Air date: 21st July 2011
Cast: Todd Lasance, Hamish Michael, Ella Scott Lynch, Andrea Demetriades, Indiana Evans, Marta Dusseldorp, Lewis Fitz-Gerald, Jerome Ehlers
Synopsis: Ben’s grandfather is victim to an attack which takes his life, leaving Ben in a fractured state throughout the episode. His friendship with Richard is tested, as Richard is given the case and has trouble pinning the culprit for murder. Meanwhile, Lina is upset with Erin, whom has been handed the big case that she had spent weeks preparing. Tatum tries to be the glue to bring them back together, while preparing for her wedding.
The promise of last week’s episode continues to deliver, with some very intense drama once again having been on offer this week. The synopsis above should provide a pretty good summary of the types of tensions that arise. I have focussed there on the five young leads, but that is not the end of the intrigue on offer. Janet (Dusseldorp) remains sidelined after her leaked memo that has put the DPP under immense media pressure, a situation made worse when she is ambushed for an interview at a coffee stand. A new hot-shot lawyer, Rhys Kowalski (Ehlers) is also brought on the scene, as David (Fitz-Gerald) tries to and regain an element of public credibility for the department.
What I loved about this episode is that with so many stories flying at once, enough attention is given to each to avoid a sense of haphazard editing or a lack of attention to detail. Each individual case has a moment to shine, while also providing some brilliant character moments. The actor that really shined on this occasion was Todd Lasance. As a former Home & Away actor (as were Lynch, Evans and Fitz-Gerald for that matter), I will admit I did not expect much from his performance. Though his character remains unlikeable, his performance was breath-taking. He is a man hanging by a thread, full of anguish over recent events, to the point where it affects his work and his friendships.
RIchard (Michael) is similarly brilliantly performed, expanding on the character he had developed in the opening episodes. He is nervous by nature, but he clearly has a brilliant mind. The process he goes through to confirm that he can place murder charges is almost like a good detective story as each individual piece falls into place. The case is important to Richard, as he values his friendship with Ben, and does not want to be responsible for this killer going free, or at least downgrading to a less severe charge. His friendship with Tatum also develops, as he helps her shop for wedding dresses, Tatum (Evans) herself at the same time trying to get his head back in the game. Though she has no dominant case in this episode, I continue to be impressed by both her character and her performance. She could have very quickly fallen into the token blonde hottie role of the series, yet her character is intelligent, compassionate, and perhaps the most together of the bunch.
Erin (Lynch) faces a difficult task when out of the blue she is handed Lina’s (Demetriades) career-making case. She has no idea why, and has no desire to harm her friendship with her room-mate. The acting is understated, yet genuine. Little does she know this whole situation has come to pass on Kowalski’s insistence, having previously taken a shine to Erin in last week’s episodes. When Lina finds out, she is similarly believably angry and hurt. In addition to this blow, she also must deal with her turn being interviewed by police over the leaked memo scandal. In short a very stressful week, and at the risk of sounding like a broken record, another great performance.
Now that the series can expand from the initial misleading ad campaign, I think it really has the chance to shine on Australian TV. Believe the glowing reviews, believe the Hype, and turn your TV to ABC1 at 8.30pm on Thursday nights. I myself am altering other plans just to do so!!
4 stars out of 5