Cuckoo's Calling: Part III
Written by Ben Richards
Directed by Michael Keillor
Adapted from the book by Robert Galbraith
While riding in an Army vehicle, Strike senses something isn’t right. As he warns his colleague, an explosion hits. In the aftermath, a young Afghan boy aims a gun at Strike but spares him. Strike is left unable to move his leg.
Strike wakes up in his office, hungover from his night out at the pub.
Robin tries on dresses at Vashti, the store where Lula and Rochelle shopped the day Lula died. Acting like a gossipy customer, Robin discovers the salesperson is happy to reveal her theory that Lula was cheating on Evan with Deeby Macc. She lets it slip that her coworker, Mel, secretly recorded the model’s conversation with Rochelle. Posing as Robin’s brother, Strike stops in on time to see Robin looking beautiful in a green dress.
Back at the office, Strike shows Robin the CCTV tape. She points out that a man walking towards Lula’s building is not the same person who walks away 10 minutes later. Both men wear hoodies, but only one hoodie has a logo on it.
According to Guy Some, the hoodie on the second man is one of his limited-release designs. The designer also notes that Lula was looking for her African father in an effort to connect to her roots: “She was meant to be looking for her lost black soul.”
Strike arrives at Lula’s apartment with flowers to test his theory. He and Robin reenact the crime and note that the murderer must have left in a hurry. Robin grabs Lula’s SOAS Library card and offers to look into it.
On a visit to Lady Bristow, Strike finds out that when the family wanted to adopt baby Lula, Tony refused to help. He didn’t want them to adopt again after Charlie’s death. John reveals he knew Lula was looking for her biological father.
Strike gets Mel to share her audio file of Lula. In it, Lula asks Rochelle to sign something and says, “I’m gonna see him tonight … after all this time.” Robin guesses Lula meant Deeby Macc.
Based on Lula’s library history and her frequent borrowing of a PhD thesis by a Josiah Agyeman, Robin suspects Agyeman is Lula’s biological father. When she meets with Agyeman’s academic advisor, Robin learns the man is dead. Robin tracks down Agyeman’s pastor who leads her to Jonah Agyeman: Lula’s long-lost brother. Changing their theory, Strike and Robin now think Jonah could be the person Lula was excited to see “after all this time.”
Jonah, a British Army officer, feels guilty about Lula’s death. That night, Jonah had backed out of a plan to meet Lula at her apartment; he thought the news of Josiah’s affair would be too much for his mother to bear. He discloses the fact that Lula had a will drawn up “just to piss her uncle off,” in which her wealth would go to Jonah; but he refused the money. Jonah believes if he had been there, Lula wouldn’t have killed herself.
Strike confronts Tony Landry about his alibi: Tony said he was visiting Lady Bristow, but his credit card record shows he paid for a hotel on the day of Lula’s death. Tony won’t explain why he didn’t support Lula’s adoption, but tells Strike, “I always had Lula’s best interest at heart, from day one.”
At a pool hall, Strike asks his old friend Shanker to investigate the contents of a car. Shanker discovers photographs and a bicycle bell and confirms that a certain address was entered into the car’s navigation.
There is tension between Robin and her fiancé Matthew after she turns down a high-paying corporate job. To smooth things over, Robin suggests Matthew meet Strike for drinks, but he’s not interested.
Strike tells Wardle about Lula’s will. He believes Rochelle was blackmailing Lula’s killer in exchange for keeping the document private.
Back at Lady Bristow’s house, Strike discovers a safe. He cracks it open to find Lula’s Guy Some handbag with an envelope tucked inside the lining. Strike narrowly makes it out before Tony can discover him snooping.
Robin tells Strike she didn’t take the corporate job. Though he wants to keep Robin on, Strike can’t afford to for much longer. With that news, Robin heads to the pub and Strike sits down to reflect on the clues of the case.
John shows up at Strike’s office. Strike says, “I have some distressing news regarding Tony Landry. He knows you killed Lula.” He details the events of the night: John and Lula argued about Jonah, then John snuck into Deeby Macc’s flat where he found the flowers and Guy Some accessories. Hiding himself behind the bouquet, John went back to Lula’s apartment, and pushed her from the balcony ledge.
Strike names John as the murderer of Rochelle and Charlie as well. When Shanker raided the car — John’s —he found Rochelle’s address in the navigation system. The bicycle bell he discovered came from Charlie’s old bike — a memento from when John pushed his brother in the quarry.
With no arguments left to make, John takes a swing at Strike. The two get in a bloody fight and Robin shows up in time to help.
A few weeks later Lady Bristow has passed away. Tony plans to honor Lula’s wishes and leave her money to Jonah. He’ll also pay Strike’s outstanding expenses.
With his debts paid, Strike can afford to keep Robin on, and gives her the green Vashti dress as a bonus. The phone rings as work starts to flow into the office.