An early scene in the seventh episode of The Stranger was probably the most anxiety inducing part of my viewing. From the moment we met Katz, he was already a man on edge. He had a daughter who was always ill, and the doctors did not know why. The stress alone of having a beloved family member constantly struggling would be hard on anyone. The solution Katz chose was one that added even more burden to his already strained psyche; he chose an underhanded job, hoping for a big payday, then he chose to kill Heidi. As he tried to keep his own colleagues off his trail, he chose to frame a missing woman, Corinne. These were the choices of a man who had already decided that no price was too high to pay to get what he wanted, what in his mind was simply part of the performance of his duty as a father.
So, I was massively relieved that Thomas survived that encounter with Katz. Creatively, it was the right call; it would have been very difficult for audiences to accept another loss to the Price family. Within the context of the story, it also made sense. There was little chance that Thomas would go to the cops just to tell them that a fellow cop had a gun; Thomas was far more likely to let the episode go as long as he was unhurt. Thomas was also a friend of Olivia's, the one person Katz genuinely cared about.
It was from Thomas that Katz learned that everything he has been doing of late has been for naught. Olivia was not sick. After Katz left his wife, she started poisoning their daughter. It was a condition called Munchausen by proxy. Thomas told Katz about the rat poison, and Corinne's suspicions that Olivia's mother was hurting her. Katz left Thomas alone on the side of the road, already in a haze of fury which he thankfully did not direct toward the teenager. Even before Katz saw the rat poison in the garage, just as Thomas said, he already knew what his ex wife had done.
The camera trick that followed genuinely made me think Katz went after his ex wife. Only Katz's face could be seen as he ranted about what his ex wife had done; it turned out that he was simply leaving a furious video message. Katz had already taken Olivia out of her mother's house and intended to have her live with him eventually.
When Johanna went to Katz's house, it was because she was concerned about him. Johanna was furious about what she thought were lapses in Katz's performance of his job, like messing up the sting operation and neglecting to add Corinne Price to the missing person's database. When Katz defensively said that he found the evidence linking Corinne to Heidi's murder, Johanna sharply noted that that was strange because Scene of Crime had already swept the scene. Katz may have gotten away with his lies a little bit longer, especially with Johanna feeling sorry for him after he told her what his ex wife did to their daughter, had it not been for Wes. The infant, as Johanna referred to him because of his age, found the evidence pointing to Katz's guilt in the murder of Heidi.
Wes was working alone because Johanna was at Heidi's memorial. When Wes called with a case update, Johanna put her phone on speaker to include Katz. Katz heard how Wes said that on the night of the murder, Katz was seen on CCTV stepping off a train and walking toward Heidi's café. Wes also reminded Johanna that Katz was also in charge of the café CCTV that was mysteriously wiped.
Johanna barely had time to tell Wes she was with Katz before Katz swiped the phone off her palm. Johanna yelled at the phone that she was at Katz's house as the struggle ensued. Johanna managed to lock herself in the upstairs bathroom, with Katz and his gun right outside the door. Fully aware that Katz could break down the door any second, Johanna jumped off the window, injuring her ankle. It was creepy how, after Johanna managed to yell for help, Katz calmly followed her words up with a loud reassurance that she was all right, before he dragged her back into the house.
Was Katz, then, the true villain of The Stranger? Or was he a good man corrupted by need? It was interesting how the show devoted almost an entire episode to Katz, when the eponymous Stranger at this stage did not even know of him. The Stranger, the arbiter of secrets, missed the fact that one of the men Kimberly was sleeping with, one of the men she threatened to expose if Heidi did not pay up, was a powerful businessman who had an unstable head of security.
The episode before the finale opened with a tense chase scene between Adam and the Stranger; the tension rarely let up during its 42 minute run. Yet it was also an episode that had started to provide answers to some of the show's biggest questions. We now know what happened to Dante, and yes, we finally learned the identity of the Stranger.
■ On the night of the bonfire, Dante asked Daisy to go for a walk with him. When they came across a lake, Daisy dared him to go for a swim. Daisy took Dante's clothes and left him naked in the woods. Dante owned up that he likely brought that on himself because he pushed Daisy to come with him. Alone and naked, Dante then saw Max, the caretaker at the football club. Max yelled at him and chased him in the woods. That was all Dante remembered.
■ Max admitted to chasing Dante in the woods. Dante, who liked to film people, took a video of Max, according to Dante, 'fiddling' with a security camera at the football club. Dante told Corinne about what Max was doing. Max claimed that he was fixing the camera, not tampering with it. As Max chased Dante, Dante slipped and fell down the hill. Max claimed he did not know that Dante was hurt, and left him there.
■ Powers claimed that Katz would get 10% of the business once it became a business. This business seemed like a scam by Powers. When Katz tried to tell Powers that he did not need the money because his daughter was not sick after all, Powers reminded him that he killed someone and was already in too deep. Powers was in Katz's house when Johanna came, and had to sneak out through the back.
■ Daisy told Thomas that they should tell the school what was happening to Olivia, and Thomas agreed. Mike and Daisy picked up Thomas on the road after Katz left him.
■ Poor Ryan was crying at night for his mother.
■ Adam told Johanna the sweet tale of how he and Corinne fell in love.
■ Wes: 'Hug?' Johanna: 'Let's not get all American.'
■ Ed brought in a private investigator to help Adam find Corinne. During their conversation, Adam mentioned the Stranger. Ed recognised her as the same woman who approached him. When Adam told Ed that the Stranger was at the hospital where Martin was, Ed was even more convinced that there was a connection between them.
■ Adam and Ed searched Martin's belongings, which were in storage held by Ed's company. Adam found a photograph of Martin and the Stranger.
■ The Stranger went to see Martin at the hospital, because she was Chris or Chrissy, Martin's daughter.