Crownies Episode 16

Air Date: 20th 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, Sacha Horler

Synopsis: We return to the case of Max Gardiner, the 11-year-old child accused of murdering his younger brother, with the new statement from his own mother expressing doubt as to the innocence of her child.   Meanwhile, Jimmy Butcher uncovers a scandal concerning Judge Rosenberg, which interestingly seems to be very similar to the indiscretion of a real life Australian court official.   Lina is forced to clarify her relationship status after an embarrassing moment being set up by her brother.

After some of the very intense episodes of the last few weeks, the pacing in tonight’s episode feels like the foot was taken off of the accelerator.   Yet this is far from a criticism, feeling like a measured decision to prevent the drama becoming over-bearing, or potentially even worse, melodramatic.

The Gardiner case was perhaps the most dramatic this week, with a very well portrayed incident of a mother’s confusion.   She of course loves her child, and yet holds evidence that make her fear for the safety of her other remaining children, and the one that is on the way.   She receives a surprising level of support from Janet, perhaps to the prosecution’s detriment, which raises the question whether her own pregnancy is influencing her decisions.   These elements lead to a very interesting, and certainly unorthodox court-room scene which does make for some very interesting viewing.

The case of Judge Rosenberg, a well-respected official of the court whom has always represented himself very well in previous episodes, does generate interest through the constant feelings of deja vu.   The case of a judge committing a traffic infringement, then perjuring himself for the simple matter of keeping his license only to have his entire reputation collapse around him should sound very familiar to Australian audiences.   This had the potential to lead to some very lazy writing on the part of the creative team, yet I can certainly appreciate that they took a very measured view of the incident.   Rather than making a flat criminal out of Rosenberg, they portray him as a man whom made a terribly foolish mistake, and whom as a result loses more than a career, but a reputation… something that will remain his epitaph rather than all the good that he had committed prior to this incident.

For the characters interpersonal relationships, the Tatum/Richard show took a bit of a back seat letting the other three main young cast came to the forefront.   Ben once again acts like an arse, yet at least this week he does at least repent.   His targets are Julie, also intrinsically tied up with the Rosenberg matter, and Erin.   Erin is left terribly upset, feeling just another notch on Ben’s bed post, and seriously considers Jimmy the Butcher as an option.   However, there are indications at the end that Ben and Erin may just be the balancing forces needed in each other’s lives, a development that seems quite natural and realistic, and something I do hope to see come to fruition.   Finally Lina finally takes a brave step with Andy, influenced by her brother’s well-meaning but ill-executed acts.   And about bloody time!!

This episode did not reach the same peaks as a number of the episodes that have led up to it, but it is also far from the weakest episode in the season so far, with a good undercurrent of intrigue still being present.

3 stars out of 5


Crownies website

Crownies Episode 16 on IMDB

One thought on “Crownies Episode 16

  1. I certainly enjoy your incisive comments about each Crownies episode, probably the most thoughtful comments I’ve found. It’s a very interesting series that has deepening interest and complexity as it’s continued.
    In episode 16, issues in the Gardner case are strongly layered. I have some pedantic questions about this whole psychopath debate with Max, and think he is more a personality disorder – also very serious. The difficult conflict of values for his Mother is well written and played, as is the seductive pull of the child in trouble.
    The other trap that is easy to fall into is Janet’s role – is she wearing her Parent hat or her Legal hat when she changes tack? It’s too easy to assume that a woman’s hormones will trip her logic. She does however, have a new perspective that Lina doesn’t yet have. She is asking the systemic question about what happens to Max if he is guilty and so far, nobody is taking any notice. The System cannot handle kids like Max and they are bundled around for years between half a dozen agencies all of which “refer the client on”. Jail is not the answer to this ‘nature v nurture’ question and the entire Gardner family needs assistance.
    Thanks again.

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