TV Review: Scott and Bailey Series 5

The final, hard-hitting season of Scott and Bailey is succinct and sour, if a little too short to be truly satisfying

“You only popped out for a pint of milk and you were gone a year”

After a break of a year, Scott and Bailey returns for Series 5 which for some reason, has been capped at just three episodes. From a storytelling perspective, it ain’t too bad because it provides a tight focus for a single epic story to be told. From a show perspective though it’s a bit sad, since this is the final series of the show and thus it is hard not to feel a little short-changed.

The earlier seasons were fantastic but I wasn’t too bowled over by the fourth, Fortunately, Lee Warburton’s writing here does much to recapture that initial magic. Following the discovery of a serial killer using the dark web to plan their crimes, Suranne Jones’ Rachel Bailey returns from her secondment in Vice in London to take control of the squad as Acting Detective Inspector.

But while she’s hoping for sterling support from erstwhile partner Janet Scott (the always brilliant Lesley Sharp), she’s got her own problems as her 16 year old daughter has just been arrested for sexting with her 15 year old boyfriend. And relations with the rest of the team are a little tense as everyone struggles to adjust to the new power dynamic. Matters aren’t helped when details of the case are leaked and danger levels are raised sky high.

It’s a fairly gripping crime story in and of itself, particularly as it twists round to bite the squad on the arse. But the real joy comes in the gruff Northern humour that comes in so much of the conversation between the real salt-of-the-earth people, the grudging affection between the title characters a constant pleasure, Pippa Haywood’s DSI also great value for money.

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