Vigil season 1 episode 3 recap: Was Jade Antoniak killed to protect HMS Vigil?

Vigil Episode 3
Gary Walsh finally reveals what happened to HMS Vigil in Port Havers (Image credit: BBC)

Things are starting to unravel on HMS Vigil in Vigil season 1 episode 3, while on dry land, DS Kirsten Longacre turns up plenty of new leads to get her teeth into.

The episode begins with DS Longacre telling CS Robertson of her belief that Jade Antoniak's murder is linked to the death of her boyfriend and traces the car that picked the anti-Trident campaigner up from the police station the day before as belonging to Mark Hill, who works for prominent Scottish politician, Patrick Cruden. 

Meanwhile, the diving team discover what's left of the Mhairi Finnea and find the hull has submarine tiles attached to it, leaving the Navy convinced a Russian vessel was to blame for the fishing trawler's sinking. 

After gaining access to the files on Burke's USB stick, Porter briefs the team on what he's found, including the results of a drug test the HMS crew member paid for himself, which proved positive for LSD. 

Porter then reveals that the submarine's crew got in trouble with the authorities while on shore during a recent trip America and were rumoured to be high on drugs, although the Navy's drug tests all came back clear. Are the Navy covering up a drug problem aboard HMS Vigil? And what else happened during the crew's stop in Florida? Was Burke trying to prove he was drugged in Florida?

A further bombshell comes in the form of Burke's possession of semi-naked photos of HMS Vigil's doctor, Tiffany Doherty, in which she is pictured in bed with a man. His face isn't visible, but we can see he has a large tattoo of a dragon on his arm...

Before the meeting finishes, news breaks of Burke's death aboard HMS Vigil. When Branning calls, DS Longacre assures her no one from her team has leaked the information to the press, but who has - and why? 

What killed Craig Burke?

Back aboard HMS Vigil, DCI Silva is keen to prove that Craig Burke didn't die of a head injury - but was poisoned - and takes another look at his body with Coxswain Glover and ship doctor Tiffany Doherty. When she rubs Burke's lips she finds the same strange substance that was seen on his fleece and is sure this is what killed him. But what is it? 

Realising the sonar man's murder was a premeditated act, DCI Silva asks Doherty to try and discern what the substance is. However when she confronts Captain Newsome with the news, he advises the detective her stay aboard the submarine has been extended to three weeks - to her horror. 

Later on, one of Shaw's friends reveals that Burke had a 'shit list' and that he had files on all of the crew, which then ended up in the hands of Captain Newsome. DCI Silva then receives a message from DS Longacre revealing news of Jade's death and a coded message about the photo of Tiffany Doherty, but will she be able to decipher it?  


Is Glover being straight with DCI Silva?  (Image credit: BBC)

Why was DCI Silva's child taken away from her? 

News of DCI Silva's prolonged stay aboard HMS Vigil, coupled with the memorial service for Craig Burke brings dark memories rushing back for the troubled detective. As we travel back to the funeral of her partner, we see her daughter being pulled away from DCI Silva as she cries "Mummy I want to stay with you!" Was the young girl taken away from the detective due to her mental health problems or were her partner's parents furious that she let their son die? 

DCI Silva then quizzes Glover about Doherty's relationship with Burke, but he is very short with her. Why is he unwilling to discuss the ship's doctor? 

The detective then speaks to Lt Commander Adam Prentice about what happened in Port Havers and why the Navy might want to sweep the crew's drug problems under carpet. She then asks Glover if he has been straight with her and reveals her suspicions about Doherty and her involvement with the drug testing. 

What really happened in Port Havers? 

Following Burke's memorial, Walsh confronts Captain Newsome and asks if he is still facing discharge in light of the fact that Burke probably didn't die of a drug overdose. Captain Newsome says he still brought heroin aboard the boat and when Walsh brings up what happened in Port Havers, the captain quickly shuts him down, warning him to "keep his mouth shut". 

What does Newsome know about what happened in Florida and what is he covering up? Is he acting on the orders of his Navy bosses or is he trying to hide information from them? 

Who is the mysterious Davies?

DS Longacre's quizzes Mark Hill and discovers he already knows about the death of Jade Antoniak, before requesting a meeting at the station later on that day.

She then meets Chief Petty Officer John Dearborn, who was forced to leave HMS Vigil after breaking his ankle, meaning Craig Burke had to replace him. Dearborn was on the submarine during the mission to Florida and tells DS Longacre "there was a problem with Davies" before refusing to say more. But there's no Davies aboard HMS Vigil...

Porter then reveals that Jade was paid a monthly amount by a company whose sole director was Mark Hill and she'd been having phone conversations with Hill's boss, Patrick Cruden MSP. But what is their relationship? 

At the parliament chambers, DS Longacre confronts Patrick Cruden with her findings and discovers that the Scottish MP had ben sending Jade an allowance because he was actually her father and is heartbroken to find she was murdered. Cruden says Jade was convinced MI5 had people inside the peace camp, that Burke saw himself as some sort of whistle blower and that he had evidence to prove Britain's submarine's weren't fit for purpose. But what information did he have and why was he "conflicted" - as Cruden claims - about revealing the truth? 


Scottish MP Patrick Cruden was Jade Antoniak's father. (Image credit: BBC)

Why was an American submarine covertly tracking HMS Vigil? 

After discovering that it was a US vessel - and not a Russian sub - that pulled HMS Vigil underneath the waves, Shaw is furious and demands answers from MI5, who advise the incident at Port Havers has caused "considerable tension". Aboard HMS Vigil, Captain Newsome is shocked by the news.

When pushed for further information, the MI5 agents insist that Shaw might be better off discussing Craig Burke and Jade Antoniak. The couple now seem to be at the centre of an ever-escalating international crisis! 

Who ordered Doherty to falsify the drug tests? 

Back on board HMS Vigil, DCI Amy Silva confronts Doherty about the suspicious drug tests and she reveals that she switched the samples to help her crew mates, but denies she was told to do so by anyone else. The detective doesn't buy her story - and to be honest - neither do we. Can DCI Silva trust anyone on this submarine? 

Who is Ross Harmison?

Patrick Cruden first mentioned a crew member being shuttled off to the Middle East after the trip to Port Havers and thanks to the invaluable legwork of Detective Porter, DS Longacre is able to put a face and name to that crew member when she meets Shaw and Branning at Duncloch later on... (it's been a very busy day for DS Longacre). 

Shaw claims he knows nothing about the junior mechanic who served aboard HMS Vigil, so who is Ross Harmison? We feel he could be a key piece to the jigsaw in the weeks to come... 

DS Longacre also asks Shaw about the two dead contractors who drowned in the harbour the morning after HMS Vigil's crew went on their now infamous night of debauchery in Port Havers. Shaw and Branning don't have any answers, but they're clearly shaken by the level of Longacre's knowledge and she says she believes there has been a cover-up, in which the Navy killed Burke and his girlfriend to prevent him exposing the truth! 

Yet we also notice how CS Robertson persuaded his detective to leave her questioning. Is he trying to protect Longacre from getting too involved in such a dangerous case or is he part of this cover-up? 

Later on, Shaw makes a call to MI5 saying he has a situation that needs to be contained and DS Longacre is followed in her car by a suspicious car. When she gets out she recognises the two MI5 agents as the ones who met CS Robertson earlier on...


DS Longacre has some pressing questions for the Navy's top brass. (Image credit: BBC)

Was Burke using Glover and Doherty's affair against them? 

Meanwhile aboard HMS Vigil, Gary Shaw pulls a gun on DCI Silva and Glover, before threatening to kill himself. Luckily DCI Silva is able to talk hi out of it, although the incident throws her back into a dark memory about the death of her partner and how she no longer sees her daughter Poppy. 

Later on she speaks to Walsh, who reveals the truth about what happened in Port Havers and how Harmison returned from shore leave and was still high while responsible for the reactor, leaving it to overheat and kill the two contractors. 

Yet Walsh also reveals that a nuclear meltdown - "another Fukushima" - was only narrowly averted. The incident was hushed up, which would explain Newsome and Walsh's tense moment earlier in the episode. Walsh also confides that the boats are "on their last legs" as Burke claimed. But does this explain why an American submarine was tracking HMS Vigil? 

As the episode closes Glover speaks to Doherty and is clearly concerned that DCI Silva has discovered their affair. Was Burke using his knowledge of the pair's romance against them? 

Sean Marland

Sean is a Senior Feature writer for TV Times, What's On TV and TV & Satellite Week, who also writes for He's been covering the world of TV for over 15 years and in that time he's been lucky enough to interview stars like Ian McKellen, Tom Hardy and Kate Winslet. His favourite shows are I'm Alan Partridge, The Wire, People Just Do Nothing and Succession and in his spare time he enjoys drinking tea, doing crosswords and watching football.