A Few Bad Men

"...he's not bad looking and he's obviously got a sense of humour" - Jackie

When a soldier is found stabbed at an army barracks the newly promoted DCI Jardine and DS Reid are called  to investigate.  Meanwhile at the races Stuart has been teamed up with the new DI to investigate a counterfeit money scam.

Robbie thinks Jardine is having a laugh at his expense by sending him on a wild goose chase but when an informant gives him a tip and he wins big on a horse which subsequently winds up dead at the end of the race he realises that he may just have a case to investigate anyway.  He manages to persuade a reluctant Jardine to let him investigate and when his informant, Jakey Miller is found dead in an alley it becomes clear that Robbie was right to follow his hunch.

So the team are split into two, investigating two completely un-related cases....or are they?

This episode, being Robbie's first naturally gives us an insight into his character.  We find out, courtesy of Stuart that Robbie was investigated for taking a holiday from a known criminal, hence his move to Maryhill.  We are also introduced to the three things in Robbie's life that make him tick - beer, betting and women!!! A continued theme!

 

 

   For Their Sins

"Robbie doesn't trust his own shadow" - Jackie

When an 18 year old drug dealer is found dead in a derelict house  the team are plunged into an investigation that leaves them with a total of four bodies and four seemingly separate cases.  All the bodies are linked to a housing scheme, leading Robbie and Co into territory that Jardine frequented whilst in uniform.  For once it is Robbie who is suspicious of Jardine's past and not the other way around!!

This episode also shows the more sensitive side to Robbie.  We find out about his son Jamie, who he only gets to see every other weekend:

"When he's around, things seem to make more sense" - Robbie

Robbie is also compassionate with the father of  one of the murder victims:

"Ok to shed a tear you know...................he was your son" - Robbie

But of course Robbie will be Robbie, so when Jackie joins him in church to see Jamie confirmed the following is no surprise:

"He's a real charmer" - Jackie

"Just like his father" - Robbie.

However there is one scene in this episode that for me sort of epitomizes the different  and gritty style Taggart has from that of other TV crime dramas whilst again showing the viewer that Robbie isn't un-shakeable:

Robbie visits the housing scheme after dark to talk to a local face he knows by the name of "Ackie".  Some children playing by the derelict building have managed to distract the PC on duty and get inside.  Hearing a child's scream Robbie takes a torch from the PC and goes to investigate.  Shining the torch across the floor he notices something, bending for a closer look he can see that there are maggots on the floor, he looks up to see where they have come from, some fall on his face before he sees the source of them........a decomposing body hanging out of the ceiling.  Shocked Robbie backs against the wall and heaves.

 

 AA Fistful Of Chips

Ride Em Cowboy!

"If you want to work with me Robbie, you need to make some new friends" - Jardine

The first we see of Robbie in this episode is through the smoke in a bar where he is playing pool for money with friend and informant Billy Whizz.  He loses! 

Jardine calls Robbie to the scene of what initially looks like a suicide.  A woman's body has been found on the roof of a car under a bridge.  It is clear that she didn't jump!

"Why push her off a bridge?" - Jackie   

"Four points for a Volvo, six for a Merc" - Robbie

The murder leads the team to a micro chip factory where the husband of the dead woman works.  Being that Robbie seems to know the local "low life" Jardine asks him to see if anyone has heard anything.  Robbie goes straight to Billy Whizz.

Un be-known to Robbie, Billy is "on the rob" and with his pal Malcy they hi jack one of the vans from the micro chip factory, hiding the load of chips in Billy's lock up.  Billy thinks he's made it big.  Unfortunately before he can enjoy his new found success he ends up being dragged dead out of the Clyde!  Robbie identifies the body, claiming to Jardine that he was simply an informant.  It soon becomes clear that he was more than that and Robbie is suspected by Jardine and Stuart of being on the take.  Desperate to find out what happened to Billy and get Jardine off his back Robbie goes off in search of Malcy.  He searches for most of the night without result.  Malcy turns up the next day in two halves on a railway line................

Robbie with Francesca.  Billy's girlfriend and we suspect at the end of the episode that she becomes Robbie's!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Fearful Lightning

"I can't quite imagine you in an apron" - Jackie

"You might not have to" - Robbie

Called to the suspicious death of a woman at a spirit medium's meeting hall, the team become involved in a murder investigation involving the members of an electrical detachment serving in the Royal Navy during the 1970s.  One member is electrocuted when his bed is wired up to an electrical current, another has his petrol tank wired to his car ignition and another is killed by a flare gun.  The team need to find answers quickly and before there are any more deaths.  All this and Jardine is receiving messages from Jim Taggart via the spirit medium.  The thing is what he is saying seems to be spot on!!

Now if you are a Robbie fan, this episode is for you, he is cheek personified!!  Not only does he tell a young man interested in Jackie that she is married with 3 kids, he also steals his thunder and asks her round for a meal!!  She says yes of course, no one can stay mad at Robbie for long now can they??

The thing is though, Robbie is still seeing Francesca (Fistful Of Chips) in fact there is a scene with Robbie and Francesca in bed! 

"Isn't that the shirt you had on yesterday?" - Jackie

"Yeah my washing machine's broken Detective Sergeant Reid" - Robbie

So Jackie goes round to Robbie's for a meal, expecting to find him dressed up and the perfect host but instead she finds him only just about dressed and Francesca in the flat!  Now fair play to Robbie he didn't know that Francesca was going to be putting in an appearance, and you can't turn your naked girlfriend away (I'm guessing!!).  However I rather think Robbie was looking forward to an evening with Jackie, still you know what they say 'you can't have your cake and eat it' mind you this is Robbie we're talking about!!

  

 

  Ghost Rider

When a burnt out car along with a body to match is pulled out of the river, the team are shocked to learn that the car is registered to a DCI MacDonald.  Identifiable only by an old break in it's left leg and the wedding ring clutched in it's hand, the body is positively identified as the DCI.  Keen to find out who murdered their fellow policeman the team are forced to work alongside Glenside CID where it becomes obvious that there is more to the case than first meets the eye.

Robbie's path had crossed with some of the officers from Glenside CID before and so when Stuart asks him what he thinks of DI Greg, he can give an informed answer!!

"So, what do you think of DI Greg?" - Stuart

"Ronnie?  Bit of a chancer maybe, cuts the odd corner, definitely fancies himself" - Robbie

Stuart starts laughing

"What are you laughing at? - Robbie

You'd be forgiven for thinking that Robbie was looking in the mirror at the time!!!!

When the case leads to a casino Jardine sends Robbie and Stuart to interview the staff and it's not long before Robbie has made himself comfortable at the Black Jack table!!

John Michie as DI Robbie RossFancying his chances, Robbie goes back to the casino after work where losing badly he asks if he can cash a cheque for 300.  The casino's owner, Sullivan agrees but when Robbie finally gives up and goes home broke Sullivan tears up the cheque.  This only becomes known to Robbie when having arrested Sullivan he mentions it during the interview.  Jardine is furious!!

Eventually the seemingly un related death of an old man in the Campsies leads Robbie and Stuart to a weekend retreat where they are held at gun point and Robbie is near strangled.  Jardine and Jackie arrive just in the nick of time, but do you know, not one of them asked if he was ok!!

 

Skin Deep

"Why would I put a bung in my current account and then call the bank in front of you?  I mean do I look like I came up the Clyde on a bike?" - Robbie.

Question - When is a murder not a murder?  When it's an accident, suicide and self defence, that's when!!

With Jardine only able to offer his team his paperwork to do, Jackie and Robbie are pleased when a call comes in to investigate an incident at a sports centre. 

"You seem to know your way around" - Jackie

"Yeah I've been here a couple of times as a guest" - Robbie

" So is the bar nice?" - Jackie

"To play squash Jackie" - Robbie

Jardine, already feeling unwell receives a phone call from Jackie's boyfriend Brian Holmes who is working for Complaints and Discipline.  He tells Jardine that there is strong evidence to suggest that Robbie has taken a bribe with a sum of 5,000 paid into his account the previous week.  A clearly furious Robbie is suspended from duty but sets out to prove his innocence.  Jackie visits Robbie at home seemingly the only one on the team willing to believe in him.

Investigations continue at the sports centre where a black market trade in diet pills is un covered resulting in the suicide of one of the fitness instructors.

Robbie continues to look for who has set him up.  Asking to see the banks CCTV tapes he sees a small time criminal who he has had dealing with before, cornering him behind a bookmakers he learns just who it is who wants to make him look 'bent'  Still furious he pays Dougie Todd a visit in time to see him beating his wife, but when Todd is later found dead in the hallway Robbie has some serious questions to answer.........

This is a great episodes for Robbie fans!!

 

Wavelength

"Hands on approach?" - Jackie

"Yeah well I do have...er..a bit of muscular stiffness" - Robbie

"Sure you do" - Jackie

Whenever I refer to this episode it is affectionately known as 'Owner Of A Lonely Heart' (a song by the group 'Yes') a perfect subtitle for an episode in which Robbie is clearly looking for someone to love him.

When the wife of a popular late night radio presenter is found murdered at home the first assumption is that they mistook her for her famous husband, Robin.  However when there are a further two murders, both linked to Robin it becomes clear that there is simply more to the case.

Stuart be-friends Robin's producer from the radio station and they go on a date to the opera, so when she rings Stuart and tells him she has something for him the last thing he expects is to find her dead, strangled on the roof of a multi storey car park.  Suddenly Robbie and Stuart have something in common.  Robbie sets out to pursue Robin's partner Abbey for a date.  He books an appointment for a massage but gets turned down for a date.  However when he later volunteers to escort Robin and Abbey to a lecture it looks like she might finally be falling under his spell.......next morning she is found dead.  Poor Robbie.

Just when things look like they cant get any worse Jackie announces to the team that she is to marry Brian.  Robbie's reaction is one of shock and demands the comment 'bless him' on every subsequent viewing of that scene.

 

This episode really shows the viewer the vulnerable side to Robbie Ross

 

 

                                                                       'Owner Of A Lonely Heart' - Yes

 

"Owner of a lonely heart

Owner of a lonely heart

Much better than - a

Owner of a broken heart

Owner of a lonely heart

 Say - you don't want to chance it          You've been hurt so before..........."

 

Football Crazy

"Heather, fancy a coffee?" - Robbie

"And if I did?" - Heather

"Get me one as well" - Robbie

"Could you make that two?" - Stuart

"Look yous, I've just done my course on sexual harassment.  I've got your numbers, one wrong move..." - Heather

"So I suppose a shag's out of the question then?" - Robbie

"Aye in your dreams" - Heather.

A referee is found dead in the changing rooms of Strathclyde Football Club.  Clutched in his hand is a red card.  Although the ref died of natural causes, the red card becomes the trade mark in the murders that followed.

The whole episode is centred around the football club which itself seems to be a breeding ground for  dodgy deals, match fixing and desperate groupies.  The team is on a losing streak too.

For any Taggart fan who likes a gruesome murder then this is a good episode for you.  There are three murders, two of those killed were Directors of Strathclyde FC and the other the team's manager.

Everything points to the clubs main shareholder being responsible for the murders and he is duly brought in for questioning.  The team think they have the case sewn up, but have they?

Now to Robbie, well he gets propositioned by the partner of the dead team manager - "give us a hug Mr Ross".  Robbie actually declines!!  Hard to believe I know, but I think she was a little too strong for him.  So instead he tries his luck with a couple of the football club groupies and he gets turned down..........but come on Robbie you can do better than that anyway!!

 

 

 

Falling In Love

"It's about control, the tango, suppressed passion, hidden emotions"

When a member of a local parachuting group ends up dead as a result of his chute  not opening during a jump, it looks like an unfortunate accident.  A cut strap on his chute however proves otherwise.

The group who were jumping to celebrate the impending marriage of the murder victim are also members of a tango club.  It soon becomes clear that anyone of the remaining members of the group could be the killer.  However when the number one suspect winds up dead in a freezer at the club it is clear that the motive is much more deeply rooted.

 

This episode is full of references to love, marriage, passion and jealousy.  It is also the episode that sees Jackie eventually marry Brian Holmes.  I say eventually because throughout the episode it is clear that the presence of Robbie is playing with her mind.  Out on investigations at the tango club Robbie grabs Jackie and they tango.  You later see Jackie re playing the dance in her mind.  At the wedding it is Robbie she looks at when asked "forsaking all others".

As for Robbie's take on all this, he was his usual confused self.  When commenting to Jardine that  he doesn't understand killing for love, he glances at Jackie.  The subsequent look on his face makes you wonder whether he actually believes his own words.

Further information about this episode can be found on the 'Jackie Loves Robbie' page.  Click here