Friday Forum: Law & Order: UK Episode 3.7, "Anonymous" - Discussion Thread - Jamie Bamber News — LiveJournal
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Friday Forum: Law & Order: UK Episode 3.7, "Anonymous" - Discussion Thread

"Anonymous" written by Debbie O'Malley

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 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.

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lemurling From: lemurling Date: October 22nd, 2010 07:25 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Some random thoughts before I dump my huge episode analysis:

*squee* My date-geeking, while thoroughly embarrassing, at least has some value to the actual production.

It's probably only because I'm so used to it being a big part of the show, but I found myself wishing they'd mentioned CCTV. I'm assuming there wasn't any, because it would have ended the mystery of whether someone entered the flat or not, but they forgot to give us the customary throwaway line about the camera being broken, or something, and so it bugged me the whole episode.

How adorable was the building owner? Yet again, L&O|UK casts a bit part perfectly. I wasn't quite as happy with the victim and the perpetrators, but there was nothing wrong with the actors, they just weren't holding my attention in competition with the crazy acting going on from our principals.

I liked the bit between the counsels before the trial. We don't get a lot of James arguing points of law, and all the back and forth and Latin was hot. Or maybe that's just me....

Not a lot of humor in this episode, it was pretty grim. Ronnie's attempt at a joke at the end sort of sums it all up, really. This was not funny, and things are not going to be ok. Not yet anyway.
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: October 22nd, 2010 08:56 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
and all the back and forth and Latin was hot. Or maybe that's just me.

Matt citing penal code during an interrogation made me shift in my seat a bit. So I can’t fault you. ;)
lemurling From: lemurling Date: October 22nd, 2010 07:31 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
For a James/Mattie fan, just about a perfect episode. Shattering, but perfect.

When things started off, I was actually a bit eh. I was liking the interactions, but the episode felt a bit choppy, and the main crime wasn't quite grabbing me. I think all our discussions had made me too meta about the show, because I was thinking about the structure rather than getting into the story, noticing things like all the unusual combinations of law/order, little quirks like who was eating what, etc. And then the woman dies, and it all cranked into over-the-top high speed angst for me. At the end of the episode, my IM to my husband in the other room was: "Holy cow, that was fucking intense."

They totally delivered (for me) on character drama that was not about the characters, if that makes sense. The conflict was in the characters reactions to the situation, their roles in the process, and their innate personalities, not their individual backstories. It seemed to nail everything that we were talking about, and feeling uneasy with, after last week's episode.

It hardly needs saying, but Matt is hauntingly lovely throughout this. You can see at several points in the episode how much he's worried about this woman, and hates that he has to conclude she was lying. The emotion is so raw. I was surprised that it was Ron that ignored the guv and did an investigation, not Matt. Too much of a by-the-book guy to go against Natalie? I do think that was his issue, not being worried about his career.

Matt looked so gut-punched in the copper scene after he finds out that Ron testified, I just ache. And then when James takes him apart on the stand, he can barely fight it. It's like, he knows why it's happening, but he still can't quite believe the whole time that James is really doing this to him, after everything they've been through together. The last time he faced James in the courtroom, it was at Nugent's trial in "Confession" (I checked the dates, so this is as of these 7 episodes, we'll see if this one is in order, or if one of the next 6 should have been slipped in between by chronology. It looks to me like it there might be something in between, just from the timeline gaps.)

"Matt Devlin is a good police officer."
"Not today. Today he was collateral damage."

Oh James. And he starts off smirking! I love you, you god damned bastard, but today, I hate you too. This episode really did show how he would sacrifice just about anything in the cause of James' need to get a conviction. Someone needs to write me very hot James/Matt makeup slash to get over this heartless, very very perfect betrayal.

"You put me in an impossible position Ronnie. Then you stood by while Steel called me a bad copper. Worse than that, a stupid copper."

I just want to take Mattie home and feed him tea and biscuit. He was beating himself up already for failing the victim. Nothing matters to him more than doing his job, and doing it well, and then he get eviscerated for that failure publicly, and unfairly. I know people have been saying that he smiled at the end, but I really didn't see one. Maybe for half a second, but not at all in a 'I forgive you' way, more of a bitter, hating himself, and Ronnie, and the world, and this whole horrible situation kind of way. He looks very grim at the end.
asta77 From: asta77 Date: October 23rd, 2010 12:05 am (UTC) (Link Me)
The episode didn't really suck me in until Stephanie broke down and I knew her worst fear was going happen. (I may have seen the original L&O episode, I'm not sure, but I think it was easy to deduce where this story was going.) And Stephanie's story really was only the foundation for Matt and Ronnie's story. I think I understand what you are saying about the character drama. Instead of it originating from their emotional baggage, the personal story arose from the case and choices they made. Of course, what we choose to do is informed by our experiences, but we can't draw a line from what Ronnie did in this case to something that happened to him in his past.

"Today he was collateral damage."

Dang! I forgot to quote that line! That was brutal. And a little chilling. We think of them all being relatively close, but, once again, James showed the job comes first.

Matt did smile. I may have played the scene twice and stood right in front of the TV screen to make sure. ;) I don't think all was forgiven at the end though. It could have been a result of his amusement at Ronnie for trying to make light of the situation so soon and thinking he could make everything OK with a joke. Or he could have smiled knowing he would forgive Ronnie and sooner than he should.
spongetrisha From: spongetrisha Date: October 22nd, 2010 08:38 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
There was so much about this episode that I liked and parts that I didn't brace yourselves for some James Steel bashing, it's fair to say I'm not feeling the love.

II'm going to get the James Bashing out of my system first. I totally hated the way he went after Matt on the stand and as for him calling Matt Arrogant, that really made my blood boil, watching that scene the only arrogant one was James. Ronnie went off and looked at the evidence again on his own and didn't involve him and this is arrogance in James Steel's head? Really did not like him and as for the collatoral damage remark - it shows how far he will go to get a conviction and it's bad when even the Judge tells him enough is enough.

Watching Jamie and Ben locking horns though was great.

I love the way Alesha told him off - "did you have to go that far?"

I loved the scene with Matt and Ronnie at the end and the way it mirrored the scene at the end of Season one. Poor Matt, my sympathy was with him at the end, he'd been thrown to the wolves, okay he did lie so that Stephanie could keep her job but apart from that did nothing wrong and ended up taking the fall.

Both Ronnie and James have a bit of making up to do to him.
spongetrisha From: spongetrisha Date: October 22nd, 2010 08:43 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I forgot to mention, I thought Natalie was great last night. The way she put Ronnie on gardening leave was ace.
From: mardia Date: October 22nd, 2010 08:41 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
By the end of the episode, I was basically shaking my fist at the screen. I was almost entirely on Matt's side, because he really was put in an absolutely impossible situation first by Ronnie, then by James. As I said in my own LJ, I am fairly used to feeling the urge to slap James at least once in an ep, but Ronnie! Not cool!

I wasn't too surprised by James this episode. It's been a long-standing part of James' characterization that as long as it doesn't conflict with his own morals, he will do absolutely anything he has to in order to get a favorable result. Alesha I'm not inclined to blame too much--yeah, she got the information, but it was clear she didn't want James to take it as far as he did (I'd actually bet she wasn't expecting James to go quite that far) and was deeply unhappy about the whole mess.

It's funny, because if you'd told me this sort of incident would happen, but didn't tell me who would be the one starting it, my money would have probably been on Matt being the one to try and alter the report, instead of Ronnie.

Ronnie...oh man. It's obvious he was trying to protect Matt in the beginning of it, but dude. Not cool. And yes, Ronnie, that joke definitely was too soon. I'm still ticked off on Matt's behalf, to the point where I hope this isn't dropped in the new series, because I think I'd like to see some lingering trust issues between Matt and Ronnie, and some resentment on Matt's part towards James.
asta77 From: asta77 Date: October 23rd, 2010 12:14 am (UTC) (Link Me)
I can't fault Alesha. She did have a responsibility to share what she knew with James and it was clear she was nearly as blindsided as Matt was by what James chose to do with the information. She also seemed to question going ahead with the case given how dodgy the new evidence was.

I hope this isn't dropped in the new series, because I think I'd like to see some lingering trust issues between Matt and Ronnie, and some resentment on Matt's part towards James.

Totally with you on both points.
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: October 22nd, 2010 09:09 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Brava to Debbie O’Malley because I think that last night, the show crossed over into truly superlative telly. It has been steadily building on what it established in the first 13 - enriching the character dynamics and neutralizing some of the procedural elements for a rawer, grittier result - and tonight sealed the deal by giving us a really messy, ugly case wherein nearly of our protagonists have lapses in judgment. And that’s what shows I love - like BSG and others, that really push the envelope - do, they force you to into moral quandries, demonstrating that sometimes even the best of us make bad decisions even if they are doing it for the best of intentions. Also, as I told Emilia and Debbie via tweet, I appreciated the realism of setting the leads at odds w/ one another… the analogy I made was that partnerships (Matt/Ronnie as well as James/Alesha) are like marriages. There will be days where, at the end of the day, you go to bed pissed off at each other. Looks like you’re on the sofa tonight, Ron. ;)

(BTW, I noticed Emilia pointed out that there was a tiny grin from Matt in that last scene just before the cut to black; that didn’t go unnoticed for me, either. ;) At first given the tone of the scene I went “Nooo… did Jamie just break character after they yelled “cut” and the editor spliced in the wrong footage?!” LOL… but no, I realize it was intentional. And I agree with [Bad username: asta77], of course Matt will forgive Ronnie... though things may understandably be chilly between the two for a while yet and that attempt at humor on Ron’s part was a bad call. He should know better, but I think he was hoping Matt would consider that he didn't know James was going to lay into him that hard. Truth is he should have prepared for the worst. That's Ronnie, though, even at the worst of times he's an optimist. - i.e. when he has no damn reason to be. He set the ball rolling and he should have had the foresight to realize that with Matt having signed off on the report, there’s no way that he’d be able to leave him out of it.

Truly, we do have our biases around here... but it’s worth pointing out how vehemently Natalie and George were both on Team Matt/Alesha. Harriet Walter is SO AWESOME in the scenes where she is dressing the boys down; yeah, nooooo, you wouldn't want to cross DI Chandler on a bad day. And as dramaturgca pointed out last night, George isn't around much but his major contribution is "Are we SURE this is a good idea?!" XD At least Mom and Dad stood behind the kids. They know those damned rebellious teenagers Ronnie and James went rogue on this one. ;)

As it stands now, I wouldn't begrudge Matt for second guessing his career choice.

Hmmm… interesting. I do think that Matt really does love being a policeman and I feel like the show's really established that it's what he was born to do. He is so true to the job and true to himself, though, that when the messy aspects of the legal process get in the way, he will always suffer. I don't know if he'd ever be able to attain the shoot-from-the-hip quality that Ronnie demonstrated last night, and he could never manipulate someone to get the result they wanted like James did. (It made me realize that one that came up several times w/ regard to Mike Logan on original L&O was that he butted heads with Jack McCoy and had a distrust of lawyers. I think last night was the closest we’ve gotten to that dynamic between Matt and James.)

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.

Let’s put it this way… a lie is a lie and Matt knows that was a judgment call he is not used to making, but he is also confident in why he did it. It's very clear in Jamie's performance (GO, LADDIE!) when they confront Stephanie in the interrogation that he's uncomfortable with the fact that her claim may be false, but her fear and trauma are completely real. He might have beat himself up a little internally for doing it, but that the lie was thoroughly exploited by James to the benefit of the prosecution.

asta77 From: asta77 Date: October 23rd, 2010 12:23 am (UTC) (Link Me)
That's Ronnie, though, even at the worst of times he's an optimist. - i.e. when he has no damn reason to be. He set the ball rolling and he should have had the foresight to realize that with Matt having signed off on the report, there’s no way that he’d be able to leave him out of it.

I watched the scene in Natalie's office twice, in part because I couldn't believe Ronnie wasn't seeing what she and Matt were seeing. Not just that he put himself in a bad position, but Matt as well. They both could have lost their jobs and Ronnie just had the air of someone believing it would all work out in the end. And, in a way, it did, accept Matt was made to look bad, publicly, in the process.
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: October 22nd, 2010 09:10 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
... ran out of alloted characters! ;)

Stylistic comment that I couldn’t resist – I LOVE that there are two team walking shots in this episode, all three members on both sides walkin’ and talkin’ case details. It’s a delightfully stark contrast to the amount of in-fighting that eventally goes down before the hour is up. ;)

Also agree the support in this episode was wonderful, particularly the landlady! She was pitch-perfect. (“I always thought perhaps she was the other way inclined!”)

Re: the Matt/Alesha walk 'n' talk... I might have felt that way about Alesha's reaction coming from someone with her background, except that I think she made that comment less to be flippant and more from a position of genuine spite. Matt's line definitely seemed more errant but that's mostly in the context of his having been the one person who really demonstrated a desire to look after her recovery & her interests. Still, lovely to see them attempting to have a light moment in the midst of this hot mess.

(Also, Ronnie's Korean culinary escapade had an awkward-perfect timing, which Jamie and Bradley played so dryly and brilliantly and of course it lands right on top of the 999 report that Stephanie's been killed. GUT PUNCH.)

'kay, enough from me for now. ;)
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 22nd, 2010 09:17 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I’ve got loads of thoughts on this episode, but first of all I pretty much agree on all points!

Ronnie & Matt:
I was waiting to find out who would be the one to go back to the case but the minute Natalie said it was Matt’s name under the file and his career at stake, I thought it would have to be him as Ronnie wouldn’t risk Matt’s future. Even if Ronnie didn’t know how it would play out and they framed it as Ronnie “falling on his sword”, he should have foreseen it would fall back on Matt at some point. I get why they just let them make up quietly at the end and while I like the subtlety in their relationship and think it’s quite realistic that they wouldn’t have a deep heart to heart about it, it just wasn’t enough for me, I would have been more upset about it than Matt. Even if it was necessary for the greater good he was thrown under the bus without warning.

James & Matt:
James was really brutal in this episode, I know it was just means to an end for him and he had to take Matt apart, but, man, calling him arrogant on top of everything! I do love how good James is at laying into people in the witness stand, he’s so clever and fast (and manipulative). Talking about nasty defence lawyers though, I could easily see James playing the villain in someone else’s story, if that makes sense. I wish we had gotten a quick talk between James and Matt after the verdict (maybe we’ll still get it?) Otherwise it should be a bit awkward between them for a while.

Things that didn’t work for me that well: The scene you mentioned between Alesha and Matt seemed very inappropriate! The fake out with the second stalker guy was a bit weird for me too, how unlucky is this girl to have two crazy stalkers? and then they didn’t mention him anymore. Thirdly I noticed for the second time this season that not listening to the boss doesn’t seem to have any negative consequences. Since Natalie pointed out how Matt’s career would suffer, I would have liked to see Matt suspended for a while or relegated to desk work or something. It would have been interesting to see Ronnie deal with the fact that someone else had to pay for his decisions, even though he acted in good conscience. But since this is a procedural, I guess there is no room for that kind of thing. I do, however, hope they address what happened again.
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 22nd, 2010 09:30 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Forgot to add: I second the love for the landlady (I think I remember her from Finding Neverland)

And on a very shallow note: Jamie was unbelievably pretty in the scene with the Korean food, he always is but I really noticed it in that scene :)
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buckeye94 From: buckeye94 Date: October 22nd, 2010 10:01 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Although I have only seen the first series, I must say that hair is the best I've seen in quite some time. :)

Carry on with the more serious episode discussion. . .
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: October 22nd, 2010 10:39 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Already contributed my thinkity-think-thoughts, so it's time for NOT SO MUCH. In honor of the fact that this was the last new episode for a while, I give you an extended picspam!

From: (Anonymous) Date: October 23rd, 2010 04:10 am (UTC) (Link Me)
What was the joke Ronnie made at the end? I watched it a few times but I still couldn't catch it.
lemurling From: lemurling Date: October 23rd, 2010 05:46 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
It was sort of elided, so I'm not surprised you missed it.

Paraphrased because I don't have the stream up just now:
Ronnie: "I never meant to make you look stupid, mate."
Matt: "What, that was just a bonus then?"
Ronnie: "Well every cloud, you know...." -- has a silver lining' is the elided bit.

Ronnie was making the joke that making Mattie look stupid -was- a little bonus to the whole situation, the silver lining as it were, on the cloud of screwing them both over in their careers to get this conviction.
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esmerelda_t From: esmerelda_t Date: October 23rd, 2010 09:20 am (UTC) (Link Me)
This episode for me was easily the best the show has produced as the personal drama within the regular cast was organic and arising from events in the episode instead of being contrived by one of them knowing the victim/suspect/witness/defence barrister as it usually is.

Saying that it did for me highlight what I think is a flaw of the premise, and that's how chummy the coppers and legal side are, while I understand they need to interact for dramas purposes, I've always found it unrealistic and this episode highlights why. Steel (who I've always hated as a sanctimonious arse and this hasn't changed much) and Aleesha (who I've warmed to more) were just doing their jobs as they should, but by doing it they dicredited and humiliated someone who they act like is a mate, especially Aleesah. I don't really expect this to be addressed in the future as it's the nature of the show, but I'd be really impressed if Matt remained hostile to them from now on.

The case with Ronnie's more complicated though as Ronnie was very obviously, although ineffectively, trying to protect Matt and keep him out of it until it was too late. Something that's always interested my about their relationship is it's a bit like they're each others second chance at a functional parent/child relationship. Only now Ronnie's let Matt down just like he let his daughters down when he was drinking and Matt's trust in might not have been a physical punch in the face but it must have been an emotional one.

Edited at 2010-10-23 09:20 am (UTC)
callmeonetrack From: callmeonetrack Date: October 23rd, 2010 04:23 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I was less enamored than most (all?) of you, because Ronnie really felt underwritten/out of character for me. I just couldn't really understand how an old-time copper like him would not have the foresight to see what would happen and not talk to his partner first. I felt there should have been a moment when he tried to relate to Matt's situation and they not only didn't have that moemnt, but the coldness of making the joke at the end? :( The story would have made a lot more sense if Matt HAD been the one to try to change the case. I guess it wouldn't have been as surprising then, felt a little cheap to me that they played it almost wholly for shock value without any real nod to how this affected Matt and their partnership from Ronnie. He came off as pretty uncaring about that, which didn't jive for me with the way they'd always previously been depicted.
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: October 23rd, 2010 05:54 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I think there may have been a moment or two during the episode where a similar thought entered my head. Particularly because, as esmerelda_t pointed out above, the surrogate father/son bond that the two of them seem to have demonstrates itself a lot, so you are left to wonder how he could do such a thing to Matt when he clearly thinks the world of him.

Then, particularly on second viewing, I stepped back and thought about it for a second. What else do we know about Ronnie? He's twice divorced, he has two daughters whom he seems to see/speak to on occasion (he was talking to one on the phone at the end of "Alesha"), but they don't seem to be all that close. So clearly, besides just his drinking, he has probably made a lot of bad judgment calls with regard to those relationships that have left them, possibly, irreperably strained. He also, as demonstrated most effectively in "Honour Bound," rarely lets his emotions rise to the surface even under the most trying circumstances. There are a couple of moments in that ep where he raises his voice out of anger, but in the moments where he's vulnerable or has an opportunity to express his feelings, he always seems a bit stymied or uncomfortable. Or at the very least, more at ease in his usual stoicism. And he does have a common propensity to try and deflate tension with a joke.

So add all of these qualities up, and I can see where he has the capacity within his character to make the unfortunate decisions, right down to that last scene, in this episode. He probably sat up at night thinking of Stephanie Blake, wondering how he would feel if that were one of his daughters, and it started to eat him up. He struck out on his own believing he had Matt's best interests at heart, not considering that with those that are dear to you it's vital that you communicate with that person. (Somehow, I bet he made that mistake in both of his marriages, too. See: Above, my analogy about marriages. ;) ) And then after James eviscerates Matt in court, and Matt is clearly doing his best to contain his hot Irish temper - it is Ronnie, after all - there's that joke. Which, the more I think about it, feels to me like when you find yourself in that moment that you are already ashamed and embarrassed at something you've said/done, but you're trying to keep it together and rather than do/say the right thing, you end up opening your gob and digging yourself a bigger ditch. It's not that he's uncaring, it's that sometimes in sensitive situations like this he stumbles around the proper way to express himself. It is may not be a level of behavior that we have seen from Ronnie before in the show, but I think there is ample evidence w/in previous events and canon info to believe he's capable of it.
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 24th, 2010 06:19 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Unfortunately, I haven't been successful trying to view the new season beyond the first episode. But I come her first thing to see all your opinions. I haven't seen the episode...and I'm already mad at Ronnie and James. LOL
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