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Jamie Bamber News - 'Law & Order: UK' Episode 5.2, "Safe" - Open Thread
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'Law & Order: UK' Episode 5.2, "Safe" - Open Thread

"Safe", written by Emilia di Girolamo


Week 2 of the L&O:UK discussion thread, so you know the drill. ;) Go forth and share your thoughts!

And after you've shared those thoughts, go read Crime Time Preview's interview with lead writer, Emilia di Girolamo. Minor spoiler warning for those wishing to know NOTHING about what is to come: Emilia does talk about the remainder of Series 5, including how she has shifted the tone of the series to give the characters (particularly Matt and Ronnie) more emotional depth.



I thought 'Safe' was the best L&O:UK episode to date. LOTS of Coppers (Again!), which I very much appreciated. :) Although, this was very much Bradley's episode. He nailed every scene he was in. It was such a nice, understated, yet emotional performance.

One reason I was never a huge L&O fan, prior to the UK version, was the mothership was more plot than character driven. For me, to love a show I need to know and love the characters. I'm thrilled Emilia decided to inject more of the characters lives into the episodes. If we didn't know of Ronnie's struggles to reconnect with his own pregnant daughter, would his scenes with Kayla have been as poignant?

Yet another outstanding guest performance, this time by Amy Strange. She made me simultaneously hate Kayla and feel sympathy for her.

I'm not sure if was scripted or Jamie's contribution, but I loved Matt's eyeroll in the car. I've seen that eye-roll in person. ;)

And, once again, Dominic reminded me of Colin Firth. I like Colin so that's a good thing. It may be a combination of a slight resemblance, similar speech pattern and accent, and that's he's playing a lawyer as Colin did in 'Bridget Jones Diary'. Or I'm crazy. ;)

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zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: July 18th, 2011 04:49 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
In the interest of fairness, I haven't commented yet because I think I need to watch the episode again before I issue a verdict. There are things I absolutely loved about this episode and there are things I really didn't love at all. I want to see if on re-watch it gels a little better, though I suspect the things I have issue will remain, I want to evaluate the whole thing one more time.

Seems a shame for me to comment without contributing anything at all, so here, haz a pretty XD

asta77 From: asta77 Date: July 19th, 2011 01:36 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Have to say, I think I'm more of a fan of earlier scenes in which Jamie was less buttoned up. ;)

esmerelda_t From: esmerelda_t Date: July 18th, 2011 07:59 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Thought it was a much stronger episode than last week, although any episode where the focus is on Ronnie is going to be above average and it's a travesty Bradley's not got a BAFTA nomination.

I continue to prefer not!James Steel to James Steel.
asta77 From: asta77 Date: July 19th, 2011 01:37 am (UTC) (Link Me)
I can't say I have a preference, but Not!James Steel has grown on me fast. :)
spongetrisha From: spongetrisha Date: July 18th, 2011 08:39 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I really liked this episode this week thought it was better than last weeks.

I squeed at the thought of Ronnie being a granddad and yes it was easy to see why he got so attached to the Mum.
Matty was again ace and I love that he offered Ronnie one of his sandwiches. The universe is out of kilter when Ronnie is not eating.

I remain to be convinced by the new team Law, I feel as though something is missing there and it's lacking a spark if that makes sense.
asta77 From: asta77 Date: July 19th, 2011 01:52 am (UTC) (Link Me)
The universe is out of kilter when Ronnie is not eating.

I know what you mean. When Ronnie refused the sandwich I knew he must be really upset!

I think the lack of spark has to do with Peter Davison's, thus far, limited involvement and Alesha not having much to do. Until we can see them really interact with each other, there does seem to be an imbalance. Though, I'm not complaining about more coppers. ;)
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: July 19th, 2011 04:37 am (UTC) (Link Me)
I think the lack of spark has to do with Peter Davison's, thus far, limited involvement and Alesha not having much to do.

That's pretty much the gist of it. So far, what CPS time we have has almost entirely been focused on Jake, so we have a bit of a sense of him, but not so much of Henry and we certainly haven't gotten quite as much push and pull w/ Alesha like we are used to getting with James. Yet, anyway.
carbonatedsass From: carbonatedsass Date: July 19th, 2011 03:09 am (UTC) (Link Me)
I remain to be convinced by the new team Law, I feel as though something is missing there and it's lacking a spark if that makes sense.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels this way too.
charlsie_esq From: charlsie_esq Date: July 22nd, 2011 02:31 am (UTC) (Link Me)
I remain to be convinced by the new team Law

So, I'm working on a LOUK fan fic that relates back to Season 1 Ep 1 (watched the whole thing againl!) and I see something that's missing. Ben Daniels was just *so* sexy as James Steel. From the very first episode it was reaching out and grabbing you it was so palpable. Dominic Rowan on the other hand has no such electricity. He reminds me of the regular players at a poker table, there is so much you have to learn and it's work. As for Peter Davidson - I don't think he's had the lines that Bill Paterson had -- not a problem with the actor, just not enough time with the character.

Can't wait for next episode!
charlsie_esq From: charlsie_esq Date: July 19th, 2011 02:41 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Overall, I thought the episode was powerful, and I agree with the other comments, better than last week.

LOVE, love, love Bradley Walsh (I was wishing he could put this episode in for a Golden Globe as I watched it!) Ronnie is in agony throughout this episode floating between, guilt and shame and courage and righteousness. I am in awe of Bradley's talent (esp. after watching the outtakes from Series 4).

Thank you Emilia for all the Natalie scenes!!!!

I'm reserving judgment on Team Order. I feel like it's building, going somewhere, I'm just not sure where yet.

And Jamie! OMG! Blue stripped shirt!
First -- Is it me or does he look thinner in this episode?
Second -- Matt comforts with food, when I saw him offer Ronnie that half sandwich, I thought of the last scene in Honor Bound. The "I don't know what to say so let's eat something" is a wonderful addition to his character.
Last -- Two scenes stand out: (1) the illegal adoption red herring, Matt is shattered by the idea of someone giving away her child and (2) when he stands at the top of the stairs after being shown Ryan's body in a trash bag -- I was shattered by the expression on his face. Well done Jamie!

Aside: There have been so many references now to Matt's childhood abuse, I'd really love it if the series dealt with it in depth before his departure.
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: July 19th, 2011 04:35 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Aside: There have been so many references now to Matt's childhood abuse, I'd really love it if the series dealt with it in depth before his departure.

I would, too, though I have no idea if and when it would present itself, depending on the cases. Seems like with Rob being such an insufferable brute in this case, there might have been time for it had he been revealed earlier on the episode, but Matt didn't get much of a chance to react to him other than giving him the third degree for all of 30 seconds in the interrogation room and being stonewalled.
asta77 From: asta77 Date: July 19th, 2011 11:20 am (UTC) (Link Me)
First -- Is it me or does he look thinner in this episode?

It's not just you. He did look slimmer, but I don't know if actually slimmed down (he seemed to be his normal weight from the 'John Doe' set photos) or if it's the wardrobe. I thought he looked particularly fabulous in this episode and (as you pointed out with the shirt) the clothes played a role in that. His hair also seemed blonder than usual, which makes me suspect this was the first episode shot when they returned and he got a lot of sun over the break - likely because he was home in LA. ;)

when he stands at the top of the stairs after being shown Ryan's body in a trash bag -- I was shattered by the expression on his face.

Yep, another great reaction shot from Jamie.

zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: July 19th, 2011 04:32 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Okay, watched the episode again so I'm ready to go at it. ;)

I think a lot of what bothers me about the episode is supposed to bother me, namely that for reasons owing to her upbringing and her poor sense of self, this naive, somewhat ignorant, very scared young woman felt that it was better for her child to end his life than to trust him to the care of others. That's hard to take. But I have no doubt that it happens in the real world, hell I know it does. Amy Strange is very, very good and her performance lends a realism to the proceedings that makes it even harder to take (and that's a compliment to her.) Also the fact that, in attempting to cover her tracks she'd also aided and abetted her complete scumbag of a boyfriend and the fact that he'd injured her child so badly she felt she had no other option... and the boyfriend ends up getting eight measly years. That makes me nauseous, frankly, and yet I'm sure assholes like him end up getting lighter sentences for these kind of crimes, too. (I know, the law is the law, but inflicting GBH on a child should carry a massive, massive sentence as far as I'm concerned. I mean, good lord.)

I guess the one thing that kinda still bothers me regardless is that, even though the characters' motivations and M.O. are significantly different, to a degree the overall story arc of a young mother being responsible for her own child's death and attempting to cover it up through an abduction bears some similarity to the plot of "Hidden." There's a different approach here, with the press appeal for example being in the middle of the case and not at the top of the episode, and there are plenty of other distinct differences too, but I guess in the end it seemed to me a different take on a similar theme that I've seen Emilia tackle once on the show before. (One thing also that I noticed which really has no bearing on the story at all, but it struck me as odd that the mother's name in this episode was Kayla, and in "Hidden" the mother was called Kayleigh. Coincidence, I'm sure, but that threw me a tiny bit. ;) ) Anyway... there we have it. Some really strong emotional stuff here, but I think I'd probably still cite "Broken" as my favorite of Emilia's eps.

Things I DID really like:

- Bradley, Bradley, Bradley and also Bradley. AMAZING. The man does SO MUCH with such little gestures and expressions, and even though we only get barest details of what Ronnie's going through with his daughter the performance speaks volumes.

- Definitely a YES for more coppers, but that's no surprise ;) Nice to see Natalie being so hands-on with the investigation as to sit in with Matt on the wire, etc.

- I like Jake a bit more this week with regard to how he came 'round once Ronnie had given him a stern talking to. ;) I don't think he's utterly unfeeling, but he does seem a bit rigid w/ regard to the prosecutorial do's and don'ts; as it was noted, Alesha didn't have a whole lot to do but I found it crucial that she succeeded in making the case to Henry that the motive for the killing was absolutely paramount to getting a conviction.

- Though one can't help but feel positively terrible for the social worker, script-wise it was a nice twist to have her provide the smoking gun w/ regard to the timeline for what happened the night Ryan died.

- Though Matt doesn't have a whole lot of showy material here, Jamie gets a chance to shine nonetheless; Matt and Ron really do feel like equals so much of the time now as opposed to junior and senior decs. (Example: when they are first briefing Jake and Alesha, Matt really takes the lead there.)
asta77 From: asta77 Date: July 19th, 2011 11:31 am (UTC) (Link Me)
it was better for her child to end his life than to trust him to the care of others. That's hard to take.

It was extremely hard to take. I hate to bring it up, but I couldn't help but think about Casey Anthony once or twice during the episode. I think the key difference are - and what makes Kayla much more sympathetic - Kayla's obvious grief over her actions and the fact she felt she had no support system. There was Ryan's father and the social worker, but the scumbag boyfriend played on her low self esteem, causing her to shut out the dad, and the social worker was trying to do right by the child, which caused Kayla to panic.

I think what disturbed me most was that Ryan lay in agony all night with broken ribs. Being close to a child his age, this case was difficult to watch. =(
charlsie_esq From: charlsie_esq Date: July 19th, 2011 12:05 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
the mother's name in this episode was Kayla, and in "Hidden" the mother was called Kayleigh This struck me too! I also remembered Matt's final interrogation of Kayleigh and the range of expressions from the moment where he confronts her with the phone information and then when he's waiting for an explanation and then finally when he can't even look at her and walks out of the room when she admits the truth. Jamie does incredible things with just an expression! Also, you mention the briefing. Something was off in that scene for me and when I look back it was Freema. She had no one to play off perhaps and she seemed to be out of place when everyone else was in some form of having his heart ripped out. Then again, because Jamie and Bradley were so good in this episode, maybe everyone else just looked flat.
charlsie_esq From: charlsie_esq Date: July 19th, 2011 12:08 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Ugh, all the formatting is off. must have checked the box by accident. Sorry all!
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: July 19th, 2011 06:37 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Oh, one more thing... what was with that red mark over Jamie's eyebrow? I thought I imagined it on first watch, but no. There it is...

asta77 From: asta77 Date: July 19th, 2011 11:34 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Well, he does live with four women. ;) But he looks like he might have run into something.
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: July 19th, 2011 04:51 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
A distinct possibility. Just amused me that they makeup didn't attempt to hide it; in other scenes, it's even redder, and in other scenes (NOT in episode sequence order) it's missing. XD
asta77 From: asta77 Date: July 19th, 2011 04:55 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Well, this is Kudos/ITV. They don't think we notice anything. :p
jamie_girl5 From: jamie_girl5 Date: July 19th, 2011 06:29 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
that was an amazing episode, Bradley was just impressive, the way he acted, just beautiful, it's nice to see another side of his character and know more about his personal life :-) even if it's a sad side :-(
love Matty's new hairstyle and he seems to have new shirts as well, lol, love the blue/black one, totally drool...lol
it was a sad story to tell and Emilia did a good job :-)
jill1228 From: jill1228 Date: August 7th, 2011 12:17 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I'm gonna confess. I couldn't wait until the new season came on BBCA
Matty looks marvelous unbuttoned. RAWR
As Charlie_esq said, Ben Daniels played James SO sexy
Jake is coming off as a player. Mr. Hit It and Quit it
He has a one night stand with the defense barrister. He did the wham bam and forgot the thank you ma'am part
I am starting to warm up to this season.
ayajedi From: ayajedi Date: August 26th, 2011 02:55 am (UTC) (Link Me)
It was interesting
From: blinguist Date: August 26th, 2011 05:10 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Couldn't agree more that Bradley's performance in this one was spectacular, but I gotta tip my hat to whomever in Wardrobe made the choice for Matt to wear that blue/black striped number. Oomph! And nice try Hair & Makeup for attempting to downplay the boo boo on his forehead by parting his hair on the other side, but I was still wanting to kiss it and make it all better troughout the entire episode. Seriously?!? Take an extra 5 seconds to have Ronnie make some smart-aleck quip about the injury which Matt refuses to dignify with a response. It's what these two do so well. :) Of course, it's highly possible that I missed said quip since BBCA has to make cuts to fit the show within the alloted time slot. ARGH!! Show some respect and give our beloved LOUK an hour and 15 minutes. Lord knows I'm still slightly ticked that we didn't get to see the scene where Matt was eating and Ronnie wasn't (thank goodness for DVDs). Ok, I'm going to get off my soapbox and just be thankful for new episodes.
From: blinguist Date: August 26th, 2011 05:40 am (UTC) (Link Me)
BTW, was anyone else COMPLETELY distracted by the pose Sunshine was striking during this scene? Had to back up the DVR...several times. Much love to JamieBamberFan.com for the screen cap.

Photobucket
jill1228 From: jill1228 Date: August 28th, 2011 04:12 am (UTC) (Link Me)
RAWR! Matty is looking mighty fine in that screen shot
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