‘Criminal Record’ Episode 8 Recap & Ending Explained: Did Errol Get Out Of Jail?

Criminal Record, a show that started with DS June Lenker getting to hear a random woman tell her about a 12-year-old murder case, had such an intense narrative structure and fleshed-out characters in it that never once did it seem like it was bending over backwards to explore its themes. The final episode had to resolve a lot of things, and it did so but left a cliffhanger so haunting that there will be a definite demand for season 2. But as far as I am concerned, the show has said what it needed to say, and season 2 would only be for furthering the plot, not necessarily having something more to explore in its themes. 

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Spoilers Ahead


Why Did Hegarty Visit Stefan Ash?

The audio recording had gone viral. While Hegarty was telling Lenker about how Errol confessed, Carla’s tape where she was talking about her boyfriend having killed a woman, possibly Adelaide Burrowes, had been heard by thousands, and it wasn’t going to stop. All this meant just one thing for Lenker, and that was that Carla was in danger. If her boyfriend heard the sound clip, he would kill her. Hegarty seemed to be worried about whether he had made a mistake by getting Errol to confess. Hegarty, in his retelling of events, was adamant that he had never been of the opinion that Errol was a murderer, but when he had found Errol had stabbed his father and Patrick told him that he had heard Errol say the phrase ‘I’ll knock you flat’ to Adelaide, Hegarty had to believe he had his man. Additionally, all other people who had entered the flat had been cleared. Either they had no history of violence or they had an alibi. Lenker had no time for Hegarty’s selfish introspection, and although she seemed to have believed Hegarty’s words regarding Errol’s confession, she now needed him to help her find Carla’s boyfriend.

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Now that Hegarty knew that Errol was not the killer (even though Errol had confessed), he was willing to help Lenker. He was still baffled about how he had missed something in the case but was confident that he had not deliberately sabotaged Errol’s chances. He got the confession and helped the case along to get justice for Adelaide, who was an orphan. All the emotions aside, he gave the investigative notes to Lenker, and she immediately started to narrow down potential suspects. Errol was a barber and he was running his shop from Adelaide’s apartment, hence many men had come in and out of there. The proper procedure was to match the visitors’ DNA with anyone near the apartment to check for a history of violence. Hegarty was certain that everyone who had a history of violence and had come into the apartment had been cleared because they had an alibi. But Hegarty left when he saw Tony’s report, which had Stefan’s name in it. Stefan Ash was Tony’s informant, and he had cleared Stefan because his wife was his alibi. Hegarty left Lenker to check in on Ash because there were reports that Ash’s wife wasn’t as strong an alibi, as she wasn’t in the house at the time of the murder. There was an insurance dispute, and she had gone out to get it sorted out. Lenker followed Hegarty, but when they got to Ash’s house, Hegarty found Ash’s wife battered, which meant Ash was on the run.


How Did Lenker Find Carla?

Hegarty told Lenker that Ash was his informant now and had a considerable amount of property near and in the Towers, where Adelaide lived. At the time of the murder, he could have let himself in as he had the key, and the police wouldn’t have even known. He was suspected to be hiding in one of his own properties, and a manhunt began. Hegarty was leading the charge, and Lenker went door to door to check if she could see Carla hiding in any one of the apartments. If Ash got to her first, there was a high chance he would kill her. Chloe told Lenker about the abandoned buildings that had been vacant since the asbestos scare a few months ago. Lenker went into the building and almost died in her scuffle with Ash. He was indeed hiding in the building and had the ferocity of a rabid dog. Hegarty arrived just at the right time when Lenker was about to stab Ash in self-defense. He saved her from becoming a killer, even though it would most certainly have been seen as self-defense. A harrowed yet duty-bound Lenker kept at her search after Ash was taken away and found Carla in a nearby room. She was hiding with her baby in a small cabinet. 

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How Did Lenker Find Out The Truth About Hegarty?

The case was solved. Ash was in custody, being taken away by Hegarty. Adelaide’s bloody clothing and the murder weapon were found in Ash’s backyard. It was over, or so we thought. Two bikers came around and shot Ash while he was in police custody. Hegarty got one in the stomach. A few months later, when Hegarty had recuperated, he had to present himself in front of a committee to describe how such a grave error could have been committed in the Errol Matthis case. Nobody really thought Hegarty would deliberately involve himself in some kind of foul play. Lenker later told the committee her side of things, and it turns out Hegarty had already given Claudia the tape where he could be seen gesturing towards his body parts that would guide Errol in giving his confession. If there was one piece of evidence that put Hegarty directly in trouble, it was that tape, and he had been transparent enough to give it to Claudia. Lenker had to applaud this honesty. He had earned his integrity in her eyes. So what really happened in this case? Hegarty’s introspection led him to believe that there was some prejudice inside of him down there somewhere, which is why he didn’t pay attention to little details. In any other case, he would have never let Tony’s reports be filed without a cross-check, but Hegarty just let it go in Errol’s case, perhaps because he just assumed Errol could have killed Adelaide that brutally once provoked. Kim and Tony thought so from day one, and the constant pressure to find evidence against Errol made Hegarty seek some out from Patrick, after which Hegarty had no doubt. 

If you’re thinking Hegarty is that kind of figure who was swayed because of the company around him or that he is a changed man now who once looked at a case with a prejudiced lens, think again. The disturbing thing about Hegarty was learned when he went to talk to Tony, who had surprisingly gotten away with running over Doris Mathis. Hegarty acted like Tony must have gotten something in return from Ash, which is why he didn’t mention that he had no alibi and dropped his name from the inquiry. Tony told him that he had rounded up a few suspected terrorists thanks to Ash. Hegarty gave him a lecture about how he shouldn’t have done so in a murder case, and that’s when Tony had a few things to say. He was perhaps fed up with Hegarty’s high and mighty attitude, and he pointed out that it was Hegarty who had called in the shooters to get Ash whacked. Sure, he played the hero by getting a bullet in the gut while the bikers put six in Ash. The Sixty Twos, a name made up by Hegarty based on the fake story about his uncle in the 62nd Squadron who saved the world in World War 2, had Kim, Tony, and Hegarty, but according to Tony, Hegarty was the real mastermind behind everything, though he was smart enough to never get his hands dirty. A look here, a nod there, and Tony and Kim understood what Hegarty wanted them to do too. Perhaps Kim had called the shooters so that Hegarty would keep his phone record clean, as he was the one taking Ash to the station.

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Hegarty didn’t have much to say after Tony’s rant. As far as Hegarty was concerned, Lenker was the one who needed to be convinced, and she was. However, when she listened to Patrick’s tape again, which was the evidence that made Errol confess, she realized what a monster Hegarty was. Hegarty had taped Patrick babbling lines from a cartoon, where a character could be heard on the tape saying the phrase ‘I’ll knock you flat’ and making Errol hear it. Errol was out of jail, starting to live his life again with Patrick, but all those years, Patrick had believed that Errol had indeed killed his mother Adelaide. It could have been because of Hegarty’s questioning. Lenker gave Hegarty a call, telling him that she knew what he had done. Hegarty hadn’t just stumbled upon a confession; he had manipulated Errol into making one and used Patrick as the final nail in Errol’s coffin, after which he couldn’t bear to defend himself. Hegarty was always a racist and wanted to put Errol behind bars. He just didn’t want to admit it. Ash could have revealed all sorts of nasty things about Hegarty which is why perhaps he got him killed. There might be a second season to see if Lenker got Hegarty, but as I said, the show had something to say, and it is done saying it.


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Ayush Awasthi
Ayush Awasthi
Ayush is a perpetual dreamer, constantly dreaming of perfect cinematic shots and hoping he can create one of his own someday.

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