Save Me: What happened in season 1 of the gripping drama starring Lennie James and Suranne Jones
A guide to all the episodes in the first series of NOW TV's award-winning drama Save Me, starring Lennie James, Suranne Jones and Stephen Graham.
Watch Save Me Too on NOW TV from April 1
Womaniser Nelly Rowe (Lennie James) is successful with the ladies, but little else. His life as a carefree geezer is destroyed when he’s suspected of abducting his teenage daughter Jody (Indeyarna Donaldson-Holness), who he hasn’t seen since she was three years old. Suranne Jones stars as Jody’s mother, Claire.
Nelly becomes obsessed with tracking down his daughter, causing upsetting revelations about some of his closest friends, and taking him into some of the seediest parts of London.
In the fastest-binged Sky box set in history (40,000 people watched the entire series on the first day alone), Nelly struggles with the fact that someone close to him has attempted to frame him in Jody’s disappearance.
As series 2, called Save Me Too, becomes available on NOW TV on April 1, we look back at the first season and catch up with the story so far.
*Warning – spoilers ahead*
Deadbeat Nelly ekes out an existence on a south London council estate, sinking pints in his local pub, The Palm Tree, and visiting his various lovers.
He’s shocked when the police turn up at the door of his on/off girlfriend Teens (Kerry Godliman) and arrest him on suspicion of abducting his estranged daughter.
He hasn’t seen his daughter, Jody, in a decade but he learns from the police that she has spent the past nine months messaging someone she believed to be him, and left her mother’s house to go and visit him.
It seems like someone close to Nelly is trying to frame him for the kidnapping, and the police draw up a list of people who know Nelly and who might be suspects.
After being attacked on the estate by unknown individuals, Nelly is rescued by cross-dresser Tam (Jason Flemyng). Tam informs Nelly that his friend Melon (Stephen Graham, pictured above) has been picked up by the police and hasn’t been seen since.
Jody’s mother Claire and stepfather Barry (Barry Ward) stage a press conference asking for help with her disappearance. Barry offers a reward for information.
Meanwhile, Nelly starts an investigation of his own. Having discovered that Melon has a secret past as a sex offender, he wants some answers. Goz (Thomas Coombes), a fellow pub-goer, discovers where Melon and his wife Bernie are hiding out, and Nelly turns up at their door brandishing a knife.
Stephen Graham’s sublime acting skills are flexed in this emotional episode which sees him tell Nelly about his attraction to a young girl, and how he was convicted of sleeping with a 15-year-old, who it turns out is now his wife, Bernie (Alice May Feetham). This revelation about his friend causes Nelly to question whether Melon is involved in Jody’s disappearance. With his computer skills, Nelly thinks Melon has the tools to pose as Nelly online and, as a friend of his, would be able to convince Jody that he was her dad.
Zita, a stripper and another of Nelly’s on/off girlfriends, warns Nelly to be careful around Melon. She agrees to introduce him to Richard Rosewall, the owner of a private members' club which is actually an underage brothel. Melon trawls the dark web looking for possible videos of Jody.
Claire grows increasingly suspicious of her husband Barry. He admits that he tried to sell drugs at his club, but now owes some scary people £100,000, and they want it back.
Nelly learns that Jody made a distress call to the police, which seems to have come from an area in South London. He goes door-to-door trying to find where Jody is being held captive, and discovers an abandoned house. He returns with Claire to investigate. They find Jody’s jumper covered in blood and alert the police.
Melon’s young wife Bernie begs her husband to share what he’s been looking at online and is horrified by what she sees. Nelly also starts going through the videos that Melon has been watching and spots the house where he found Jody’s jumper, but it’s a different girl in the video.
Nelly and Melon visit the brothel owned by Richard Rosewall (Struan Rodger). Melon discovers that Jody has been placed in a sordid auction by sex traffickers. It costs £1000 just to get in and another £15,000 to buy her. Nelly asks Claire for the money.
The police confirm that the blood on the jumper found by Nelly and Claire did belong to Jody.
Goz discovers a photo of Jody in fellow pub regular Gavin’s (Ragevan Vasan) room. In a shocking scene, Gavin steps in front of a lorry and is killed, as his friend Luke (Alexander Arnold, pictured above), also a familiar face at the Palm Tree, watches on.
Goz tells Nelly about the photo he found in Gavin’s desk. Things get heated in the pub as Nelly questions why Gavin would have had a picture of his daughter. Luke says something that makes Nelly suspicious.
In the dramatic final episode, Nelly stages a lock-in to confront Luke, who Nelly has discovered is the one who lured Jody and attempted to frame Nelly for the crime.
Claire, desperate to get her daughter back, sources £12,000 so Nelly can enter the auction. However, Nelly quickly finds himself out of his depth and he is outbid.
There’s no Hollywood ending here. After Claire extracts some information from Luke, Nelly thinks he has at last found Jody, but it turns out to be another girl who looks like his daughter. Saving someone else is no consolation for Nelly, or the viewers, and we have to wait until season 2 to see if Jody is rescued.
Watch Save Me on NOW TV. The second series, Save Me Too, will be available on NOW TV from April 1.