O on a park bench in Edinburgh, a woman Stealth in Beret tells an equally stealthy man without a beret a story of a shaggy dog. In 1588, she says, a Spanish Armada ship sank off the Hebrides. The survivors included a few small dogs. For centuries, the resulting canine colony secretly thrived juthat it is time to portray the breed as western mountain burrows. The adorable frolicking at her feet, needn't she add, is a descendant.
Now don't do anything stupid. Do not google this story to find out if it is true. Instead, like I did, imagine the poppets paddling with their little paws, bites in the air, towards the beach where nice locals wait with clean towels.
The woman is a cop. The man is our hero Max, played by Mark Bonnar . The dog? Pure MacGuffin. We last saw Max handcuffed at the end of Neil Forsyth 's Guilt (BBC Scotland / iPlayer) premiere series, a drama that echoed Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep not just in a dialect.scintillating ogue, but also in a scenario so complex that I kept asking, "Is this from the pub?" Wasn't he in Fresh Meat? Max was taking the fall for him and his brother Jake covering a hit and run accident.
At the start of the second series, it 's two years later and Max has just been released from prison. He tells the cop he was plagued with guilt, but now he's plagued with something else. The desire for revenge.
The man Max wants revenge on is his former comrade Roy Lynch (Stuart Bowman), the nastiest criminal there in all. the Lothian region. Unfortunately, I don't have a degree in Narrative Engineering so I can't explain why Max is angry with Roy. And by the end of this episode - with more MacGuffins on Leith Docks real estate transactions, shady events at the police - I was in the proverbial cove without a proverbial "before "to guide me.
What I know is that in the basement of a fancy house there are two bodies . The posh house is owned by Erin (Sara Vickers), the estranged daughter of wicked Roy. One body is her cocaine addict of a numpty husband; the other a bad man from whom the numpty snatched a bag containing £ 100,000 .
Critics of the first series compared guilt to Fargo , well Forsyth 's Edinburgh is populated by the Caledonian William H Macys who came out of their depths in life The women of Forsyth are Frances McDormands, tasked with righting a world made evil by the madness of men. Erin is one of those women. The same is true of the disgraced detective Yvonne (Rochelle Neil) whose Kenny, Max's former private investigator pal, falls in love with bad coffee at AA's.be Roy's ex-wife (dear Phyllis Logan aka Mrs Hughes of Downton is now - can you credit it? - in an assisted living apartment) is too.
But before he can get his revenge, Max sets up a law firm with Kenny on the site of the latter's misnamed private detective agency, Burns Investigations. Max decides he should be renamed Leith Legals, and stupidly trusts Kenny to design the business cards.
Something happened in Edinburgh while Max was inside. The city dimmer has been turned down, so it looks like the Novembe r London visualization of Dickens 'Bleak House. The Proclaimers were obviously only kidding about that sun on Leith.
Director Patrick Harkins makes that sad Auld Reekie looks a different way from Edinburgh from Trainspotting by Danny Boyle , right up to the soundtrack. Paris sounds like an accordion, New York sounds like a clarinet; Edinburgh sounds like independent rockers at their wit's end about illicit pharmaceuticals. Instead of Iggy Pop and Born Slippy, Harkins goes for the swagger Manc from F - 'oldin ' Money by the Fall and the Glasgow strut from Skids 'Into the Valley.
The heart of the show is not in who did what to whom and why, but in such musical montages, in its dismal visual palette and verbal humor. Forsyth is undoubtedly saying something profound about how character is fate and families are garbage. I don't really care about all of this, but I love the props, like Yvonne delivering a tragicomic AA monologue about how she became an alcoholic. Or when Erin examines the new cardvisiting Max decorated with too many owls and can't really determine what line of business he is in. . "Guilt is guilty pleasure, and I won't miss a second of it.