Crownies Episode 17

Air Date: 27th 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: The Quinn trial gets a set back, being adjourned for 6 months as a result of a shock jock’s inflammatory comments.   Tracey founds a mislaid file, and to cover her incompetence she approaches Richard with the file implying it has been in his possession for months.   Lina is the victim of a number of practical jokes in the office concerning her relationship with Andy.   Erin, whilst handling a rape case, breaks things off with Jimmy and runs into Ben’s arms, unaware the latter has now made a commitment to Julie.   Jimmy’s response is to petulantly inform Erin that she was the one that had leaked him the Quinn file after all.

The Quinn trial only plays a small part in tonight’s episode, and yet as ever its effects colour the entire series.   The DPP’s reputation is on the line, and having the case adjourned, with the DPP given the possible task of removing all publication of a shock jock’s comments from the media, does nothing to help this matter.   In addition, the mystery of who leaked the file to Jimmy in the first case is answered.   However, the manner of the reveal was done in such a way that may cast doubt later on, as it may just be Jimmy trying to wound Erin the way she had him??

Otherwise, the focus story of tonight is on Richard, himself given an unfair task of compiling an entire case in just over 24 hours, a case he would have otherwise been given months to prepare under normal circumstances.   It is yet another episode to reflect poorly on Tracey, though I assume her character is designed to portray that stereotypical self-important character in any office.   Her character sways from being despicable, to having a deeply buried heart.   This heart is also shown tonight, in her peace-offering to Richard, the element of a guilty conscience, and the reveal that her disapproval of Lina’s relationship is NOT a professional distaste, but from a deeper understanding the consequences of being in a relationship with a police officer.   As such, her character does have unexplored layers that continue to make her interesting rather than a one-note irritant.

As for Richard’s case, it brings him into disagreement with Tony, who is in charge of the case, and dismisses a lot of evidence that Richard considers key.   He quickly becomes emotionally attached to the case of an 18-year-old boy struck by a rival’s car, an impact that has put him in a coma from which he will never wake.   To make matters worse, the case is in front to Richard’s nemesis, Judge Walker.   Tony does not appear co-operative with Richard at all, but the character once again impresses with a brief glimpse of heart, which is quickly having me add Peter Kowitz to Marta Dusseldorp’s current position of most impressive actor in the series.

Finally, we have Erin’s continuing struggle with her personal life.   Tonight she breaks down as a result of her mounting problems and insecurities, and finds herself seeking comfort from Ben.   This confirms that there is something between them, the seeds of which have been planted for a few weeks now.   Unfortunately this leads us to a love-triangle story, a dramatic option that always makes me squeamish, as Ben had finally made a commitment to Julie earlier in the episode.   To make matters worse, Ben now seems genuinely more interested in Erin.   I can only hope that this subject matter is handled dramatically and that in future weeks it does not descend into melodrama.

I feel there were some mis-steps this week on grounds of interpersonal relationships, but the strength of Hamish Michael’s performance of Richard on an impossible deadline, and Kowitz making a complex but believable character of Tony, prevent this episode from descending too far below the series usual quality.

3 stars out of 5


Crownies website

Crownies Episode 17 on IMDB


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