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Strike: The Silkworm (Part 2)

Strike is a British crime series starring Tom Burke and Holliday Grainger. This is based on the works by Robert Galbraith, who is also known as J.K. Rowling. The Silkworm follows the death of Owen Quine, a controversial writer who released a manuscript that targeted his wife, his mistress, and his colleagues in the publishing world. It took me a longer time to watch this episode because I really don't remember much from the book, thus I had to keep on looking at my notes in the previous episode in order for it to make sense. *spoilers ahead*


The episode starts with Cormoran Strike trying to prove Leonora Quine's innocence. He and Robin Ellacott start looking at Andrew Fancourt, an author who has always hated Quine. While he previously denied not knowing anything about the contents of Bombyx Mori, he accidentally reveals that he has in fact read the manuscript during an interview. This leads them to investigate the relationship Fancourt had with Quine. Over lunch with Liz Tassel, she reveals that Fancourt had left the agency because he accused Quine of writing a parody novel of his wife's book. His wife had committed suicide because of it. They also talked about Tassel's personal feelings for Fancourt, with the lunch eventually ending with Liz having an emotional outburst.

Robin and Strike attends a publishing party that celebrates the return of Fancourt to the publishing house. They chat up Fancourt to find out his side of the story. Their whole conversation centered around the parody written, and how Quine wasn't a great writer. He just confirmes what everyone has been saying about his relationship with Quine.

The duo also visits Jerry Waldergrave to talk more about the manuscript and the things written about him there. When Strike mentions that Daniel Chard thinks another person might have had a hand with writing the manuscript, he points out that Quine never used a semicolon in his work, and the manuscript was peppered with it. To investigate the theory further, Strike visits Kathryn Kent. She mentions that she knew that she will be in the book, but she wasn't expecting her involvement that way. Quine has always mentioned that he loved her and wants to work with her, so seeing herself portrayed that way was very much the opposite of what she expected. After comparing notes, they have deduced that someone else wrote the Bombyx Mori everyone got, and that the original manuscript was somewhere.

With the new lead they uncovered, they began to work on what happened. Strike was to discover what Lis Tassel's involvement was while Robin looks for the original manuscript. Strike figures out that the argument Tassel and Quine had was an act, and Robin finds a typewriter ribbon that revealed parts of the manuscript - and the names used weren't those in the distributed book. They also had a literary critic compare writing samples, with the critic deducing that Andrew Fancourt did not write the parody. The writing style of the parody however was similar to the manuscript and a short story in a magazine.

At a private dinner, Strike clears accusations about the parody. It turns out that Liz Tassel wrote the parody and the manuscript. Quine knew about the parody and blackmailed her for years to keep the secret in exchange for providing for his family. The whole fight and disappearance was an act in order to sell books, but Tassel killed Quine and revised his manuscript underneath the premise of Quine's revenge.

The show had a lot of scenes that showed the deepening bond between Strike and Robin, which impacts Robin's personal life. Matt finds out that she had put her job before him, with Robin explaining that this was her chance to pursue her dream and she wasn't going to let go of that. Another exchange the couple had showed Robin's changing priorities, and since Matt isn't a fan of what she does, he's none too pleased. The show also introduces Strike's half-brother, although his presence was more to advance the narrative.

The two episodes were just okay. This is from a personal bias as I am not a fan of stuff with occults and demonic, dark, cult-like things. I knew that I wasn't going to like this as much as I did with The Cuckoo's Calling. The way the narrative moved at the last twenty minutes already suggested who killed Quine, it was just the matter of gathering proof. I will still be continuing with the show; there's going to be a bit of a wait for the next one.

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