As the series begins, we see a body submerged under water. The man’s body seems to be tied to a curling stone. Then, we see Detective Sergeant Annie Redford (Laura Fraser) curling with her friends. Seconds later, Evie Redford (Shona McHugh) and her friends arrive near the beach. Kieran Whitehead (Jack Bannon) pulls a bag out of the back of the van and heads towards the water. Alan Redford (Gray O’Brien) chats with a friend about buying a sonar system for his boat. He admits Annie is upset, since the family could’ve used a new car instead. Annie speaks with a friend about her daughter potentially going to Australia. Annie doesn’t like the idea and reminds her friend that nothing is definite just yet.
Meanwhile, the kids lay out bones on the beach to make it look like the Loch Ness Monster has died. They record their activities. In the morning, we’re introduced to Niall Swift (Jordan McCurrach). He receives a text message telling him to meet someone at 1 PM on the top of Carn Mhor. Evie watches the video in the morning, while still somehow keeping it a secret from her mother. Niall teaches a young girl to play the piano. Isla Marr (Cherry Campbell) is nervous, because her father, Simon (John Heffernan), watches her play. Meanwhile, Evie joins her friends at school. She is praised for answering the professor’s question. When the piano lessons come to an end, Simon confronts Niall. He hands him a CD and insists the contents are against their Christian beliefs.
The couple argue outside, after Niall is told that the piano lessons are ending. Annie receives a call from DCI Frank Smilie (John Sessions). He tells her about the bones found on the beach. Annie rushes to the scene and prevents an officer from speaking with the journalists. Annie sends the journalists away before insisting the bones likely belong to animals. Meanwhile, Alan gives a group of tourists a tour of the area. He tells them about first sighting of the Loch Ness Monster. His friend stops him and shows him the video of Evie and the others. Meanwhile, a jogger discovers the body of Niall. Annie and her colleague take the bones to a butcher shop. Ken (Moray Hunter) admits they’re likely his. The jogger stops a woman and informs her to call the authorities.
Annie arrives at the scene and identifies the body. She admits Niall taught her daughter. Niall’s backpack is found nearby. It appears Niall has been bound at the wrists. Dr. Simon Marr arrives at the scene and confirms that the man is deceased. The jogger gives Annie the details of the female caller. Back at the station, Annie’s colleague asks her about her experience in murder cases. She admits this one is her first. While looking through Niall’s backpack, Annie discovers that the man’s phone is missing. She also finds the CD Simon gave him earlier. It is broken in half. Then, she receives the video of Evie and the other children. Annie returns home and gets into an argument with her daughter about the video. Meanwhile, Simon performs an autopsy on Niall. He finds a piece of rope in the man’s wrist wound.
That night, Evie visits Kieran. She finds him caring for his brother, who seems to be in a coma. Evie admits her mother told her. She tells Kieran about her piano teacher. Evie agrees to trim the boy’s nails. Kieran asks his brother, Jordan, if he can tell Evie what happens. He doesn’t get a response. Kieran explains that his brother was a Scots guard and suffered an aneurysm on his last tour. Evie claims that Jordan squeezed her hand. That night, a wolf climbs over the butcher’s fence and eats the meat. In the morning, DCI Lauren Quigley (Siobhan Finneran) is awoken by a phone call. She learns about the murder and quickly finds out that Frank is in charge. She doesn’t seem impressed with Frank. Meanwhile, Frank tells Annie that Niall’s fall was not an accident. Along the way, Frank tells Annie about his time working with Quigley. They meet up with Quigley at the morgue.
The examiner explains that the pre-frontal cortex is missing. Quigley explains that it was likely removed via the nasal cavity, while Niall was still alive. The butcher finds the meat ravaged. He enters and finds a heart. Quigley and Redford tour the crime scene, while chatting about Niall. Annie finds a path through the grass. It leads to a newspaper from the following day. Kristy Petrie (Shereen Martin) speaks with the jogger, Craig (Alastair Mackenzie). She is worried about him, since he was as white as a sheet after discovering the body. He insists he is just fine, before leaving home. Annie returns to town and tells her husband that the SIO want her to be a part of their team. She reveals that the team will be bringing in Blake Albrighton (Don Gilet) and she would like to help. Alan doesn’t believe it is a good idea to join.
Seconds later, we see Blake driving into town. Back at the station, Quigley and Frank speak with Annie in private. They ask her about the heart found on the beach. This creates a mystery, since Niall’s heart remains inside of his body. Frank visits the butcher and kinds Jonjo (Keiran Gallacher) cleaning the van used to transport the bones. Frank tells the butcher about the heart and confirms they’ll be speaking with Jonjo pretty soon. Blake arrives and tells Quigley that they need a press conference immediately. Annie calls Alan and tells him to escort Evie to the station. Blake discusses the case with Frank and Quigley. They all agree that the killer will likely strike again. Blake and Frank have different ideas about the press conference. Later, Quigley gives the officers a rundown of their evidence.
She admits the heart will be investigated as a separate murder, until they find out otherwise. Evie and her friends are questioned about the heart. Each participant denies seeing a heart. Due to Annie’s relationship with Evie, she is removed from the case. She returns home and tries to get Evie to tell the truth. Their conversation turns into a fight. That night, the townsfolk come together in memory of Niall. Annie confronts Alan’s friend and tells him that the new DCI wants to see him at the station. The man contemplates leaving the area. Annie pieces together Evie’s broken cell phone. At the end of the episode, Jordan opens his eyes. We also see that the man under water is missing a heart.
The Loch Review
The Loch has all the potential in the world. The premise of the show is unique and the scenery is beautiful. Simultaneously, the acting is very good. Laura Fraser and Siobhan Finneran are great in almost everything. Unfortunately, the first episode of the new series was a major disappointment for many reasons. First and foremost, there are simply way too many characters. Despite watching the episode fully and running through again for the recap, I am still not able to name everyone.
Also, many of the male characters were written to be incredibly stupid. Annie Redford and Lauren Quigley could’ve been great detectives, without needing to dumb down everyone around them. And finally, the ending of the episode was very cliché. I sincerely hope the series doesn’t take on a supernatural tinge. The series lacks any emotion making it difficult to connect with any of the characters. The episode could’ve been good, but it wasn’t. It scores a 6 out of 10.