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Several clues point towards the murder at the centre of The Bay season two (Picture: ITV)
Warning: spoilers ahead for The Bay season two episode one.
Tonight, the premiere of The Bay season two aired on ITV, bringing police detectives Lisa Armstrong (Morven Christie), Med Kharim (Taheen Modak) and boss Tony Manning (Daniel Ryan) back to our screens.
Following the trouble Lisa got herself into during the first series, when she was caught tampering with CCTV footage, she is now on probation, treading a fine line while doing what she can to help with a new murder investigation in Morecambe.
In the first few minutes of the new episode, viewers watch Stephen Marshbrook (Stephen Tompkinson) shot point-blank in the entrance to his home, the only witness to the murder being his 10-year-old son, Oliver (Leo Ashton).
Stephen’s widow, Rose (Sharon Small) is left absolutely grief-stricken, at a complete loss over who could have wanted her husband dead.
So what clues were there in episode one of The Bay’s second season that could point towards the culprit?
Rose’s husband, Stephen, is murdered in a cold-blooded, calculated attack (Picture: Ben Blackall)
Mysterious bike rider
Before Oliver answers the door to the killer, believing he is just a mailman, the young boy spots a mysterious individual cycling in front of his home.
Watching the bike rider through the window by his front door, Oliver sees them wearing a hoodie and carrying a rucksack, seemingly looking in the direction of the house before cycling off.
Could the cyclist have something to do with Stephen’s murder?
Rose is in high spirits at her father’s retirement party before disaster strikes (Picture: Ben Blackall)
Tattoo on wrist of killer
While witnessing his father get shot in a cold-blooded, vicious attack, Oliver notices something on the inside of the shooter’s wrist: a black tattoo of a two-headed bird.
Following the attack, Oliver is reluctant to say anything about what happened.
However, once Lisa retrieves some of his possessions from home, including his digital tablet, he starts to open up a bit more.
While watching Oliver and his mother sitting together in a room on a surveillance camera, Lisa notices that he’s drawing something on the tablet.
10-year-old Oliver is the only witness to his father’s murder (Picture: Ben Blackall)
After entering the room and gently asking the young boy what the picture is, he tells her that it’s the tattoo he saw on the killer’s wrist.
Not only could the tattoo help the police force track down the killer, but perhaps it could signal that Stephen was murdered on the orders of an underworld organisation.
Signal down in home
When the West Lancashire police force start investigating the murder, Tony mentions that the WiFi and the alarm system in the Marshbrook’s home went down at the time of the incident.
Lisa must take Med’s lead while she is on probation (Picture: Ben Blackall)
He states that this means those who are behind Stephen’s death ‘knew what they were doing’.
Does this mean that his murder is part of an even bigger conspiracy than viewers may initially suspect?
The third Marshbrook child
In addition to Rose and Stephen’s youngest child Oliver, the couple also share an older son called Jamie (Jack Archer), who’s away travelling at the time of his father’s murder, and their eldest child Grace (Amy James-Kelly), who isn’t in contact with the family.
Grace’s absence from the family unit is curious to say the least. Why did she fall out with her relatives in the first place? And why does she not reach out to them when she learns her father has died?
Although it appears Grace has an alibi, there’s a strong likelihood more of her story will be uncovered in subsequent episodes.
Lisa and Med manage to find Rose and Stephen’s estranged daughter Grace (Picture: Ben Blackall)
Potential family disputes
In addition to the loss of contact with Grace, there also appears to be several fractured relationships between various members of Rose and Stephen’s family.
To start with, despite the fact that Rose’s father Bill Bradwell (James Cosmo) founded the family’s law firm, Stephen was a partner in the firm while Bill’s son and Rose’s brother, Mark (Steven Robertson), is not. Could there be a hint of jealousy or resentment there?
Furthermore, Mark and his wife Stella (Sunetra Sarker) are desperately trying to encourage Bill to accept care at home, as they claim he is forgetful and requires assistance.
Med witnesses Bill shouting at his son and daughter-in-law shortly after breaking down in tears about the death of his son-in-law, who he previously appeared to have a somewhat distant relationship with.
Whether or not these familial disputes play any part in Stephen’s murder remains to be seen.
The Bay returns next Wednesday at 9pm on ITV and is available to watch on ITV Player.