The First Evil (asta77) wrote in jamiebambernews,
The First Evil

Law & Order: UK - Discussion For Episode 2.3, "Community Service"

"Community Service", written by Catherine Tregenna

This is an episode where I felt anger towards and sympathy for both the victim and assailant. OK, much more for the victim. And Harry Morgan's actions were in no way excusable. He was motivated by self interest, he let his emotions overtake him and he felt no remorse for almost killing Roland Kirk. Yet, given what we would learn about Roland Kirk, it is conceivable a normally rational non-violent person could snap, could feel he was performing a community Service and doing, to his mind, what the police could not or would not do.

If the verdict was unjust (and I believe it was), it was plausible. The jurors were able to put themselves in Morgan's place and feel his frustration, anger and fear. And given Roland's erratic and occassionally violent behavior, Morgan's lie (Roland attacked him first) could be believed.

What I do find hard to believe is the authorities did nothing to remove Roland from the park and uphold their oath to protect the community. Roland may not have intended to hurt anyone, but he broke Irene Morgan's wrist. He pushed a young boy into the street. He frightened people daily and damaged businesses. Did Roland have to seriously hurt or kill someone before the police acted? It seemed clear the neighborhood had a long list of justifiable complaints, why was he not in some sort of custody?

One quibble I have with the Order side of things (though not with Team Order ;) is Harry Morgan's promise to James at the end. Roland Kirk likely wouldn't be returning to the neighborhood. However, would you tell the prosecutor that if he did return, you'd do it again?

Now, I do have some issues with Team Law. First of all, didn't Ronnie tell the elderly woman, who feared her neighbors would abandon her, that they'd keep her name out of the investigation? Yet, in the next seen, we see he and Matt talking with Joe Butler and telling him he's been identified by her.

I also found Matt's behavior a bit troublesome. I understand he was frustrated by Roland's mental illness and how it made him both an unreliable witness and a witness who could easily be taken apart on the stand by the defense. I can see him making remarks to Ronnie and Natalie about it, in private. But as Roland struggled to remember and mentioned the dragon, Matt cracked, "And he's our star witness." Which lead Roland to state it wasn't funny and ask "Does he think I'm funny?" Matt has been known to make inappropriate comments at the wrong moment. If he apologized or showed regret it would be one thing, but he didn't seem to be bothered that he was rude and insensitive. The character beat struck me as off.
Tags: tv: law and order: uk

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