‘Shetland’ Season 3 episode guide

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Adapted from the award-winning novels by writer Ann Cleeves, BBC One’s murder-mystery series Shetland returns for a new thrilling six-part tale.

DI Jimmy Perez is played by Douglas Henshall, Leanne by Sara Vickers, Robbie by Andrew Rothney, Tosh by Alison O’Donnell, Sandy by Steven Robertson, Freya by Saskia Reeves, Michael by Ciaran Hinds, Rhona Kelly by Julie Graham.

Season 3 also stars Mark Bonnar, Erin Armstrong and Archie Panjabi.

> Buy the Season 1-2 box set on Amazon.


Episode 1

Friday 15 January 2016, 9pm

> Read our review.

When a young man disappears on a ferry crossing and a small boy ends up in intensive care, DI Jimmy Perez and his team become convinced the two events are connected.

On the ferry journey from Aberdeen to Shetland a passenger, Leanne, witnesses an altercation between two men. She starts talking to one of them, Robbie, but discovers the next morning discovers that he has vanished from the ferry overnight.

Later that day a little boy ends up in intensive care, after eating pills he mistook for sweets found on the beach. DI Jimmy Perez searches the shoreline and recovers a rucksack – but not before a hooded figure tries, but fails, to snatch it. Back at the station, Perez, Tosh and Sandy discover that the bag contains a stash of pills and the remains of a ferry boarding pass.

Later, Leanne recognises the distinctive silver rings she saw the ferry attacker wearing. This leads Perez to track down jewellery designer, Freya, who reveals she gave the rings to her friend, Michael. Perez questions a hostile Michael and is unconvinced by his version of events. However, his investigation is quickly thwarted when Procurator Fiscal Rhona Kelly reveals Maguire has lodged a formal complaint against Perez.

Now a missing persons and drugs case, Perez’s investigation gathers pace after a body is discovered in grisly circumstances. With suspicions roused, Perez and his team delve deeper, stirring up far-reaching consequences for them and the local community.


Episode 2

Friday 22 January 2016, 9pm

> Read our review.

Perez grows convinced that Michael Maguire is implicated in the grisly death of a young man, discovered in a shipping container.

With the investigation seemingly under threat before it’s even started, Perez and his team face an uphill battle to uncover the truth behind Maguire’s silence. Perez, Tosh and Sandy quickly establish that Robbie’s body was retrieved from inside a shipping container. As it can only be locked externally, they now seek a murderer – with Maguire their prime suspect.

A search of the ferry reveals that someone forced entry into the deck where the container was parked overnight. Craig is implicated when Robbie’s recovered phone reveals numerous missed calls from him, but Maguire remains heavily in the frame after the team discover he recently made a considerable cash withdrawal and is about to flee Shetland.

With the clock ticking, Perez persuades Cora to have an unofficial look at Robbie’s body, leading her to confirm that Robbie was alive when he was put in the crate, and died of suffocation.

Close to arresting Maguire, Perez’s investigation is thwarted when an alibi presents himself at the station.
Later, attending a break-in at Freya’s workshop, Perez notices that Maguire has a tattoo identical to the murder victim’s. Maguire persuades Freya not to report the break-in as a crime, foiling the police from taking his fingerprints for elimination purposes.

With suspicions stirred, Maguire works out who is behind the break-in and tracks them to an abandoned cottage – where the ensuing confrontation proves deadly.


Episode 3

Friday 5 February 2016, 9pm

> Read our review.

Perez and Tosh’s investigation leads them to Glasgow, where they hope to uncover the truth behind Maguire’s brutal death and his connection to Robbie Morton. But old ghosts return to haunt Perez, and with his enemies trying to prevent him from getting to the truth, the murder-mystery continues.

Perez’s investigation takes a frustrating and unexpected turn when prime suspect, Michael Maguire, is found dead in what appears to be a professional hit. In a significant twist, it transpires that Maguire – real name Michael Thompson – was in Shetland under Witness Protection.

Hitting a wall of silence, Perez and Rhona travel to Glasgow to seek the aid of senior Procurator Fiscal Phyllis Brennan, who gives them a possible connection: the notorious Glasgow gangster Arthur McCall.

Perez is shaken after a veiled threat from McCall. Undeterred, Perez’s case gathers pace when evidence gleaned from Michael Thompson’s apartment in Shetland gives an entirely new perspective to the case, and a new trail to follow.

Back on Shetland, Sandy makes an important breakthrough of his own – one which has potentially far-reaching consequences for the police and locals.


Episode 4

Friday 12 February 2016, 9pm

The murder mystery continues, with Perez and his team determined to track down the person who aided Michael Thompson’s killer. But as the case gathers pace, Perez, Sandy and, most significantly, Tosh are all under threat.

In light of the discovery that Robbie Morton and Michael Thompson were father and son, Perez decides to revisit his initial investigation, convinced notorious criminal Arthur McCall lies at the heart of the case.

As Tosh remains in Glasgow to search for missing fiscal Brian McDade, back in Shetland the transcript from Michael’s last phone call to Freya is recovered. Despite the patchy and fragmented nature of the call, the team can make out a reference to ‘level nine’.

Discovering how little she knew about the man she loved, Freya asks Perez to make the Witness Protection team speak to her about Michael.

Still in Glasgow, Tosh realises that Level Nine is an old nightclub previously owned by Arthur McCall. Along with DS Ian Boyd she successfully tracks down Brian McDade, who is in hiding after becoming privy to potentially incriminating evidence against McCall.

Meanwhile, in Shetland, Perez and Sandy close in on the killer’s accomplice and a terrible truth dawns on them – the gunman is still on the island.


Episode 5

Friday 19 February 2016, 9pm

Perez continues to investigate the double murder case, while struggling to deal with the attack on Tosh. And a shocking discovery leads him to the identity of the person that victim Michael Thompson was going to testify against.

Barefoot and traumatised, Tosh finally turns up in a local Glasgow police station. Despite her initial claim to have only been kidnapped, Tosh eventually confides in Perez the shocking truth of what really happened to her.

Perez recognises that the attack was an attempt to warn him off lines of enquiry that he and Tosh were pursuing regarding Glasgow club Level Nine, but Tosh is determined to carry on regardless.

Tosh unearths an assault that took place in Level Nine over a decade ago, but her investigation stalls when she finds that all records regarding the incident are missing or incomplete. Suspecting a cover-up, Perez, Tosh, Sandy and Billy dedicate themselves to tracking down the assault victim – Kelly Paterson.

As they search for Kelly, Perez is approached by Calvin Sarwar, McCall’s lawyer, who reveals that he no longer wants to work for the gangster but fears reprisals if he walks away. In an attempt to show good faith, Calvin then provides Perez with a clue to the identity of Tosh’s attacker.

Kelly finally comes forward and recounts the horrific details of her assault. The name of the man who attacked her is a shocking revelation for Perez and sends the case in a new direction, with powerful repercussions.


Episode 6

Friday 4 March 2016, 9pm

As Shetland reaches its thrilling conclusion, Perez and his team discover that the person responsible for the deaths of Robbie Morton and Michael Thompson is closer to home than they had thought.

Once they have determined who assaulted Kelly Paterson, a new light is shone on the murder of Michael Thompson, bringing a shocking revelation.

Back in Shetland, witness Leanne (Sara Vickers, pictured) struggles to deal with the emotional aftermath of being shot, while Perez is troubled to discover that Michael’s witness protection handler Asha was in Lerwick on the day the email was sent.

As the team dig deeper into Asha’s past, they discover a connection to one of McCall’s team and face a race against time to stop the killer from striking again.


> Buy the Season 1-2 box set on Amazon.

Watch the trailer…

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