“Episode #1.2” is episode two of season one of Hard Sun.
In the previous episode, a hacker had got hold of some information related to something called Hard Sun. He was killed shortly afterwards, by another hacker, one who specialised in corporate espionage, for whom he was working in an argument over what to do with the information. DCI Hicks and DI Renko – who had been assigned to the former’s team following the murder of his previous DI; a murder she is looking into herself, as Hicks was sleeping with the dead man’s wife and may have committed the murder (he’s a bit dodgy) – investigated and came across the hacktivist.
They, despite being told to leave the case, continued and arrested the hacker as he was meeting a client. They weren’t the only people after him; the original hack was traced. The hacktivist and his client were both killed – apparently by MI5 – who then went after Hicks and Renko. They looked into what Hard Sun was – information on an extinction level event which will wipe out the human race in five years. MI5, or so it is assumed, took Hicks’ family hostage and he and Renko fought over the data; she, rightly, pointing out that after handing the data over they would be killed as well. Renko won and was at the end taking the Hard Sun information to the media.
This episode picks up where the previous one left off. Hicks is stumbling to a phone call, and is also being watched by CCTV. Hicks calls home and tells the woman who spoke to him that he doesn’t have the flash drive. Following the call a car arrives and men jump out. Hicks is chased down and stunned.
Renko is already speaking to a reporter – he’s a bit shocked. Renko tells the reporter that everyone who has seen the information has been killed, so if he wants to stay alive, he needs to run the story.
Hicks has been hauled away and strapped to a chair in an abandoned building. The woman he spoke to on the phone arrives and asks to know where the flash drive. Renko is already recording an ‘If I’m dead’ video. The woman speaking to Hicks is demanding to know Renko’s location, and is threatening his family unless he does. Hicks doesn’t actually know, so they are going to start with his, pregnant, wife. So Hicks starts making stuff up to try and protect his family. After all, he doesn’t actually have any information. The woman gives the order to kill Hicks’ wife but, before it happens, she gets told that Renko has released a video. A police raid is made on the place the reporter worked, but he isn’t there and has already filed the story. Renko didn’t give him everything, but the secret is out and now killing Hicks, Renko or their loved ones will result in everything being released to the media.
Four weeks later and the reporter is being interviewed on television. The story is being called the biggest hoax since the Hitler Diaries. He’s lost his reputation and his career as a result. The story is being watched by Renko’s son, Daniel, who tried to kill her. Even though the story has been discredited, many people still believe it to be true. Sure, this happens all the time – only this time it seems the conspiracy theorists are right.
Renko is concerned by what MI5 have done to the story. Hicks says it’s too late, it’s out of the box, and all the lunatics and fanatics and religious nutters will crawl out of the woodwork. And one already has – after watching a video on the subject, he went and killed a man and perhaps a woman too.
Hicks is wondering what the point of it all is now, and Renko is the only person he can talk to on the matter. And she is still looking into him. Her boss, Detective Chief Superintendent Roland Bell, wants to know why she hasn’t proved that Hicks killed his friend yet. Renko says it’s due to lack of evidence, but she made a deal – her son was kept out of prison for trying to kill her in exchange for Charlie Hicks. Hicks’ wife has left him and taken their daughter. She won’t come home until Charlie tells her what was going on and who the people who picked her up were (she didn’t see the gun).
The case Renko and Hicks have is of the man from earlier – he was not killed at the beginning but had his arms and legs broken and was fastened to a chair whilst his wife, and business partner, was raped. They are now both dead. They ran a PR company involved in reputation management, so that is a possible source of suspects, but Hicks believes that they knew their killer. The assistant of the murdered couple is the ex-wife of the man who murdered them, he’s got a bit of a grudge against his ex, and Hard Sun has pushed him over the edge.
The MI5 woman is also trying to set Hicks against Renko, by the sounds of it suggesting that Renko knows more than she actually does. Renko also still has possession of enough Hard Sun data that it won’t seem like a hoax if she releases it.