‘Des’ recap: What happened in Episode 2?

ITV’s ’80s true crime drama Des continued in the UK tonight.

The three-part mini-series follows the arrest and trial of real-life serial killer Dennis Nilsen.

Based on Brian Masters’ book Killing for Company, Des dramatises one of the most infamous cases in UK criminal history.

The story is told through the prism of three men – Dennis Nilsen, played by David Tennant (Broadchurch), Detective Chief Inspector Peter Jay, played by Daniel Mays (Line of Duty), and biographer Brian Masters, played by Jason Watkins (The Crown).

Watch the trailer:


Here’s a plot recap for the second episode of Des, which aired on ITV at 9pm on Tuesday 15th September 2020:

With limited resources, Jay and the police continue to dig into Nilsen’s memories in an effort to identify and convict him for the murder of every one of his victims.

But when Des suddenly withdraws his cooperation and stops talking to the police, Jay fears justice will be lost.

Meanwhile, Des confides increasingly in Brian, which proves a unique obstacle for Jay, who has never had to deal with a criminal biographer before.

As Brian’s sessions give Des the opportunity to analyse and confront the possible reasons for his crimes, he considers the prospect that he may not be guilty of murder after all.

Through ingenious detective work, Jay’s team manage to identify six victims, yet Jay is deeply frustrated as Nilsen will escape justice for the majority of his crimes.

At the pre-trial hearing, Nilsen shockingly pleads not guilty.

Brian is dumbfounded that he might be partly responsible for this change of heart, while Jay is devastated that having feared he might not get justice for the nine victims they haven’t identified, now he might not even get justice for the six they have.

Brian Masters’ book Killing for Company is available on Amazon.