Air Date: 28th July 2011
Cast: Todd Lasance, Hamish Michael, Ella Scott Lynch, Andrea Demetriades, Indiana Evans, Marta Dusseldorp, Lewis Fitz-Gerald, Jerome Ehlers
Synopsis: It is Tatum’s turn to be interviewed by the police concerning the leaked memo. In the process, we learn a good deal more about her family history. She is also tasked with Richard to determine whether a bizarre claim from an eccentric professor is worth prosecuting. Richard’s living arrangements with Tatum and Connor is also made more difficult as he now has to pretend to be gay to avoid Connor getting jealous of him. Ben is given a difficult case to determine whether he can soundly apply the rule of law without being overly emotional after his recent distress. Cop Andy is also making personal calls to Lina and Erin’s apartment to drop off witness statements for Erin on her ground-breaking case, while he also tries to surreptitiously spend some intimate moments with Lina in the process.
I apologise I took so long to get this review up. I was watching Captain America when it first aired on ABC1, and in the process of waiting for Episode 4 to become available on iView, I was completely unaware ABC2 aired the episode again at 10.30pm on Friday night. So I finally saw it on Saturday night, and at that stage I was so excited about the Gametraders Blacktown birthday bash. I am correcting for my error now, though.
Yet again, this episode delivers some high quality drama while raising some interesting legal questions. In addition to the story elements I have listed above, David and Janet have to deal with a situation which arises by a bill the AG office wishes to introduce to allow the DPP power to keep a criminal in gaol beyond his sentence in the interest of public safety. This presents the DPP with a dilemma as it means that state legislature will then encroach on matters of the justice system, and as such may be unconstitutional. David leaves it in Janet’s hands to handle, the first trust he has placed in her since the original leaked memo scandal.
These elements were interesting dramatically, whereas it was Ben’s case this week that packed real emotional punch. Ben’s character was allowed to grow in this episode beyond the self-absorbed lothario or the distressed relative to a man who has to deal with a great moral dilemma and comes out shining. A child has died due to his father’s negligence, leaving him in the car. We see footage of his interview with police, and it is heart-wrenching stuff, clearly the matter of a good, honest man making a horrendous mistake. Ben has to decide whether prosecution is necessary. All the elements needed for a case are there, but could legal punishment possibly be worse than the life-long sentence which he is already serving.
I felt in this episode Tatum and Richard were more side-lined, but that is already a risk with an ensemble cast of seven lead actors. Tatum’s history is quite interesting though, as we learn her life of privilege is related to her father’s crime-boss history. She has clearly tried to establish her career separate to her home life, and it proves difficult for her in this episode as her two worlds collide. Richard is even more side-lined with his character needing to do little more than pretend to be gay. The case they are working on provides good comic relief however on multiple fronts, which I think was a smart choice from the writers to prevent the series getting too bogged down in the dark side of humanity. A mathematics professor wishes to be arrested for stealing thousands of dollars from people who each committed $2 to him each time they logged onto a porn site. How can you prosecute him when those he stole from do not wish to be identified as porn users?? So yes, a slight case, but it was included in good context with the rest of the episode, and so I would not claim it was a fault to include this case.
The other big story-line is Erin trying to get her case perfect in the Mervich case,and in the process unravelling some very interesting facts that make the case less straight-forward than it at first seemed, while at the same time building a strong enough case to prosecute. To get there however, she has to deal with taciturn cop Andy, whom she is unaware is currently in a relationship with Lina. This leads to some outrageous moments where Lina and Andy are intimate one room away from Erin as she processes the latest data he has brought over. These parts of the show do get a bit OTT for me, but I suppose it is what a good portion of the public want, especially given the success of the Underbelly franchise for similar reasons. As such, if the show needs to do that to keep being made and telling all the other fascinating stories that it is, so be it.
Overall, Crownies continues to move from strength to strength. Though elements do strike me as not always appropriate, the drama presented in the majority of the episode is of the highest calibre. Previews for next week indicate Erin is up for her police interrogation next, and given she has memory blanks of the night, it may not go very well for her… Can’t wait!
3.5 stars out of 5.