Law & Order “Repeat To Fade” was the final episode of series 8, and possibly the final episode of the show. Earlier this month, ITV announced that Law & Order UK would “rest” for now, this being the last episode for the foreseeable future, and that Bradley Walsh was leaving the show. This was sad news for Law & Order fans both in the UK and in the US, the UK show being the only way US viewers can get a “fix” of new episodes in their beloved “mothership” Law & Order format. (Hopefully series 8 will air on BBC America now that it finished its UK run but as of right now there is no word on that.) Bradley Walsh leaving the show is a huge loss. Bradley has been with Law & Order UK since the very beginning, and his character Ronnie Brooks is clearly the most interesting and most layered. It seemed when Ronnie was “born” into the Law & Order universe he was modeled after Law & Order’s Lennie Briscoe, but over the years Ronnie developed into his own unique character. I can’t say whether the show deciding to “rest” has anything to do with Bradley’s exit, but his character has been so integral that finding someone to replace him could be a daunting task. I can only hope that someday Law & Order UK will return. The show was produced by Kudos, who did an exceptional job in delivering a high quality episode each week. Law & Order UK is probably the most visually interesting of all the shows in the Law & Order brand. Each scene was framed, lit, and filmed beautifully. Even the most common location shots were staged just right to bring a scene to life. It also featured consistently excellent writing and a great cast. I am going to miss this show tremendously.
“Repeat to Fade” was based on the original Law & Order episode “Marathon” (season 10, episode 6 ) where Detective Lennie Briscoe insisted that a suspect confessed to him, and only Lennie heard that confession. “Repeat to Fade” had an identical theme but the story still felt fresh and interesting. In this case, Ronnie also has to deal with a new boss, Elizabeth Flynn, who replaced DI Wes Leyton after his murder. Things get off to a rocky start, and things don’t get better when only Ronnie hears a confession from a suspect in a high profile murder case. Viewers feel like they know Ronnie so we already trust that he did hear what he said he heard. But his own boss DI Flynn thinks he is a dinosaur and her boss, Commander Stone, is ready to put Ronnie out to pasture. It’s a huge embarrassment that Flynn is publicly tough on knife crime and her team can’t seem to nail the person who killed a woman with a knife. The legal case hits a brick wall when the limited evidence they have is circumstantial. Thankfully, the Ronnie we know and love remains diligent and manages to find the one shred of evidence that can put the case together and to put a young killer behind bars.
Even though Ronnie was offered a job by Flynn and Stone which would move him off the street, we never hear if Ronnie has accepted the job. I assume that, with Ronnie working so passionately to (successfully) close his current case, that he had no intention of leaving. Now that Bradley Walsh has decided to exit the show, and the show won’t be returning for the foreseeable future, we can only wish that Ronnie is happy doing whatever Ronnie has decided to do. Many thanks to Bradley Walsh for making the beloved Ronnie Brooks come to life and for making viewers truly care about him.
Law & Order UK fades to black…for now.
Here is the recap:
Bradley Walsh - DS Ronnie Brooks
Ben Bailey Smith – DS Joe Hawkins
Sharon Small - DI Elizabeth Flynn
Dominic Rowan - Jacob Thorne
Georgia Taylor - Kate Barker
Peter Davison - Henry Sharpe
Jing Lusi - Gabby
Natasha Sparkes - Carla
Joss Porter - Rodin
Raffaello Degruttola - Niccolo
Nicholas Blane - Oswald Spear
Adelayo Adedayo - Kayla
Mark Bagnall - Thomas King
Clifford Barry - Albert Carlow
Liam Sargeant – Jack Carlow
Adjoa Andoh - Lilly
Leo Gregory - Warren Lennox
Shereen Gray - Shonda Washington
Kasey Mckellar - Bobbi Washington
Pippa Bennett-Warner - Zana Washington
Fady Elsayed - Jamal
Nisha Nayar - Namita Cresswell
Tony Gardner – Commander Douglas Stone
Michael Culkin - Justice Lockwood
Colin Salmon - Doug Greer
Michael Byers - Robert Page
At the Farmer’s Market in Southwark on Saturday, December 13th, DS Ronnie Brooks and DS Joe Hawkins help a woman who had been stabbed as emergency medical people race to the scene. Ronnie asks Joe who called it in, and Joe explains it was PCS Lennie and he is giving a statement to a uniform and that SOCO is on the way. The woman is Sally Carlow, she is 24 years old and she was carrying some sweets and her purse has 40 quid in it. The officer tending to the woman tells the detectives Sally was already gone bus she will pronounce her dead at the hospital.
Joe and Ronnie speak with witnesses, who didn’t see Sally get knifed, they just saw a guy running away. A man said he was wearing a black leather jacket but a woman says it was blue. He also wore a red football shirt with a logo but the witnesses differ on the name of the team. Ronnie speaks with another witness who saw the man flee on a scooter, a Typhoon 50cc but he did not see the registration. He wore white helmet with a green a red stripe like his flag.
At the mortuary on the same day. Ronnie and Joe hear there were no identification markings for the knife, which went straight through the femoral artery. The angle of the wound indicates the attacker was 5’4” or 5’5”. They wonder if the killer was a woman or a kid.
Later. at MIU central headquarters, Joe, playing darts, asks Ronnie how come so many witnesses can see so many different things. Ronnie thinks it is because it happened so fast and it takes a while to sink in, the suspect goes missing, and they are stuck talking to the Italian tourist board. As Ronnie tries to get Joe back to the darts, Kayla tells them that CCTV us on its way in and she will track the red scooter. Ronnie tells her the full reg is the priority. As they go back to darts, they notice a news conference on the TV with their new “gov” DI Elisabeth Flynn, who started Monday. She talks about knife crime which is her priority. The ask her about Sally’s stabbing which happened an hour prior and she looks caught off guard. Ronnie says “ouch” adding that Flynn was bitten by her own sound bite, saying she is being a plonk and she knows it. But Flynn has just entered the room and hears this and when Joe thinks Ronnie got the term plonk wrong, Flynn corrects him and says Ronnie did get it right, it means “person of little or no knowledge” and it was Ronnie’s generation called “dinosaurs” before they realized they had brains as well as tits. Ronnie says he was just saying…and Flynn cuts him off and says she knows exactly what he was saying, and fighting knife crime is not just a sound bite for her. She tells Joe to go and get the eyewitness reports and when he is finished with his game of darts, there is a murder for him to solve. As Flynn leaves, Joe turns to Ronnie and says he likes her, then shoots his dart and leaves.
Afterwards, walking outside, Ronnie says he will not have her accusing him of being a dinosaur, and Joe replies he didn’t think it is him he needs to be telling. Ronnie replies he’s looking for another chance to make a first impression. Joe gets a phone call from Kayla who tells him the owner of the scooter is at Chadwicke Estate.
At the home of Thomas King at Chadwicke Estate later in the day, the find that his red scooter was nicked that morning. He didn’t report it because they police haven’t responded to his complaints before. They explain the stabbing and Thomas asks if they think it was him because he is short and more suspicious. Joe replies in this investigation, yes. Thomas says someone stole his scooter and dumped it, and tells them it is at the other side of the estate.
Ronnie and Joe find the burned scooter and Joe thinks they won’t get anything off it. Thomas also tells them his crash helmet was laying next to it.
Back at MIU as Flynn sets up her office, the detectives explain Thomas works at the local café and they confirmed he was there. Ronnie shows her the bagged helmet and that Lilly will take some prints from it. She tells them if there is any news to let her know, and to think of her as the third man on the team. Ronnie smirks and looks at Joe, and Flynn asks if that is a problem. Ronnie says no, not at all. She replies good, she likes to keep her hands dirty. Kayla enters and informs them she tracked down Sally’s next of kin; her dad Albert is downstairs and she has a son, Jack.
They speak with Albert Carlow while Jack waits in another room. He wants answers. Sally has been in London two years and she came here to teach art to kids. Ronnie thinks this was random but asks if anyone wanted to hurt Sally or had a grudge. Albert says no, she only had time for Jack and the kids at school. Joe asks for a list of her friends in the area. Ronnie explains they have lots of eyewitness statements they are working on. Ronnie promises they will get him and Albert asks how does he tell Jack he lost his mother.
Ronnie and Albert enter the room where Jack is waiting. Ronnie explains he is a policeman who doesn’t wear a uniform and he has been around a long time, like a dinosaur. He says there are things he doesn’t understand in this world, and sometimes bad things happen to good people. He can’t explain it, but today something sad has happened and…Joe watches from outside the room as Ronnie delivers the news.
At the forensics lab on Sunday December 14, Lilly says the owners prints were on the helmet but found another partial thumbprint and she will email what she has. Ronnie thanks her for coming in and she says no problem, anything for him.