"Masquerade," written by Richard Stokes
Time to discuss Episode 3.6, folks! And before I get to my points I'll issue a sterner SPOILER warning than usual - for those who are just now watching the first 13 eps on BBC America, you probably aren't reading this thread anyway, but be warned that I'm going to discuss the events of a few of those earlier episodes in relation to this one behind the cut...
- First off, appreciated the fact that there was a slight fake-out in the opening scene where you think the victim's going to be in the flat they're pounding on the door of... then turns out...
- Another slightly lighter on Law episode, but what we got was pretty choice. Yet more Natalie actively taking part in interrogations for a start. (And really laying down the law for Sally's arsehole father from minute one... awesome. GO HBIC! :) ) Plus some terrific COPPERS! banter, including the bit about the tandem bike and Ronnie wistfully talking about kids leaving home (clearly thinking of his girls) while Matt remembers it much more fondly. ("What are you on about, ya daft old git?!" Heee.) And, well... I'm probably being far too obvious squeeing about ye old Amanda Teague anecdote, aren't I? Suffice to say that I was still impressed that Matt managed to spin a memory of his youthful randiness into actually HELPING SOLVE A CASE. DS Irish, you're gonna be the end of me, you are. <3 (And I doff my cap to Richard Stokes. LOL)
- On to the meat and potatoes... already chatted briefly with asta77 and we did agree that it was somewhat jarring to have two episodes which force Alesha to recall her rape incident airing back-to-back. Granted, they are very different cases which challenge her in very different ways, but coupled together it's a curious decision that they lead into one another. Especially because last week's exchanges with Tamika don't really serve to reinforce Alesha's continued struggle with it in any way nor does it inform the details of this case, either. But personally, in a sense, I appreciated that this case did turn out so different and in fact wasn't a case of rape at all, but something arguably just as painful and destructive. To wit:
- Also, the manner in which the truth unravels is interesting to watch in that Alesha's instincts are so tested, from the point where she's visibly shaken up after watching Sally's first questioning (and Matt's still sympathetic to a fault - bless him) to where she finally determines, looking Sally in the eye and asking and really reaching deep into her gut for that instinct, that the girl is lying. Very nice callback (whether intentional or not) too in Natalie's line about them having seen cases where an alleged rape victim was using that as smoke screen - we did in fact see that in the show before, in "Vice" (airing tomorrow on BBC America! Check it out! ;) ) where Emma Sandbrook claimed she killed in self defense during a rape attack and the forensics ultimately proved she was making it up.
- I did feel at first as though James seemed unusually detatched from Alesha's personal connection to the situation, even for him. (Esp. at the point where even George asks about her well being - though he can't get past calling it "the thing.") But by the end, I like that it seemed to reflect him sticking to his role in the process and leaving her to make her own judgment calls every step of the way. Intended, I think to show that he trusts she'll make the right ones.
All in all, quite a messy (in a good way) and sad episode but overall, I appreciated the to-and-fro of it. OK, enough babbling from me, have at it kiddies. ;)