Law & Order: UK Discussion Thread - Episode 4x02, "Denial" - Jamie Bamber News
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Law & Order: UK Discussion Thread - Episode 4x02, "Denial"


"Denial," written by Catherine Tregenna
 
Hi folks - sorry this is late in the day but I've been running myself ragged this w/e (including getting to bed at nearly 4 a.m. last night - yeesh), so I've only just had time to sit down and recap. It'll be briefer than my usual ramblings, so that's something. ;)

Along with "Community Service," this is probably one of my favorite Catherine Tregenna eps. As much for the involving script as for the way in which it breaks free of the dock, so to speak, by not actually featuring a proper trial at all; it's nice, for a change, to see the CPS end of things handled in different surroundings under special circumstances. (Well, nice in as much as it's a change of scenery for us - it's not a "nice" situation, at all. When is it ever in L&O land, but this one.... :( Immensely infuriating and compelling at the same time.)

Juliet Stevenson is an actress I've always really loved, but she surpassed even my high expectations here. Such a difficult role to really make soar when you're bedridden for the entire episode and she's just a force of nature. Loved both her face-off with James in questioning, where he tries so hard to get her to respond as a victim and not as a judge and she just stonewalls him at every turn, and of course that completely heartbreaking scene with George. (I know it's totally NOT implicit in the script, but did anyone else get the idea that maybe they were an item once? Or at least, highly fond of one another. Oh, Jules, you married the wrong bloke... ) One other casting note, another surprise (since we don't have full episode descrips from ITV yet) - Diana Quick, who played the judge actually handling the case. If you're old enough (like me) you might remember her as the original Julia Flyte in Brideshead Revisited. ;) (Among many other things.)

One aspect of this ep which we have seen before, though not much of this series, was the strict division between Law & Order; once the coppers are done, they're done here. Though as with all recent eps, it crackles - loved seeing Angie back in fine form. (Aww, that grin when Ronnie laid the line on her about "or the first Mrs. Devlin." Hee.)  Jamie was also fantastic in the scene with the posh git who bought the Mercedes - loved a bit of Matt's scarcely veiled working-class contempt coming out. Ronnie was quite heavy on the snark this week, but it made for some great Jamie reaction shots. Matt, come on now, don't be so shy sunshine... push back a little. XD Of course, the extremely fleeting Action!Matt moment was a total keeper... see new icon.

I might (oh, who are we kidding - probably will) be back w/ more later, but go ahead and get the discussion rolling from here!

ETA: Oh, and dramaturgca coined a new term that I'm deeply enamoured of. So much so that I made an icon to commemorate it. ;) -

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Comments
asta77 From: asta77 Date: November 15th, 2010 05:04 am (UTC) (Link Me)
While I enjoyed the episode, particularly Juliet's performance, the episode suffered a bit for me because it adhered so closely to the original L&O story. I didn't realize until now how much I appreciated the writers deviating from the original scripts (or me not having seen the L&O episodes ;). Even James's questioning, which bordered on testifying and I was shocked the defense attorney did not object more, is one of the worst instances of L&O forgoing realism and something the UK version has done pretty good job of avoiding thus far.

Loved Angie's reaction to the idea of being the first Mrs. Devlin. :)

Though my favorite moment was Natalie's comment about nobody forgetting a lousy co-worker, Ronnie responding that they might, and Matt's reaction. Jamie is SO GOOD at the deadpan humor and I really hope someday he gets to use it on a more regular basis.

I know it's totally NOT implicit in the script, but did anyone else get the idea that maybe they were an item once? Or at least, highly fond of one another.

I did. If they weren't romantically involved at some point, it seemed as if George had those feelings. Because it was made clear Rachel's career always came first, maybe she was oblivious to how he felt? She certainly failed to see what she had done to her husband and daughter.
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: November 15th, 2010 06:07 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Hmm. I guess in this particular case it's really advantageous that I don't remember the original episode, aye? ;)

Because it was made clear Rachel's career always came first, maybe she was oblivious to how he felt? She certainly failed to see what she had done to her husband and daughter.

Ah, that's definitely a very good point. We can presume that this poor perception (or at worst willful ignorance) of other people's emotions is something that may have been innate in her personality for a very long time.
lemurling From: lemurling Date: November 15th, 2010 06:20 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
It seemed very obvious to me that George and Rachel were an item, possibly before her/his marriage, possibly after (hence why it took a while for him to go talk to her). I didn't even think about there being another interpretation to that relationship. They seemed too intimate.
lemurling From: lemurling Date: November 16th, 2010 09:29 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I liked this episode very much. I liked it even though the drought of copper time continues. I hope they're saving up some massive copper drama in the back half of this series to make up for it.

I was puzzling a bit over the copper camaraderie, but checked the dates, and the copper parts definitely predate the "Anonymous" ruckus, so Ronnie hasn't betrayed Mattie yet. ("Denial" dates are before "ID" dates, so we have episodes shown out of order again. I haven't gone back to check if the slight copper coolness in "ID" makes sense versus "Anonymous" timelines.)

Naturally, like everyone else, I loved the copper banter, and Ang-- "How much do you love me?" oh completely, Ang, completely, don't give up hope. Some great lines, great reactions. I hadn't picked up on the class-divide implications of Matt's interrogation of the banker, but now that you've pointed it out, that's another good undertone to the scene.

Of course, James shines in this, and finally with a really really good day-player to fight it out with. The hospital cross-examination might end up being my favorite James interrogation ever. Rachel so completely holds her own smacking down his every attempt ("Spare me your shock tactics."), until he's so frustrated he goes all the way to sexy casual James mode, with the sprawling and the "fine what would you do" and then back again into sympathetic, and then to fierce. He doesn't 'win' but he obviously gets to her. Such a great love-him-but-he's-a-stubborn-bastard scene.

I have some strong personal feelings about the right of people to decide the time and manner of their own death. So the line that really sunk in for me was: "It is not irrational to want to die when you've been ultimately betrayed by the person you love." I understand the view of the daughter, seeing Rachel's choice as selfish, but I see Rachel's view too, that life had in a moment, become too painful to be borne. So sad. George obviously understood.

Really interesting, intense, different L&O episode, and I'd love to see more like it, that bend the formula a little bit. (But with more copper action next time!)
asta77 From: asta77 Date: November 17th, 2010 05:17 am (UTC) (Link Me)
I'm not sure I bought Rachel's rationale for wanting to die, however given the pain she was in, and the suffering and her chances for survival looking remote, I could understand her choosing to quit receiving treatment. And while her daughter had a right to be angry about coming second to her career, I think she should have seen that her mother was not facing much of a future. She wasn't slighting her yet again.
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: November 17th, 2010 05:37 am (UTC) (Link Me)
I definitely agree with the former; I mean, I realize this is a woman who is probably realizing way too late how much she took the love of her husband for granted, and in her heart of hearts she would always still love him, but still... he tried to have her killed. Jesus. And w/ regard to the daughter... if Rachel had emphasized wanting to die because her quality of life was slipping away, I could see her having more sympathy for her mom's situation. As it is, though, stubbornly refusing to cooperate with the investigation, that would probably upset me too on a certain level.

Ooh, it's messy, this one. Good fodder for discussion.
jill1228 From: jill1228 Date: March 14th, 2011 01:18 am (UTC) (Link Me)
I liked that there was a little George back story. He and the judge definitely had a little somethin'-somethin' going on at one time. George's reactions and the shadowing of him sitting in her room made it obvious
There were some things that made you go hmmm...
A. Either the judge cheated on her husband with George
B. George and the judge cheated on their spouses with each other

She wanted George to take her back to 1980 when they went to the ball. However, according to the daughter, the judge and her husband were married for 34 years.

You do the math
asta77 From: asta77 Date: March 28th, 2011 05:49 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Sorry for the belated comment. I agree with you. I thought it was strongly implied George and the judge had a more than professional relationship in the past. He seemed to take the choices she was making as hard as her family was.
Physha1 From: Physha1 Date: April 30th, 2013 07:02 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Yet here is a MUCH belated comment. I was just re-watching this on my awesome new tv, and noticed that Jamie looks very tired. He's got masaive bags over his eyes. I was wondering about the timing of the baby girls. I raised twins myself, and I'm awfully glad I didn't have a camera catching the details of baby boot camp as they played out on my face. Bless his sweet daddy heart if this was the case!

Love revisiting these old episodes. He is so good that I get sucked into believing that Matt Devlin exists, feeling a twinge of disappointment each time the credits roll that he's just a character.
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: April 30th, 2013 07:10 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
It's been a while since I watched this episode so I'll have to go back and see what you mean, but if he looks tired maybe it was just a rough week? The twins were born way back during the BSG days. ;)
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