"Shaken," written by Emilia di Girolamo
Discussion time for the third episode in Series 4! Now, then...
Liked this episode, but didn't love it. I think perhaps being a big fan of the series who is really watching the course of events from episode to episode (as you're, well, not supposed to do with procedurals really ;) ) might be to one's detriment this time; there are aspects of this case (specifically, the death of a suspect in prison, as well as the final act revelation of a jealous supporting player who turns out to be the killer) that reminded me a LOT of "ID." I don't think it's fair to criticize Emilia too harshly for those similarities, as the case definitely took on a different tone here ; just as sad, but rooted much more in uncovering/scrutinizing the responsibilities of care for this poor baby, which is of course not the same as a crime of passion. (Well, except that it kind of is in the end, albeit an apparently accidental one.) But that did stand out to me and it felt a little bit familiar, which I wasn't crazy about.
Also, this was a new director who hasn't worked on the series before - Paul Wilmhurst - and I took a look at his CV, looks like he's done a lot of documentaries. Call me crazy, but I could kind of see that in the way the material was treated; overall, I've enjoyed the grittier tone of the show in the past 10 episodes, but this almost seemed to back off of the dramatic resonance a little too much. A lot of the opportunities for strong moments of character seemed... lacking? Does that make any sense? Or am I reading too much into it?
One thing I really, really liked was the fact that Jemma Redgrave's defense brief - though she is thorough about exploiting every unpleasant implication about the parents she can, including the mother's hectic work schedule - still seemed very much like a solid defender and not one who is manipulating the case for media attention, as we've seen some do in the past. There's even a bit of social interaction with her and both Alesha and James, seperately, which was interesting to see.
While we're on the subject of career mothers, definitely felt like this was an episode that had the potential for some great Natalie material - if anyone could speak about juggling work and parenting, it's her surely - but we didn't get it. :(
As far as COPPERS! goes - again a pretty strict Law/Order division as far as scenes go (Matt turns up in the second half *very* briefly conferring with Alesha), but it was generally solid. Loved the moments where Ronnie is giving it his past experience as a dad reasoning and yet, childless and unmarried Matt seems like the most protective parent of all! (Did make me think of a scene in "Love and Loss" where Natalie's telling him "The love outweighs the worry" and Matt responds with "Yeah, if you say so..." - which I always took to mean he's not unfit for parenting, just probably so big-hearted that the thought of it terrifies him a little. Aww, Matty. <3)
Probably the highlight was the scene where poor, uncomfortable Ange has to read out the emails between Leyla and Lloyd (well, at least until Ronnie relieved her of the anguish ;) ) and then they all watched the video clip. Seriously, Matty, try not to look so terribly amused. Oh, go on then... XD
Thoughts? Defenses? Criticism? GO!