No Offence Series 3 Review

  • Series Title: No Offence
  • Season: 3
  • Episodes: 6
  • Discs: 2
  • Network: ITV
  • Cast: Joanna Scanlan, Elaine Cassidy, Will Mellor, Saira Choudhry, Paul Ritter
  • DVD: Widescreen DVD (R1, NTSC)

This review contains spoilers for Series 3 of No Offence.

No Offence Series 3 opens in the last days of the mayoral campaign in Manchester. A far-right terrorist group has staged a protest outside the town hall where the candidates are to have an open debate. DI Viv Deering and her team are providing security in a situation that is becoming more and more volatile. A person of color throws a drink at one candidate (a blonde woman) while shouting anti-Muslim rhetoric. Deering and company try to deal with that and get the woman inside – she’s shaken but unhurt. It turns out that Caroline McCoy is an old friend of Deering, who knew her mother. They get her to the stage, and just as the debate gets started, Deering spots a shooter on the balcony and pushes McCoy out of the way. Spike, Joy, and Dinah give chase. Dinah is pushed down a flight of stairs but not seriously hurt. Spike and Joy continue the chase outside the building, and Spike tries to stop the shooter from getting on a getaway bike. In the fracas, he is beaten and Joy is shot. Joy dies.

The team is understandably upset by the loss of DS Joy Friers. However, Series 3 is not simply about revenge. The team spends the first three episodes of the story investigating the far-right racist terrorist group Albion, especially it’s leaders Caddy and Dirkin and the hired assassin Beckett. Dirkin is also a wealthy businessman with plans to literally buy the Manchester police – to purchase it and privatize it under his control, piece by piece. Did I mention this guy is a racist who’s sponsored the bombing of Muslim Mosques, Jewish Temples as well as schools? And he wants to own the police. The current mayor wants to prevent Dirkin’s buyout and has blocked his plans in the council – but his re-election campaign isn’t a sure thing anymore after the assassination attempt on McCoy. McCoy wins the election on sympathy.

The first three episodes have Deering and company chasing down leads in their barely-legal style we’ve seen in the previous two seasons. We also find out quickly that the woman of color who threw the drink at the debate is an undercover operative named Bonnie from Special Branch. Her assignment is to get close to Caddy the head of Albion and find out how much of a threat they are (Dirkin supplies their money.) Dinah becomes her field handler, as Bonnie has stopped trusting her Special Branch handler seeing it as too much of a risk to contact him.

After catching Beckett in episode three, Deering realizes that he was paid by McCoy to fake an assignation attempt. This is a betrayal, as Deering was close personal friends with McCoy and Viv is still smarting from Joy’s death. The second three episodes have Deering and company out to get McCoy – with evidence. DCI Marilyn Marchant is temporarily suspended because the tactics Deering and her team use to get Beckett are a bit underhanded. McCoy replaces Marchant with Terry Taylor a creep, racist, and incompetent DCI who pretty much represents not old the Old Guard but everything wrong with the Manchester police.

Deering and company have to dodge Taylor, protect Bonnie, and prove with solid evidence that McCoy is corrupt and faked her own assignation attempt. Beyond that (as if it wasn’t enough), they discover that McCoy is secretly a member of Albion with hands that are just as dirty as Beckett, Caddy, and Dirkin. Watching how Deering’s team does this is fascinating. And as with previous seasons, they do manage to catch the Big Bad by the end of the series.

I love watching No Offence – it’s a genuinely surprising and enjoyable cop show and there are so many twists and turns in the plot that you never know how it will turn out – well, other than that they will catch the person they want to catch. But in series three, who that is changes mid-season, which keeps the viewer on their toes watching this. Also, Deering’s team is largely female – with the except of DC Tanner, forsenic expert Miller, and a few PCs.

Read my review of No Offence Series 1.
Read my review of No Offence Series 2.

No Offence Series 2 Review

  • Series Title: No Offence
  • Season: 2
  • Episodes: 7
  • Discs: 2
  • Network: ITV
  • Cast: Sarah Solemani, Joanna Scanlan, Elaine Cassidy, Alexandra Roach, Will Mellor, Saira Choudhry
  • DVD: Widescreen DVD (R1, NTSC)

Season 2 of No Offence starts off with a bang as a bomb goes off at the funeral of the son of a mobster. This sets off a mob war, which is precisely what the bomber wanted. The series sees DI Viv Deering and her team setting their eye on Nora Attah and her son, Manni – leaders of a mob in Manchester. However, most of their tactics don’t seem to work and make things worse, especially when they involve Cathy’s sister, Donna, who had worked for the Attahs in the past.

No Offence is a fascinating, brilliant, well-written, and shocking series. DI Viv Deering has no sense of personal modesty and doesn’t let anyone push her around. She’s not too sure of her new boss, DCI Christine Lickberg, and spends most of her time running her team without checking with her boss. Joy has settled into her role as detective sergeant. Dinah is still caring for Cathy and her newborn child, though Cathy is now living with her sister, Donna.

The season follows the gains and losses of Deering and her team as they try to catch Nora and her son, especially after the horrific deaths of five young teens during a fire in a locked sweatshop apartment. It’s a fascinating ride. I highly recommend this series.

Read my review of No Offense Series 1.

No Offence Series 1 Review

  • Series Title: No Offence
  • Season: 1
  • Episodes: 8
  • Discs: 3
  • Network: ITV
  • Cast: Joanna Scanlan, Elaine Cassidy, Alexandra Roach, Will Mellor, Colin Salmon
  • DVD: Widescreen DVD (R1, NTSC)

Set in Manchester in the UK, No Offense at first seems to be your typical British procedural cop show, good, but not great. However, as the show builds its characters and plot it develops into something different and enjoyable, though as with all procedurals, at times the show can be violent. During the first episode, DI Viv Deering’s squad realizes that they may have a serial murder on their hands. A young woman is kidnapped and after the previous deaths of two young women with Down’s Syndrome, they think they have a third. When it turns out the young woman doesn’t have Down’s Syndrome but was in a severe accident and her nose was packed with gauze and her eyes swollen, they think it could be the same person. The hunt is on to save Cathy before she is killed. The squad manages to rescue her, but she’s a street kid who will go into foster care. Dinah, one of the officers, feels sorry for Cathy and decides to take her in.

Each episode of No Offense has our officers solving one case, but continuing to work on the serial murder case – at first their DSI (Viv’s boss) doesn’t believe it’s a serial case, because Cathy doesn’t have Down’s Syndrome – but Deering and Dinah point out that at night, in the rain, with her eyes and nose swollen, it was probably a case of mistaken identity. When another Down’s Syndrome girl goes missing, the serial murder case is confirmed. At first DSI Maclaren assigns it to someone else, but DI Viv Deering and her crew get it back. In each episode, as they work on and solve other cases, they also make progress and have setbacks in the main case – the serial murders.

The season develops, and also develops the characters, becoming an intriguing mix of short cases, long-form mystery, and development of flawed but dedicated detectives – including unconventional and hard as nails DI Viv Deering, her new sergeant DS Joy Freers, and detective Dinah Kowalska, who is now caring for Cathy. Traumatized by her experience, Cathy cannot remember the details of who took her, including what he looked like. She works with a female forensic psychologist to try to restore her memories. The gradual recovery of her memory and the clues the police team discover leads to solving the case, but not before another Down’s Syndrome girl dies. However, when the killer is caught, Cathy realizes he wasn’t acting alone, and it was his partner who raped her.

This fact creates a brand new wrinkle in the case. DI Deering also realizes that someone in her department is leaking information to the killer, intentionally or not. She and Dinah launch a secret investigation into their own department, even including DSI Maclaren in their suspects. This is a bad decision with huge consequences for everyone. Eventually, DI Deering discovers this mole is much closer to her than she realizes and she’s faced with some serious questions.

I don’t want to spoil the ending of the season, but this is not, after all, just another typical police procedural. I highly recommend it, especially if you like complex mysteries with quirky yet real characters.