For anyone lamenting the lack of the law side of things in recent weeks, "Anonymous" certainly made up for it. And we got another terrific performance Jamie and tremendous work by Bradley was well. Not that everyone didn't also do good. Ms. O'Malley gave the actors a great script to work with. But this one really belonged to our favorite coppers. :)
I'm afraid my character bias is going to come shining through this week. By the end of the episode my sympathies were firmly with Matt. Who, as I remarked to someone last night, was thrown under the bus. And while I can see why James and Ronnie made the decisions they did, it didn't stop me from feeling a certain amount of anger towards them both.
This was one of the more challenging cases facing the team. Not just because stalking is hard to prove and prosecute, but because the victim, out of fear and desperation, ultimately hindered her own case. While there appeared to be ample evidence to prove Lowery was harassing Stephanie (and was very likely her killer), could there be doubt as to Lowery being Stephanie's killer without the false evidence? Yes.
There was a point in the show where I was uncertain as to whether it would be Matt or Ronnie who would decide to change the facts of the case in order to obtain a conviction. While Ronnie would be troubled at the thought of a killer roaming free because they failed to protect Stephanie, Matt can be quick to judge and impetuous - particularly when the victim is young, female and afraid. Matt wants to protect people. It's an admirable trait, but it can lead him to make rash decisions.
I generally prefer to refrain from drawing comparisons between Matt and characters Jamie has previously played, however I couldn't help but see a Lee Adama moment last night. It's when Matt and Ronnie were talking with Stephanie's mother. A Ronnie spoke, Matt was slightly slumped in his chair, staring at the floor and seemed, for a moment, miles away. The look on his face reminded me of Lee's in "Taking a Break from All Your Worries". It's the look of "I've failed". And it was at that point that I thought Matt may be the one to subvert the system. (On a sidenote: I loved the director's (?) choice for the characters to be sitting in those slightly oversized chairs. It made them seem so much smaller and more vulnerable.)
But it was Ronnie who chose to do the wrong thing for what he thought was the right reason. While I understand his desire to obtain justice for the victim, to right his own perceived failure, and to put what was almost certainly a guilty man behind bars, it's the almost that leads me to not agree with his actions. Because while Lowery may have been a killer, what about the next guy (or woman) who they think did it, but have no clear evidence to convict? You can't start making cases work the way you want them to because then innocent people will end up...and do end up...in jail.
To make matters worse, Ronnie set Matt up, however unintentionally, to take a fall. I absolutely adored Natalie pointing out to Ronnie that he had blindsided Matt, was dragging him down with him and potentially ending his career. As it stands now, I wouldn't begrudge Matt for second guessing his career choice. He's often struggled with the system as well himself when it comes to being a good copper, and given the lack of support he received in this episode, I can see him questioning his future.
My heart bled for Matt when he told Ronnie he wasn't just made to look like a bad copper on the stand, but a stupid one. And it's because of the actions of his partner, his friend, who then made a joke about it. Yes, Ronnie, too soon. I did see Matt's little smile at the end. He'll forgive Ronnie. He has to forgive him. Not just for the sake of their relationship, but because of the realities of TV production, with a limited number of episodes and only semi-serialized story, the writers don't have a lot of time to dwell on the ramifications of Ronnie (and James's) actions.
I have slightly less of a problem with James's choices because he's not as close to Matt and, as a prosecutor, he feels he has to do whatever he can to obtain a conviction. But it struck me that he was doing was very short-sighted. He depicted Matt as a lazy and incompetent detective on the stand, as well as making him out to be a liar. What happens the next time James needs him as a prosecution witness?
Of course, Matt did lie to the hospital to save Stephanie her job. That may have not been right either and I know some will say a lie is a lie, but I don't see it that way. Matt was looking at a woman who had been terrorized and desperate to the point of nearly killing herself. Her losing her job (which she seemed to be good at) would have served no greater good.
While I thought this was a wonderfully written and acted episode overall, I did find one exchange between Matt and Alesha to be rather odd. After Lowery is released from custody because the sexual assault charge didn't stick, Alesha comments he's "back spreading the love". Hard to believe as a rape victim she would make light of something like that. And Matt, in turn, says, "I can introduce you if you'd like." This from a guy who has been there to offer emotional support whenever she seems to need it?
Now, what did everyone else think?
And in a recent post lemurling made some interesting observations about the timeline for the current series. I ran it by the awesomely receptive and obliging Emilia di Girolamo and she provided us with an answer regarding the oddness! What she shared is not particularly spoilery, but for those still watching Series 1 .....
To begin with she's stunned at the level of interest we (the fans) have regarding the dates. She must be new to the fandom thing. ;) But here is what she had to say regarding them:
Those dates give you the shooting order - Survivor shot first but we never really knew where it would land in the run. This season as we have more serial we pretty much know where the eps will land so the dates should reflect this but what an interesting observation and I will pass it on to the person who does the dates!
So, hopefully, with Series 5 and 6 we will have less confusion.