Bishop makes an ill-advised new friend and Pike spends his anniversary at work in a solid second episode.
This recap of Bulletproof Season 2, Episode 2 contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
The Bad Boys vibe in Bulletproof has never been subtle, but this season’s arc of Bishop (Noel Clarke) getting increasingly in over his head while Pike (Ashley Walters) wants nothing more than to stay at home with his family has never been clearer than it is here. The episode opens with scenes of Bishop meeting Brandon (Leeshon Alexander) intercut with those of Pike enjoying some, shall we say, quality time with Arjana (Vanessa Vanderpuye). Since Brandon’s job is to protect the Markides family, he needs to vet Bishop, who he finds deeply suspicious, but before he’s able to he’s shot and killed in a pushbike drive-by by an unknown assailant.
The immediate suspect in Brandon’s killing is Bishop himself; after summoning Mikey (Ben Tavassoli) and his goons to the scene, they all turn on him, leading to a bit of a standoff until Alex (Stavros Zalmas) arrives and calms the situation down by asking to see Bishop once he’s all cleaned up. At the NCA HQ, we learn that Scooch (Olivia Chenery) had a military father, and see the beginnings of a flirtatious relationship between her and Pike as she and Paige (Lucie Shorthouse) look deeper into a modelling agency.
When Bishop meets with Alex, he’s introduced to his estate agent daughter Anna (Gala Gordon) and is told to lay low with Mikey, which seems a naive expectation for that lad. The NCA divvy up responsibilities; Scooch and Paige are to track down the girls, Bishop and Pike are to return to the scene of Brandon’s murder and look for clues, and everyone else is tasked with finding out who the shooter was — or at least who ordered it.
The crime scene turns up a couple of things in Bulletproof Season 2, Episode 2 — further confirmation that there’s an attraction between Pike and Scooch, and a shell casing. On the subject of Scooch, she and Paige interview a couple of girls living in a pokey flat and turn up the name of the guy who runs the modelling agency: Patrick Straker (Tom Forbes).
Bishop, ostensibly to strengthen his cover, goes to see Anna and tells her he’s looking for a place to live. She takes him to a luxury apartment where they have sex, which Pike is quick to berate him about since coppers sleeping with suspected criminals tends not to be the done thing. The Mike and Marcus vibe comes through strong here, especially when Pike is roped into being the reluctant wheelman for Mikey, who claims to know who killed Brandon and would like to confront them with a gun. Naturally, this all goes wrong; the suspected assailant is shot in the arm by Mikey, who is forced to escape with Bishop and Pike in the aftermath. It’s a fun car chase, though somewhat implausibly action-packed given the Blighty setting. Still, this show has never been know for its believability or its restraint.
In the hopes of dumping the car at the Markides scrapyard, they head there but find Alex waiting for them. He seems slightly impressed by Bishop berating Mikey for his stupidity and invites him and Pike to Brandon’s wake. Scooch and Paige, meanwhile, follow their lead back to the flat where they spoke to the girls. It has been cleared out, but they get their hands on Patrick’s rap sheet: he has a history of downloading indecent images and pictures of himself with Eleanor Markides.
The recovered shell casing is tracked back to some unsavory war criminal types, one of whom is a snitch, one of whom is dead, and one of whom is in London. Munroe (Jason Maza) and Jonesy (David Elliot) go to pick him up, and since he’s a giant steroidal killer he batters the pair of them until Munroe is finally, blessedly able to tase him.
This yields a phone number which is a direct link to whoever organized Brandon’s killing. Bishop plans to call it at the wake, which he attends in trainers. “It’s a wake,” admonishes Pike. “I didn’t like him,” replies Bishop, which I suppose is fair enough. Bishop does indeed call the number, and who should answer but Mikey. He organized his own friend’s death, and throughout the wake it becomes pretty obvious why: Brandon was beloved by the family, especially Alex, while Mikey continues to be dismissed as the erratic imbecile that he is.
A solid second episode promises even more complications to come.
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Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.