Law & Order: UK Discussion Thread - Episode 4x05, "Help" - Jamie Bamber News
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Law & Order: UK Discussion Thread - Episode 4x05, "Help"


"Help", written by Terry Cafolla
 
Well, now... THAT'S MORE LIKE IT. Team work! High tension! Standoffs! Stakeouts! Chips! Tea! Suffice to say there isn't much about this episode that I didn't like. ;) Easily my favorite S4 episode so far, and unsurprisingly it's from the pen (laptop?) of Terry Cafolla. (Also director James Strong, who helmed "Confession.") Oh, Terry. You are unfeasibly good and it kinda guts me that this ep of L&O:UK is likely your last. *EPIC SADFACE* Hell of a high note to go out on, though.


Totally pegged the spurned girl in the opening scene for a girlfriend... oh, wait, no it's his sister. Whoops!

Ha, Joy likes fast cars, aye? YAY for random character development of the CID support team. More of this, please. ("You been at the unleaded again, Joy?" Oh, Ronnie.)

Once again... RONNIE + CHIPS. I was inspired this time... ;)



Heeee. Oh, and now we know where the Jamie digging through bin bags shots came from.

You see, Terry, this is why I'm going to miss you so... well, the whole episode is demonstrative of that, really. But honestly... BARRY FLOWERS. How do you DO that and never interfere with the dramatic tension? The humor just sings. (Totally flashed back to Matt trying not to burst out laughing at "Intensive Care", too. STIFLE!!)

"Dust off your morning suit, Ronnie"..."Not likely, last wife cut the arms off it." LULZ. Also, double LULZ at Matt pulling a food-yank on Ronnie's... what was that? Didn't look like a sausage roll, but anyway... keep teasing, sunshine. YOU HAVE TO EAT, TOO. XD

The whole device of having Mike be worried about missing his wedding works wonders playing against whether or not he could be nervous for some other reason. (i.e. Matt's comment about how he's pacing, "wearing holes in the carpet"... it's a bit of both, really, isn't it?) Also, first of a few gooooood BAD COP moments for Matt in this ep. Woof. He takes the lead much of the time and blimey, he's for keeps this week, inn'he? (Jamie is fantastic in the scene where they're grilling Mike's boss at the restaurant. And it wasn't lost on me that Matt refers to the boss as "son" at the end of one sentence. Love a flash of Ronnie rubbing off on him. ;) )

And again, DO NOT PISS THE LAD ABOUT in the second interrogation of Mike. "Right, then I'll put a description out for 'Mr. Invisible,' then, shall I?" Hee. But it works, he coughs up Don Marsh's name. (Also, swear to god, I was trying not to giggle at the oddity of Mike's top hat sitting there on the table and then, half a second later, Mike himself is chuckling about his hat on the table. +10 for absurdity. {{{Terry}}} Ooh, and what about that Don Marsh, aye? Nasty customer, and frankly I LOVED that it is demonstrated that here is a perp who has been nearly-nicked so many times that not only is he well known, but he knows Ronnie.... knows about his family problems, and his alcoholism. +10 for perps with histories! (Oh, and +10 more, just because. Seriously, people. THIS EPISODE.)

But what about Natalie? It's a GREAT week for Natalie, too, what with her being all extra-protective of her boys giving them the keys to the attic to work in private. Also, once they get the young bloke from the gym in for questioning, she lays into him pretty brilliantly. Yeah, unadvised to be a pissy teenager around the guv, kid. She knows all too well how to handle pissy teenagers. +10 for CID Mama! XD

Oh, yeah, the kid from the gym... OMG, THE SCENE AT THE GYM. The episode is terrific enough as it is without throwing a complete nail-biter of a standoff in the middle of it. Adore Ronnie in his element, cool and collected, meanwhile Matt is having kittens trying to keep a lid on the situation outside. (Repeat: OUTSIDE, not in the room where he can keep an eye on the whelp pointing a gun at his da... I mean, his partner. ;) ) Stresssssful. So much so that this happened...



Honestly, I might have clawed at the monitor for all of half a second trying to cuddle him. {{{{{DAMN IRISH WHY SO AWESOME?}}}}}

Also, may have let out a *squee* of awesome when at the 23 minute mark we've got CID and CPS back in a room. Altogether, like. FINALLY. TEEEEEAM! (Loved James all "Don Maaarsh! Good work!" at Matt & Ronnie, too. Hee. Balls of Steel is double plus excite, kids, this has clearly been a long time coming.)

Thrilled beyond measure that Eddie Marsan was back as Jason Peters this week. He was my favorite defense brief in the first 13 and he continues to be terrific; less focus on his OCD ticks this time, but that's understandible given it's his second appearance and also wouldn't have fit the tone of this episode. But on the job he's still unflappable and clearly hasn't forgotten that James beat him last time (See: "Love & Loss") +50 for callbacks, Terry!

This judge? WOT A DICK. ("If I strangled him, I could be out in what? 10 years?" Bahaha, Steely.) On the plus side, he gives James and George plenty to strategize and banter about. Oh, CPS mens. Already missing you. *clings to Ben 'n' Bill*

And because this episode is made of total WIN, everyone must get something vital to do... so Alesha gets the job of turning Mike around and getting him to cooperate. Which, let's face it, may be the toughest job anyone's got in this ep - the poor man is IN HELL, all because he wanted to be a good person and help someone out. Think about that... how many times in your life have you actually paused from your daily grind, because that day you felt like doing something good, and helped out a stranger. Most of us do it now and again, whether it's something menial like helping them pick up loose change they dropped or holding open an elevator door. What if something like that led to a sequence of events that put your life and the lives of your loved ones in danger? (My heart broke in the scene after Fiona is attacked... Jesus, poor woman.) Yet you could still put it right... but at what cost? OY VEY, this episode. Anyway, back to Alesha... she pulls it off. Because she's fupping brilliant. (And so is Freema, FYI.)

As if all the COPPERS! joy this week wasn't enough, we get a gift-wrapped present of a scene in the form of the stakeout... which could have been very cut and dry, let's face it. But we also get Matt shoving Ronnie's dinner IN AN EVIDENCE BAG to get rid of the stank (LMFAO!) and bonus flak jacket from the lad. OOF. I know, it was like two seconds, but I'm not going to bemoan the lack of Action!Matt because we're already being spoiled.

One minor caveat in all the celebratory squee's for a second just to point out that James is being reckless again. Yeah, I know, it WORKS this time, and that conviction is soooo satisfying, but dude... such a bully sometimes, Jimmy! (Also, with one episode to go that has an eyebrow-raiser of a description, I couldn't help but wonder if Jason's "That's your problem, James, you care. It'll be your downfall one day." was written in as foreshadowing for the series finale? Eek. Note to self: tweet Terry about that later. Don't forget!)

'kay, enough from me. Unleash the squee. 

p.s. it's been a while, but here... have a big fat pic-spam. We've earned it. ;) (Click to embiggen)




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Comments
(Deleted comment)
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: December 6th, 2010 08:14 am (UTC) (Link Me)
But OMG FOUR SUGARS! That is a lot.

It's like for 10 minutes he reverted to a 10-year old who needs a hot cup of tea-flavored syrup to calm down. XD
lemurling From: lemurling Date: December 6th, 2010 08:28 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Loved the episode, lots to say. Must go to bed, but I can't resist one little timeline related jab before I crash.

The bit that caught my attention is when Team Law and Team Order are together and James is picking at Mattie about them being sure it was Mike, and now they're sure it was Marsh, and Alesha all jumping in and telling Matt that James is just 'winding him up'.

Well, it all plays just a little light, considering what it's echoing, namely, the 'James eviscerating Matt' scene in "Anonymous." But of course, no matter how much it seems like 'Law and Order together again', all forgiven, that scene happens no later than Feb 24th. Ronnie doesn't even testify and screw Mattie over until March 18th, and James doesn't brutalize Mattie until March 29th. So this scene should -not- be taken as an 'everything is ok again' scene because all the betrayal hasn't actually happened yet.

It works for me better that way, actually, because if this scene had happened after James called him an arrogant stupid copper, I would not expect Mattie to take -any- kind of questioning of their evidence or conclusions without taking a swing at James. Not unless I had gotten some sort of 'I'm sorry' scene between them first, which of course hasn't happened because there hasn't been a copper/CPS scene yet post-betrayal. (Well, I haven't done the full scene cards set yet for 4.5, but I don't believe there were any cooperative copper/CPS scenes that happened in April.)

So I'm -still- waiting to see what they do with the timeline of the last episode of Series 4 versus the last of Series 3.

(OK, 2 timeline notes. This episode started at Feb 16, so the air order versus timeline order for Series 4 is now: 4.2, 4.1, 4.3, 4.5, 4.4.)
dramaturgca From: dramaturgca Date: December 6th, 2010 08:28 am (UTC) (Link Me)
First off, OMG EPISODE! *snuggles it* Definitely in my top three (With Confession and Honour Bound) So much joy!

Matty admitting to the sister that he saw her brother play, so sweet.

The red herring of the 30K watch that was all over the place and ultimately not actually important in the conviction was awesome.

Matty was on fire here. I love it when they play good cop/hotbad cop. He was so sure of where he was going with the case. And the snark at Mike and then yelling at him to sit down was fantastic.

And the poor poor lad, stuck outside while a kid has a gun on his partner. The jaw acting there was brilliant. He so clearly wanted to go Action!Matt on the kid, but he held back and did as he was told and Ronnie was right, but the strain on poor Matty... And now we know, when Matty is horrifyingly stressed, he needs his tea with four sugars. That's not tea anymore, it's tea flavoured sugar. When I was at the height of my OMGMUSTSUGARTEA phase, I still didn't got that far. (Coffee is another story).

Natalie kicked ass this week. She is so completely in charge and no teenage boy will stand up to her awesome powers of Mum. I eagerly await the day we get an actual Natalie-centric episode.

And then, they let caffinated, over-sugared, hyper-stressed Matt have a solo crack at the mob boss. He's earned it. I loved the moment when Marsh threatened the younger Brookses and Ronnie got all cold and businessy. Sometimes, he's not just a teddy bear.

The throwaway of James teasing Matt and Alesha razzing him a bit too was adorable. So dedicated and serious, Matty. Lighten up, it is a day of victory!

Which doesn't last, but that's predictable. I loved the very brief footie banter between George and James, though it made me sooo sad that they're going away.

James really does go overboard in terms of bullying in this episode, on the other hand, it bothered me less than it has in the past probably mostly because the judge, it feels like, really pushed him to it.

STAKEOUT! OMG STAKEOUT! I loved that sequence entirely. Matt has taken his crusade against Ronnie's eating habits to a whole new level. The bit with the evidence bags was inspired and the callback later in James's and Alesha's office about gaining a stone watching Ron eat was perfect.

And we got the bastard in the end! (Though what Mike was doing out cabbing when he was meant to be in court is quite beyond me)

Aside from being flat terrified of next week (Oh James, what did you DO?!), I was entirely pleased with this episode and I think we're going to miss Terry more than we yet realize.
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: December 6th, 2010 08:34 am (UTC) (Link Me)
I loved the moment when Marsh threatened the younger Brookses and Ronnie got all cold and businessy. Sometimes, he's not just a teddy bear.

THIS. This so hard. Sometimes, they can both be bad cop. Just, y'know, Matt's ratio of being Shouty McShouterton is a little higher. ;)
dramaturgca From: dramaturgca Date: December 6th, 2010 08:41 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Ronnie doesn't have to yell, he has the gravitas of age. And he can shock people by snapping out of teddy mode. Matty though, he's still young and kicky, he yells. He may grow out of it, once he has his dad's voice. And by his dad, I mean EJO. ;)
asta77 From: asta77 Date: December 6th, 2010 12:16 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
An EJO mention I'll allow. But if you bring up Adama, you're banned! ;p
asta77 From: asta77 Date: December 6th, 2010 12:25 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
And now we know, when Matty is horrifyingly stressed, he needs his tea with four sugars. That's not tea anymore, it's tea flavoured sugar. When I was at the height of my OMGMUSTSUGARTEA phase, I still didn't got that far. (Coffee is another story).

Four sugars in coffee I wouldn't have reacted too either, especially if it's police station coffee or the swill they have at my office. ;) But TEA?! And at first I thought Natalie was handing it to Ronnie and, given Ronnie's culinary habits, him taking four sugars (under stressf8ul circumstances) would not have been so surprising. And why are we talking about sugar so much???

LOVED Matt/Jamie in the interrogation room scene. Some of Jamie's best work since 'Confession'.

When Matt put Ronnie's food in the evidence bag, I really thought he was taking to the lab for testing! That if he confronted Ronnie with all the crap he's eating (have we seen him eat a vegetable?), then he might change his ways. :)
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: December 6th, 2010 08:53 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
And why are we talking about sugar so much???

Because it's sugar-high-larious!


(have we seen him eat a vegetable?)

Tomato sauce on pizza? No, that's a fruit. ;)
vegarin From: vegarin Date: December 6th, 2010 08:50 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Oh no. This is Terry Cafolla's last ep? I've always loved the episodes he's written (it helps that he's written some terrific copper-centric eps, but I agree that generally his eps are just better), so this really hurts me.

I've also noticed that Chris Chibnall, who wrote some of my favourite eps from the first season, didn't write a single ep in series three and four. I suppose there's been a change in writing staff? That's just too bad. Sigh.
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: December 6th, 2010 08:54 am (UTC) (Link Me)
It's possible Terry will turn out to have written next week's finale (the writer/director info hasn't been posted yet), but I have a feeling this is it. He usually doesn't get the James-centric eps, but I could be wrong. But, yeah, he won't be back for Series 5/6. :(

Chris Chibnall was the showrunner for Series 1 & 2, but he left to take up the top spot on Starz's upcoming "Camelot." Which though partings of ways are always a little sad, did lead to good things, namely Emilia di Girolamo getting the head writer position. ;)
asta77 From: asta77 Date: December 6th, 2010 12:49 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Oh, and now we know where the Jamie digging through bin bags shots came from.

HA! The same thought leaped to me mind too! ;-)

But honestly... BARRY FLOWERS. How do you DO that and never interfere with the dramatic tension?

Third generation! Always been a Flowers in the flower business! And Matt trying (not very successfully) to stifle hiss laughter! Plus, Jamie + laughter = WIN.

While I was thrilled to see more of Matt and Ronnie this week, I loved that ALL of the law side was given more screen time. Natalie had so many awesome moments (the tea and interrogation scene to name two highlights). But perhaps my favorite moment was when she acknowledged corruption within the force, extending even to her own department. It certainly doesn't reflect badly on her. There will always be people who put money before duty and their fellow officers. But I do wonder how many others in her position - or higher - are willing to admit to that fact? Poor Matt and Ronnie had to work amongst the rubbish bins in order to not have their case blown.
cleefa From: cleefa Date: December 6th, 2010 06:02 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Can I just say I loved the sheer amount of banter in this ep! (I watch it for the cases I swear. *shifty eyes*)

That was a really great ep overall. The case remained up in the air for a bit longer than usual which is great.

Four sugars really is a bit ridiculous. Maybe he really is 12?
lemurling From: lemurling Date: December 6th, 2010 06:29 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I seem to recall Mattie making a crack at the beginning of... "Unsafe" I think it was, about the old man who found the buried body having had a big shock and needing to sit off to the side with the PC and a 'tea with four sugars'. If tea with four sugars isn't a standard UK remedy for severe shocks, then maybe this was a bit of call back to Mattie being snide?

I also totally thought the tea was for Ronnie, and it was just -perfect- that it was for Matt instead. And, snatching the pastry from Ronnie, that might be the first time we've seen Matt eat some of Ron's food? I think there was at least one other scene where we get Mattie eating, though I can't remember which episode, but usually he declines when someone offers him food, especially Ron.
asta77 From: asta77 Date: December 6th, 2010 08:25 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I seem to recall Mattie making a crack at the beginning of... "Unsafe" I think it was, about the old man who found the buried body having had a big shock and needing to sit off to the side with the PC and a 'tea with four sugars'. If tea with four sugars isn't a standard UK remedy for severe shocks, then maybe this was a bit of call back to Mattie being snide?

Oooooh, I hadn't thought about that! Good memory. :) Yeah, it could be either. I guess I'm inclined to think it's standard to offer someone tea with a lot of sugar since Natalie wouldn't have been privy to the prior exchange. Not to mention, I think both she and Ronnie would be sympathetic to Matt being shaken by what could have happened to Ronnie.

I get the impression Matt declines the food because he's ALWAYS being offered food. It's like when I spend the day cooking or baking. There comes a point where I'm sick of seeing it and find it unappetizing. ;)
ayajedi From: ayajedi Date: December 6th, 2010 06:55 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I really enjoyed this episode. The acting was top notch all round
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