You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Collateral episode 1: 7 HUGE questions and theories

Digital Spy (UK) logo Digital Spy (UK) 12/02/2018 Morgan Jeffery
Collateral episode 1: 7 HUGE questions and theories as BBC Two's gripping thriller kicks off © BBC/The Forge Collateral episode 1: 7 HUGE questions and theories as BBC Two's gripping thriller kicks off

BBC Two's hot topic thriller Collateral exploded onto our screens tonight, with the shooting of an illegal immigrant in South London drawing together Carey Mulligan's copper, John Simm's politician and Nicola Walker's vicar.

But who was behind this cold-blooded murder? Why was Abdullah (Sam Otto) killed? And is "difficult woman" Karen Mars (Billie Piper) hiding something?

Join us as we dive in and attempt to unpick part one of this four-part drama, continuing next Monday (February 19) at 9pm.

1. Who shot Abdullah?

a man in a uniform standing in front of a window © Provided by Digital Spy

Forensics expert Fuzz (Nick Mohammed) notes that there was "nothing random" about the shooting of pizza delivery man Abdullah. The killer had picked out a clear vantage point, and a clear escape route - in other words, they were a professional.

The closing scenes of this opening episode reveal the shooter to be Captain Sandrine Shaw of the Royal Surrey Artillery - and it appears from personal photos that she's part of a military family, with one younger and one older gentleman seen in separate snaps, both in military garb.

The only person who knows the shooter is a woman is Linh (Kae Alexander) - she witnessed the shooting, but is reluctant to tell the truth and gives the police a fake name and address. Why? Well, for starters, she was found to be in possession of ketamine and MDMA. But Linh is also living in England illegally.

This puts David (John Simm, who's Simm-ultaneously appearing in ITV's Trauma) in a compromising position, since he signed Linh's application to renew her student visa, unaware that her first visa had already expired.

That's sure to come back and bite the holier-than-thou politician in the bum. 

2. Why was Abdullah killed?

a person sitting on a table © Provided by Digital Spy

Collateral writer David Hare has insisted that the series is "not a whodunnit, it's a whydunnit" - indeed, now that we know who killed Abdullah, the bigger question is why they did it.

He'd only been in the country for a matter of weeks, having fled Syria - where he worked as a hotel receptionist - with his two sisters, the trio now eking out a dismal existence living together in a London garage.

In the wake of his death, Abdullah's two sisters aren't talking, except for Fatimah (Ahd Kamel) suggesting that the whole situation will have "a bad outcome." "How can it have a worse outcome?" asks DS Nathan Bilk (Nathaniel Martello-White). "Her brother's dead."

It's a fair point. Who / what are Fatima and younger sibling Mona (July Namir) afraid of? Do they know more than they're admitting to?

DI Kip Glaspie (Carey Mulligan) notes that Abdullah, Fatima and Mona reached the UK in "under a month" which is "impressively quick" - were they brought to this country for a specific purpose? And where did Abdullah get money to pay for his English driving licence? Did he take payment from someone - and if so, for what?

3. Were MI5 involved in the murder?

As Kip points out, given that Abdullah hails from Syria, why aren't the security services all over his shooting? Her superior, DSU Jack Haley (Ben Miles), also notes that the investigation feels like "MI5 country" - so why are they steering clear?

After she kills Abdullah, Sandrine sexts a text ("JOB DONE") to persons unknown, so it does appear that she's working for some higher power and isn't just some rogue agent.

4. Who's following Laurie?

a person in glasses looking at the camera © Provided by Digital Spy

Why did Laurie Stone (Hayley Squires), the manager at the pizza place, insist that Abdullah deliver Karen's pizza, rather than fellow delivery man Mikey Gowans (Brian Vernel)? Was it an arbitrary decision?

Even though it was Mikey's turn to take a delivery, Laurie insisted that Abdullah go instead - apparently out of pity, since he hadn't had a run all night. Let's assume that's true - does that mean the killer was actually waiting for Mikey?

Or was Laurie working with Sandrine, to ensure it was Abdullah who went on that fateful trip? Laurie appears troubled later in the episode ("You are a good girl," her unwell mother tells her. "Yeah, I wish," she responds.) and is later seen being pursued by a mystery vehicle.

Maybe Laurie was involved in arranging the shooting and now MI5 or whoever arranged it is looking to silence her?

(One final note: the pizza place is under new ownership, as of a month prior to the shooting, being purchased by "a man in Boca Raton" - significant, or a red herring?)

5. Is Karen hiding something?

a man standing in a dark room © Provided by Digital Spy

Did Billie Piper's character intend to lure Abdullah into a trap? Assuming that Laurie and Sandrine were working together, Karen could've been in on it too. After all, it was her call that drew Abdullah to where Sandrine was waiting.

It's telling that, after the pizza is delivered, Karen discards it almost immediately - as DS Nathan notices. And did she have some ulterior motive for calling her ex-partner David over? "I don't get it - you don't seem very upset," he notes.

She's also rather short with Nathan when he arrives to interview her… but then she's rather short with everyone. "Your mother is a difficult woman," David tells their daughter Elfie (played by John Simm's real-life daughter Molly).

Karen also seems genuinely surprised by the gunshots that ring out when Abdullah is killed. Maybe she was involved in some way, but didn't know she was being accomplice to a murder?

6. What's happening at the Turbine club?

a man standing in front of a mirror posing for the camera © Provided by Digital Spy

Mikey - the pizza guy who was supposed to deliver Karen's order - was formerly a bouncer at nightclub The Turbine. In the aftermath of the shooting, he appears frightened to walk the streets... but is there more to it?

Mikey later returns to The Turbine where two thugs are waiting for him. He doesn't have "what [they] want" and endures a vicious beating as a result. There's clearly something larger at work here - you might have missed it, but Linh also mentions that she visited a club prior to witnessing the shooting.

"I can guess [which one]," her girlfriend Jane (Nicola Walker) replies. So that'll be The Turbine then.

7. What was the "famous incident" that ended Kip's pole-vaulting career?

Before she was a crack detective, Carey Mulligan's Kip was apparently an athlete and expert pole-vaulter. (As a backstory for your lead detective goes, it's certainly original.)

But what was the "famous incident" that ended her career? Is this just a bit of colour, a slightly offbeat character detail to make Kip more interesting? Or could it end up being more meaningful?

(As well as being a professional athlete, police officer Kip was also formerly a teacher. Quite the renaissance woman.)

For more of the most popular News, Sport, Lifestyle & Entertainment on MSN, Follow us on Facebook, and on Twitter 


More from Digital Spy

Digital Spy (UK)
Digital Spy (UK)
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon