‘North Shore’ Episode 1 Recap & Ending, Explained: How Did Sophie Chalcott Die?

North Shore Episode 1 begins with the death of a British minister’s daughter on Australian soil that brings Detective Max Drummond to Sydney to observe the murder case. But soon Max gets pulled into a conspiracy that transcends political boundaries. Is the death a part of the conspiracy? Or does the death turn into a bane or boon for those who wish to use their seats to claim power? Let’s see what Max finds out in the first episode of North Shore.


Spoilers Ahead

An Observer’s Promise

Sophie Chalcott, the 19-year-old daughter of British trade & Industry minister Abigail Crawford, drowns in Sydney. British Detective Chief Inspector (D.C.I) Kilroy sends Detective Sergeant Max Drummond to Sydney to observe the investigation at the request of the Chief Constable in Sydney. Max is in a dilemma and asks his wife Anna about it as he knows if it is homicide, it might take him months before he returns. Anna doesn’t want to stop him but we feel that he is needed more at home. We have to know more about them before we can address their relationship. But from the looks of it, we know that she knows that Max has to go. On the flight, Max wonders whether the corruption that he has been subjected to inside his department will affect this case as well. However, his conversation with Abigail Crawford, who is also traveling on the same flight, takes his mind off his negative thoughts. These are two people who do not have children, each in his or her own way. Max has been married for 7 years and he and Anna have tried for a baby but failed. Abigail’s daughter, on the other hand, is no longer alive. So they share a similar vacuum. Abigail makes Max promise her that he will bring those responsible to justice. 


That the bruise and swelling on Sophie’s face occurred before her death make it seem to Detective Sergeant Meg Driscoll and Detective Paea Leniu that she might have been killed. This case is a very important one for Meg not just because it deals with the death of a person who is the child of a minister but also because it is Meg’s first case. She has to prove herself worthy. But when her boss, D.C.I Andrew Newell, tells her that she will be having someone from London to observe the case, she doesn’t like it at all. She cannot have someone new compromise things for her or tell her how to do her job. Because that is what such people usually do i.e. try to establish dominance over their juniors. 

 A Partner In Disguise

Abigail and Max meet Greg Hardy at the airport lounge. Max finds out that Greg is an old family friend of Abigail which is very unusual or new to him because it’s quite a coincidence to have two political figures belonging to two different countries being connected via family. It will be nice to know how deep this runs. Max arrives at the police station and is introduced to Meg, Paea, and Lucky, his new team whose investigation he will be observing, nay helping. They all check the CCTV footage and find out Sophie’s whereabouts on the night she went missing before her body was recovered the next day. Sophie had left the bar alone to get some air, or at least that’s what she told her friend Erika. We do not know if it was true or if something happened at the bar. Then they find out that money was withdrawn from an ATM using Sophie’s card. So someone must be knowing it’s PIN. Later, CCTV reveals that it is Erika. The police have already interviewed her which means that she had her chance to submit Sophie’s Debit card but she didn’t. Why is that? More importantly, how did she land Sophie’s Debit card? Did she give it to Erika? Or did she steal it? 


Abigail and Simon identify Sophie’s body. Max is there and it’s tough for him to see them crying like that. No parent should have to look at their child’s dead body. The autopsy report reveals that Sophie didn’t have water in her lungs. So she didn’t die from drowning. A small stone fragment recovered from the wound on her head proves that she was either hit in the head or pushed and her head landed on a rock somewhere other than the harbor. All this makes it clear that Sophie was indeed murdered. This ups the ante of the case and surely adds to Meg’s fear of failing. And the last thing she wants is the plump bloke to interfere in her investigation. But Max has made a promise to Sophie’s mom. We do not think he will just stand back and let two amateurs waste time working out the case when he knows he can at least help them. 

A Tear Too Late

When Abigail, Simon, and Max meet Sophie’s boyfriend Tom, we do not see the pain we had expected him to be in. Also, the bruises on Oscar’s knuckles, which Max as well as we notice, are highly suspicious. This is because we know that Sophie’s face has a bruise too. Oscar, by the way, is Erika’s boyfriend. Considering he did punch Sophie, why would he do that? If anything, he would have punched Erika. This of course doesn’t mean that it would be okay for him to punch Erika and not Sophie. But the thing is he can have reasons, although not justified, for hitting his girlfriend but not someone else’s girlfriend surely, especially his best friend’s. And what’s unusual and bizarre is how calm Tom’s father Lloyd appears to be. His son’s girlfriend died two days ago and he excuses himself to the girl’s parents because he gets an urgent phone call. There is something fishy here or Tom and his father just don’t bother. And let’s just admit it, Tom’s confession of loving Sophie comes a tad bit late and so do his tears. 


Less Of A Family

That night, Abigail and Simon get into an argument over Abigail going about planning her schedule and meetings. Simon is shocked at her apparent insensitivity. They have just lost their daughter and she has already begun looking for an opportunity. Simon must be thinking that she is doing what she is doing because she doesn’t want to lose the chance of having someone she knows become the next PM. He tells her to her face that their daughter is dead and gets a slap in return. If he thinks she hasn’t realized what’s happened, he is wrong. At least that’s what the slap was meant for. She wanted him to not talk about Sophie like that. But he is right and she knows he is. So maybe she didn’t like to be told that she was being heartless. She tells him that they need to be strong. They cannot let their daughter’s death pull them apart. But is that what’s happening? Be that as it may, her meeting with Greg has to happen. On the other hand, when Max tells Anna about Meg, we may find a hint of jealousy in Anna’s voice although she doesn’t seem to be like that. As for Max, he misses her more than she thinks. Their conversation is a result of their inability to have a child, something that often makes a couple wretched. It’s not about being not happy together, they are just incomplete, just like Abigail and Simon. 

Why Does Abigail Meet Greg? Where Is Erika?

The conversation between Abigail and Greg proves why she wanted to meet him. Sophia was his biological daughter and not Simon’s. But unbeknownst to her, Sophia had already told Greg about this although he doesn’t say this to Abigail.


Max’s apology to Meg for missing the meeting the previous night doesn’t matter to Meg. She gave him a chance and he missed it. Maybe she is glad he did. She can get back to her assignment with peace of mind, realizing that he isn’t really a part of the investigation. Meanwhile, more intel arrives at the table. It is Erika who withdrew money from Sophie’s account. A visit to her flat reveals a break-in a week ago and a note stating that she has gone home to Tasmania. Moreover, there has been another transfer of a large sum of money to Erika’s account from Sophie’s. Who is doing this? Erika? But why would she steal money from Sophie’s account?

Well, for a crime drama, North Shore Episode 1 offers a lot of information. Politics is very happening and when a murder is introduced in the middle of it, there is no telling what it can lead to and what it can bring to the surface. Sophie’s death is this very murder. We do not know if it was planned. Greg might be involved as he could have got her killed to avoid scandal so close to the elections. Or Oscar might have punched Sophie. Erika using Sophie’s account is highly suspicious. She should know that she can be tracked but for some reason, she has been withdrawing and transferring money. Why does she need all this money after? Is it really her home in Tasmania?  Let’s see what North Shore Episode 2 reveals.


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Shubhabrata Dutta
Shubhabrata Dutta
Shubhabrata’s greatest regret is the fact that he won’t be able to watch every movie and show ever made. And when he isn’t watching a movie or a show, he is busy thinking about them and how they are made; all while taking care of his hobbies. These include the usual suspects i.e. songs, long walks, books and PC games.

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