Vigil season 1 episode 4 recap: Why was Jackie Hamilton killed?

Vigil Episode 4
DS Longacre and DS Porter have some questions for Peter Ingles in Vigil episode 4. (Image credit: BBC)

Vigil season 1 episode 4 saw DS Longacre discover the presence of a suspected Russian agent aboard the nuclear submarine and also the identity of Jade Antoniak's killer. Plus there's been another murder!

*WARNING — spoilers for all four episodes of Vigil below*

DCI Amy Silva wakes to find the submarine is about launch nuclear missiles and is shoved to the floor as the crew rush to their launch positions. She gets to her feet and rushes to the control room, but is tackled to the floor by Coxswain Glover, who reveals the launch was actually just a drill. What a way to wake up! 

Back on land, DS Longacre is interviewed by the MI5 agents who followed her to the car park and it seems they've been tracking her since she met with Patrick Cruden MSP. The conversation starts with them threatening to ruin her career unless she shares information about how she heard about the "highly classified" Port Havers incident, yet Kirsten is in no mood to be interrogated and immediately turns the tables. 

As DS Longacre grills her interviewers about why MI5 has infiltrated the peace camp, her boss CS Roberston comes in to rescue her, but if you ask us DS Longacre didn't need rescuing! Is he simply keen to protect the junior detective or is there a more sinister reason for him holding her back? The two MI5 agents look pretty relieved their interview is over and mumble something about national security as they depart. 

Did Glover kill Craig Burke? 

Memories of her relationship with DS Longacre flicker through DCI Silva's mind as she sits in her cabin after the drill, but it's back to business when Coxswain Glover turns up and tells her it's not his job to "calm her down" when the crew are doing a drill. Yet he's the only one who needs calming down when DCI Silva reveals her knowledge of his affair with Tiffany Docherty. 

DCI Silva says she believes Burke was using the suggestive photo of Docherty in his bed to blackmail him for information on the Port Havers information that he could take to the press, before asking if it was him who killed the sonar man. Glover is furious and shouts that everyone on the boat thinks DCI Silva is "deranged" and that she's now on her own. But he looks worried. Is DCI Silva right? Did Glover kill Craig Burke? 

Vigil Episode 4

Glover denies killing Burke and calls DCI Silva deranged (Image credit: BBC)

Who's the guy in the hockey jacket? 

DS Longacre says Jade recognised someone she thought was from MI5 during a recent protest in Glasgow and Porter — one of the most underrated investigators in Britain — finds CCTV of a man wearing an ice hockey jacket, as Jade described. He's meeting another man and Jade takes a snap of them. Did she recognise the mysterious second man? Is that why she was killed? 

After getting a glimpse of hockey jacket man's car, she identified him as Peter Ingles, who flees when she goes to his house to question him. DS Longacre gives chase and then takes him out with a tackle that would bring a tear to the eye of an international rugby player. Impressive stuff given Rose Leslie, who plays DS Longacre, was eight months pregnant during filming — although we presume a stunt artist performed the final take down! 

As DS Longacre arrests Mr Ingles she notices he has a stab wound on his shoulder, making it pretty likely that he was one of the men who attacked her in her flat in the second episode.  She and Porter have a wealth of evidence that suggests Ingles killed Jade, but her interrogation is cut short when those pesky MI5 agents storm in and reveal that Ingles is a Russian spy and has diplomatic immunity. But why did a Russian spy kill someone who was trying to undermine Britain's nuclear deterrent? Something doesn't add up... 

Who is Peter Ingles online friend? 

With DS Longacre still livid about being forced to let Peter Ingles go, Porter comes up trumps again with an utterly inspired piece of investigating. He's discovered an online thread about fishing that Ingles has been posting on, with someone responding to the Russian spy's posts. Porter then offers a theory that the photos he's exchanged on the site contain a code hidden within the pixels of the photos. He then reveals the last message was sent the day before HMS Vigil went out on patrol. Could the reason Ingles online pal stopped sending messages is because he's on board the submarine? Is there a Russian spy on Vigil? If so who could it be? 

On board HMS Vigil, Captain Newsome orders a change of course after receiving new orders and DCI Silva engages some heavy-handed symbolism when she gazes at a fish in a tank while cooped up in Newsome's cabin. Cue some more flashbacks to happier times with DS Longacre... 

Back on land, DS Longacre reveals everything the police have discovered to Shaw and Branning at Navy HQ. They are quite cynical, although with everything that's happened and how rubbish they seem to be, you'd think they'd be more open-minded to the idea of being infiltrated. MI5 man asks why the Russians would kill Burke if he was a whistle-blower, yet CS Robertson wonders if Burke was going to reveal the presence of their spies. Food for thought. 

Is DCI Silva re-evaluating her relationship with DS Longacre?

DCI Silva has a number of flashbacks of her relationship with DS Kirsten Longacre during this week's episode, from arguments, to memories from the early days of their relationship. It seems clear that she's re-evaluating the connection the couple obviously shared, with some regret about how things turned out. Will this traumatic experience below the waves help her realise what's important when she gets home? If she ever gets home that is... 

Meanwhile as she eats her breakfast, DCI Silva overhears chef Jackie Hamilton's son is "getting out" and will be back home waiting for her, before glancing at DCI Silva. Was that a nervous glance or are we reading too much into that? ...And where is Jackie's son escaping from?

Yet no time to think about that now, as Docherty summons DCI Silva to the sickbay for testing, before telling Captain Newsome the detective has come off her medication and could be suffering withdrawal symptoms. Could this be an attempt by Glover and Doherty to launch a pre-emptive strike against her after she threatened to reveal their affair? Almost certainly we'd say. But it's a bold tactic as DCI Silva blurts everything she knows about Glover and his affair in front of Newsome. He refuses to believe her and when she brings up the incident at Port Havers he is clearly riled and confines her to her quarters. Good luck with that Captain. 

Vigil Episode 4

Will DCI Silva and DS Longacre have a future together?  (Image credit: BBC)

Why were the Americans shadowing HMS Vigil? 

Shaw then shares the Navy's shocking discovery about the submarine that pulled the fishing trawler down at the start of the series (that seems like a long time ago now) and admits that in light of the police's findings, maybe he should go back and ask for more information from the Americans. Do they know more about the situation on HMS Vigil than the British Navy? 

Back on the submarine, Walsh discovers a lock on some of the submarine's electronic mainframes have been tampered with. He suggests to Hadlow that someone could have messed around the RCMS panel is inside and used that to force a reactor shut down. We had previously assumed the reactor problems was due to the submarine being "on her last legs" as Burke put it, but could someone aboard the sub be sabotaging it? Given what we know from DS Longacre's investigation, the answer is almost certainly yes, but will DCI Silva manage to join the dots? 

Meanwhile when Jackie Hamilton brings DCI Silva some dinner the detective asks her some questions about her son getting out, but the chef gets rattled when Amy reveals she knows her son was in prison. 

Who is the Americans' source? 

Shaw questions his American counterpart about the US submarine tracking HMS Vigil, but she can't divulge much information and explains they need to protect their source. But who is this source? Either way it seems clear they have their concerns about the British submarine...

DS Longacre asks if Shaw will share the information with Captain Newsome, but he says the only way of ensuring the submarine's security is finding out the identity of the Russian spy aboard. Could it be Glover? Or Hadlow? Or even Prentice? They all seemed determined to hamper DCI Silva's investigation from the word go. If it's Newsome then he does a great job or pretending he didn't know about the sabotage when Hadlow informs him! 

Later on DCI Silva confides in Prentice that she doesn't trust the captain and asks him more questions about Jackie Hamilton's son. They agree it's strange that her son - who was in prison in Indonesia on drug charges - is getting released one year into his sentence. Jackie obviously has some influential friends...

Will the government bring HMS Vigil home? 

Realising that DS Longacre knows more about what's going on aboard HMS Vigil than they do and that she's probably their best hope of saving the crisis-addled submarine, they decide to get her to brief the Secretary of State for Defence in a special meeting. 

When DS Longacre suggests bringing the submarine home before the Russian spy can do more damage, the cabinet minister says there's a vote coming up on Britain's nuclear deterrent in parliament next week and asks how it would look if there was no Trident submarine on patrol when then vote took place. Although given the 'highly classified' nature of Trident and all that, why the government would disclose such an embarrassing development is beyond us. 

The Secretary of State says she has much to ponder at the end of the meeting. She sure does! Primarily who DS Longacre is and whether she's wasted as a police detective...

Vigil Episode 4

Jackie Hamilton's son was recently released from prison (Image credit: BBC)

Why was Jackie Hamilton killed? 

It's a shame Shaw didn't want to share the information about the Russian spy with Captain Newsome when DS Longacre suggested it, because now HMS Vigil's communication line has mysteriously jammed and they're unable to send or receive messages. So when he sends a message ordeaq1zring HMS Vigil back to port, he receives no response...

Meanwhile, as the crew scramble to sort the problem DCI Silva sneaks out of Newsome's cabin to search through Jackie Hamilton's quarters and it's not long before she discovers discolouration on her sheets similar to those found after Burke died. 

She tells Captain Newsome and he asks Hamilton to report to the control room. When she doesn't respond, DCI Silva goes to look for (after being told Glover has also gone to searching). When she finds Hamilton in the ship's galley, she's clearly been poisoned and Glover tackles her to the floor. Is he trying to protect her from this deadly poison or did he kill Jackie? 

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.