Air Date: 25th August 2011
Cast: Todd Lasance, Hamish Michael, Ella Scott Lynch, Andrea Demetriades, Indiana Evans, Marta Dusseldorp, Lewis Fitz-Gerald, Jerome Ehlers, Jeanette Cronin
Synopsis: Follows the murder trial for the man responsible for Ben’s grandfather’s death. A series of unfortunate events see Tony taken off the case as lead prosecutor, leaving Janet two hours to prepare for trial. A further hurdle is provided by the fact that Janet is suffering morning sickness, and the fact that Rosenberg is judge, whose assistant is sleeping with Ben, introducing the potential for conflict of interest. Janet is assisted by Richard in the case, who still can’t seem to get a break. The biggest benefit of this eighth episode of Crownies is that it manages to escape the grip of the Mervich case, whilst still giving us a multiple episode storyline case to sink our teeth into. We have observed the emotional impact on Ben as a result of his grandfather’s death, a grief which also saw him identify the wrong man in a police line-up. Though well prepared as a witness, the defence manages to exploit this fact, which is very damaging for the prosecution case. He also does not help his own case… he has shown himself to be a hot head in the past, in this episode he both brawls with witnesses for the defence, and sleeps with Julie, Rosenberg’s assistant, while the case is ongoing. Ben’s father learns of this and is understandably displeased.
Despite all the above listed hassles, Janet holds herself very well, and very convincingly in court. She is an incredible character, remaining strong and succinct in court, managing to appear calm despite a number of external stresses. Some more glimpses are finally offered of her personal life, at the very start of the episode having us learn that her partner Ash is indeed female. It is a small but brilliant twist on expectations, and it is great to see such a strong character in this type of on-screen relationship. The series in its own way seems to be trying to support a person’s lifestyle choice regardless of who you are.
That leaves the other major story being of Richard, and to a smaller degree his relationship with Tatum. He once again has an in trial faux pas, with his mobile going off during opening statements, losing a point of law for Janet in the process. On the flip side though, he identifies the defences weak link, which Janet is able to exploit. In his home life, he shows a hidden talent for the saxophone, which clearly impresses Tatum, but perhaps an attraction to him is also implied. Still, the episode ending is not all win for him, with Bride of Film Nerd’s regular exclamation of “Poor Richard!” once again to be uttered right before the end credits.
There have been more exciting episodes than this one, but what was on-screen was still good, solid drama, and some pretty high quality Australian television.
3.5 stars out of 5