SILENT WITNESS “A Guilty Mind – part 2” Review

Silent Witness

SILENT WITNESS “A Guilty Mind – part 2” Series 14 Episode 2 – While part 1 sets up an entertaining mystery, part 2 asks the viewer to suspend disbelief for much too long resulting in a somewhat unsatisfying conclusion.

The entire storyline of this second part could have been told in 30 minutes. Instead it was dragged out to fill the better part of an hour and the conclusion was so obvious that it became unbearable.

The storyline is roughly split into two parts.

One is Nikki becoming unhinged, seeing hallucinations of the dead girl and her murderer, all the while being stalked by Naomi Silverlake. Because we see Naomi acting oddly while Nikki is sleeping – and in the presence of Harry – we know that her behaviour is not a fabrication of Nikki’s addled mind. Naomi is, setting political correctness aside, a bit crazy.

The second part concerns the investigation into the hospital deaths. While DI Skipper becomes a much more likable character in this second part, he and DC Catina are a little lax in their investigation. They don’t seem to have spoken to hospital staff about the ‘Dr Silverlake’ Ying McCoy mentioned – or at least, if they did, there must have been specific mention of Nigel Silverlake, because surely someone would have mentioned two Dr Silverlakes working in the same hospital? Neither one of them had reason to be on the ward the deaths occurred on.

This leads to the police eventually figuring out who the killer is long after most of the audience. After all, isn’t the killer going to be the crazy girl trying to lead the direction of the investigation? The one who clearly has knowledge of what can get a doctor struck off the medical register, who gave Nikki the one piece of ‘evidence’ (the SSRI medication) that the first half of this episode focused on?

But the episode may have been saved by the climax; Naomi trying to hang Catina before confronting Nikki armed with a kitchen knife. I have to admit that by this point I was quite bored with Nikki; I found most of the tension in whether help would arrive in time to save Catina from asphyxiation. They did, thankfully, and Nikki got out of the situation relatively unscathed since Naomi cut her own throat. (We’ll ignore the bit where Harry kicked open an obviously unlocked door.)

This was by no means a bad episode, just one that ran on a little too long and left the main characters looking foolish in the end. At least it set up a possible through-line for the series: will Nikki’s mental health decline further? And will Naomi and Jason Bodle, the child killer, feature in a future episode? Their flirtation in the prison yard seemed ominous.

What did you think of ‘A Guilty Mind – part 2’? Let us know in the comments below!

Follow me on Twitter @CrossroadsDeal

[Correction: I watched this episode using a catch up service. The episode cut off after Naomi flashed Bodle in the prison yard, so I assumed the episode was finished. Apparently there was a more after that point. Please disregard the struck through sentence.]