Thursday, February 17, 2011

AUS Television: City Homicide, Episode 5.2 "Secret Love"

City Homicide
Season Five, Episode Two, Secret Love
Original Air Date:  February 16, 2011

When the body of a young woman is found in an empty lot the case takes a troubling turn.  Numbers from a passage in the Quran are written on her forehead leading the team to believe her murder might have religions significance.  Could her brother have killed her for honour, was it her fiance or her ex-boyfriend who was still in love with her?

Rhys and Allie are called in to investigate the body of a young woman that is discovered in an empty lot.  She was stabbed with a seven-inch blade eleven times.  There's no identification with the body but the M.E. finds henna on the woman's hand and the numbers 24 30 31 written on her forehead.

Allie is able to identify the young woman.  She was an eighteen-year-old student from a Pakistani family, Marina Durrani.  Her mother reported her missing late on Sunday night, the same day the M.E. suspects she was killed.  Once he knows Marina is Muslim, Rhys Googles the numbers and finds a link to a passage from the Quran:  "And tell the believing women to subdue their eyes and maintain their chastity...".

The mother and brother of the victim identify her at the morgue.  The mother is horribly distraught and nearly collapses in the room with her daughter.  Her brother, Hanif Durrani, looks at his sisters body from behind the glass with Rhys with wide eyes and a look of shock.  He asks Rhys who would do such a thing.  Rhys and Allie accompany the victims family back to their home where they look over photographs of Marina and are given more information about her life.  She was studying law at university.  She and her fiance had an arranged marriage and she had been promised to him since she was very young.  Both she and her fiance, Saleem, approved of the marriage and neither was being pressured according to her mother.  Her brother wonders aloud how Saleem will take Marina's death.

Rhys asks her family about the numbers on her forehead.  Her brother says it is a reference to a passage in the Quran but he cannot understand why it was written on her forehead.  Her mother explains the verse, in modern times, refers to dressing appropriately and not being intimate before marriage.  They are offended when Allie asks if Marina had engaged in pre-marital sex.  Rhys re-phrases the question and her mother, much more calmly tells them they know no one who would think Marina had acted inappropriately enough to kill her.  Her brother chastises their mother for allowing Marina to stay with her sister-in-law.  He says the aunt allowed Marina to do whatever she wanted.  He blames the aunt for them not knowing Marina was missing until it was too late.  He becomes enraged and leaves the room.

Rhys and Allie question the aunt who says she didn't get up until late Sunday.  Assuming Marina had gotten up early and gone she didn't herself think there was a problem until she received a call from Marina's mother that Sunday night.  Marina told her aunt she was going to a nightclub Saturday night.  She tells them there aren't any problems in her family apart from her brother.  Not many people like him, she claims.  When asked about the verse from the Quran written on her forehead, her aunt insists her brother would never hurt his sister despite that he is very passionate about his religious views.  She tells them Marina was a good Muslim girl.  She was still a virgin and getting married and had broken up with Paul Sumner, her neighbour, six months prior.

Paul tells them he and Marina were just friends but they stopped seeing one another.  He asks if something is wrong with Marina because he noticed she didn't come home and saw the uniformed officers come to take her mother and brother away.  He and Marina had always been friends as they'd gone to the same schools and had a "bit of a thing" last year.  He was crazy about her.  They hung out and kissed a bit but she "freaked out".  Her father died last year.  He'd always wanted his daughter to marry Saleem and Paul felt she wanted to do right by her father.  Paul was gutted by her decision and could have accepted it had she truly loved Saleem but he says they barely knew one another.

Jennifer and Nick interview Saleem who is in total shock.  Nick's boss says he's been in such a state since he heard the news of Marina's death.  He admits they went out clubbing together Saturday night but he went home early as he had to study.  His parents were at home and his father saw him come in early.  He denies leaving home again to meet up with Marina as any intimacy had to wait until marriage or her brother wouldn't have approved.  Saleem knew of no serious boyfriends she had before him.

Jarvis is worried about the political minefield the case has become since the numbers were lined to the Quran.  At briefing, Duncan confirms that Saleem did leave the club early and the witnesses Saleem had given noticed an hour after he left Marina was gone.  One of Marina's girlfriends said she felt sick early that morning and went to the ladies room.  When she didn't return, they thought she went home.  Nick and Jennifer got a statement from Saleem's parents confirming he got home at 11 p.m. and went to his room to study but Nick feels he could have easily taken off again to meet Marina.  Rhys puts Marina's brother out as a prime suspect but Allie suggests the entire Quran thing could have been put out to set them off track from the real motive for murder.  The M.E.'s report comes back confirming cause of death.  Further research into the henna tattoos show them as symbols of purity, chasteness and fertility leading Duncan to speculate she was still a virgin.  However, the M.E. report shows she had sex on the night she died.

Rhys and Allie go back to Marina's home to search her room for more information about her.  Her brother is insulted by the police coming into his home, not taking off their shoes, wanting to question him and searching his sisters room.  He insists his sister was pure and that her murder couldn't have been an honor killing as honor killings dishonour the faith.  His alibi is that he was at home reading "Mystic River".

Rhys and Allie bring Saleem in for a formal interview.  They ask if he'd had sex with Marina the night she died, which he denies.  Duncan and Nick question Paul who denies he ever went out that night and didn't see Marina that evening.  Saleem insists he and Marina wanted to do their marriage properly.  Paul wants to know what evidence the police have that she did have sex the night she died.  Saleem admits he would have been angry had he known she'd slept with someone else and he would not have married her.

Allie and Rhys get the pathology report as they are getting ready to leave work for the night.  Marina was drugged and raped.  Matt has Nick checking alibis, Jennifer interviewing taxi drivers and Duncan sifting through security footage from the nightclub.  Jarvis orders the entire team to get to work on the case.  Once Matt, Allie and Rhys have gone, Stanley suggests a public appeal could be of great help.  Jarvis agrees to release the happy snaps but not the numbers and Quran.  Jarvis feels the murder is personal and he doesn't want the religious aspect of the case being released.  Matt interrupts them to tell them Saleem lied about his alibi.  Instead of working on his computer until 4 in the morning as he'd claimed, his last log in was on Friday.

When Jennifer and Nick go to his place of work to arrest him, Saleem insists his boss, Ian Driscoll (Ryan Gibson), tell them he did leave early.  His boss was at the club on Saturday night when Saleem and Marina were.  Nick and Allie bring Driscoll in for formal questioning as to why he didn't mention being at the club before.  Saleem tells Jennifer and Rhys he lied about working on his computer because he was tired and went to bed.  He insists things were very good between he and Marina.  Driscoll confirms the two were deeply in love.  He writes his being at the same club as them as a coincidence and didn't talk with Saleem or his friends and spent most of the night at the bar.  He denies ever having met Marina and asks to see a picture of her.  When Allie shows him her photo, he tells them Saleem was there with her.  He then tells them he saw Marina arguing with a young man who fits the description of Paul Sumner and even identifies him from a photo.  Duncan also found footage of Paul and Marina arguing.  Allie shows Matt a copy of the Quran that was found during a search of Paul's place.

In interview, Paul tells Allie and Rhys he got the Quran a couple of months ago to learn more about Marina, her religion and culture.  He didn't want to annoy her by questioning her about her religion and wanted to get closer to her.  He doesn't know if he read 24 30 31 as he never actually finished reading the Quran.  He again tells them he was at home after Allie puts a photo of Marina with the numbers on her forehead before him.  When presented with the security footage of him at the club with Marina he tells them he didn't want her family to think he was harassing her.  He claims Saleem isn't right for her and that he is still in love with her as it "isn't just a switch you can throw".  He insists she lied about being happy to get married.  He vehemently denies following her once she left the club, hurting her and killing her.  He says he told her Saleem wasn't good enough for her and was cheating on her.  He saw Saleem in the city in a car with another woman.  He didn't get a good look at the woman but he knew it was Saleem.

Marina's mother brings Allie and Rhys a diary Marina kept.  She hopes whatever is written in the book will help them find her killer.  Rhys finds notes about Marina's friendship with Paul in the diary as well as that she and Saleem were happy until about two weeks ago when Paul told her about seeing Saleem with another woman.  She didn't want anything to do with Paul after that because she thought he was trying to sabotage her marriage.  The Wednesday before she was killed she wrote that Saleem had ditched her twice that week already claiming he had to work late and his phone was never on when she called him.  She thinks that perhaps Paul was right about Saleem.  She vows that if Saleem is cheating, she is calling off the marriage as she will not stay with someone like that.

Saleem denies to Jennifer and Nick that he was seeing someone else.  Driscoll tried to cover for Saleem's claims he had to work late but eventually admitted the truth that he hadn't done any overtime in months and had taken a few sick days.  They present him with a receipt where, at 2 a.m., he bought petrol with cash but used his rewards card.  He admits he wasn't with Marina and was with someone else:  Marina's aunt.  She tells Allie and Rhys the affair with Saleem wasn't something they meant to happen.  She is sure Marina suspected Saleem was being unfaithful but she had no idea it was with her aunt.  Her aunt insists it wasn't possible Marina had sex on the night she died as it was important to her to remain pure until marriage.  Her alibi for the night was that she and Saleem were together at her friends place.

Allie and Rhys are caught by Bernice and Jarvis being playful with one another in the elevator when the doors open.  Rhys wants to clear things up with his aunt but Allie refuses to let him.  She knows how Bernice feels about her.  Rhys goes to see his aunt in her office and she berates him for not having broken things off with Allie.  She warns him against become too involved and losing focus, that it could affect his work and even his safety and that of his colleagues.  Bernice goes to Stanley wanting Allie removed from the squad but she tells him to make whatever call he feels needs to be done but to fix the problem.

At briefing, Duncan still cannot find any security footage showing Marina being drugged.  Allie feels Hanif, Saleem and Paul are all still viable suspects for Marina's murder.  Jennifer brings news of a suicide that was called in from Marina's aunts apartment.  Allie and Rhys respond and find that things had been moved in the living room and they find Saleem dead in the bath.  All appearances look like he cut his wrists.  However, it was a murder.  The cuts on the wrists were all in the same direction, there are no tentative first cuts and there isn't enough blood in the bath for suicide.  There is a fracture on the back of his head which is a good bet for cause of death.  There is also an injury to his cheek that happened some time before he was killed.

Allie and Rhys discuss what they will do when Stanley Wolfe finally does say something to them.  Allie wants to stand firm and deny everything.  Matt walks by and tells them Duncan is waiting for them.  Allie and Nick interview Marina's aunt while Rhys and Duncan interview her brother.  Stanley and Matt are watching on the monitors and Wolfe asks about Allie and Rhys' performance.  Matt sees them as a pretty good combination.  Marina's aunt cannot believe Saleem committed suicide.  When Nick tells her Saleem was murdered she immediately names Hanif.  She told Marina's mother about her affair with Saleem before she found out some other way.  Hanif was in the house when she confessed the affair and became enraged.  Hanif claims he went for a walk to clear his mind as he tried not to let anger control him. 

Jennifer informs Matt and Stanley that Ian Driscoll has come in and has something to say they might want to hear.  Driscoll tells Matt and Jennifer that Hanif burst into their offices and started screaming at Saleem.  He feels he would have killed him had they not stepped in.  He claims Hanif beat up Saleem, wrecked the office, accused Saleem of all sorts of things then left.  Driscoll drove Saleem to Marina's aunts place.  Ian Driscoll has now been added to the list of suspects.  At briefing, the M.E. brings Matt a container with Saleem's fingernail that has skin beneath it.  He fought his attacker.

Paul, Hanif, Driscoll and Marina's aunt are all asked to remove their coats or roll up their sleeves to check for scratch marks.  Marina's aunt and Paul are the first two to be cleared.  Hanif, after starting to leave and threatened with a court order, rolls up his sleeves to reveal arms free of scratches.  Driscoll rolls up his sleeve and there are scratches on his arm.  He denies killing Saleem as they were friends and soulmates.  What they had was secret.  Saleem's death was an accident.  They fought and Saleem fell and hit his head on the coffee table.  He admits to slipping a drink into Marina's drink.  When she recognized him as Saleem's friend, he offered to take her home.  He drove her to the empty lot and killed her.  He raped her once she was dead.  He said it was all for Saleem.  He didn't want him to be sad so he made her murder look like she had betrayed him.  He didn't mean to hurt Saleem as he was his soulmate.

Rhys and Allie meet with Marina's mother and brother to tell them they have identified her killer.  Rhys gives her mother back her diary and tells her her daughter was a wonderful girl.  Stanley takes the two detectives into his office to congratulate them on the case.  Before Stanley can give them his decision as to who he is removing from the team, Rhys interrupts to tell him they've decided to stop seeing one another.  He accepts their word but warns them if they let him down they are both gone permanently.  They leave his office and get in the elevator where Allie kisses Rhys telling him he's amazing.  Rhys is clearly thinking the right decision might be to split up as it hasn't been that long since they've been seeing one another and they both love the job.

So, Allie and Rhys' relationship is over.  It didn't last long and I actually liked them as a couple.  He's sweet and she's tough and strong but still very vulnerable at the same time.  It didn't surprise me in the least that Bernice pulled rank on Stanley Wolfe wanting him to get rid of Allie.  Sure, she left the decision up to Stanley but if he had decided to remove Rhys from the team I'm sure Bernice would have stepped in and changed that.  She's disliked Allie from the get-go and I'm sure she loved that this was finally her chance to get rid of her.

I have to wonder, though, just who Stanley would have chosen.  He is one that usually does what is right regardless.  Sometimes he has no choice in the matter but it would have been interesting to see what his choice would have been.

For more information:
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