Law & Order: UK - Discussion For Episode 1.6, "Paradise" - Jamie Bamber News
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Law & Order: UK - Discussion For Episode 1.6, "Paradise"

"Paradise", written by Chris Chibnall

Mondaaaaaay... time for the post-BBC America broadcast discussion thread!  Here we go...

I'm not a huge fan of this episode as a whole, to be honest. It's a terribly sad story, sooo much death, and I do find it affecting in that regard. And the cat-and-mouse Law half - trying to find the actual arson suspect and determine motive - is really pretty great, but when it comes down to pinning the entire operation on Ediz Kilic... well, it's good, but it's very cut-and-dry. The interesting aspect of it is James's friendship with Farouk Osman and the way he basically throws him under the bus - which is one of the harsher demonstrations of James doing what he must to win a case, even Alesha is taken aback by his ruthlessness. It did work, though, and it's telling that Farouk basically brings James the last bit of evidence he needs to put the thing to bed. (Although, clearly, their friendship is kaput.)

Thing is, once Nazeem names Kilic halfway through the ep, there really isn't any suspense after that. It does end up being him, it's just putting all the pieces together to make the case stick. (It's a sharp contrast to another episode coming up, where I remember watching it and identifying the suspect quite early on, not because they were named specifically but because of their demeanor/attitude. Although CID and CPS both took far longer to actually piece it together. In that ep, though, it was a fascinatingly tricky case and quite entertaining to watch it unfold, despite the fact that I'd twigged already who was to blame.)

Other thoughts:

- Starting off with what was CUT! *pout* - on the bright side, I don't believe any whole scenes were removed outright this time. Although there were certain lines from scenes that got trimmed, some of which I'm fond of. When Team Law are going over the burned out crime scene, they cut the bit where one of the fire brigade hazards a guess as to motive and Ronnie responds: "You know, as a detective... you make a great fireman, mate." Hee. Also, later when Ronnie is talking about his first wife annoying him and wanting to burn their flat down, they axed the whole second half of the anecdote. (Including the key bits where Matt says "You were drinking then, though, yeah?" and Ronnie replies "Only wish I was.")

- The scene where the grieving mother comes into the office is still really, really tough to watch. Love that Natalie, as a fellow mum, steps forward to embrace her. And, well... this face...

*buhhhh woobie face = requires cuddle*

- One of my favorite bits: I LOVE that Natalie discovers the trick with the petrol being dispersed using the reservoir from a car from past experience on the beat, when she was a WPC. (Back in the day when women constables actually had that silly extra letter in their title, eh? I do think she was probably very smart in her uniform, though. I keep picturing her young and sassy, like Annie in Life On Mars. ;) )

- The saucy nurse at the Whittington Hospital cracks... me... up. (Matt: "Fantastic! You're the best." Nurse: "In ways you can only imagine." Bwahaha. Also, Ronnie clearly catches on to (and teases about) the fact that she's hot to trot for Matt, but the lad just takes it in stride.)

- SPORTS SHOP DEMOLITION!!! Bring. It. :D I do love that scene. "Hi, I'm Alesha, and these are my bully boys." Ha hahaha. Tho sort of wonder if they can get away with property damage in the name of justice, but it's a hell of a lot of fun to watch. ;)

- The defense brief is kind of a thankless part in this. I don't think we've ever seen or heard from her again, but she doesn't play any kind of a massive role in the to-and-fro of the trial.
It's good for balancing the load of strong, by-the-book lady defenders, I guess.

- "I'll always come second.." "NO WONDER YOUR WIFE LEFT YOU!" Good lord. The James/Farouk angst is EPIC. XD

- I'm sure the James/Alesha shippers are likely HUGE fans of the scene where Alesha talks about no longer having a boyfriend, and forgetful James kind of blushes.

- Not a terribly huge fan of the way the ending is shot, either. Other than Team Law all showing up for the verdict and representing. (YAY! The family that comes to court together... ;) ). Still, the use of slow-motion where the sound drops out for just the score - I dunno, it's a leeetle bit cheesy for me. Not their strongest closing sequence, IMO. (Though the coda of James seeing grieving mum at the memorial site is OK.)

Now, if I can indulge myself and be terribly shallow for a minute. ;) Though I'm not a big fan of the script, I'm a MASSIVE fan of how Jamie looks in this episode. Seriously, of the first 13 eps, he might be at his hottest in this one; the fact that he's rocking the "Matt's probably had a busy case load and hasn't bothered to shave in a couple of days" stubble doesn't hurt.  But he even looks great when they make him look knackered from being up all night. THERE IS NO IMPEDING THE HAWTNESS:

Thanks, glad I got that all off my chest. Thank you for your patronage. XD


17 comments or Leave a comment
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zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: November 9th, 2010 02:52 am (UTC) (Link Me)
dramaturgca and I have discussed doing a big open collar picspam at some point. Your enthusiasm is encouraging. ;)
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spongetrisha From: spongetrisha Date: November 9th, 2010 09:36 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I second that idea!
lemurling From: lemurling Date: November 9th, 2010 04:20 am (UTC) (Link Me)
This is the one episode of the 1st Series that I have been tempted to skip on a rewatch. But I never have, because there are lots of good things about it, and there's nothing -wrong- with the episode.

But it makes me uncomfortable anyway. I guess the problem for me is lack of sympathy for the victims. (By which I mean, I didn't connect with them or their families emotionally, not that I don't think their deaths were deserved or anything like that.) The mother that they brought in to represent the victims, for us the audience to 'bond' with, ended up annoying me. Not because she wasn't perfect in the role. She was lovely and tragic and well-acted, and exactly how I would expect the character to be. But that meant that she was also annoying. Her presumption that the cops wouldn't do their best unless she came in with her son's stuff, to rub their humanity in the copper's faces was insulting. Claiming that the lawyers weren't doing enough either, also insulting. Every scene with her was totally believable and understandable, just... aggravating.

But I liked just about everything else. The asshole kid that was the first suspect was so spot on. And Faruk (super sexy! I had a moment of extreme slash with him and James, for just a second) was excellent. I think he overreacted a little about James investigating him, but that's ok. And the nurse! I like to think Mattie went back asked that nurse out, cause that kind of confidence in the face of a dreamboat like Matt... she's probably got some good tricks up her... sleeve. And he already had her number.

I liked that the CPS lost their case to get the evidence from the suspect's leg. It was totally the right call. James pushing too hard again, but of course he tried.

Bringing the suspect grapes, that's ... I can't decide if it's classy or completely cruel, but it's something amusing at least.

Appearances from our favorite kids, Ang and Teddy, always a plus.

Oh, knocking over the shop..... that really bothered me. It struck me as totally out of character for the coppers. I could see them faking it, threatening to toss the shop, bad cop style, but not them actually doing it. They could have put pressure on the shop owner a dozen different ways that didn't taint our coppers with the aura of 'bully boys'. *grumble* I choose to think they just knocked things over and that was -not- broken glass sounding in the background, but even still....

On the other hand, loved the club scene. So very British, gentleman's clubs. Of course James is a member.

OK, seriously, James/Faruk! "I've never hidden anything from you?" "I just never thought that -I- would come second." "Don't call me anymore." There's so much pain there. And how sad is it, that it's totally true, James -doesn't- trust his own judgment, not about anything personal. Such a smart man, so insightful about everything that isn't directly touching him. So scared of making a bad decision because of his emotions.

I suppose it's expected, he did have a major life crisis and completely uproot his life, plus add in a failed marriage, and he's not doing a great job with knowing himself. *sigh* This show is stacked to the ceiling with people who have unhealthy relationships with their emotions, and James is certainly adding a bookcase full of issues to the pile. I'd love to find out why James is so pious, so filled with righteous passion for justice and duty. There's a story we haven't been told yet there.
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: November 9th, 2010 06:04 am (UTC) (Link Me)
I think your comments re: the victims and the mother we do get introduced to are somewhat valid, though really don't think there's any intentional lack of sympathy or unnecessary harshness inherent in the script. If it feels that way, it's because conveying the loss of many victims is SO much harder to do within a one-hour episode, where you haven't got as much time to devote to the loss of one human life and the affect that has on their loved ones as you do in a typical ep. By the time CID track down the arsonist, we're swiftly onto the larger case at hand which is as much about illegal human trafficking as murder (that also complicates things).

Plus, in the case of the mother, if it were an episode where her son were the only victim, we'd probably get a larger context in which to place her distrust of the police; maybe her son, or another of her children or even her husband, were previously profiled in some awful way by a considerably less skilled set of cops as our team. Having her just say it without anecdotal evidence to back up her suspicions *implies* such a thing is possible, but because of the economy of the episode and hugeness of the case, we have to move on quickly.
lemurling From: lemurling Date: November 9th, 2010 06:12 am (UTC) (Link Me)
really don't think there's any intentional lack of sympathy or unnecessary harshness inherent in the script

Oh no, quite the opposite. I feel fairly certain that the script intended the audience to feel tons of sympathy for the mother and the immigrants in general. It just hit me the wrong way, felt too forced, essentially. More context would definitely have helped, but since it wasn't there, it soured the episode for me.

Our coppers and lawyers are the good guys! How dare she make unfounded assumptions! Can't she tell that James is a vibrating figure of Ur-integrity? And that our coppers will -stay up all night- just to make sure they get the evidence to put the guy in prison the first possible second they can? If our guys had been slacking a little, or being just a tiny bit dismissive because of the illegal status, or something, it wouldn't have felt off. But everyone had their white hats on pretty darn firmly this time.
asta77 From: asta77 Date: November 9th, 2010 05:06 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Because we know Matt, Ronnie, James, etc, we know they care about the victims and will do everything in their power to find the people responsible for the murders. But I can see why the mother may not believe that. I'm sure she's encountered her share of racism and perhaps have even had occasion to go to the police for help and didn't get it or was treated badly. It all reminded me of how horrific crimes against whites in this country get far more press coverage than those against other races. So, while I, too, was upset by her accusations, I understood where they were coming from.
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asta77 From: asta77 Date: November 11th, 2010 06:28 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Good point about the mother trying to put a face on the crime and personalize it. Because they likely were focusing on the crime and number of people killed rather than looking at the victims as individuals. That's not a criticism. I think it's something we all do when we hear of horrific crimes and don't personally know anyone involved in it.
copper_kestrel From: copper_kestrel Date: November 9th, 2010 05:45 am (UTC) (Link Me)
*tentatively wanders in* Hello! Just started watching Law and Order: UK (and very literally 'just', too - three days ago), and found myself over here through some random-LJ-clicking, only to come the conclusion that I've foubd kindred spirits in my fan-ness! So *crosses fingers* here's to not making a fool of myself (hopefully) and my thoughts on this episode.

I personally thought this was a very good episode, partly because all the characters felt very emotionally invested, which I liked. Also because it was slightly different - not another child being murdered, thankfully! - and because of how disgusted everyone was by the thought of torching a whole club... which is an atrocious thing to do.

And I have no more thoughts that haven't been mentioned by people above, so I'll shut up now XD
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: November 9th, 2010 06:05 am (UTC) (Link Me)
No shutting up necessary, and delighted as well that you've found us. :) Welcome aboard! (BTW, out of curiousity, are you new to Jamie as well or just the show?)
copper_kestrel From: copper_kestrel Date: November 9th, 2010 06:15 am (UTC) (Link Me)
The show - I've never watched any of the original Law and Order stuff either, so it's a definite new branch of tv for me. I've seen Jamie in Hornblower and BSG, the latter being where he really grabbed my attention and then, as one does, I turned to LJ.
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: November 9th, 2010 06:20 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Cool. ;) Yes, I've never actively followed an L&O series, either, but I've come to really love the show above and beyond just Jamie's involvement. (I've enjoyed other L&O series, but always in a passing "Oh, look, L&O is on and I've got time to kill" kind of way. Enjoyed being the key phrase there - they are good shows! Just haven't held my attention to make it appointment TV.)

Again, welcome!
copper_kestrel From: copper_kestrel Date: November 9th, 2010 06:28 am (UTC) (Link Me)
I confess that I'd never even heard of it before about five days ago! But I'm finding it really good so far, and, like you, for reasons other than Jamie, hehe. At this point - just having finished watching Paradise - I find myself really wanting to know more about Natalia, who I'm coming to really like XD

And thanks for the welcome!
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: November 9th, 2010 06:32 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Yes, MANY of us are hoping to learn more about Natalie... without spoiling anything, she does play a larger role in some of the more recent episodes so you have that to look forward to. But we've still got a lot to learn about the Guv. :D
copper_kestrel From: copper_kestrel Date: November 9th, 2010 06:37 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Ooh, yay! I'll definitely be looking forward to those then, as well as more episodes where we get the whole team, both the Law and Order sides, working together. I'm an absolute sucker for teamwork =D.
asta77 From: asta77 Date: November 9th, 2010 04:58 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Welcome! Glad you found us. :) I wasn't a huge L&O fan previously either. I watched repeats of the various incarnations on TNT and USA, but it was never must see TV for me. I, of course, tuned in to the UK version for Jamie, but have really come to like and care about all the characters. I think the key to my enjoyment is that the UK version has chosen to focus much more on the core cast of characters and their lives. You'll see what I'm talking about when BBCA airs the current batch of episodes airing on ITV/CityTV. The show is not reinventing L&O, but it's definitely differentiating itself.
copper_kestrel From: copper_kestrel Date: November 10th, 2010 11:51 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Sounds like it's going to be something I'm sticking with, then! (Because, apparently, my brain wants more things to distract itself with...)

One of the things that initially turned me off was reading - thank you, Wikipedia - that L&O tended to not focus on the characters very much, as I find it very hard to watch something if I can't latch on to several characters that I like. I'm glad that the UK version seems to be breaking this mould, though!
asta77 From: asta77 Date: November 11th, 2010 06:29 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I'm with you. If I don't have characters to care about and become invested in, I just can't become a devoted follower of the show.
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