flirts with Iris, while learning she has been promoted to CID. Throughout the interrogation, Manuel manages to find an answer for each question. He is asked about Isabelle Cooke, but denies knowing the woman. The detectives have no choice, but to release him. With Manuel back on the streets, Muncie (Douglas Henshall) shifts his attention to locating Cooke’s body. After the intro, Muncie meets up with Joe Brannan (James Harkness). We learn that Brannan has gotten a job and has remained out of trouble.
Inspector Muncie tries to coax Brannan into spying on Manuel for them. Brannan agrees to help, when he learns he will be saving a life and will make money. Muncie agrees to keep his involvement a secret. Later, William Muncie speaks with his wife, Agnes (Shauna Macdonald), at home. He learns about a burglary at the Reverend Houston’s house. The items stolen match those Manuel gave to his family. William takes note of the burglary and jots it down in his notebook. Agnes and Muncie head out to join in the search for Isabelle. Despite the exhaustive search, the police are only able to find an article of clothing. It is taken to Isabelle’s parents, who confirm it is their daughter’s. Meanwhile, Agnes speaks with Peter Smart (Robert Jack) and his family. We see that Peter is working on his automobile with assistance from his son.
Later that night, Brannan hangs out with Peter and Samuel (Gilly Gilchrist) at a local pub. During the drinking, the group is watched closely by two detectives. Peter bums a little money from his father. Then, the conversation turns to Joe and his new line of work. Peter manages to sneak off to the bathroom. He is followed by DS McLeod (Jack Greenlees). Nonetheless, McLeod spots nothing of interest and leaves. Then, Peter uncovers a new pistol. That night, Manuel watches the detectives through the window. Manuel taunts the men. Meanwhile, Muncie and his family celebrate the new year. During this time, Mrs. Smart puts her son to bed. Next, we see the Smart automobile stop near a police officer and the man inside offer the officer a ride. Manuel drives the vehicle and drops the officer off at the search site.
The next morning, Peter heads to a local bridge and tosses his gun into the water. Next, we see Manuel walk through the Smart family’s home. The family has already been killed. He opens the blinds and steps into the hallway. He stands outside of Michael’s room. Manuel disappears and Muncie enters. He investigates the murders and discovers Michael dead in his room. He heads into the hallway and discovers an empty wallet. Then, he finds a can of half eaten food nearby. This confirms to Muncie that Manuel is the murderer. He immediately marches over to the Manuel house. Surprisingly, Theresa (Bobby Rainsbury) gives her brother an alibi. The officers responsible for keeping an eye on Manuel have no choice, but to admit Manuel never left his house.
Iris is told to take statements from the family, while Muncie speaks with his men outside. The detectives admit they left for a few hours to get a vehicle and something to eat. Muncie is furious at the men. He returns home and tells Agnes that Manuel must’ve stepped out when Wilson and McLeod were gone. Renfrew (David Rintoul) tells Muncie that he was right about Manuel all along. He also insists they can still bring him down, despite the alibi. Muncie speaks with Hugh Kirk (Gavin Jon Wright) about the empty wallet. He then consults with Joe Brannan. He returns to the station and announces that Peter has made a mistake. He reveals that Peter stole from Peter Smart’s wallet. They write down and begin tracking serial numbers on the money.
The same detectives are ordered to keep tabs on Manuel. That night, Theresa returns home and speaks with her brother. She tells her brother that his games are going to end with his hanging. He laughs at her and insists that will never happen. Next, Muncie and his men begin preparing to arrest Manuel. He tells them not to speak with Manuel, until he has arrived back at the station. He gives Iris orders to interrogate the man, so they can humiliate him. After the arrest, Muncie scours through Manuel’s home and finds all of the stolen belongings from the Reverend’s house. Muncie tells Peter’s parents about the items. Samuel insists he bought the items. During the interrogation, Peter doesn’t say a single word to Iris. She returns to Muncie and admits she failed. However, Muncie suggests otherwise. He insists they have Manuel exactly where they want him.
Muncie speaks with Manuel next. He gives him a cigarette, before admitting there are tons of reporters in the city thanks to Manuel. However, Muncie turns things around and tells Manuel his father has been arrested as an accomplice to the murder of Isabelle. Manuel doesn’t believe it and asks to see his father. Sure enough, he is locked in a cell. Manuel insists he doesn’t need anyone’s help. Peter also agrees to show Muncie where the body is located, as long as his father is released. Peter has no trouble remembering the location. After the body is uncovered, Muncie gives a statement to the press. Peter’s previous victim, Mary, is there watching. Iris and Muncie celebrate, before Muncie learns Manuel has been asking for him.
Manuel wants Muncie to tell the press he is not a child killer. Muncie tells Manuel he isn’t the only one that can lie. He laughs, as he tells Peter that his father was only arrested for the stolen belongings. Manuel becomes enraged and yells at Muncie, as he leaves the cell.
In Plain Sight Review
In Plain Sight seemed to become more gripping from episode to episode with the third being the best. The acting throughout the entire series was excellent. Martin Compston and Douglas Henshall were polar opposites and perfectly balanced one another. Peter Manuel and William Muncie were meant for one another. Manuel remained defiant to the very end and at times, it felt like he intended to get caught at some point or another. Muncie played his role and eventually helped to solidify Manuel as one of Scotland’s most notorious serial killers.
Should the series to be believed, Peter Manuel eventually achieved the notoriety that he so desperately desired. Of course, one should not forget the victims. All in all, In Plain Sight was a very straightforward exploration of Manuel and his crime spree. The finale deserves an 8 out of 10. Visit our previous In Plain Sight recaps immediately!