Air Date: 24th November 2011
Cast: Todd Lasance, Hamish Michael, Ella Scott Lynch, Andrea Demetriades, Indiana Evans, Marta Dusseldorp, Lewis Fitz-Gerald, Jeanette Cronin, Peter Kowitz, Daniel Lissing, Sacha Horler
Synopsis: This is not only a season finale, but also a series finale, as reports seem to indicate the series will not be back for a second season. A number of loose ends are tied up, however a few old cases come back to haunt the DPP, with interesting results. Overall though, this episode is mainly about following character story arcs through to some interesting conclusions.
Watching this episode, I do not get the feeling that this is a true series finale. Yes, some major story lines are brought to a conclusion, and yet, at least for me, there is so much more left hanging in the air. I have read that whilst Crownies is ending, there may be a spin-off series to take its place. Part of me will not be satisfied unless some of these elements are addressed when tis spin-off airs.
What makes this feeling more prominent is the fact that episode 22 was just so good. No new cases were introduced, however two of the most significant cases observed over the season did return to have repercussions for the DPP. Last episode, David was given hard evidence as to the guilt of Nicholas Quinn, but is left in a moral dilemma whether it is worth him exonerating himself for pursuing the dying man, or to let his family finally find some peace. His conclusion is somewhat surprising, and introduces one story that I would like to see more of in the future.
The other case was the Max Gardiner case. This also takes a surprising turn, as it is not Max whom kills again, rather he is the victim. I will say that I did guess the truth of this case before it was finally revealed, however the conclusion to this matter still had a huge emotional resonance, even knowing in advance what was going to happen. Sacha Horler once again performs brilliantly as a mother in an almost incomprehensible position, yet the story does not descend into histrionics. The progression feels natural for each of the characters involved, and despite the extremity of the situation, it does strike me that as an audience there is finally some closure for this case.
The rest of the episode was largely character based. I was a bit disappointed that there was very little to observe here of Lina and Ben for a finale. However, both characters get a suitably upbeat ending, with a focus on Lina and Andy being engaged, and confirmation that Ben is a true friend to Richard. There is one loose thread here though, with Ben apparently being cut off on his father’s plastic. This simple matter,which formed one line in the episode, still indicates there could be more to this story, and one I would have hoped in any other case to be picked up in another season.
Erin’s story is picked up, giving some closure after her apparent exit last week. It is clear Janet still believes in her potential, going to great efforts to try to get her to reconsider her position. This is another element left unfinished. Janet made some very salient points to get her to consider coming back, yet this process is interrupted by Janet’s water breaking. The subsequent rush to hospital and labour, in which Janet only has Erin for support, is actually quite effectively played for laughs. This is quite appropriate though, as it cements the fact that these two maintain a firm friendship, despite their differences in age and experience. I would at some point like to know exactly what direction Erin’s career heads in though.
Finally, there is some resolution to the Tatum and Richard story arc, even if it is not quite so surprising. Tatum discovers Conrad’s assault charge, and ends her relationship with him, fearing in the process for her career if she is associated with an apparent thug charged with assaulting a police officer. This leads to her having a night out drinking, interestingly enough with Tracey, the latter whom is facing her own fears and doubts in this episode, partially as a result of David’s decisions concerning the Quinn case. To say more on that matter is to reveal major spoilers, but suffice it to say, Tatum and Tracey as drinking buddies after a season of animosity was another surprisingly comic element to be added to the episode.
It is no surprise however (especially as this was already shown in the “next week” preview at the end of last week’s episode) that there are mutual feelings between Richard and Tatum, and these are finally given expression by the episode’s end. It was really the natural conclusion for these characters, with aq relationship that has been naturally built upon over the course of 22 episodes. Also, given Richard’s frequent run of bad luck, one cannot help but cheer that he now has one of the best victories of all.
To end the series, Crownies has provided a corker of an episode. It was so good, that one may notice that the entire extent of my criticisms of the episodes relate to my disappointment that it will not be returning next year. This episode left me wanting more, and my main desire is to have this feeling fulfilled. If a spin-off series does eventuate, some resolution of these hanging story threads would be very much appreciated.
5 stars out of 5