Air Date: 10th November 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: In an episode largely spent outside of the courtroom, our friends at the DPP this week deal with a number of more personal issues, each varied and interesting. Yet even more interestingly, the truth behind the leaked Quinn file is finally revealed to the audience.
I read a review in the last week for the DVD release of the second half of this series, due out within the month. The reviewer criticised the show for having an uneven tone between episodes, and focussing more on the court room than on the inter-personal relationships of the five young solicitors that headline the show. The opinion I feel is partially valid, yet I cannot help but feel it over-simplifies the series. The tone does change from week to week, with hardly anything seen of the court-room seen in last night’s episode. I feel this is unfair though, as most legal dramas do vary the balance between the court and behind the scenes. I also feel the comment that there is too much of the courtroom in this series absurd as well, as I have stated previously I find it refreshing to see the Australian legal system finally on show.
Last night’s episode, however, I feel both that reviewer and I can agree on. It was above all a character study that delved deeply into each of our leads lives and exposed some real raw emotion. One case in which this was prominent was with Lina trying to help Andy cope with his accidental killing of a fellow officer. In a brilliant performance, Andy (Christopher Morris) was a man falling apart and grasping at straws. Lina is normally a very strong character, but in the face of great such work from Morris, she was almost window dressing in her scenes tonight. It was a realistic portrayal of a man whom cannot be held responsible for his mistake, but whom will remain haunted by it for the rest of his life, regardless.
In yet another powerful performance of the episode, Tatum is elevated from comic side-note to a powerful lead with this episode. She has her first visit to gaol, to interview a witness of a conflict which has occurred on the inside. The initial mistake here is Tony’s, leaving her alone with a hardened criminal, whom proceeds to grope her under the table. In an act of fear and defiance, Tatum threatened the man with the retribution of her father. Legally, it was the wrong thing to do, as the witness was irrevocably tainted. Yet given the circumstances, it is hard to blame her, introducing an interesting little legal grey area, which Tony intelligently walks the fine line of both redressing Tatum while also acknowledging his own fault in the process.
The other meaty story was of course what seems to be the end of the Quinn case, with the former AG succumbing to his illness, and the DPP submitting a motion to hence discontinue the case. It is this action which finally reveals the truth behind the leaked DPP memo on the case in the first episode. Those that have not seen the episode, I warn there are major *spoilers* ahead, as it is hard to make comment on this part of the episode otherwise. Julie reveals to Ben in an upset fit that she stole the file, hoping Quinn would see justice after the same man had raped his own sister. This leaves Ben in a legal mess, knowing he has a responsibility to report this, and save his own bacon, which is at war with his own feelings for her. This also leads him into severe, emotionally hard-hitting conflict with his father, whom wishes him to hang Julie out to dry. Given Ben’s upbringing, it is almost hard to hate him, despite a lot of the irresponsible acts he has been prone to. His acts here though are certainly redemptive. It remains to be seen however, if he has made the right choice or not.
On a happier note, Richard has a great episode, finally scoring a victory not only in romance, but also over Judge Walker, whom has up until now treated him with such an increasing level of contempt as to be decidedly unprofessional. His is an underdog victory story, which perhaps adds no meat to the episode, but gives the audience a moment to cheer for what is one of the most likeable characters of the show. Which leaves Erin, seeking redemption due to the mistakes she fell into as a result of her drinking. This is only lightly touched on, but given the focus she has been of late this is hardly a flaw in the episode. One does get a sense of relief though that such an intelligent person is finally turning a redemptive corner away from her recent stupidity.
This was a true character driven story, and I feel the season is certainly stronger for it. With only three episodes left to the season, one can only hope that this is the sign they are building to a smashing season finale!!
4.5 stars out of 5