Atonement is an episode of series 20 that first aired on 3 December 2003.
When Billy McCree is found dead with his severed hand by his side, recently-released prisoner Jim Naysmith is the prime suspect for his murder - as the dead man's testimony had put Naysmith behind bars twenty years before. While Burke and Reid investigate another member of Naysmith's gang, Ross is flattered when law student Mary Cullen asks to shadow him, but Gemma becomes suspicious of Mary's motives.
Full plot synopsisEdit
The show was twenty years old in this episode and so was the case that the team had to solve. Billy McCree was found dead by his son Ryan in his work shop. He was lying in a pool of blood and one hand had been sawn off. Footprints in the blood suggested that the death was no accident and that the killer had watched Billy die. Beside Billy's body was a single red rose. Outside the workshop Robbie speaks to a girl in the crowd - Mary Cullen. Twenty years ago Billy McCree had been part of a gang of armed robbers who had killed a man during a robbery in the Buchanan Street Shopping Centre. DCI Burke remembered the case well, having been involved in getting the gang convicted. Stuart reveals that one member of the gang has recently been released from prison - Jim Naysmith. He becomes Burke's prime suspect despite having an alibi for the time of the murder. Now working at Anna's Flower Shop he was out delivering flowers at the time of Billy's death. This was clarified by Miss Telford who had received the flowers from her boyfriend. Meanwhile Robbie and Stuart try to find out more about Billy McCree and reveal that he was having an affair with a Sadie Grearson. They visit Sadie's flat where they find residues of blood in the bath and bloodied clothes in the washing basket. Thinking they've found the murderer they track Sadie down to an abortion clinic. Although Sadie was definitely at the scene of the murder, examination of her clothes revealed that although they were covered with Billy's blood, due to the nature of the staining she couldn't have been the killer. Mary Cullen, Robbie's new admirer invites herself into the police station and a reluctant Stuart gives her the guided tour. Mary tells them that she is a law student and Robbie sees no harm in allowing her to look around. However after having the tour around Gemma's forensic lab, Gemma returns to Robbie suspicious about the visitor. Robbie rings the college and discovers that no one has heard of Mary and she clearly isn't a law student at all. Robbie takes Jackie to Mary's home. Mary's bedroom is a shrine to her father who turns out to be the man killed by the armed gang twenty years before. Whilst looking through Mary's belongings Robbie finds a photo of Billy McCree which has been crossed out. Could Mary be the killer? Burke and Stuart go to visit the third member of the armed gang - Neil Mosby, having spoken to him shortly after Billy's death they return to ask further questions. Upon getting no reply they return to the car to find Jim Naysmith waiting for them. Naysmith tells Burke that Mosby is planning another robbery, again in Buchanan Street. Burke has no choice but to believe him and enlists the help of Billy's son Ryan in trying to catch Mosby in the act. Robbie tells Burke that they should be considering Mary Cullen as a suspect for Billy's murder. Reluctantly Burke agrees to Robbie bringing her in. Robbie and Jackie head off to find Mary. Having split up, Robbie finally catches up with her at the library and takes her to a bar for a drink whilst waiting for Jackie to arrive to pick them up. However things get heated in the bar and Mary pours her drink over Robbie before disappearing out of the window in the ladies toilets. Armed with all the information Naysmith provided about Mosby's impending robbery plans, Burke organises the team. Robbie is dressed as a street cleaner and Stuart as a security guard in Buchanan Street. Jackie and Burke watch from a vantage point above the street. When the security van arrives everything seems to be continuing as normal but when the guard fails to return to his van Burke sounds the alarm and Robbie rushes in to find the two guards bound and gagged, a hole in the ceiling and the money gone. Leaving Robbie to 'mop up' at the scene of the robbery Burke and Jackie answer a call about a van with a white bull dog parked on some waste ground. When they arrive it is clear that the dog is the one belonging to Neil Mosby. Upon opening the back door of the van they find Mosby shot dead. Placed in his hand is one red rose. When Robbie arrives at the scene he again tries to convince Burke that Mary is the killer. Again Burke dismisses his claims. The following day Burke finds his picture across the front of the paper and a story reporting how he had managed not to stop an armed robbery from happening under his nose. Seemingly more concerned about saving face Robbie sees red and continues to tell Burke that they should be considering Mary Cullen as a suspect for Billy's murder. When a report comes through saying that a girl matching Mary's description was seen outside Mosby's house Robbie storms out. Burke sends Jackie to help him find Mary. Robbie and Jackie eventually find Mary's mother in the graveyard placing red roses on the grave of her husband. She tells them that it's the first year that she and Mary haven't been together to lay roses on the grave. The roses even persuade Jackie that Mary is indeed the killer. Meanwhile Burke goes to the flower shop and arrests Naysmith for armed robbery. However it appears that Naysmith has an alibi, when Anna produces a CCTV tape of Naysmith tidying up the stock room in the shop at the time of the robery. Burke has no choice but to let Naysmith go. Robbie and Jackie return and tell Burke about the roses. Finally Burke listens to the theory that Mary is killing to get revenge for her father's death. First killing Billy and then Mosby meaning that Naysmith is next. Burke and Stuart rush to flower shop to warn Naysmith but find he has already gone to meet Mary at St Andrews Bridge. Robbie and Jackie are first to arrive at the bridge and they can see Mary and Naysmith by an old boat house on the river bank. Mary is holding Naysmith at gunpoint. Robbie shouts at Mary to stop and heads off along the tow path. He doesn't make it, Mary shoots Naysmith twice and he falls into the water. Robbie understandably has a go at Burke and but is restrained by Jackie from making it worse. Gemma tells Jackie that it will be a couple of days before they find the body because the water current is strong. She also reveals that the gun is the same one that killed Mosby. A distraught Robbie takes Jackie out for a drink after work. The following morning Burke gives Gemma the CCTV tape of Naysmith in the stock room to look at - even if he isn't the murderer there is still the robbery to investigate. When Robbie arrives Burke apologises to him. When Jackie discovers that Stuart is still investigating Naysmith for the robbery she decides to follow a hunch of her own and visits Miss Telford, the woman to whom Naysmith delivered flowers at the time of Billy's murder. She learns that not only is Miss Telford's boyfriend in prison but that he was in the same hall as Jim Naysmith. Miss Telford confesses to being blackmailed into giving Naysmith an alibi. Meanwhile Gemma returns with the CCTV tape pointing out that Naysmith puts the light on at four thirty in the afternoon. Nothing strange about that in itself accept that this is the middle of summer. Additionally the flowers on the table are out of season thus proving that the tape is an old one. Robbie and Stuart interview Mary who confesses to killing Naysmith but not Mosby. When Robbie points out that the same gun was used in both murders Mary tells him that the gun in fact belongs to Naysmith. So with Naysmith's alibis broken further information in received that Naysmith's most regular visitor whilst in prison was Anna Martin, owner of the flower shop. Burke goes to the flower shop and finds it locked up. Curious he climbs over the back gate. As he lands he knocks over the dustbin, a bullet proof vest falls out. Burke rings Stuart to tell him that he thinks Naysmith is still alive. He doesn't get time to finish the sentence. Naysmith appears with a gun and smacks him around the head with it, knocking him to the floor. Stuart can tell something is wrong when the phone goes dead and sounds the alarm. Robbie calls in a 'code 21 red' and rushes to the flower shop. When they arrive Stuart and Jackie go around the back and Robbie through the shop. Thinking that it will buy them some time Jackie and Stuart confront Naysmith who then heads towards the shop and is met by Robbie. Naysmith points out that they make lousy cavalry as none of them are armed. Robbie tells Naysmith that armed officers have their weapons trained on him. Not able to see them Naysmith gets ready to shoot Burke....a gun goes off.......and Naysmith is lying bleeding on the floor, shot by a police marksman from high on the roof. Robbie apologises to Burke as he was right about Naysmith all along. Burke thanks Robbie for saving his life.
Jim Naysmith - played by William McBain
Billy McCree - Only ever seen dead. Part not credited
Ryan McCree - Ian Robertson
Neil Mosby - Alex Harvey
Mary Cullen - Frances Thorburn
Miss Telford - Suzanne Sellers
Anna Martin - Meg Fraser
Sadie Grearson - Kerry Lyn Hamilton