Friday, October 8, 2010

Law & Order UK “Survivor” Recap & Review

All photos form NBCU
Law & Order UK “Survivor” delivers another fine remake of an original season 9 Law & Order episode titled “Punk”, which was written by Matt Witten. In that episode, ADA Abbie Carmichael faced a prisoner that she’d previously put in prison, with Abbie being her usual hard ass self about the current case and the woman involved. In this episode, Alesha Phillips doesn’t cop the same narrow attitude and it seemed a better treatment of the original story line. Alesha did have a past with the suspect, but it seemed that Alesha was a little quicker to look at the new case with an open mind. It’s Ben Steel that wants to go for the big fish - a murdering drug smuggler who uses women in more ways than one. It’s Alesha who is able to get their witness to help put the drug dealer away. Unlike the original episode where Abbie, at the end, drops the news that she was raped, Alesha doesn’t need to, as viewers of the Law & Order UK series already know that Alesha was raped in an episode in season 1.

It was evident that James Steel was out for blood in this case, and he was less than sympathetic in trying to get cooperation from the witness. In the end, this worked to their favor as he was able to get his witness to slip up and be painted into a corner so she had no choice but to spill the story. At least Alesha was there to add the balance of offering to help their witness get protection and deal with what happened to her, giving her the desire to help put the guy away for good.

Here is the recap:
Prison Officer Charlie Tyner is found dead near a child’s play area, the body and the gun found by two young girls. He had recently received a promotion to work at another prison. DS Ronnie Brooks (Bradley Walsh) and DS Matt Devlin (Jamie Bamber) speak with the prison warden at the prison' Tyner applied for a promotion to be closer to his family. She speaks highly of him but says there was a prisoner - Ellis Bevan - at Ashbridge where Tyner spoke against his parole.

The detectives try to track down Bevan but he hasn't checked in to his parole officer and seems to have a job. They find Bevan (Celyn Jones) at work and he says he is volunteering to work there with kids so he didn’t report he was a sex offender. Devlin arrests him for breaking the conditions of his license and take him in for questioning. They find that Tyner had Bevan beat up by a “lifer.” But Bevan denies killing him for revenge and he has on an ankle bracelet which tracks his whereabouts, which confirms he was at the hostel all night.

The check into Tyner’s financial records and find he was staying at the Star hotel, and they wonder why he was there rather than stay at home. The check with Kalina (Algina Lipskis) who used to “work” there – she dances now – and she knows him – he was dealing heroin.

Later, the detectives check into whether he was dealing at the prison and the go back to Cold Norton and hone in on one girl, Tamika Vincent (Wunmi Mosaku) who had refused a drug test and is in segregation. She is being controlled and restrained. They speak with Tamika and question her about the drugs and she is reluctant to speak.

Back with DI Natalie Chandler (Harriet Walter) they say Tamika is from the same area where Charlie was shot and thinks she knows something. Chandler says Alesha Phillips (Freema Agyeman) was on the original prosecuting team, so the detectives confer with her. She tells them Tamika swallowed several condoms with drugs. They offered to drop that charges is she gave evidence against her dealer, Jackson Marshall, but she refused. Devlin thinks they can get Tamika to flip but she tells him good luck with that, Jackson has his mules right where he wants them. They tell her Tamika has been in trouble in side, Devlin asks Phillips to try to talk with Tamika.

At the prison, Phillips is waiting there but Tamika doesn’t want to talk. Her brief encourages her to do so. Tamika is not happy with how Phillips handled her three years ago and is resistant. She is angry that for a few grams of coke Phillips took her away from her little girl, and Tamika physically attacks Phillips. The guards rush in and pull Tamika away.

Later, back at CPS, Phillips discusses what happened with James Steel (Ben Daniels) she also found that two days before Tyner’s death, Tamika called him using a phone belonging to Jackson Marshall. They think Marshall killed Tyner and Tamika is caught up in the middle. Steel says murder beats a drug charge any day of the week and thinks if Marshall did kill Tyner, Tamika can help put him inside for life. He tells her to forget her history and talk to Tamika’s family.

Phillips speaks with her mother and Phillips finds that Tamika needed money for a solicitor for her appeal, and her mother gave it to Jackson Marshall.

At the Belton Park Mansions, Brooks and Devlin arrest Jackson Marshall (Robbie Gee) for suspicion of murdering Charlie Tyner. They find 9mm bullets there as well.

The detectives have Marshall in for question, his attorney present, and they present him with the evidence while Steel watches from the observation area. His attorney gives him the go ahead to talk and he said Tamika called her and asked her to do it and he said he wasn’t for hire. Afterwards, Chandler, Brooks, Devlin, Phillips and Steel discuss the next steps and steel thinks they need to find another girl at Cold Norton who was involved with Marshall and who will help.

At the prison, they speak with Jardine (Simone James) who is cooperative and she says Jackson Marshall was supplying Tyner and Tyner was bringing the drugs into the prison. She says she heard Tamika on the phone begging someone to help her out. She also said Tamika was a decoy, but she won’t help them out with that as she is afraid of Marshall.

Later, they wonder how they can prove it was Marshall that was on the phone with Tamika when she begged for help. They need Tamika to give evidence that she paid off Marshall to kill Tyner and they need to connect Marshall to the gun.

Back at CPS, they do find they have some evidence but it’s sketchy. They need to put Marshall and Tamika in a room together. Later, they are being arraigned together and Marshall is given bail with restrictions, including electronic monitoring, and Tamika is remanded. Tamika touches his hand and he pulls away, and then motions for her to be silent.

In the men’s room, Steel and Marshall wash their hands and Marshall tells him that Tamika paid him to kill Tyner but there is no way Steel can prove it. Steel says, “Don’t count on it.” Marshall says he was going to take Tyner out anyway and says if he sees five around his yard again…and motions he’ll shoot to kill.

Later, Phillips says when Tamika returned to jail she was strip searched and they found she was bleeding heavily, she was weeks pregnant and miscarried. They realize that Tamika was sleeping with Tyner, not dealing for him.

Back at Cold Norton, Phillips and Steel speak with Tamika. Her brief says Tamika was defending herself and her daughter and that Tyner approached her daughter in the park and gave her a book of photos of her daughter and told her to give it to Tamika. It happened a week before Tyner was killed and she won’t say who killed him.

Back at CPS, Alicia finds that Tyner was not in the park the day Tamika’s daughter was approached. Later, the speak with a prison officer and accuse him of delivering the book and he reluctantly speaks with them. He wanted to help people like Tamika but said Charlie and his mates run the show and like the prison run their way. He said Tamika was going to tell the governor about her and Charlie, and she had proof, she has some of Charlie’s semen.

Later, Steel thinks that the jury will understand someone forced into having sex if her child is threatened. Steel thinks they need to go after Marshall, and need Tamika to cooperate. Steel get a call that Marshall’s barrister made an application to exclude the gun and without the gun, Marshall walks.

In the Chambers of Lady Justice Blythe (Prue Clarke) they present their arguments, the judge says Steel has not convinced her the gun was Marshall’s and she excludes it.

Back at CPS, they tell Director George Castle (Bill Paterson) about what happened and that they had to drop the charges against Marshall. They want to make a deal with Tamika to get at Marshall but Castle isn’t buying it and he is have a cow over it. They have to be seen as putting his killer behind bars. Castle insists there will be no deal and they don’t want the prison service under media scrutiny. He says Tamika is a prisoner and wants her found guilty. But when Steel and Phillips leave Castle’s office, Steel decides to do it his own way anyway and asks Phillips to put on her Hackney girl charm, she’s the only one that may be able to pry the chip off Tamika’s shoulder.

At the Red Lion, Steel speaks with Tamika’s brief John Stirman (Paul Brown) and tries to get him to get Tamika to cooperate. Steel tries to get him to think about the publicity it will get him if he gets Tamika to talk.

Later, Phillips speaks to Tamika off the record, but Tamika is still reluctant. Phillips tells her when she was growing up she saw girls like her hanging around rich dealers and the girls getting pregnant and says men like Jackson Marshall don’t give a damn about girls like Tamika or their kids. They only care about money. She says anytime Jackson kills someone or someone OD from his drugs, that death is on her. She also mentions that her daughter may suffer that same fate.

At Crown v Vincent, Tamika is testifying and saying she could not fight Tyner and describes how he assaulted her. She just shut her eyes and let him do it. She said it went on for a few months, once or twice week, and then she got pregnant. Tyner got angry when he heard and told her to get rid of it. But he did not stop demanding sex. She says she saved her knickers and that he tried to find them but he couldn’t. She said if he touched her again she would tell the governor and he stayed away for a few days. She called home, and her mother said someone had been at the park and gave her daughter the photo album. Tyner was waiting back at her cell and asked what her daughter got for her birthday and that’s when she decided to stop him. She found someone to do it for her.

Afterwards, Castle approaches Steel and says he doesn’t know what they are up to just make sure they get the right result. When they are ready for the cross examination of Tamika to begin, Marshall walks into the courtroom. Steel asks her who he paid to kill Tyner, and she gets evasive. He mentions her drug smuggling and he tries to get her to implicate Marshall. She clams up and is clearly worried with Marshall there. But, when Steel asks about an anonymous customs tip-off, she slips up and said only “him and me” knew about it. He makes her realize that she was just the decoy for bigger load of drugs coming in and she was just set up. She finally breaks down and says Tyner was killing her and she wanted him to stop hurting her. She mentioned the abuse to Jackson Marshall. She says she was raped and asks if he knows that that feels like. Suddenly, Phillips stares off and looks as if she does know what that feels like. As Steel pressures Tamika, she admits that she paid Marshall off to kill Tyner. Marshall walks out of the courtroom.

Outside, Brooks and Devlin are waiting and watch Marshall exit and they follow him.

In an holding cell, Phillips comes in to see Tamika, and they discuss that the jury was hung. Phillips tells her they can get the charges dropped and move her to another prison until she is eligible for release. Phillips says she works with women who have been raped and has seen what it does to them, how they lose their power and turn on themselves. She says rape can happen to anyone and anyone can take that power back and come out the other side stronger. She says what he did to her was not Tamika’s faulty and she does not have to be a victim anymore, she is a survivor. She confirms Jackson set her up, and Tamika says she will tell them everything and she will stand up in court, “Try and stop me.”

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Anonymous said...

Personally speaking, I thought this was the weakest episode so far. I think the biggest problem was it revolved far too much around Freema Agyeman, who just doesn't cut it for me in her role.

janethyland said...

Ratings have been held back for Thursday night,but they have to be better than last week. This week New Tricks was not in competition and there was some strange interactive natural history programme on BBC.

janethyland said...

Ratings are now out. It got 4.5million (19% audience share)...but remember that is with NO competition on the night. BBC had Natural History and there was a factual show about Traffic Cops.

As a stand alone drama it should have brought in over 5million,as it did last season.

janethyland said...

Chaos over the UK ratings this week.

The official source now says Law and Order UK got 4.26million (18.7% audience share)

The documentary on Traffic Cops got 4.15million (18% share).

Very close.
Id say next time they will move it back to Monday, following the Coronatrion Street audience which is bigger on a Monday...and to move it away from Thursday night competition.

Anonymous said...

Better than LOLA trust me...rather enjoyed this show....

Animelee said...

I'm surprised they showed breasts in this episode!

alison watson said...

that "dud ong" noise in between scenes really annoys my partner!