Air Date: 1st September 2011
Cast: Todd Lasance, Hamish Michael, Ella Scott Lynch, Andrea Demetriades, Indiana Evans, Marta Dusseldorp, Lewis Fitz-Gerald, Jerome Ehlers, Jeanette Cronin, Tammy MacIntosh
Synopsis: Lina is handling a drugs case with the aid of an undercover cop whom has been compiling evidence for three years. Trouble is, has he developed his own heroin problem in that time? Erin spends much of her time fending off more advances from Jimmy “The Butcher”. Richard finally has a reliable witness in the form of a very attractive older psych expert (All Saints’ MacIntosh). Janet’s requested four weeks leave starts the intra-office gossip mill.
The lynch-pin of last night’s episode was Lina dealing with an undercover cop potentially dealing with an addiction as a result of his very high risk occupation. She is faced with the dilemma of whether to confront him about it, yet when she does so, she goes about it the wrong way. It is a strong, hard-hitting story, and played out beautifully. Demetriades gives her best performance of the series to date, in an episode that requires an extreme emotional range.
I wish I could say that the quality showed in that story was matched by the other story threads on display here. Especially in comparison to that main story, the rest of the episode seems a little trite. Richard finally gets an in-court victory, in front of the very same judge that has intimidated him on two prior occasions, no-less. Yet they cheapen that story with his witnesses cougar like tendencies, and her analysis of Richard as being sexually repressed. Amusing, certainly. Necessary, not so much.
Janet comes off better, with very little screen time. Her story revolves around the shock that she should request time off at the busy start of financial year. The story does go somewhat to examine the invasion of a person’s space, and her snap at Tracey for making the knowledge public is priceless. Unfortunately, too little screen time is given to Dusseldorp’s Janet this week, and as has been the case previously, the whole episode does not feel quite as charged as those in which she is prominent.
There are one or two other story threads… Erin dealing once again with Jimmy, and facing her internal debate of whether she did indeed leak the memo, the event that kick-started the season. Richard;s home life is also complex, as pretending to be gay in front of Connor is starting to wear him down. Once again, there is effective comedy here, but I again ask if it is necessary.
Perhaps given how dark Lina’s case was this week, it was a conscious decision to make the rest of the episode lighter. As a concept, I have no problem with this, and often in the past the series has achieved this balance quite well. This week though, the scales were tipped heavily in favour of comedy, such that though I still enjoyed the episode, it did not have the same impact as other, better episodes which had preceded it.
3 stars out of 5