Disclaimer first: I watched to see if they handled Matt's departure in a manner similar to how CSI managed the departure of Warrick (i.e., with a visual nod to the grieving fans). Result: Disappointed.
The initial crime scene was very well done. The legal tennis match in this episode was interesting to me. The performances? I found them to be hollow. The jump into the partnership on team law seems, well, forced. Sam Casey 's character has yet to be developed, so we can reserve judgement, but there was nothing between Paul and Bradley that seemed to anchor the partnership. It was really like watching two people who didn't know each other very well working together. Then again, considering the trauma that Ronnie has just been through, he may well be loathe to open himself to another partner and playing it that way added a bit of truth.
The less I say about Dominic, the better. Hurrah for Freema/Alesha in a wig! And it was nice to see a little grit from Peter's Henry.
I admit, this criticism may be unfair but, I think that Ben, Jamie and Bill, if given this script would have knocked it out of the park. Notwithstanding the history between Matt and James, both actors have what I can only describe as an understanding of their faces that they used to communicate without dialogue, and that was missing for me in terms of how intense the last scenes could have been.
In all honesty, when I watched the Mothership, I never liked Ray Curtis and always preferred Ben Stone, and I hated Abbey Carmichael, so being hard on the replacements may be my thing. Seeing Sam at Matt's desk, I just wanted to scream, "get out of there!" However, I loved Ed Green, Michael Cutter and all of the other ADA's so I get over it. I'll watch next week.