Martian Hari (zegeekgirl) wrote in jamiebambernews,
Martian Hari

Law & Order: UK - Discussion For Episode 1.4, "Unsafe"

"Unsafe", written by Chris Chibnall

It's Monday, which means it's time for the discussion thread for the benefit of our brand-new viewers in the States watching the show on BBC America. (Naturally, anyone who's seen these Series 1 eps already - no matter how many times ;) - is welcome to join in!)

Things I like about this episode:

- The fact that the "Law" and "Order" halves don't really exist; CPS is introduced very early on because James prosecuted Luke Slade the first time, and yet they have to keep returning to the cops regularly to construct a case to attempt to put down the appeal. The first really strong example of an ep being woven around teamwork, teamwork, teamwork.

- Charlie Covell, who plays Louise Ackroyd, is fantastic. There's such a sad, haunted quality to her when Ronnie and Matt visit her in her parents' lonely house, and I really get the sense in her performance that Louise is attached to the friendship James has shown her over the years,so it hurts her to feel the disappointment she feels when he struggles to keep Slade behind bars.

- Ronnie: "Maybe if we get it forensicated..."
Matt/Natalie (unison): "Forensicated isn't a word!"
Classic. XD
- I suppose this clip needs no introduction at this point, so here it is. ;)

(It's probably worth pointing out, though, that w/out Bradley's reaction shot that scene wouldn't be half as good as it is. LMAO!)

- Michael Smiley! The Irishman who plays Danny Doyle, Slade's cellmate, is a brilliant actor and comedian; one of his best-known perfs is as Tyres, the loopy drugged-up bike courier in Spaced. ("Oi, oi! You lucky people!" XD) Anyway, any time he turns up in anything I can't help but grin like an idiot.

- "I'm still at the Royal Opera House. Switch the lights off when you leave." GEORGE, NEVER CHANGE. <3

- Our first real taste of ACTION!MATT. YES, PLZ. From "Oi, Freddy!" (bahahaha, ILU, clever boy) right up to where he shoves him into the fence and slaps on the cuffs. Oh, and this face:

That. Face. XD


Things I don't like about this episode:

- It's quite early in the series for us to have an episode that taps into James Steel's past proscecutions so acutely, and I wonder if the angle of forcing the audience to question how much of his dogged approach is from a genuine place of wanting to do right by the victim (and by Louise here and now) is hampered by his professional reputation as a ball-buster and the notion that when he feels justice has been well and truly perverted, he can't let it go. We see that Slade attempts to get him chucked out based on this perception, and of course we will revisit similar ground in Series 3 (no spoilers for the newbies! ;) ) Still, as this was the very first of the L&O:UK episodes to air with a personal slant for one of the leads, I wonder if in retrospect if this didn't do more harm than good in that sense. Anyone? (I'd like to hear from the James fans as well as those who aren't as fond of him. He seems to be the most polarizing of all the main characters.)

- Iain Glen. *shrug*.... here's the thing, to be honest, I generally do like him a lot as an actor. He's virtually unmatched at posh, droll, nefarious badguys, which is why I think the first time around I didn't mind his performance so much. Oh, I thought, cool... classic Iain Glen. Still, on subsequent viewings I think it might be a little too broad a villain-y performance. There are a couple of moments when Slade is on the stand where he's really gnashing every bit of scenery around him. Other scenes, more subtle, but they're upstaged.

- The big pissing match scene between James and Slade after Slade is acquitted... Oh! My! God! So! Much! BUTT-HURT! XD Seriously, again... great subtleties woven into it (The way after James is pushed one inch too far, Ben Daniels hurls all of James's files to the ground and charges him is great), but overall I think the effect of the scene is played a little bit too grandiose and it doesn't quite ring as true as I'd like. It feels like it's got neon arrows pointing to it saying "BIG DRAMATIC SCENE!" rather than it feeling authentic. (By contrast, once Slade is apprehended for Richie Newman's death, the scene between the two men there works a lot better.)

Sound off, Bamber News babes...
Tags: tv: law and order: uk

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