Air Date: 13th October 2011
Cast: Todd Lasance, Hamish Michael, Ella Scott Lynch, Andrea Demetriades, Indiana Evans, Marta Dusseldorp, Lewis Fitz-Gerald, Jerome Ehlers, Jeanette Cronin, Peter Kowitz
Synopsis:Ben is having difficulty with handling his more problematic cases, palming off work to Lina and Erin. For Erin, this means prosecuting the case from weeks back of a father accidentally forgetting his infant child in his car, with fatal results. Ben does however pursue a case of a woman fighting a priest over her treatment during an exorcism, which she only agreed to under extreme circumstances. Richard once again has to face off against Judge Walker, with two unreliable stoner witnesses who were assaulted by the owner of an ice-cream van after they themselves broke into the van.
The headline case this week was that of a young woman’s exorcism, which originally upon hearing that had me fear that this would be one of the more absurd episodes that the series was prone to earlier this season. However, as it turns out, my fears were misplaced. As told in this episode, the subject of the exorcism was a non-believer third year medical student whom agreed to the exorcism at the behest of her fiance. The way she was treated over a three-day period was nothing short of horrendous, and far exceeded what she was told would be three days of prayer and meditation.
So taking a subject of many a horror film and putting it in a more realistic light was quite fascinating subject matter to begin with. Early on however, Tony is reluctant to prosecute, and he has very clear succinct reasons as to why taking the priest responsible for this crime before a jury may indeed see him go free, the best alternative option being a plea bargain. As the case is further developed though, it becomes even more interesting, seeing the subject of the exorcism experience one of the episodes that prompted the exorcism, examining medical reasons for it, and further delving into why she agreed to something she did not believe in initially.. So, something that could have been quite farcical was handled with sensitivity, research, and was actually quite dramatically effective.
Meanwhile, Richard’s story line was a further examination of things just not going right for him. This is once again well performed, but perhaps is getting a little repetitive. Yes, as an audience we know his life is tragic. We have seen fourteen episodes of his life being tragic with two or three minor victories throughout. Richard is a great character, and I would rather see more episodes of his growth as a solicitor rather than continuously raising the bar on the difficulties he is facing. This segment was still well performed, and does not detract from the episode, I was simply hoping for a little more with such a brilliant character.
Erin reluctantly takes over from Ben in what was a very emotional case a number of episodes ago. Despite Ben feeling that a father had suffered enough after his actions brought about the death of his own child, David decides to prosecute, his reasons for such being quite succinct, as it turns out, quoting statistics that 5 children a day have to be rescued from being left in a boiling hot car. Ben’s propensity to send these matters elsewhere has indeed put his career in jeopardy. Erin does a fine job in court in this difficult matter, even though her emotions are never far from the surface either. The father’s response to his sentence is perhaps the most powerful moment of this episode, realistically portrayed and absolutely heart-breaking. It is an impressive example of television drama, that has such a large impact despite requiring comparatively very little screen time. In fact, if more time was devoted to this case, they may have belaboured a point that in reality needs little to no explanation at all. Absolutely brilliant stuff, but difficult to watch for any person who is or wants to be a parent.
I was convinced earlier this week that I did not need to buy this series on DVD, having already been avidly following it on ABC1. If the show can continue to maintain this quality however, I may indeed have to change my mind.
4 stars out of 5