Friday Forum: Law & Order: UK Episode 3.4, "Confession" - Discussion Thread - Jamie Bamber News
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Friday Forum: Law & Order: UK Episode 3.4, "Confession" - Discussion Thread
 

 
Episode 3.4 - "Confession", by Terry Cafolla

Moment we've all been waiting for, people. ;) First of all, let me just say that I'm going to touch on my favorite parts of the episode, which are MANY. But in general there was so much flailing that I probably still won't catch it all. We'll play catch-up in the comments.


- We've seen so many stills of the opening scene where Matt arrives on the crime scene that I almost feel like it was anti-climactic! Still a great intro, though, and quickly supplemented big-time by the scene where he has to tell Pete's wife. Her reaction when she sees Matt's face... every cop's wife's worst nightmare. Gutting. :(

- Awww, and Matt doing his best to distract Pete's son when he wakes up. "How's my little striker?" Gutting x 2.

- Love the pace and dialogue as Ronnie and Natalie exhaust every possibility and Matt continues to rule out the uglier ones - I'd compared the contrast between Matt and Ronnie's demeanors in "Samaritan" and "Honour Bound" before, but this is much more a companion piece to "Honour Bound" in that sense because this is personal for Matt the way Jimmy Valentine was personal to Ronnie. (Of course, it's different in that Pete was innocent so Matt's instincts were correct, but still... it does impair a bit of his purely-objective detective's eye for a while.) Also, small side note, I love that Natalie flies off the handle about Pete having taken a weapon w/out signing for it - mentioning kids who might get a hand on it. That's the mum in her talking. <3

- Again, Ronnie's experiences when he was drinking inform the case in that he realizes Pete's heavy drinking was to drown away some kind of pain. (I tell you, I love this team of writers for really using what we do know about the characters to constantly inform their work.)

- Such a touching, sad scene when they're back at the house and Mel is talking about Pete's behavior. "What did I think he was worth?" - you can see where Matt's having a hard time hearing it because he didn't know any of this was going on. (Jamieeeee... we're 10 minutes in and you're just killin' it. *applause* :D)

- "No one calls me Matthew anymore." OH DAMN. The gloves are off. *fist-pump* (Also, love Ronnie's double-take of that line.)

- "Maybe he's a fan of CSI?" - oh, LULZ. I'll probably drop a few more amusing lines before this is done, but I'll make the point now: Terry Cafolla's a master of working in humor when the material is generally grim. It never rings false, somehow it just works. Love that he drew the straw on this episode! (Also, w/ regard to the Catholic Church vs. child abuse matters, he's from a Catholic background himself so he totally gets it.)

- "Well done, Victor, thank you!" Nearly died laughing when Ronnie swiped that cuppa out of someone else's hand. XD

- "Well I guess that shows how little you really knew him, Matt." OUCH. First of all, I love the actor who plays Harry, he's fantastic. (Particularly when he crumbles on the witness stand later.) Also, again, great subtext regarding how Matt compartmentalizes his pain moreso than any of his friends; even if he wasn't one of the kids who were abused by Nugent, he's no doubt got experience in compartmentalizing from an early age because he was physically abused by his dad. Also, being a cop, it's part of the job and he's definitely committed to his job. Not to say that Pete wasn't, but some people have an easier time of it than others. The fact that Harry calls him on it here, though, is a real wake-up call, not only in this regard but in his general habit of seeing things very cut-and-dry, black-and-white. That's such a central part of his arc here, and it plays out both in the writing and in Jamie's performance beautifully.

- Ronnie playing bad cop when questioning the first officers on the scene: Bless ya, Ron! Taking some of the burden off Matt. (Who is really, really trying to hold in his frustration at this point.) Also, when the cops come clean about disturbing the crime scene and why - the look on Jamie's face when Matt realizes he was thinking so hard about disproving suicide he didn't realize what suicide would mean for Mel and the kids' compensation. Gah.

- How much do I LOVE Ronnie going behind James's back and getting Alesha to help them work out an angle? COPPERS STICK TOGETHER. <3 (Also, Alesha sacked out on the couch and her first word on waking is "PTSD!" You go, girl.)

- "You know, tomorrow is Saturday. I like Saturdays!" NEVER ENOUGH GEORGE. XD

- Interesting that there's a moment where Matt's dealing with his anger at Pete for committing suicide by calling him a coward. He may still feel that way in the end, but he's still a ways from fully comprehending what his friend was dealing with. (Oh, but he gets there. And he starts by being so supportive of Harry in getting him to testify, and then in court.)

- "What do you do that winds these people up?"... "Oh, you know. Breathe." Bahaha! ZING, two points, Steel.

- The character of the priest who speaks for the Cardinal is so interesting. dramaturgca and I were chatting and realized he's a lot like the less aggressive defense briefs who are just doing their job, ugly tho it may be at times. Massive points for him being written as far from a mustache-twirling villain, he's just carrying out orders.

- "Detective? I need your help." Ohh, BAD IDEA, Father Nugent. Well, OK, he ends up getting what he came for, but damned if you can't see Matt holding back the urge to throw a punch every single second during that scene. (And the "I have a confession to make" red herring was GREAT. Also for a second I went "Hang on, how did I ever miss a picture of a CAT on Matt's desk?... oh, no, wait, there's a glass full of Jelly Babies, too. It's Ronnie's desk." LOL)

- "Your observations are based on files and heresay, aren't they, doctor?"..."No more than your observations of a man, Mr. Ripley." ZING, two points, sassy Scottish psychologist!

- I don't have much to say about the scene between Matt and Mel on the park bench other than it's lovely and heartbreaking. Yeah. *sniffle*

- More Cafolla gushing... love that he worked George's "Remind me never to play you at poker" line in one scene straight into "You play high stakes, Mr. Steel" from the priest in the next. Poker references book-ending the CHUNG!-CHUNG! Love it.

- Absolutely LOVE that James won't budge an inch when Ripley tries to talk him down on the plea.

- Nice call-back to the Matt/Alesha scene in "Samaritan" when she tells him "I'm not broken" after he asks after her well-being. No, Matt, you're not damaged goods either. No matter how painful, we live and we learn and we're stronger for it.

- Jeez, where do I start with the courtroom scene? Other than Jamie NAILING THAT SCENE TO THE WALL. XD I mean, sure, this being a Bamber comm we expected greatness but really, inarguably his best work on the show to date. An excellently written scene where we really get to see Matt's conviction holding up and convincing the jury, in turn. His natural ease with confrontation and unwillingness to back down just sticks the case's landing beautifully, and there's so much authentic fire in Jamie's performance. (Naturally, there's the urge to compare it to Lee's big witness stand moment in BSG, isn't there? Heh. But again, nice to contrast the two characters; Lee could always give a great fight if he had to, but he generally preferred not to, it was a last resort. With Matt, even though it's rough going in, once he's on the stand there's no hesitation whatsoever.)

- But even if he stood his ground at the time, some of the words that were hurled at him are going to stick. Gawwwd, that last scene. Easily my favorite scene in the show so far - for the amazing dialogue, for how amazingly Jamie plays the anguish, for Ronnie's steadfast supportiveness. For, yet again, a perfectly pitched injection of humor. ("I lost an entire decade to cheap whiskey. Luckily, it was the 1980's." RONNIE FTMFW!!! :D ) Love that Matt admits to it being a long, long time since he went to confession. (Kind of suspected as much since he grudgingly admitted lighting a candle for the dead boy in "Buried.") But now's definitely the time. Gaaaah, the last shot. Head in hands. Who wants to give DS Devlin a cuddle? Line starts behind me. ;)

Okay, I've rambled on far too long, I hope I left some of you something to discuss. PLEASE... discuss... discuss away like your life depends on it!

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42 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
dramaturgca From: dramaturgca Date: October 1st, 2010 07:27 am (UTC) (Link Me)
You're trying to make it so all we have left to talk about is the way he wears a suit. And then you sound all intelligent and the rest of us sound like shallow bimbos. :P

Okay, thoughts:
One of things that Jamie does that sells this episode so hard is facial expressions. The jaw twitches in the first scene with Nugent, the stone face when they go to arrest Nugent. The little unspoken details.
I found the fact that Mel didn't collapse on Matt, Matt went to hug her a lovely moment. Mel is clearly a very strong woman and it adds to the character of Matt as a man who does understand emotions, even if he has difficulty with them
Of course, that contrasts directly with his inability to see Pete and Harry as victims. He's so tightly compartmentalized that it narrows his vision, which we've seen before as he can't believe that one copper would abandon another, that a mother would have her own daughter kidnapped... As we say in my little viewing circle "It's 9:15, it must be time for Matty's ideals to be shattered again"
For the first time this season so far, I didn't find James's self-righteousness irritating and smack-worthy. He walked the line and while he did charge in with his "bullyboy tactics" he also made decisions like not laying into Father Aiden that I really appreciated. It also helped that Alesha took some of the righteous badgering on.
Matt and Alesha... Can I just say that I still think Matt and Alesha would be lovely together? The moment between them in the courthouse showed beautiful solidarity, and the fact that she looked back to see Matt's reaction to the verdict. It was a lovely bit of cinematography that showed the characters very well.
I admit to being quite grateful that Terry didn't go the route of having Matt be one of the abused. In the sequence in Natalie's office, I was quite gutted by the idea that Matt would have to lift his head and say that he was a victim, too. I agree that the ending was left a little vague, but I feel like, given Matt's obvious disappointment in Harry for lying on the stand about the abuse, he would've had to come clean himself or be a hypocrite.
If Jamie isn't nominated for a ton of awards out of this, I will be extremely disappointed. Kudos to Jamie, Terry, Emilia, and the whole cast on a fantastic episode.

Edited at 2010-10-01 07:28 am (UTC)
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: October 1st, 2010 07:35 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Whaaa?? Heavens no, my dear, please re-iterate anything you like even if I covered it. IT'S ALL GOOD. (I just couldn't be helped, it all came pouring out of me like a giant brain-flail. LOL) Seriously, you did a pretty bang-up job there with the follow up so don't you dare start selling yourself short. ;)

"It's 9:15, it must be time for Matty's ideals to be shattered again"

Ha hahaha... truth. *pets him* The idealism does get him into trouble time and again, doesn't it? Though asta77 is right in that he seems to have matured a lot in this series. Makes sense that in this episode, though, he struggles.

And I'm with you on the decision not to make Matt one of the victims. (In case anyone didn't see it or didn't know, in the original L&O episode, Mike Logan (Chris Noth) is in fact one of the victims and that comes out during the investigation.) It's a much more interesting conundrum this way, even though at the end Matt even starts to question his own memories. A far more thought-provoking puzzle to work out.
pipsytip From: pipsytip Date: October 1st, 2010 08:07 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Hey i'm very attached to spotting just how many shirts Matty wears ;)

Tremendous ep. You've already summed up a lot of what I wanted to say.

But I loved this episode; I just wanted to hug Matty right the way through it. Loved the line : "No one calls me Matthew anymore." And Ronnie's reaction to it.

He's a complex creature our Matty and the more I watch the more I love the partnership between Matt and Ronnie.

Oh and Jamie desereves a Bafta for that performance.

asta77 From: asta77 Date: October 2nd, 2010 04:11 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Oh and Jamie desereves a Bafta for that performance.

WORD.
esmerelda_t From: esmerelda_t Date: October 1st, 2010 09:18 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Another epidode that shows how much the show has improved. I was also slightly worried Matt was going to be one of the victims and thought it was a bit much given the Aleesha storyline last year (or was it the year before? I forget now) but I think it was handled excellently.

We're not sure because Matt himself isn't sure anymore, I thought that was quite realistic in that way you think you remember things as a kid but someone else you grew up with swears it didn't happen and in the end you're not sure yourself.
pinkylilie From: pinkylilie Date: October 1st, 2010 11:19 am (UTC) (Link Me)
well, I don't know how to say, this episode is brillant and sad and he shake me up...
Story, first of all, is really difficult and the fact that it's related somehow to Matt is even more difficult.
I really love the natural act of all the actors, they're just amazing, and of course Jamie is excellent, he plays so much range of emotions, I've had tears to the eye ...He's such a good actor and I really hope he'll nominated or acclaim by people for his good job...
I love the good chemistry between Ronnie and Matt here, like father and son.And I love chemistry between Alesha and Matt too, the way she's holding his hand makes me smile...
The scene between Nugent and Matt in the office, the "confession" thing,is really great, I love Matt's eyes and his way to look the man,we can feel that he refrains to punch him...
Very very good and intense episode, this season is absolutely amazing!
Thanks to Jamie, Terry, Emilia and the others!
scifishipper From: scifishipper Date: October 1st, 2010 12:32 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Oh, Jamie. You gutted me here, babe. I had to pause the episode when Matty was called to the courtroom to testify. I was very nervous that he would reveal abuse and so relieved when he did not. Since the comparisons have been drawn, I also think his confrontation with Nugent on the stand was unlike Lee Adama in so many ways that I appreciated: his immediate willingness to go to the anger, to eschew any pretense of neutrality - there were no philosophical issues for him. It was raw and personal and I loved James' little smirks when Matty nailed the defense's questions a few times. "Sorry, I missed the question in that?" had me grinning! GO MATTY!

The final scene, though. For me, given my somewhat limited JB repertoire, is his finest acting to date. My favorite moment is actually when Matty's back is to the camera and he breaks into tears and says he doesn't know what he remembers. And him crumbling at the end, the anguish and pain seemed raw and real and I agree that he deserves to be noticed for bringing that level of acting to a weekly cop drama.

I've respected Jamie's acting for a long time, but felt he was best suited for subtle work - esp with his tremendous ability to emote with facial expression, but here he's pushed himself beyond my expectations and left me crying. Well done, Jamie. Well done.

Edited at 2010-10-01 12:34 pm (UTC)
asta77 From: asta77 Date: October 1st, 2010 05:24 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I was very nervous that he would reveal abuse and so relieved when he did not.

You and everyone else! I asked Terry about the abuse and choices they made on Twitter. He provided some interesting information. I'll make sure to copy and paste to the thread later.

As much as I loved Jamie's work on BSG, I have to completely agree with you that his work in "Confession" was his best to date. It's weird to say, but I was so proud of him. :)
asta77 From: asta77 Date: October 1st, 2010 05:09 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I really need to watch it again before I can properly organize my thoughts, but I did want to touch upon some things you mentioned.

Again, Ronnie's experiences when he was drinking inform the case in that he realizes Pete's heavy drinking was to drown away some kind of pain. (I tell you, I love this team of writers for really using what we do know about the characters to constantly inform their work.)

This is probably not the best comparison to make, but as a viewer of Cougartown, where the characters every week are seen downing glass after glass of wine and there's no acknowledgment they have a problem, it's refreshing when a series does acknowledge increased frequency and quantity of drinking signals a problem. Maybe Pete wasn't an alcoholic, but it made sense Ronnie would see the signs and know there is an underlying problem.

I'll probably drop a few more amusing lines before this is done, but I'll make the point now: Terry Cafolla's a master of working in humor when the material is generally grim. It never rings false, somehow it just works.

If it can be done well, as it was here, I always appreciate when humor is interjected into such serious subject matter. The audience needs the relief (as do the characters). When that tension is released, even momentarily, it helps one to clear their head and refocus. For the audience, it can be hard to watch from beginning to end otherwise.

And the exchanges between George and James were another highlight of the episode for me. I was laughing out loud several times.

First of all, I love the actor who plays Harry, he's fantastic. Particularly when he crumbles on the witness stand later.)

He was fabulous. And I love that the series highers actors rather than names. The US procedurals, whether it be part of the L&O franchise or CSI or another, too often resort to stunt casting. The whole Bieber casting on CSI immediately spring to mind. Because most of the time, these celebrities cannot act. End of rant. ;)

Jeez, where do I start with the courtroom scene?

You mentioned BSG, but let me also throw in Hornblower. What is it with Jamie and courtroom scenes? And more kudos to Jamie because I don't fail to see three very different characters. I would say both Lee and Matt are shouldering a lot of guilt in regards to their actions (or non-action) and allow their emotion to pour out on the stand, but Matt does compartmentalize and isn't willing to shoulder the responsibility alone.

Could Matt have done more for Pete? It's really hard to say. It seemed to me Pete was coping (or perhaps burying his past) until he discovered his abuser had returned and everything came flooding back. And Pete also seemed to assume how Matt would react if he took everything to him so Pete very much isolated himself in his final months of life.

I've been arguing for years Jamie is an underrated actor. I want to force his naysayers to watch this episode. One sign of real talent to me is the ability of an actor to hold your attention without saying a word. There were many scenes where Matt was saying little, but you new exactly how he was feeling. It's showing instead of telling and it's a real gift.
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: October 1st, 2010 07:43 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
When that tension is released, even momentarily, it helps one to clear their head and refocus. For the audience, it can be hard to watch from beginning to end otherwise.

I absolutely agree. Relentlessly bleak dramas tend to rub me the wrong way unless there are some moments of levity to deflate the tension.

I've been arguing for years Jamie is an underrated actor. I want to force his naysayers to watch this episode. One sign of real talent to me is the ability of an actor to hold your attention without saying a word. There were many scenes where Matt was saying little, but you new exactly how he was feeling. It's showing instead of telling and it's a real gift.

THIS X 1000. Not that I don't love it when an actor nails a particularly good line reading, but the moments in which an actor makes their character speak without dialogue are the really standout moments in a performance for me.

By the way, shamey shame on me for neglecting Mr. Kennedy's moment on the stand. Although given its placement in his arc, maybe I blocked it out for a reason. :P
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: October 1st, 2010 08:21 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Didn't really have time to do this until lunch. It is now lunch. ;)







scifishipper From: scifishipper Date: October 1st, 2010 08:29 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I strongly approve of this comment. :D:D:D
lemurling From: lemurling Date: October 1st, 2010 09:45 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
First post to the community (sorry it's so huge, I guess I've been saving up to want to analyze this show).

My favorite moments to watch for are Mattie's "angry smiles". He occasionally loses his temper and starts shouting, but I think that's often just for effect, just part of his bad cop routine, setting up Ronnie to be all sweet and reasonable. Not that Matt's not angry when he yells, but that it's a more generalized frustration and anger. When he starts talking really gently and smiling a lot, that's when I think he's the most dangerously, murderously angry. Because he wants to cry, and so he smiles instead. No one should ever make Matt want to cry.
-- When he's telling Ronnie about the priest's community service, and then "And he's also a pedophile." Oh that bright smile is excruciating!
-- He just starts to smile when he's talking to Harry the first time, about Pete having handled the molestation years before, and Harry is pushing him on it. Nice distraction by Ronnie here to ask about the photo trying to defuse the tension.
-- The interview with the on-the-scene cops, Mattie breaks into little smiles the whole way through, even as his jaw is twitching.
-- The courtroom testimony, you can catch little moments of smiling, especially when the defending barrister is talking, little shivers of anger (also, nervous licking of his lips!) but the bit at the end, "I don't need anything except for that pedophile to be locked away," is a classic Devlin hate-smile.

Speaking of the jaw... Is it wrong that I find suppressed emotion so mesmerizing? Mattie grinning and flirting and being Irish roguish is utterly charming; Mattie shouting and impassioned is brutal on the maternal instincts; Mattie hollow cheeked and haunted and one step away from murder or tears is devastatingly erotic. Maybe that's just me.

Mattie was chewing gum all through the first interview with Nugent. Gum chewing for nausea? For when he needs to keep his mouth occupied so he doesn't say something stupid? I'm still figuring out if there's a pattern to when Matt chews gum, but it's one of my favorite little character ticks in the show.

I guess I had so much to say, it wouldn't fit, so more in a minute.
lemurling From: lemurling Date: October 1st, 2010 09:46 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I loved the "I hate it when you call me that" bit with Ronnie calling Matt Sunshine, but the best part was Ronnie's "Don't worry my sweet luv," rejoinder right after. These guys are adorable, and there's something intensely strong and confident about their affection.

Ronnie is way more demonstrative though. For all that Matt is the one who gets intense and shouty, Ronnie's the one who actually opens up and gets intimate (talking about his past so much, etc.), and I think even he is a bit uncomfortable with Matt's emotions all through the episode (though Matt is obviously much more uncomfortable with his own). There's a couple places where he downplays them, like with Natalie where she asks if Matt has talked about it, or where they're sitting on the steps and Matt's calling Pete a coward, and Ronnie just deflects it rather than go there. Even the end scene he keeps deflecting Mattie away from the emotion, rather than encouraging him to talk or otherwise express it. I think Ron is scared how Matt might react if Matt lets himself feel all of this too deeply.

While I'm not shipping anyone, I do think that the Alesha-James PTSD scene had some nice undertones of heat and intimacy, and it wouldn't surprise me if they are later shown to have been seeing each other at the time of the episode.

Also, "With all due respect, I think his lust was of a very different sort." That was some seriously shivery delivery by James... So was "What will be good enough?" "Nothing."

I actually read the Alesha-Matt scene as rather twisted. She is being tender with him, and proud of him, and touches his hand, and he... makes a joke about how he should have talked up his emotional damage earlier, since it's such a good way to get Alesha's attention? That says something not too nice, either about how he sees their relationship (she is cold to him unless he's suffering), his emotions (not worth acknowledging, joke about it instead), or his masculinity (I'm being emotional, quick, hit on someone). Mostly B, but perhaps a little of A and C too. Not that this is a really strongly unpleasant moment or anything, just that I didn't read it as 'aww how sweet/romantic/shippy' but rather 'ouch, Mattie really can't handle being vulnerable, can he?'

I thought the blocking was interesting in the scene at the end. Matt sat a the edge of the pew, so that no one could sit next to him without brushing past him which no one would do, and Ronnie sat behind him, rather than trying to get him to budge over, or sitting in front where Ron could turn around to see Matt's face. There had to be enough visual and physical space for Mattie to feel safe expressing himself. He couldn't bear to have Ronnie actually see him break down. Have we seen Matt cry before?
kaitlia777 From: kaitlia777 Date: October 1st, 2010 11:13 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Just popping in to join you all in the opinion that Jamie hit this one out of the park. He's been doing a great job, but this was outstanding.

I like the way they handled the whole situation with the pervert priest. It's a very sensitive topic and too often shows seem to use it for a plot point but don't know how to deal with things without being heavy handed. As an Irish Catholic raised in the Boston area, I know many people are still reeling from the abuses they suffered as kids.

The end, dear lord, Matt's confusion and inability to trust his own memories, that made my heart ache. I could totally see him surpressing something that bad. He already had the abusive father to deal with and his little psyche just couldn't handle being abused by 'a good and holy' man. (Sorry, the 'good and holy' man thing was always how my gran referred to men and women of the church. I think many people of her generation have had the hardest time accepting what so many priests have done.)

I also liked the litte Matt/Alesha moment. "Damaged goods." Oh, Mattie. *hugs*
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: October 2nd, 2010 12:16 am (UTC) (Link Me)
(Sorry, the 'good and holy' man thing was always how my gran referred to men and women of the church. I think many people of her generation have had the hardest time accepting what so many priests have done.)

Yeah, it's interesting that the episode makes reference to Pete's mum (Matt tells Mel "Don't worry about it, I'll take care of it. I'll tell Mary."), but we never see her. It's interesting that she's not there in court; possibly she's living in another city now or something, but given that she would be of an older generation I wonder if she had the "good and holy man" attitude or not? Blinkers on, trying to forget the pain of what was done to her son. For that matter, did Matt's mum have that outlook too? What about the mums?! ;)
damao2010 From: damao2010 Date: October 2nd, 2010 04:08 am (UTC) (Link Me)
I started watching LOUK just because of JB but I didn't like it very much so I only watched a couple of eps really. I get the impression this new season is much better than the previous ones, though. At least it has made me want to go back and watch a few more old eps.
Anyway, I loved Jamie's performance. It was very emotional but not over the top. And I think his last scene, in the church, was one of his finest moments as an actor.
On a shallow note, boy does he look handsome!
asta77 From: asta77 Date: October 2nd, 2010 04:37 am (UTC) (Link Me)
The consensus seems to be that this current batch of episodes is stronger than the first thirteen. And I feel the actors are now much more in tune with their characters and had time over the hiatus to really think about their roles and decide what they wanted to do going forward. This series it really feels as of these people have worked together for awhile and are friends.
asta77 From: asta77 Date: October 2nd, 2010 01:34 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
As (belatedly) promised, I asked Terry on Twitter about Matt not having been a victim of the priest's abuse:

I believe in the original L&O, it was established Det Logan was abused by his priest as a child. For several reasons (including he's already suffered abuse at the hands of his father), I appreciate the direction that was chosen for Matt, but was the possibility of making him a victim as well discussed and, if so, why it was rejected?

And here's what Terry had to say:

Ohhhhh yes that question was discussed and discussed and discussed and ... you probably get the idea by now. :) There was even a draft where Matt was the only kid not abused - Harry and Pete ganged up against Nugent to protect Matt. The problem with that story was that even though it was Matts backstory, in a way it more their story than Matts. With Alesha being a victim of rape and Matt already having mentioned he had been beaten by his dad (well remembered by the way!!!) it was felt we were getting a little close to making all our heroes victims (throw in Ronnies fondness of the drink in the 80's) and it felt like we were stretching the reality of the world to breaking point. Whats your take? Were we right? Wrong?

As I've mentioned already, I completely agree with the decision made. In addition to the reasons Terry sited, given what we know of Matt, he seemed to be doing a hell of a job repressing what had been done to him if it had been done to him. And to also have Matt be the victim of sexual assault seemed like too much character baggage to be dealing with on a weekly basis.

However, I do feel Matt being forced to face what had happened to his friends, and acknowledging an inability to deal with it, is good character development and perhaps good for him in the long run. Up to this point, it doesn't seem as if he's fully confronted his own past abuse. It's also interesting to see him ask 'Why not me?' Why was he spared? And from a dramatic standpoint, I preferred seeing Matt deal with his guilt and perceived failure rather than shame.
scifishipper From: scifishipper Date: October 2nd, 2010 01:43 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Thanks for this! It's lovely to read such thoughtful discussion of Matty's character. I love their choice to keep him as one not having suffered abuse. It does seem so much more in character for him to be facing his guilt and refusal to deal with his friend's pain. The fact that he is confused in the end only highlights his sometimes stubborn lack of insight into his own past. I love his character more and more each week and I'm delighted to hear that the writers, etc. are giving him so much depth. Bravo!
spongetrisha From: spongetrisha Date: October 3rd, 2010 08:45 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
First of all can I say well done to Terry and the crew who did a fantastic job on this episode.

Jamie did an increadible job in this episode, he was on it from the first scene. He was amazing and showed us all what a brilliant actor he really is, I was almost in tears at the end.

I absolutely loved teh scene in the church with Matt and Ronnie it was so touching and like I say I was almost a blubbering wreck at the end of it.

suzy_74 From: suzy_74 Date: October 28th, 2010 11:35 am (UTC) (Link Me)
This episode certainly showed me how much more I wish we could see of Matt. I know it isn't that type of show but I can still wish for it.

I think Jamie really knows how to play on emotions wordlessly. Makes me ache to see him.

I'm not sure I truly know the characters. That's why I love to read all these in depths thoughts on the characters. (Has managed to see episodes 1-6 of S3). Makes me understand them better. :D
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