Dublin Murders is a 2019 STARZ series about a series of child abductions and murders in Ireland.
3 out of 10 stars. The first two episodes were great. The third ruined the first two. It’s like they switched writers in the middle of the series or ran out of material. The rest of the season devolved into stupidity with a non-ending.
The series begins with a series of flashbacks to 1985 when three adolescents disappeared in the forest at Knocknaree outside of Dublin. Peter, Germaine (who went by the name Jamie), and Adam ran into the forest and disappeared. A day later, Adam is found covered in blood and in shock. He never remembers what happened to them. Adam is eventually sent away to a boarding school in England on scholarship and he switches to using his middle name Robert. He is now Rob Reilly.
Flash forward to the present. Homicide detectives Rob Reilly (Adam) and Cassie Maddox are assigned to the murder of a Middle Eastern convenience store clerk. Several witnesses saw a serial criminal by the name of Cian. So they bring in Cian’s girlfriend who Cian says will give him an alibi and they get her to turn on her boyfriend and give the cops the murder weapon. Murder solved in one day. But they provide no protection for the pregnant girlfriend Alannah who turned Cian in.
Thirteen year-old Katy Devlin is missing and her body is found at an archaeological dig in the woods at Knocknaree, so everyone assumes it must somehow be connected to the earlier disappearances. Katy was a ballet student and about to leave Ireland for a posh ballet school in England with a scholarship. Her father Jonathan reported her missing yesterday. He’s opposing the freeway that’s being built through the Knocknaree woods and he’s been receiving death threats. His wife Margaret is on tranquilizers for her nerves. His oldest daughter Rosalind behaves very oddly, like a child who’s been sexually molested. And since Margaret is permanently out to the lunch, Rosalind takes care of Katy’s twin, Jessica, who is mentally handicapped.
On that same day, Cassie testifies in court against a criminal she put behind bars when she was working undercover, a guy named Johnstone.
In the first two episodes, we get a good look at Katy’s family and the three kids who disappeared. Coincidentally, Peter, Jamie, and Adam used to make fun of Jonathan Devlin and his cohorts (Sandra Sculley, Shane Waters and Cathal Mills) when they were teenagers and hanging out in the woods. They were the chief suspects in Peter, Jamie, and Adam’s disappearance, but Margaret Byrnes (who was 13 at the time) gave them alibis. Three years later she married Jonathan. So both of Katy Devlin’s parents are tied to the disappearances in 1985. We also learn that Sandra Sculley, who was Jonathan’s girlfriend in 1985, became pregnant with Jonathan’s child and had an abortion. Three years later Margaret Byrnes became pregnant with Jonathan’s child and he was forced to marry her. Sandra Sculley coincidentally is now the cleaning woman who cleans the ballet school where Katy Devlin was the star student.
So far this series was pretty good. Then they brought in a subplot with Cassie’s old undercover boss, Frank. Frank tells her that someone has reactivated her old undercover ID, Alexandra “Lexie” Mangan. In episode 3, the girl pretending to be Lexie is murdered and she is the spitting image of Cassie, so Cassie goes undercover as the girl to find out who her killer is. This little side trip has nothing to do with Katy’s murder or the disappearances in 1985.
Also in episode 3 the writers took another detour and added yet another subplot. This time it’s about the convenience store murder in episode 1. Alannah, the pregnant girlfriend who ratted out her boyfriend Cian, is viciously attacked by Cian’s sisters who chop her hair off and beat her badly. Now Alannah is threatening to expose Rob’s crude interviewing tactics which, since he’s English and they’re Irish, would probably get him sacked.
On top of those two subplots introduced in episode 3, Cassie’s boyfriend Sam O’Neill turns into a racist jerk and they break up. Two hours later she’s in bed with Rob and the next morning he treats her like garbage. So now all three of the likable people in the series have turned into jerks and there are so many subplots that the main plot goes absolutely nowhere for two entire episodes. The only likable character left is Brian O’Kelly, their boss, who is hilarious.
Possibly the worst thing they did in episode 3 was try to pull off an alternate personality with Cassie. It’s pretty awful. She made up an alternate personality Lexi when she was about 8 years old and Lexie was the “bad girl”. Dumb, dumb, dumb.
In the last episode it’s revealed that Rosalind got the guy at the dig site to kill Katy for her (the guy who can’t seem to identify the man in the blue track suit). She says she loved Katy but she absolutely hated her parents and this was the only way to punish them. She reveals that Rob is Adam which makes their entire case fall apart. There is never any resolution at all to the murders of Jamie and Peter, however, they do show you that the three of them were witnesses to Cahall, Jonathan, and Shane raping Sandra Sculley. It traumatized Adam but Jamie and Peter were laughing and threatened to use it against Cahall and the others as blackmail.
3 out of 10 stars. This really had potential, but the writers ruined it with truly dumb subplots and making the characters incredibly unlikable.