"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.)
- 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