Air Date: 15th September 2011
Cast: Todd Lasance, Hamish Michael, Ella Scott Lynch, Andrea Demetriades, Indiana Evans, Marta Dusseldorp, Lewis Fitz-Gerald, Jerome Ehlers, Jeanette Cronin
Synopsis:The Mervich case finally goes before a judge, with an abused women’s advocacy group causing a media circus, both inside and outside the court. Janet and Lina research whether to prosecute a young boy who killed his brother while wrestling. Different psychologists opinions differ on whether it was an innocent accident or an act of malice. Tatum and Connor have a fight, with Richard working surreptitiously in the background to mend their relationship.
After feeling that recent episodes had started to flounder after early promise, last night’s episode found itself right back on track. This is hardly surprising, given the majority of the episode was dedicated to the long-gestating Mervich case. In addition, the relationship with Rhys and Erin, the resolution of which I found quite unnecessary last week,was not permitted to continue proceeding down that path, with both parties early on agreeing to maintain a professional relationship. What does work dramatically well about this however is that Rhys does not escape his infidelity, however minor, without suffering consequences.
The Mervich case itself is an emotional rollercoaster. Erin has always been a character ruled by her emotions, and this contributes to some of her undoing. Joanne Mervich’s testimony brings tears to Erin’s eyes, definitely not a good look for a prosecuting advising solicitor. From a legal knowledge standpoint however she excels. I will say though that her poor choices after drinking too much continue to be annoyingly frustrating, as well as annoyingly immature.
For me, it was also good to see Lina finally get a jucier story to deal with, which has the potential to give her character more to do for the rest of the season. At this stage, I do find her to be the most underutilised of the five main young solicitors in the story. The writers have come up with yet another fascinatingly murky legal case with multiple shades of grey. Testimony from a young boys sister that he intentionally murdered the brother with the exclamation “I am the Butcher now!” triggered the Crown case, and the decision whether or not to prosecute is complicated by the conflicting psychiatric reports (though personally, the “expert” claiming he is innocent came across as a bit of a flake to me). It is only secret evidence provided by the child’s own father that may indeed open up this case in interesting ways, and the promo for next week’s episode validate’s this suspicion,
Tatum and Richard are relegated to non-legal, more humorous stories this week, but even this is not a flaw in the episode. If anything, it breaks up some very dark material in what could have amounted to a very dark depressing episode. And of course, once again poor Richard cannot manage to get a break!!
Crownies initially showed promise, was starting to get a bit flabby, but is now back on track. Fingers crossed this can remain the case through to season’s end, which I suspect will coincide with the prosecution of the Attorney General.
4 stars out of 5