The latest episode of Harrow, ‘Sub Silentio,’ landed today. Did you see it? If you cast your mind back a week ago to the previous episode, ‘Parce Sepulto,’ you will recall in the closing seconds of the episode, Dr Daniel Harrow (Ioan Gruffudd) was about to dig up Francis Chester’s (Grant Bowler) coffin. Harrow, having been suspended from his job by Maxine Pavich (Robyn Malcolm) for forging her signature on an exhumation order, was left with no option but to take drastic measures.
SPOILER ALERT: If you have yet to see ‘Sub Silentio,’ please stop reading now. There are spoilers ahead.
‘Sub Silento’ picks up the story immediately after the previous instalment leaves off. Harrow is digging up Chester’s coffin. Because we already know Harrow is correct in his assertions, the body in the coffin is not the one belonging to Chester. The body is that of the inmate that died of a heart attack in the prison shower block the same day as the prison fire. Unbeknownst to Harrow, Chester is watching him dig up the coffin. When the now suspended forensic pathologist reaches the coffin, Chester injects Harrow with Succinylcholine. Cue opening titles.
Is This Your Mummy?
Ufa Sabry (Simon Elrahi), an official from the Egyptian Office of Antiquities, is taking a sarcophagus back to its country of origin. The translator, Nenet Botro (Maha Wilson), seems particularly annoyed by the bureaucracy. As per Australian law, the item is placed through a scanner to ensure everything is in perfect order. When the sarcophagus is scanned, customs officers find that the body in the ancient coffin has a titanium hip joint. While the ancient Egyptians are known to have been advanced, they were not using titanium. When Det. Bryan Nichols (Damien Garvey) asks about Harrow, the scene transitions to a close up of Harrow’s face.
From the position of the camera, it’s clear Harrow is now in the coffin the suspended forensic pathologist was digging up. Harrow has his cell phone with him, but Chester has taken the liberty of locking it so that he cannot make calls or send texts.
Harrow receives a call from Chester. Chester confirms Harrow is not able to make outgoing calls or texts. During the conversation, Chester essentially admits to killing Simon Van Reyk (Remy Hii).
Shortly after Grace, Lyle and Edwina are seen discussing their case, we return to the coffin. Harrow receives another call from Chester and a video of Fern Harrow (Ella Newton) being released from prison.
In Walks Edwina…
When Bryan tries to push Maxine for answers as to why Harrow has been suspended, in walks Edwina Gharam (Faustina Agolley). We last saw Edwina in ‘Locus Poenitentiae.’ This is the episode where Harrow and Dr Lyle Fairley (Darren Gilshenan) take a trip to the later forensic pathologist’s home town to investigate a double fatality.
The body on the table is Howard Hobson (Robin Queree). Hobson was a wealthy mining magnate. Lyle notes Howard’s current condition is appropriate because “embalming was the purview of the wealthy in ancient Egypt.” The process, as the senior forensic pathologist correctly observes, was a lengthy one. From start to finish, the process took at least 70 days.
Harrow’s fate currently mirrors that of the now late Hobson. Hobson died on asphyxiation as a result of being confined to the sarcophagus. Currently, if nothing changes, it looks like Harrow could also die of asphyxiation.
If Harrow is not able to control his breathing, as Dr Grace Molyneux (Jolene Anderson) observes with the case she is working on with Lyle and Edwina, the suspended pathologist might have less than three hours of oxygen remaining.
Hobson’s grandfather, according to Lyle, was a contemporary of Cecil Rhodes. Consequently, Hobson was exceedingly wealthy.
A Detective’s Vendetta…
Det. Jill McCloud (Tasneem Roc) will not be happy until she has Fern placed firmly behind bars. McCloud is adamant Fern is guilty of drug possession, intent to distribute, arson and the subsequent murder of Tim Markides (Anthony Standish). Everything which McCloud is looking to get Fern charged with can be directly attributed to Chester, except for Harrow, no one believes Chester is still alive.
Where is the Evidence taking Grace?
Grace meets Bryan at the Hobson estate. From Clayton Pike’s (John Batchelor) expression, a clear and obvious smirk, it is evident Hobson’s lawyer does not care whether the incident with the sarcophagus is embarrassing to the Egyptian government.
The marks the pathologists found on Hobson’s back indicates a possible fascination with sadomasochism. It’s clear Hobson was not the sadist in his relationship. On closer examination of Hobson’s bed, Grace and Bryan happen upon an eighteenth-century wheat threshing sledge.
When Grace calls QIFM (Queensland Institute of Forensic Medicine) to check in with Lyle, the senior forensic pathologist reveals the blood toxicology results shows that there were HS troponins in his blood at the time of his death. Troponins, as Edwina correctly references, are proteins released when an individual has a heart attack.
Grace asks Lyle to look for the presence of sildenafil in Hobson’s blood. Sildenafil is a vasodilator which is commonly used to treat erectile dysfunction. Further, the drug can also treat high blood pressure in the lungs. The most commonly used sildenafil brands are Viagra and Revatio. Hobson apparently had four times more than the recommended dosage in his system when he died.
A Friendly Discussion…
When the current Mrs Hobson is questioned by Bryan and Grace about an apparent fight with the former Mrs Hobson, she indicates that she “would hardly call that a fight.” Isabella Hobson (Allison Cratchley), the current Mrs Hobson, and Alice Hobson (Tina Bursill), the former Mrs Hobson, do not appear all that friendly.
Grace asks Bryan if he knows the reason Maxine suspended Harrow, all he says is that she must have had a good reason. The truth is, Maxine wouldn’t tell him. After asking the question, Grace tries calling Harrow but only gets his voicemail. No one has been able to reach Harrow all day. Why doesn’t anyone find this peculiar? Harrow is not the type of person to allow a work-related phone call to go to voicemail. Anyone that has worked with Harrow for any significant time knows he would always answer his phone.
Fern Talks to Bryan…
Fern tells the detective what her father has said to her about the case. She insists Bryan make a choice. After Fern walks away, Bryan returns to his office and looks over his file pertaining to Simon, Moran and Chester’s autopsy.
When Bryan places a call to Laurie, Rhonda Roberts (Neveen Hanna) answers the call. Rhonda is behaving increasingly suspicious and from the way Laurie looks, it is evident the pathologist is being drugged.
The Promise of Sex but the Intention of Death…
Grace suspects there is more going on with the Hobson case than meets the eye. When Hobson had a heart attack, Grace suspects he looked dead, but he wasn’t. He was unconscious long enough for his body to be wrapped up and placed inside the sarcophagus. The damage pattern on the tongue, as Grace points out to Edwina, is distinctly up / down. On the inside of the sarcophagus is a single word: Will.
The word Grace found on the inside of the sarcophagus pertains to Hobson’s last will and testament and the lipstick matches neither his ex or current wife, but the shade used by the translator that accompanied the official from the Egyptian Office of Antiquities. While the translator left Hobson trust up like a pig, it as the lawyer that wrapped Hobson like a mummy and placed him in the sarcophagus.
Meanwhile, in Chester’s Coffin…
Harrow attempts to escape his confines by using his wristwatch to cut through the wooden lid of the coffin. As the suspended pathologist tries to escape the coffin, he receives a third call from Chester.
With another video message, Chester shows Harrow the phone he has is not his own, but one Chester specifically supplied to him so that only he could call the pathologist. Chester uses Harrow’s phone to send Fern a text message.
While it was clearly Chester’s intent to kill Fern on the boat in full view of Harrow, Fern escapes Chester’s clutches.
Harrow breaks through the lid of the coffin, consequently, soil begins to pour down on his face.
When Bryan’s latest call to Harrow goes to voicemail, the detective places a call to Doug Hinton (Hugh Parker) to ask why it is Maxine suspended the pathologist. Doug confirms that Harrow was wanting permission to dig up Francis Chester.
At the Cemetery…
By the time Bryan arrives at the cemetery, Harrow has managed to make his escape from the coffin. Meanwhile, Fern sends Callan Prowd (Hunter Page-Lochard) a picture of the man that tries to kill her. It’s Chester and he is standing directly in front of Callan when he receives the image to his phone.
Callan is hit by a scooter as he tries to flee from Chester. While Callan is not dead, he is close to death when the police arrive on the scene.
Why didn’t Dr Laurie Badcoe (Geoff Morrell) note the presence of HS troponins in the body he conducted an autopsy on? If the body he worked on was the old man that died in the prison shower block, HS troponins would have shown up on the toxicology results.