Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Inspector Lewis - Entry Wounds - Episode Review

Sidekick promotion has always proved somewhat of a stickler for long-running detective shows. There’s some reshuffling of authority, which can often produce manufactured drama. In Morse the transition was rocky, as an ailing Morse had so little confidence in his sergeant’s abilities that he shadowed him incognito, much to Lewis’s dismay.

This time around, Superintendent Innocent has recruited a retired Robbie Lewis as back-up for newly promoted D.I. Hathaway. Hathaway is not too hip on this idea, and does his usual Brooding number. Unsurprisingly, we only get half a glimpse of his motivations, something involving doubts and faith and insecurity, probably, and also some trip to a church in Spain, and now he’s in a bad mood and nobody knows why, even him. Is this just me? It’s what makes the character interesting, but also frustrating—he is just sort of a vague intelligence without reality. Morse, on the other hand, was constantly displaying tangible flaws, and his existential ponderings had real weight because of it.

Hathaway’s also being tough on his new sergeant. Her name is Lizzie Maddox (Angela Griffin), and she doesn’t seem to have much of a purpose beyond being a Black Female To Remind Us This Isn’t Racist Like Midsomer Murders

That’s too bad, because Maddox has the practical empathy, and the Leeds accent, to provide a nice, down-to-earth contrast to a cerebral Hathaway. This isn’t entirely her fault: she’s a third wheel on an already established and comfortable duo. On the other hand—there’s a scene in this episode in which she is able to provide a professional but caring response to an issue totally outside Hathaway’s comfort zone. It justifies her inclusion for this episode at least, and I hope we see more of it in future.

The victim is a surgeon whose record was marred by the accusation of being drunk while operating. The accuser was a man who may or may not be having an affair with the surgeon’s wife. Nabeel, the boy in the surgery, is in a catatonic state and is still living with his parents. The nurse who was present during the surgery is related to an elderly lady living in the hunting reserve where the surgeon was killed. Also, there are animal activists, who are angry.

As Snoopy wrote: “Meanwhile, on a small farm in Kansas a boy was growing up.”

Needless to say, this leaves us with a lot of suspects. Hathaway and Lewis juggle interviews as Lewis struggles with his new status as second fiddle extraordinaire (God knows why—he always has been second fiddle to a smart Oxford drop-out).

An interesting element is the focus on what life is. On the one hand, folk are yelling incoherent things about animal abuse. On the other, Nabeel’s parents wish to end his life, for incoherent reasons. In the end, the motive for murder is a misplaced desire for justice which discounts the importance of human life. All this raises some intriguing questions which are teased, but fade away. One thing I can say for George Gently: it may be melodramatic at times, but it chases issues right down to gritty reality. Could Lewis afford to do that? Is Lewis brave enough to do that? I’m not sure.

Lest this seem like one long post complaining about the over-arching issues of the show (of course, that is what it is), this was quite a good episode. Solid, if predictable. Like the show itself.

My review of next week's episode

Want something good to watch? Check out my full list of good detective shows.

3/5 stars


No comments:

Post a Comment

WARNING: Blogger sometimes eats comments - copy before you post.