Kunal Nayyar plays extremely against type as “Sandeep”, a hardened killer who can potentially help the police solve another crime.
This recap of Criminal: United Kingdom season 2, episode 4, “Sandeep”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
The brew and biscuit subplot persists here in the final episode of Criminal: United Kingdom season 2 — Tony’s negotiation skills are on-point. Three biscuits up-front for a brew; seems fair to me. You could probably build a whole episode around this drama, but there’s much more to worry about with the arrival of the titular Sandeep, a bearded Kunal Nayyar evidently not playing Rajesh Koothrappali here.
Sandeep is a hardened criminal. He knows who’s behind the two-way glass and turns his back to it for the interview. He was a successful businessman before his incarceration and has no intention of helping the police with their current inquiries. Hobbs and Reiss aren’t intimidated, though, and even poke fun at the only property he currently owns — his cell in Belmarsh.
Hobbs brings up Annabelle, a young entrepreneur who went missing 11 years ago. Her mother has kept her room pristine ever since, in case she comes back, which includes keeping it clean. While doing so, she recently discovered a disposable camera that contained a photograph of Annabelle and Sandeep together. He claims not to have known her, not to have met her, despite being photographed with her. He claims to deeply regret the murder he did commit, and that he doesn’t deserve to be linked to any others, photograph or not.
When Sandeep realizes that the photo was taken in 2009, he says he can help them with their inquiries. He was apparently on a cruise at that time, which is immediately verified by the team in the observation room. He recalls the route exactly. “Like the wedding, they certainly took photos too.” It’s time this interview was suspended.
Tony checks up on the cruise, which makes for a solid alibi. He tells Hobbs and she’s dismayed enough to let him tell Sandeep that he’s free to go — as he says, it’s not their fault he didn’t do it. Sandeep says they have him for another hour, though, since the driver from Belmarsh isn’t picking him up until 18:00. He asks what would it have been worth had he known who was responsible and was able to tell them? Since he has spent the last ten years living with many of the most dangerous men in the country, there are plenty of unsolved high-profile crimes that he does know about and that he can help them with. So, what is it worth?
The next sequence plays out like a little game. Sandeep suggests the police reel off some high-profile crimes and they see what comes up. Their first suggestions don’t ring any bells, but Vanessa suggests the case of missing Alfie Ince. This piques Sandeep’s interest. He asks if that’d be high-profile enough for him to negotiate a reduction in his sentence. There are 55 minutes left. Plenty of time to do business.
Donna Swift, a prosecutor, arrives to lay out how all this is going to work. Sandeep is adamant that this has to be done in a one-hour window to secure a better chance of him actually getting the reduction. He insists his self-imposed deadline is real and that he won’t speak after it. He wants four years taken off his 14-year sentence, of which he’s already served ten. He’d basically be going free immediately. The prosecutor says this is doable, but it’s at the top end. He’s done his homework. He wants a cup of tea and a biscuit if they have one. Subplots paying off!
Criminal: United Kingdom season 2, episode 4 sees the return of an obviously demoted Hugo Duffy, who worked the Alfie Ince case. He’ll be sitting in on the interview with Tony. Sandeep begins his story, beginning at Brixton, where he did indeed spend some time in 2010. His first time in a cell. He was terrified, but not as scared as the fellow inmate he befriended who smuggled cars along a route to Bulgaria. Along that route, people, children, were also trafficked, including Alfie Ince — for £25,000, apparently. Apparently on the way Alfie tried to get out of the van and had to be “subdued”. That’s how he ended up killing him. His body was buried in some national park near Arnhem. He gives a name: John Brian Buchanan. And he knows his full address, which was to be the base of the money-laundering business they were intending to set up.
Hugo finds this immediate recitation of the address to be a bit suspicious. He has an address of his own — one of Sandeep’s properties which was very close to where Alfie Ince disappeared from the in the first place. Hugo claims that he wasn’t investigated at the time, but the property is being investigated right now, which isn’t true, but Sandeep doesn’t know that. Hugo explains how if they find a body he’ll be serving another life sentence on top of his current one. If he helps out, though, a judge would look favorably on that. Hugo and Tony press Sandeep on who they’ll find missing on his property, and he finally tells them — Annabelle Ashcombe. She told him at the wedding she could invest half a million, which stopped him from taking the job on the cruise. Then she visited him to tell him she’d changed her mind. That’s when he lost it. He describes hitting her with a pole in the garden, just once, which is when the football landed in the garden. Alfie came in a few seconds later to fetch it. And back came the pole.
With that matter handled, we learn that Hugo is starting a new job in the morning, hence why he can’t go for a drink with Tony and Natalie (well, that and the fact he’s an alcoholic.) Tony, finally, gets the hint. And he leaves his biscuits on the table. Interview over.
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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.