An interesting aspect of "Buried" was seeing the different generations of detectives come together and how being a product of their time (as Ronnie mentioned) affected their approach to the case. Detective McFadden's views on homosexuality led to a presumption of Edward Connor's guilt in Tommy Keenan's death and brought the investigation to a halt. So sure was he of his beliefs, he went so far as to try and beat a confession out of Connor. Matt, upon meeting McFadden, can barely hide his disdain for the man's methods and assumptions. Ronnie, meanwhile, acts as a bridge. He may find McFadden as repugnant as Matt, but he's able to put his personal feelings aside, try to understand where McFadden is coming from, and obtain the information (what little there is due to the previous shoddy investigation) they need.
While we saw Ronnie's strengths in dealing with people, Matt's reasoning plays a large role in helping bring the case to trial. He catches Julia's statement is a nearly word for word recount of the one she gave 1983. When Ronnie suggests trauma could have cemented the events in her mind, Matt points out she wouldn't have been aware of Tommy's disappearance until the following morning. And, later, it's Matt who argues for the validity of the therapists work, which leads Julia to recover her memories.
This is an episode in which I found all the supporting characters absorbing but Barbara Marten (Phillipa Keegan), in particular, did an outstanding job of conveying a mother's grief. It was a realistic portrayal and it struck me that this what I am used to seeing from actual grieving parents on the news.
As for Julia's parents, frankly I'm not sure which of them to despise more. Vernon Mortimer is a pedophile and child murderer who ruined his daughters life and tried to assuage his guilt by supporting Julia financially, through mental health issues and relationship and career failures. But Mrs. Mortimer was also an abuser, damaging her daughter emotionally and psychologically - repeatedly calling her a liar and "dirty, precocious little whore" when Julia finally found the courage to tell her of the sexual abuse. And because appearances were more important than anything else to her, a pedophile was allowed to move on to his next victim and a young boy died because of her inaction.
While I thought Vernon would confess to his crimes because, in a very twisted way, he believed he loved his daughter (just as he claimed to have grown to love Tommy as a son), I felt the confession from the stand was too convenient. Just as James implores him to confess, he does. It's certainly in keeping with the courtroom theatrics of Law & Order, but I'd have preferred a slightly more realistic conclusion. Perhaps exiting the courtroom and breaking down or going to James's office later to confess.
The final scene is one of my favorite conclusions to an episode. Mcfadden, all smiles, tells Ronnie, "We got are man in the end." To which Ronnie pointedly responds, "We?" And as Julia walks off with Tommy's mother, Mrs. Mortimer is left alone and more isolated than had she done the right thing years before.
And this image I just had to share because the image of the two with their tea amuses me. :)
More (Good!) ratings news from TVbythenumbers.com. For the week ending October 24th, Law & Order: UK was BBC America's second highest rated show (behind Top Gear) with 199,000 viewers. Even a Midnight encore brought in 177,000 viewers. Woo!