Thursday, December 9, 2010

Law & Order UK “ID” Recap & Review

Law & Order UK “ID” was based on the original Law & Order episode “Promises to Keep” from season 3, and it wasn’t too much like that original episode, at least not from my memory. I thought that “ID” was a very intense and gripping story. Was the little boy who was convicted for a murder years ago the same man who killed his girlfriend? Getting to that answer took almost the entire episode and was worth every minute. I had to do a little reading on what is a “life license” after watching this episode as I hadn’t heard that term before. If I understand it correctly, a person who has been given a life sentence can get out on something like parole, but the person can be called back to prison for the full life term if they violate the conditions of their release. (If that is incorrect, if someone form the UK could explain it to me I would be grateful.)

This case posed a challenge for James Steel (Ben Daniels). By doing the right thing to prosecute the killer of the latest victim, George Castle (Bill Paterson) sternly warns him about the effects on the justice system should certain facts come out. Steel finds a way to get at the truth and get the real killer, but sadly their original suspect appears to have been killed in prison before he can be released. It’s a very somber ending to an unsettling case for James Steel.

Here is the recap:
On October 16, 1977, at Crown v Wells, young Billy Wells (Matthew Loreti) is being given 12 years for the killing of Yvonne Macy and her unborn child.

At the present day, at Royal Hampton Hospital, DS Ronnie Brooks (Bradley Walsh) and DS Matt Devlin (Jamie Bamber) are investigating a murder of a woman in the hospital car parking. She is a junior house officer, Alice Cullen.

Back at MIU, they find that they can’t see anything on CCTV and there were no witnesses. The attacked seemed personal. They did not find her keys at the scene.

At the home of Alice Cullen, Brooks and Devlin search her flat. Devlin finds a photo from an ultrasound – Alice was pregnant.
Back at MIU, they have confirmation Alice was 10 weeks pregnant. A few dark hairs were on her clothes which were sent to DNA, and Alice's fingerprints along with those believed to belong to her fiancé were found at the flat. The fiancé is there at MIU, along with her parents, to ID the body. The detectives speak with all three of them. They knew she was pregnant. Her fiancé, Joe Nash (Matthew McNulty) remains silent. As they take his fingerprints, Joe becomes upset. Alice’s parents tell Brooks they should check into her last boyfriend, not Joe.
At the racquetball court, the detectives speak with Alice's ex-boyfriend and they mention Alice's visits to casualty while she was seeing him. He said he moved on. Devlin tries to get a rise out of him, and it seems to be working. He tells Devlin he’s changed – he’s had anger management and did not do this. He says at the time of the attack he was with his PA.
Later, Brooks tells DI Natalie Chandler (Harriet Walter) that the ex's alibi is confirmed. They decide to check Joe Nash’s alibi but they can’t seem to find anyone in Chinatown that saw Joe at the time he said he was there. Back at MIU, Brooks mentions Nash made three calls that night and none of them were to Alice. And none were from Chinatown. He called Daniela Renzo, Joe's psychiatric social worker. The calls place him at Alice’s, the area where she was attacked, and at Daniela’s just around bedtime. They think he’s having an affair. Chandler wants to put it to the test to see how he would do on the 10 o’clock news.

At Royal Hampton Hospital, they speak with Joe about making an appeal on television but he is reluctant and he blows them off.

At the home of Daniela Renzo (Nicola Walker), she says Joe is a client and nothing more. He suffered from a severe childhood trauma, but can’t go into details because of confidentiality. They tell her about Alice’s murder. She says Joe did not want Alice to know about the appointments and he was not ready to share that part with her. He was hoping he would get to a place where he did not need to tell her. He got there at six and called before he got there, and left at about 8. He called again as he left his jacket there. He was there with her at the time of the murder.

Afterwards, the detectives talk about how Daniela gave an alibi without even asking. And Joe was lying about his whereabouts – he wasn’t in Chinatown.

They speak with Joe, who admits he was ashamed to tell them about needing a psychiatric social worker to help control his nightmares of monsters chasing him. He went to Alice’s flat that night and she was not home. He went back to Daniela's to check her jacket. He did not know his jacket was missing until he got to the Chinese restaurant – sleep deprivation makes him confused. Joe seems rattled.

Later, Brooks notices how Joe is dressed and remarks he thinks Joe is an ex-con.

Back at MIU, Brooks finds that the office that arrested Joe long ago was DS Marvin Douglas, who was transferred back to London from Manchester 6 months before. He knows that because Marvin was an usher at his second wedding which took place a month after he got back. The signature is Marvin’s, and he could not have signed the certificate 6 months after he left.

Brooks tells this to Chandler, who wonders why someone would tamper with the archive. Devlin spoke to Daniela’s landlord who said he took in a parcel for her the night of the murder and tried to deliver it to her 3 or 4 times but she was out for the evening. Chandler tells them to bring them both in, either she’s covering for Joe or they are both in it together.

At MIU, the detectives speak with Daniela and Joe separately while CP Alesha Phillips (Freema Agyeman) observes. Joe admits he and Alice were going to meet at the restaurant but they had a fight at work and he got upset so he tried to call Daniela but she did not answer. He went later at 10:30 and called from outside, but she said she was going to bed and she never let him in. Joe won’t say what the argument with Alice was about and Devlin ramps up the pressure on him. Joe says he needs some sleep and wants them to stop, but they don’t. Joe finally says it is his diary. She said it disgusted her. Joe begins to sob. He said he never meant to. He says she was on the ground and was all scared. She was always picking on her. He had blood on his shoes, and said he never meant to, he should have stopped them.

In the other room with the lights flickering, Natalie Chandler is with Daniela. Chandler comments that Daniela is more than just his social worker, and Daniela says she has no idea what she is asking.

Meanwhile, Devlin arrests Joe and reads him his rights, Brooks asks if he wants a brief.But Joe says he is not Joe Nash. They gave him the name Joe Nash and they have him a new name and a new passport and the home office arranged it.

Daniela is telling Chandler that she was assigned to Joe to manage his new identity – he is on life license.

Joe tells the detectives that 15 years ago, when he was 11, he and his mate killed a teacher Yvonne Macy and they have 6 years to go on their life license. He is not Joe Nash, he is Billy Wells.
CPS Director George Castle (Bill Paterson), James Steel (Ben Daniels) and Alesha Phillips (Freema Agyeman) are at the Offices of the Directors of Public Prosecutions. She tells them that Joe Nash shared a cell for 3 months. Nash has a long history of psychiatric illness and suffers from a delusional disorder and can appear normal. She is certain he is not Billy Wells, who has a wife and child. Any hint of his claims his is Billy will create problems for all of them. She suggests they offer Nash a deal which would get him a hospital order and will mean Ministry of Justice approval for any future release. Steel will talk to his brief.

Steel speaks with Joe's brief Eli Smart (Benedict Wong) about Joe and the plea of manslaughter due to diminished responsibility. Eli wants time to discuss the offer with his client but Eli and Steel shake on the deal.

At Crown v Nash, the charges are read, and all the barristers seem to think this is a done deal until Joe pleads not guilty - and they all look shocked. Afterwards in the robbing room, Steel and Phillips are incensed at Eli, Steel saying he thought they had a deal. Eli has no idea what happened. Back at CPS, Castle is also perplexed. Phillips tells them that Eli has had a change of heart, and when Steel looks at the paperwork, he says he has to be joking – Eli is saying Nash was coerced into confessing.
At the legal visits room in Ashbridge prison, Steel tells Joe to take the deal otherwise the jury will hear confession which will send him to prison. Now Joe is saying he is not Billy Wells and he did not kill Alice, Eli adding that Joe was confused when he made those claims. Eli tells him to look at the confession tapes again because those coppers took too much for granted. Joe never actually said he killed Alice.
Steel and Phillips look at the tapes of the detectives interrogation and Steel reads back the transcript. He says Joe is not confessing to killing Alice, he’s confessing to the murder of Yvonne Macy, using the exact same words. Later, Steel and Phillips dig though the files from that case. Steel thinks there are too many odd things with this and too many coincidences. If he is Joe Wells he belongs in hospital but if he is Billy Wells they need to charge him accordingly. He just wants to know, one way or the other.

Later, Chandler tells Steel that the prints came back as belonging to Joe Nash. Steel mentions the diary that Joe mentioned, but it is not in evidence, Chandler says it was never found. Steel asks if they have Wells DNA on file and they check it against Nash’s? Chandler said there was no DNA profile in Billy Wells’ file. He asks if she doesn’t think that suspicious.

Steel and Phillips visit the Dangerous Offenders Unit, the woman is reluctant to give them any details or to help them in any way.

They speak with Daniela Renzo about why no one has a record of her being assigned to Joe, but she says for her to talk to them she needs a signed letter from Joe giving full consent. She tells them she is a witness for the defense and they can ask her any questions in court.

Back at CPS, Phillips tells Steel that Joe Nash is moved to the vulnerable prisoners wing because he was attacked yesterday. They wonder why, thinking maybe someone recognized Joe. Steel says he needs to speak with Joe now.

Steel and Phillips visit Joe at prison, and Steel flat out asks him if he is Billy Wells. Joe shakes his head no. Steel says Alice died just like Yvonne. Steel asks who he was talking about in his confession, and Joe said he did not kill Yvonne Macy. He said what those boys did to that teacher was sick. Joe gets upset and says he is not Billy Wells. Joe pounds on the door to get back to his cell.
Steel and Phillips speak with Chandler, who said there were certain details of Yvonne's case that were kept out of court to spare her husband’s feelings and the press would have made a meal of those kids. Steel asks her to answer one question - was Yvonne Macy found with her underwear in her mouth? She says she doesn’t need to look, she knows. The only way Joe Nash would have known that was if he was there when Yvonne was murdered. Joe Nash is Billy Wells.

In Castle's office, Steel thinks that Joe Nash should be charged accordingly. Steel thinks the public has the right to know the truth and does not want to cover it up. But Castle says if this gets out, the whole criminal justice system comes under file, and no child will never get a chance at release again, People want to bring back the death penalty and this is the ammunition they need. Steel thinks the jury should decide the fate, but Castle said there is a risk of trial by tabloid.  It could spell the end of jury trials altogether. Steel asks if Castle is asking him to be part of a cover up. Castle says sometimes the truth causes more harm than good and tell him to talk to Eli again and maybe in light of this new information he can persuade him to take the plea. He said to do it before the DPP finds out what he’s been up to, otherwise he could find himself back in defense.

When Steel and Phillips speak with Eli, he says this changes nothing. He was hired to defend Joe Nash and this is what he was doing. Steel says if it come out Joe will not get a fair trial and it is in Joe’s best interest to keep it out of court. Elli agrees to book a visit.

Later, Chandler drops a large file on Steel’s desk and tells him not to ask where she got it. It’s Billy Wells' prison records. She marked up a section that records identifying marks .

Later, in the prison visits room, Steel tells Joe and Eli that Billy Wells has a 3 inch scar on his left arm from a suicide attempt. Joe says he is not Billy Wells but Steel asks him to pull up his sleeve, and the scar is clearly visible. He begins to talk about the toubles he had in prison and how they used to leave nooses in his cell. When he walked out of the prison he vowed he would never do anything to get him back in there. He said he is Billy Wells, but he’s done his time and he never killed Alice. Steel asked who killed her, and he thinks it’s someone who found out who he was and tried to frame him. Steel says the DNA will prove his guilt and Joe should take the deal or he will stay in prison for the rest of his life. Joe says he would take the deal if he could. He tells them to find the diary and read what prison did to him. If they do and if they think he still killed Alice then he will see them in court.

At CPS, Steel and Phillips discuss the missing diary. According to Eli, anyone who read the diary would know he was Billy. At Daniela’s home, Brooks and Devlin are searching - and the diary is located there.
With Daniela at MIU in interrogation, Phillips and Steel are in the observation room with the diary. They think Joe gave it to her because he wanted her to know he was Billy Wells and it would have threatened his new identity.

Daniela says Joe begged her to get the diary back and she had no idea Joe killed her. Chandler takes Daniela’s DNA. Daniela admits she crossed the line and should have never allowed Joe to manipulate her. Chandler gives the DNA swab to someone telling him it is urgent. Steel says they have a DNA profile from the scene, and when Daniela moves to leave, Chandler orders her to sit down. Daniela say Billy is not a killer it was Darren Pearce who killed Yvonne. But Steel says Billy did not stop him. Billy was a damaged child and she said he needed her. He told her everything because she was his lifeline. But she said she did not read his diary. Steel reads part of it where Joe is telling Alice he does not need Daniela anymore and only needs Alice and that he told Daniela he wanted to stop the appointments. Chandler says Daniela was afraid Alice was taking Joe away from her. Chandler says she was waiting for her in the car park. Steel mentions the hair they found but she says she was only there to talk to her and they were making a mistake. She said Alice could not love Billy Wells. She just went to get the diary, but Alice would not listen. She said Alice fell against the car door and hit her head. Steel said Alice’s head was slammed against the car door over and over and it was no accident. Steel says Joe did not ask her to get the diary, in fact, Joe never suspected Daniela would kill Alice, but she is the real monster. Daniela said she just wanted Alice to shut up and she didn’t deserve him. He used to sit on her sofa like a little boy and she wanted to tell him everything would be alright. He could not marry someone who knew who he really was. Steel says Daniela was prepared to let him rot in prison to save her own skin, to control him and keep him dependent on her. Steel asks what sort of love is that? Daniela said he always came running to her, and Steel asks if she knew Alice was pregnant. When Daniela seems surprised, Steel says that maybe he didn’t tell her everything after all. Chandler arrests Daniela for Alice’s murder and reads her rights. Alice sobs.

At the White Horse pub, Elli is at the bar and Steel gives him Billy Well’s release papers. Phillips said he is a fee man, but Eli looks despondent. Eli tells them Billy was found hanging in his cell two hours ago. Steel asked if he killed himself, and Eli says that he can believe that if it helps him sleep at night. As Steel looks downward, dejected, we fade to black.

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1 comment:

Keir said...

Looking at the photos, I knew immediately it was an American episode pretending to be based in Old Blighty, much like the special episodes when the crew from "Facts of Life" would for some reason find itself on Australia. When did one ever come across so many phone boxes or see such sanitised, clean cafes in bright colours in, I assume given its provenance, London?