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To Say I Love You (Series 1)



Written by: Jimmy McGovern

Produced by: Gub Neal

Directed by: Andy Wilson

Originally Screened: 11/10/93 (Part 1), 18/10/93 (Part 2), 25/10/93 (Part 3)


"I have got a man who has killed for me" - Tina


A twenty year old woman called Tina Brien goes into a pub and is struck by the singing of a man (whose name we discover is Sean Kerrigan) who is involved in a karaoke contest. She approaches him afterwards and discovers that he has a debilitating stutter (something that Jimmy McGovern suffered from as a child). She takes him back to her flat where they make love. Meanwhile, Fitz is sitting in a restaurant waiting for Judith. They have arranged to meet for what he hopes will be a conversation about their marital reconciliation. To his dismay, Judith arrives with her therapist, named Graham. She demands that he give up gambling and in return she will return home. Fitz insists that she come back to their house so he can show her all the clothes that he has bought for her with his winnings. Her response is that the reason why she left them all behind was because they were bought with gambling money.


Tina owes money to a loan shark called Cormack who comes round to her flat that she is now sharing with Sean and takes away the cups that Sean won at karaoke. Desperate, Tina and Sean ask her parents for money. They refuse to lend her any money unless she leaves Sean and returns home. This infuriates Sean who hijacks a bus and is arrested after a short chase. Fitz has also been arrested for refusing to leave his wife alone while she is staying at her parents’ house. Coincidentally he is being held at the same station as Sean. After being unable to calm Sean down, DS Beck brings Fitz into the cell to talk to him. Although Fitz manages to calm Sean down, he recommends that Sean be remanded on bail for psychological reports. Beck refuses and Sean is released on probation. Shortly afterwards, Tina lures Cormack up a dark alley with the promise of sex and Sean savagely beats him to death with a brick. The brutality of this murder committed by her lover arouses Tina and the two of them have sex in the alleyway.


At the scene of the crime, Fitz enlists the aid of Penhaligon in re-enacting how the murder was committed. Later that evening, he goes on a chat show and gives a profile of the two killers. This is watched by Sean and Tina in a bowling alley and panics them into thinking that they are close to being captured. Bilborough is not impressed by Fitz’s interview since he was originally being considered by the studio until they decided that they wanted Fitz. Fitz insists to Bilborough that Sean and Tina will kill again because they evidently derive sexual pleasure from murder but Bilborough does not believe him. DS George Giggs goes to interview Sean and Tina which makes them believe that they are about to be discovered. Tina begins to flirt with Giggs and arranges to meet him later that night. Tina convinces Sean that they will have to murder Giggs to avoid going to prison. They video themselves wearing Spitting Image masks and telling their viewers that they could not bear to be separated from each other because they would die. This film is their attempt to cast themselves in the role of romantic, Bonnie and Clyde characters whose lives have major cultural significance.


Fitz attends Graham’s gambler’s anonymous meeting. However, far from expressing contrition about his “dreadful addiction”, Fitz gets all the other people in the room to start gambling with him. He later tells Graham that “screwing my wife could be very dangerous. It could seriously damage your health”. Judith tells Fitz that she is having dinner with Graham later that night. In retaliation, Fitz arranges to have dinner with Penhaligon in the same restaurant. Humiliated by the realization that she has been used, Penhaligon pours a glass of water over Fitz and walks out. Fitz goes back to Penhaligon’s flat and apologises. She invites him to stay but he refuses.Penhaligon is woken by a call telling her that Giggs has been murdered and his body dumped by a railway line. The tension between herself and Fitz is very apparent when they meet at the crime scene. Sean and Fitz meet at the police station when Sean is signing the probation book. Growing increasingly more paranoid, Sean and Tina decide that they must kill Fitz.


Sean and Tina’s video is found on Giggs’ body and it is played at the station. Fitz immediately recognises Sean. The police rush to Sean and Tina’s flat but there is no one there. Beck and Penhaligon refuse to admit that Fitz had recommended that Sean be held for psychiatric evaluation. When Bilborough talks to Penhaligon about her feelings concerning Gigg’s death, it emerges that her father’s death has had a profound effect on how she copes with loss. (Penhaligon’s devotion to a deceased father is one of the many links between her and the character of Clarice Starling in The Silence of the Lambs: Both are women striving to succeed in an all male law enforcement environment and both have great sympathy and compassion for the victims that they encounter. The loss of paternal figures drives both women towards older father substitutes—something Fitz says about Penhaligon in Men Should Weep. In Penhaligon’s case, that role is filled by Fitz. In Starling’s, it is Hannibal Lecter and Jack Crawford who act as her patriarchs).


Later that evening, Tina approaches Fitz in a pub and asks him to come home with her. Fitz sees through this ruse and has her arrested. Sean is waiting outside in a car and when he sees Tina being escorted out of the pub by police officers, he drives away in a panic. Fitz and Penhaligon try to get Tina to tell them where Sean is but she refuses to do so. Fitz pours scorn on Tina’s belief that violence can be romantic and glamorous. He tells her that he has seen what devastation can be wreaked on a family as a result of a violent death and that “it is always caused by empty headed, self-centred, sentimental pieces of shit like you”. Tina’s response is that she has experienced far greater love and passion than he could ever hope for because she has got “a man who has killed for me”.


Fitz’s own romantic life certainly pales in comparison with Tina’s and this is confirmed when Judith tells him that she has slept with Graham; A revelation that leaves him reeling.

After being promised one final hour with Sean, Tina finally tells the police that he is going to kill her blind sister whom Tina felt had absorbed all the family affection when they were children. Bilborough and his men rush to the family home but Sean is already there and is threatening to blow up the house. Fitz is sent in negotiate with Sean and finally convinces him to let Tina’s sister (Sammy) go. Fitz only gets out of the house in time before it blows up with Sean inside.


Episode Guide written by Graham Price


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The Unofficial Guide To Cracker 1999-2006