North Shore Episode 3, is the first episode to provide us with breadcrumbs that direct us toward the reason behind the death of Sophie Chalcott. Episode 2 ended with Abigail and Max getting a mysterious call and text, respectively. Episode 3 reveals who the contact is and the proof this person has to claim that he or she knows who killed Sophie.
Just as we had expected, the mysterious person was Erika. The laptop she hands Max is Sophie’s and apparently contains data that resulted in her murder. Whoever broke into their apartment earlier was after Sophie’s laptop, and she knew it. So, she was aware that what she had on the laptop was compromising intelligence. The fact that Abigail has told Erika that she cannot be arrested proves that Erika spoke to her as well, probably recently. In fact, Abigail is the one who gave Erika Max’s number. This, yet again, proves that Abigail trusts Max a lot. Why? Maybe because he is from England. It’s a whole new level of racism without any explanation. If this is not the case, then Abigail has some other motive for trusting Max blindly right from the start. Yet, it was through Greg Hardy that Max found out that Sophie was his biological daughter. So maybe Meg is right when she tells Max that Abigail tells him only what she wants him to know and in return, finds out everything she needs to know from Max.
Back at the hotel, Abigail is told by the British PM to remain in Australia and take care of the trade deal (North Shore Episode 2). But this seems to be a step to keep her away; now that she is a potential replacement for him. As much as she wants to return home with Sophie (her body), she has to be at the Annual Australian Wool Producers Conference. The meeting is part of the trade deal. Abigail meets Max there and finds out that the police know the truth about Sophie’s biological father. Her assurance to Max that she’ll let him know if she finds out anything new is doubtful. And it is also doubtful if Max will inform her about any more updates on the case unless he finds it necessary.
The pictures on Sophie’s laptop reveal graphic pictures of mulesing from a sheep station owned by Lloyd Macklin. Can this be the compromising data? If yes, then maybe it was Lloyd who sent men to recover the laptop from Sophie’s apartment. However, there is no reason for Lloyd to do so because mulesing is legal in Australia. Although things are different in Britain, where it is illegal. Then again, maybe he wanted to recover the pictures because he didn’t want Abigail to find out about mulesing, as it would affect his deal with England. But why aren’t Max or Meg considering this as a motive? Do they not know about the deal? Either Erika tricked them with the pictures, or there’s more to Sophie’s laptop. Later on, the laptop reveals that Macklin runs his business through a total of 22 shell companies [a way to evade tax], all of which have a woman named Marjorie Abbott as one of the directors. Max and Meg visit Marjorie and find out that she is just an old next-door neighbor of Lloyd Macklin when he was a kid. The reason her signature is on all the papers is that Macklin still brings them to her, and all she does is sign them.
Later on, Max finds out from Tori about the Boab Ball, a fundraiser hosted by Franklin himself. In Hamish’s absence due to a meeting, Max will be accompanying Tori there. After an evening at a bar with his colleagues, Max returns home late at night, all drunk. The little conversation between him and Tori shows that Tori might just be developing feelings for him. But it’s not up for discussion yet. What’s up for discussion is the mysterious car that Meg spots from her window outside her house in the middle of the night. Someone is stalking her. Meanwhile, Abigail isn’t ready to return home without finding out what happened to Sophie, or at least that’s what she tells Simon. Simon, however, is divided about Abigail’s intention; does she really want to stay back for Sophie or the trade deal? Well, we too cannot help but be divided about that.
With the intention of bringing D.C.I. Andrew Newell a link between Macklin and Sophie’s laptop so that they can approach Macklin, Max and Meg meet Sophie’s neighbor, Mrs. Dima Mojsjenko. She describes the guy she thinks broke into the flat. If, after all the details, she can actually identify him, it will be very useful. A meeting with Abigail and Simon reveals that they have decided to return home with Sophie. We do not know what discussion Abigail and Simon had, that made her change her mind. However, Max assures them that they will be updated on the developments, in England. A favor from Abigail, thanks to her reach and sources, allows Meg and Max to have an “informal chat” with Macklin. Naturally, Macklin’s words will help them to better understand the whole mulesing thing, the trade deal, and find out more about Sophie. Macklin appears calm and answers all their questions. Mulesing is required because his European clients want it.
The different shell companies are so that he can avoid tax and not evade it. But it’s his reply upon being asked about his whereabouts on the night of Sophie’s murder that shakes him up a little bit. He says he returned home late at night after a function. And just as there’s no one to vouch for Meg when she is at home alone, there isn’t anyone for him either. This is suspicious. Can it be a coincidence that Meg saw a car outside her flat the previous night and that Macklin’s words today prove that he knows she lives alone? Probably not. Oscar notices Meg and Max leaving the house. And we barely begin doubting this guy when we find out that it was he who broke into Sophie’s apartment and stole the laptop, albeit the wrong one. Macklin indeed sent him to get the job done. The Mulesing pictures are indeed risky for Macklin, it seems, but there’s probably more in the laptop. There has to be more that Sophie was after, which is why Macklin wants Oscar to speak to Erika anyhow and find out what she knows [what Sophie might have told her].
Do Max And Meg Speak To Oscar?
Abigail meets Greg for a final goodbye, and their words make it very clear that they are still in love. However, Abigail changes her decision. Looking at her daughter’s body is enough to make her change her mind. She wants to have the murderer caught, and she won’t leave until then. The same night, Meg yet again sees the same car outside her apartment. If it is indeed Macklin’s plan, what’s the point? Meg is anyway finding out facts slowly and steadily during the day. What does he intend to achieve by keeping a watch on her at night? On the other hand, Max’s short video call with Anna reveals that their marriage isn’t really working out for her because of Max and the work he does. Issues are piling up.
The next day, Max, Meg, and Paea arrive at Mrs. Dima Mojsjenko’s apartment and bump into Oscar, who she had informed was back banging on Sophie’s door. Unfortunately, they are able to extract nothing from him. And even though Max suggests the possibility, which is basically the truth, that Macklin sent Oscar to take Sophie’s laptop, Meg disregards it completely. This is utterly foolish behavior on her part. Not considering all the possibilities this early in an investigation is unexpected. But then again, this is her first case, and she is an amateur. And Max also doesn’t say anything because he doesn’t want to risk being accepted as a team member. They return to the station, and Max finds Abigail, who informs him that she and her husband are staying. Is it only due to Sophie, or has it anything to do with her latest conversation with her former flame, Greg?
Macklin’s conversation with Simon regarding the trade deal shows that he is using Simon as a tool to protect himself. The company structure was created by Simon, and it is his responsibility to make sure that it is safe. Macklin is scared, which means he has something to hide—something that maybe Sophie’s laptop can help uncover. Lastly, the meeting between Max and Erika is interrupted by Meg, who arrests Erika despite Max asking her not to. Tracking Erika would have been effective. Once arrested, she will not speak a word due to the fear of being sent to prison. But they can’t send her to prison because they do not have any proof against her. So, Meg just compromised another trail that would have led to more answers. North Shore Episode 4 will show more of Sophie’s laptop, hopefully. There is the Boab Ball, where we may have another conversation between Max and Macklin. We also have to see what Erika reveals to the police and if she and Sophie really sold drugs. That way, they can bring Oscar back for questioning.