DI Major gets a software update and takes DI Carver’s career into his own hands… with some help from other errant appendages.
This recap of Code 404 Episode 2 contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
It’s easy to imagine what DI John Major (Daniel Mays) might have been in the opener of the second episode, a VR shootout in which he takes down bad guys with the kind of style and confidence you’d expect from an “augmented” copper. Then he shoots his grandma, who wanders into the simulation. Still an idiot, then, despite a new software update from Dr. Parfit (Amanda Payton) which should, apparently, give him much faster cognition. In reality, all it does it make him talk in Americanisms, annoying DI Carver (Stephen Graham), and embarrassing Major in front of observing members of the AI Ethics Committee. He might be artificial, but there’s no intelligence to be found.
Major is also determined to scare up leads on his own fatal shooting in Code 404 Episode 2, so he’s doubly annoyed when DCS Dennett (Rosie Cavaliero) assigns him and Carver to a work a flytipping case. As it turns out, though, Carver has been secretly working on his partner’s death in his own time, though he hasn’t managed to get anywhere.
Carver spends most of the episode annoyed. He hates that he keeps getting the blame for all Major’s mishaps, and he’s especially fed up when Kelly (Anna Maxwell Martin) asks Major out on a date. What she had with Carver has been fun, she says to him, but now that Major’s back, there’s a chance he might get switched off if things don’t go well. Can she stand to lose him again?
Major is also annoyed in Code 404 Episode 2, though for different reasons. He’s sick of being treated like a robot, sick of the tests, though admittedly he thinks the Turing Test is designed to figure out if someone is gay, so it isn’t exactly clear what he’s most irritated by. Things are made much worse by Ryle (Emily Lloyd-Saini) and Gilbert (Steve Oram), who’re investigating Major’s shooting:
“Don’t worry, we’re not gonna charge you.”
“Not unless your batteries run out.”
Zingers. And a follow-up: “Shouldn’t make jokes like that. It’s not very… PC.” And on and on. Major can’t remember the name he was given during his shooting, though he does remember a red jeep, and points the officers to Liam Cleasby (Richard Gadd), a known associate of the shooters. After the interview, Ryle and Gilbert get Cleasby on the phone. He’s going to get rid of the jeep.
Following this, Major is livid that his murder isn’t actually being treated as a murder. He also reveals to an exasperated Carver that he planted the severed foot they found at the flytipping site to give Carver’s career a boost.
“You wanted to get back on Serious Crimes.”
“Not by committing one!”
Major goes on his date with Kelly while Carver pores over CCTV footage of Major quite obviously hacking off the foot of an innocent cadaver in the morgue. Dr. Parfit deletes it in order to protect the project; she tells Carver that Major is an AI, and if they pull the plug he’ll be switched off. Carver obviously doesn’t want that fate for his best friend, but he also can’t end up in prison because that best friend’s a blithering idiot. Decisions, decisions.
Luckily no decisions have to be made in Code 404 Episode 2 since Dennett tells Carver and Major than they’re off the flytipping case by order of MI5 — a development engineered by the protective Dr. Parfit, who also convinced Kelly to psychologically evaluate Major during their date. By the time Major gets his second software update of the episode, this one apparently guaranteed to work, he’s probably thankful to come out German.
Code 404 Episode 5 ends with Cleasby burning that Jeep. A conspiracy is afoot in more ways that one.
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