Monday, August 15, 2011

Law & Order UK “Deal” Recap & Review

Law & Order UK “Deal” was based on the original Law & Order episode from season 6 titled “Slave”, with one big difference – one of the detectives was not shot at the end of “Slave.” At the end of “Deal,” Matt Devlin is shot, causing great distress for Jamie Bamber fans worldwide. The episode was dark and intense throughout, even the dark and bleak scenery helped to create a sense of foreboding. The episode was heavy on detective work by both Ronnie Brooks (Bradley Walsh) and Matt, but it’s clearly Matt who seems to be emotionally involved in the case. The final scene with a drive by shooting, where Matt lay bleeding – but alive – and another person also shot who appears motionless on the ground, was gut wrenching as Ronnie races to help his partner and Alesha Phillips (Freema Agyeman) seems to be in shock. The episode ends with “to be continued…” and for UK viewers, they will have to wait until the next season begins to see if Matt survives. But U.S. viewers won’t have to wait as long. As BBC America will begin airing this season in the U.S. on August 17, part 2 of “Deal” will be aired on September 28, in the episode “Survivor’s Guilt.”

Many fans have emailed me asking if I know if Jamie Bamber will be returning to the series. I honestly do not have the answer to that question at this time. Based on the episode details released by BBC America for “Survivor’s Guilt” , and based on what I saw in the final scene of “Deal,” I can make an educated guess on whether Matt will or won’t survive the shooting. I guess we will all have to wait until the end of September to find out for sure.

As always, the writing was exceptional. The camera work also helped tell the story by showing the bleakness of the environment in which these boys were raised. For some reason, the shots of the high rise building seemed to heighten the feeling of hopelessness, giving a large expansive view of a depressing community that seems to go on forever. In my opinion, Law & Order UK does some of the best camera work and scene set up of all the shows in the Law & Order brand.

Here is the recap:

While playing a video game, Jodie McElwaine (Chloe Walker) hears a noise and goes to check on her father, Johnny McElwaine (Andy Gathergood), who is in bed smoking grass. When he complains that the bed is wet, he turns to find that the bed is bloody and that his girlfriend Leah, who he thought was sleeping, had been shot.

Later, with police on the scene, DS Ronnie Brooks (Bradley Walsh) speaks with Johnny who is shaking. He tells Ronnie his girlfriend was asleep when he got into bed. He says Jodie always locks the front door when she comes back from work. Meanwhile, Matt speaks with Jodie, 13 years old, who tells him she is working as her father hasn’t worked in a long time and Leah just lost her job. She says her dad is deaf in one ear. When Ronnie arrives and asks her how long her father has been drinking, she tells him that her father has MS, and smoking cannabis is the only thing that helps him. His hands shake badly. The door was locked when she got home and her father was out of it. She got rid of the weed because she knew what they would think. Ronnie tells her she and her father will have to come to the station. When she walks off, Matt mutters she is daddy’s little helper, and Ronnie comments he had one just like it.

At MIU in the interview room, Johnny’s hands continue to shake badly. He swears to Matt and Ronnie that he does not remember anything. He admits he smokes for medicinal purposes. They question him about him not working and Jodie having a job. He insists he did not kill Leah, she was his rock.

Afterwards, Matt and Ronnie discuss the evidence so far with DI Natalie Chandler (Harriet Walter). There is no gun there and Ronnie thinks Johnny could not hold a gun. Matt mentions a life insurance policy that Johnny increased on Leah a month ago. Natalie says none of this is making any sense. Ronnie suggests they check on the bullet with ballistics.

At the police firing range, they find that the bullet was a 9mm fired by a starter pistol, a style poplar with London gangs. They are sold in fluorescent orange. They find the bullet was fired from 100 meters away.

The detectives go back to the officer first on the scene, and find that he closed a window in the flat that had been open at the time of the shooting.

Back on the scene with the ballistics specialist, they determine that the bullet was fired from a flat across the street. Later, at that flat, the detectives, with someone from forensics, get the shell casing and also see there is fresh blood on the floor. The place is frequented by crack heads and junkies and hookers.

The detectives speak with one of the hookers who said she saw a few kids on the landing that night and she is reluctant to describe them. When Matt threatens to bring her in, she says they were mixed race, the little on had corn rows and the bigger one is Shannon’s kid, she doesn’t know her last name. She used to come there frequently but thinks she won the lottery as she still manages to score every night.

Later, at the flat of Shannon Blake (Lucy Speed), she tells Matt and Ronnie she didn’t see anything but they say they are there to speak with her son Kaden. She says he is out and with his mates. When she tries to close the door on them, they push the door open and walk in. The detectives make themselves at home, making it clear they are not going to go away and will wait for him. She finally tells them that Kaden hangs out at number 9 sometimes.

The detectives head to that flat and find the door unlocked. They enter the flat, which is completely trashed and filled with graffiti. Ronnie heads upstairs and Kaden (Jamie Cummings) runs past him. Ronnie calls out to Matt who nabs Kaden at the bottom of the stairs.

In the police interview room, Matt and Ronnie question Kaden with his mother present. They ask why he ran and why he was at a crack house, and he doesn’t answer. He then says he wasn’t there. He said he was with his friend Chayse Wade. When Matt asks if he is lying because he is scared, Kaden gets in Matt's face and asks if he looks scared to him. Matt tells him to calm down and touches his arm and this angers Kaden. Kaden and Shannon move to leave, and despite Matt saying they weren’t done with him, they leave anyway. After they leave, Matt says that is no witness, that is their shooter.

Afterwards, Ronnie and Matt explain to Natalie they had nothing on him so they had to let him go. Ronnie says there is a witness that puts Kaden there and Natalie wonders if Kaden saw someone waving a gun around and he got scared enough to keep his mouth shut. Matt thinks Kaden isn’t scared of anything. Natalie tells them the gun is a expensive firearm, but Matt says maybe not so expensive if he did the conversion himself. Ronnie says that a witness also says she saw Kaden with another boy and gave them a description. Kaden told them he was hanging out with his mate Chayse Wade at the chicken shop. Natalie asks the detectives to find out how many pieces he had in his bargain bucket.

At the chicken shop on Little Yew Street, Ronnie gets a bucket of chicken and he and Ronnie discuss the weird names people are giving their children. Matt also reminds him that the bucket of chicken he got was for a family of five but Ronnie digs in anyway. “Bonquisha,” who was working in the shop that night, had not seen Kaden or Chayse all week.

Later, Ronnie and Matt speak with Chayse’s mother, Marci (Lorraine Burroughs) and ask where he was Tuesday night, saying that Kaden said he was with Chayse. She wonders what Kaden has done now, and Matt says he may have been involved in a shooting. She tells them she got in that night at 10-ish and that Chayse didn’t get in until half twelve. He could have been with Kaden. She recalls Chayse had a cut on his head and he would not talk about it. Chayse had been doing well at school but when he started hanging around with Chayse she started getting letters from school.

In police interview, Chayse (Ramone Morgan) is there with his mother, and says he was at the chicken shop. They explain they know this is not true. They ask about his cut, and Ronnie tells him they took his DNA when he first came into the station and said they are going to see if it matches the blood on the tower block landing. Chayse looks slightly worried and his mother encourages him to speak. When there is a knock on the door, someone hands Ronnie an envelope with what Chayse thinks are the DNA results. Before Ronnie can open it, Chayse says Kaden had the gun and he put it against his head. He said Merkie – Mark Ellis – told him to. He didn’t want to be in his gang anymore. The gang is called TKC but Chayse insists he never hurt anyone, he just moved the food. He got them to run packages, there were maybe 9-10 kids. He has been doing this for a few weeks and knew it was wrong. He told Kaden he was out and Ellis told him to fix it – with a gun. Kaden shot him once but he missed, it was him Kaden was supposed to kill.  Kaden put the gun to his head again and pulled the trigger but the gun got stuck. Chayse thought he was dead.

Later, Matt tells Alesha Phillips (Freema Agyeman) that Merkie is Mark Ellis, and he has been investigated for the last four years for converting and selling firearms and for two gang related shootings but he has never been charged. Ronnie also says Mark is running his own drug empire for the TKC and he is using younger and younger kids to move the drugs around the estate because they can’t charge them. Matt adds that the kids are easier to intimidate and are less likely to talk. When Alesha says they take a hard line on gun crime, Matt says the shooting is accidental, not murder. Alesha says Leah’s death was accidental but Kaden intended to kill Chayse. They all watch as Johnny and Jodie leave the office. Alesha adds that they have Chayse’s statement and the witness, and it is enough to arrest Kaden on suspicion on the murder of Leah Brown and the attempted murder of Chayse Wade. Matt asks about Mark Ellis, and Alesha says he did not fire the gun. Matt argues that he put it in his hand and that Chayse told them Ellis ordered Kaden to kill him. She says that is not enough and until they get her something on Ellis they can use, they will charge Kaden.

At Nightingale Flats, Ronnie and Matt speak with Shannon who says they are harassing her and doesn’t know where Kaden is and walks off. Matt moans that when he was a kid if the parents weren’t perfect, an aunt or grandmother was always there to look out for you. He says Shannon is all Kaden has but she doesn’t give a toss about him. Ronnie says she is an addict and the choice of not using is the hardest one of all. Ronnie says they need to pick up Kaden and find Mark Ellis and see where he set up shop. He thinks they are in the right neighborhood so sooner or later, Kaden will clock in and they will get both of them for possession.

Later, as the detectives wait outside, they hear that surveillance puts Kaden in a flat and he hasn’t left since lunchtime. Natalie tells them once they are in, the priority is Kaden and then Mark Ellis, in that order. The first sign there are any guns in there, she wants the detectives out. Their guy Danny walks to the flat and the detectives, along with a squad of police, trail behind. He knocks on the door and says he is looking for Roxanne. When the door is opened, the police race in and they find Mark Ellis (Charles Mnene) and arrest him. He says he does not know Kaden. Mark lunges at Matt’s head and Matt pushes him against the wall. As Mark is taken away, Matt races to find Kaden and sees a locked closet in the kitchen and finds Kaden in there, chained and beaten.

In the police interview room, Mark is there with his attorney who says they have no grounds to hold him. Mark says Kaden followed him around. Matt accuses him of having a crack empire and Mark stays he has him confused with someone else. His attorney says no drugs were found on him and they can’t link him to any illegal activity in that flat. Matt counters that Kaden can. Mark says Kaden is not going to say nothing.

Meanwhile, Kaden and his mother are in another room with Ronnie and  Alesha, and his mother says they do not need a solicitor. Ronnie explains what they have on him and that he can be charged with attempted murder of Chayse and attempted murder of Leah. Alesha and Ronnie explain the sentence could be reduced if he gives them evidence on Mark. Kaden seems to want to talk but his mother tells him to keep it shut. Shannon says Chayse is lying and they were just messing around playing. But Kaden just stares at her and then says yeah, it was a game.

Later, Alesha tells Matt that as long as Kaden says he acted of his own free will it will be hard to convince a jury otherwise. Matt says if they send Ellis home he will just set up shop somewhere new within the hour. Alesha says they have no choice, they have nothing to charge him with. Matt says they have to make Kaden talk, but Ronnie argues that there is no way Kaden is going to say a word against Ellis. Matt asks if he can try, and Alesha says that is not going to help him. Matt thinks they are just giving up, and says it is OK to get angry about child labor when it’s happening on the other side of the world, but no one gives a shit that it is happening right here and now. When Alesha says they care but if they can’t prove that Ellis is running the show…and Matt cuts her off saying kids should be playing football and eating sweets, not waving guns around and selling crack. He walks off.

At Crown v Blake plea and case management hearing, Alesha asks for remand to secure care, for Kaden, and Annetta Trew (Sara Powell) does not object. The judge agrees with Alesha.

Afterwards, Alesha asks Annetta if Kaden knows there are locks on the doors where he is going, and she says they don’t have Shannon Blake and Alesha says they are on the same page. But Annetta tells her not to count on it sister, and hands her an application to exclude Kaden’s interview as he was denied legal representation.

Later, Senior Crown Prosecutor Jake Thorne (Dominic Rowan) tells the judge that Kaden’s mother waived his right to legal representation and the defendant offered up his confession freely. Annetta argues that the defendant is 13 years old and his mother was high on crack and neither of them were competent to waive legal representation. When Jake argues that the police get waivers from drunk drivers every day of the week, Annette reminds him that Shannon was not waiving HER rights, she was waiving her son’s. Jake says Shannon appeared compos mentis and what were they supposed to do, whip out a drug test? The judge thinks Jake has a solid case and refuses Annetta's application and allows the confession to stay in. He does insist on a psychiatric exam for Kaden.

Later, with Dr. Toby Marsh (Fraser James), Kaden speaks about people being shot and that his mom said nothing about it when she told her. He said if he wasn’t around his mother would not be on drugs, and when Marsh presses if she told him that, Kaden gets upset and tells him to get off his case.

Afterwards, Dr. Marsh tells Jake and Alesha that Kaden lives in a world where he has severely limited options and no basis for hope. The says they don’t all turn out to be killers. Some have parents or teachers who provide an alternative view of the world, and Alesha comments that Kaden has Shannon Blake. Marsh comments that Kaden’s relationship with his mother is emotionally abusive. When Jake asks if Kaden told him that, Marsh says that he didn’t have to, Shannon told her own child he is responsible for her drug habits.

Later, Jake explains all of this to CPS Director Henry Sharpe (Peter Davison). Henry reminds Jake that Kaden killed an innocent woman and not to go soft on him now. Jake insists he is not, he just sees where he is coming from. Henry asks if his mother is going on with him about a lack of grandchildren, and Jake says bouncing him on her knee was enough trouble. Henry tells Jake to persuade the kid to give enough evidence on the dealer and in turn they will drop the attempted murder charge. Jake nods in agreement,

Elsewhere, Matt and Alesha walk down the street and Matt says Kaden is too scared to talk. Alesha thinks if they can convince Kaden they have a case against Ellis with or without him, maybe Kaden will speak out. Matt argues that they can’t even prove that Kaden was working for him in the first place. When Matt says that bloke has more lives than his cat, Alesha seems surprised and admits yes, he does have a cat – Lucky Luciano, 17, never had a scratch on him. Alesha asks what about Chayse Wade, wondering if he witnessed something they can use.

At CPS, Jake and Alesha speak with Chayse, his mother also present. He explains that Kaden would go in to Ellis’ and get a package and tell him where to deliver it. Kaden gave him the money. Jake asks if he ever saw Ellis hurt Kaden, and he admits he saw bruises. Once Kaden took some cash and Ellis went mental and locked Kaden down for a week and beat him bad. Kaden was afraid that Ellis would kill his mother. Marci explains how once Chayse brought Kaden home and Kaden had not eaten in days. His mother spent all his mother on crack and owed money to her dealer, Ellis. Chayse says once he found Kaden on the stairwell not breathing, and he called an ambulance and Ellis went mental. Ellis said he should have called him instead and then asked what hospital Kaden was at.

At St. Matthias’ Hospital in the A&E department, Alesha and Matt speak with the doctor who treated Kaden. He called social service when Kaden got stable. An uncle showed up for him but when he went to the bed, Kaden had disappeared into thin air. He describes the uncle and it clearly was Ellis. Matt says one can’t just walk into and A&E and grab a kid from his bed, and Alesha said not without facing charges for kidnap.

At CPS, Ellis and his attorney are being questioned about Ellis taking Kaden from A&E, and Ellis says he is Kaden’s legal guardian. His attorney said Ellis had Shannon Blake’s permission. Ellis tells them to go an ask her.

Matt and Ronnie to exactly that, and she says Ellis is not all that bad and that he is teaching Kaden a trade. Matt gets upset with her and when she says it is not easy, he yells that doesn’t mean you give up. He adds that you get up off your ass and make sure your kids grow up knowing right from wrong and spend their days in school, not hanging around drug dens. She says his dad isn’t about so someone has to look out for him. Ronnie tells her that is her job. She asks them to look at her, saying she can’t even make a cup of tea until she’s had a hit, asking who do they think he is better off with. She asks if she can go, and then runs off.

Back at CPS, Jake tells Henry and Alesha that he thinks Shannon sold her son to pay off a drug debt. Alesha suggests if junkies like Shannon want to kill themselves, let them, hand them drugs on prescription and dealers like Ellis would be out of business. Henry wonders what the Daily Mail would put on the front page – CPS prosecutor wants crack on prescription – but Alesha counters they are not winning the war. Henry suggests a different strategy – he thinks Kaden does not know what his mother did, and maybe he should.

In police interview, Jake questions Shannon while Ronnie stands close by, and she denies giving Kaden to Ellis. Jake hammers her that she failed Kaden on every level and she has one chance to make things right by giving evidence against Ellis, then Kaden would be home in two years. Ronnie suggests she will be put into witness protection with a new start somewhere else, and when Kaden comes out, they can be a family again. Shannon replies that Kaden took that gun up there and he pulled the trigger and killed that woman, so they send him where they want, she doesn’t give a toss. Kaden, meanwhile, is watching and hearing this from the video feed and cries.

Later, Matt and Ronnie come to arrest Mark Ellis on conspiracy to commit murder, and Matt reads him his rights.

At Crown v Ellis, Kaden testifies via a video feed from another room about Ellis telling him to shoot Chayse and how to do it. He also explains that he missed on purpose the first time and the second time the gun jammed. He did not want to kill Chayse. While Kaden testifies from another room, Matt is there with him. As Jake continues to press Kaden to make them understand why he didn’t just run away, he says his mother gave him to Ellis to pay off a debt and he could do what he wanted with him. She said he could work for Ellis and she knew that Ellis was a drug dealer. He said it was OK at first, he just had to run packages around the estate and keep the other kids in line. But one day he slipped in one of the crack houses. He lived like this for week, and was supposed to stay with Ellis as long as his mother needed drugs, and if he refused to go along with it, Elllis would put a bullet in his mother’s head. After Kaden’s testimony, Matt puts a reassuring hand on his shoulder.

Later, the jury finds Mark Ellis guilty of conspiracy to murder. While Matt nods in approval, Ellis’s friends talk among themselves in the courtroom, and Ellis grins.

After court has adjourned, Ronnie runs into the courtroom to tell Matt his daughter had a baby boy, 9 pounds. Matt congratulates him and calls him granddad. Matt does not want Ronnie to miss his grandson’s first day on the planet, so Matt tell Ronnie he will drop him off en route and pick him up on the way back, and he can show him the photo over Chinese. Ronnie says he is buying. Matt tells Ronnie to call Sarah to tell her he is on his way.

Outside, as Matt and Alesha walk with Kaden, Matt tells him what he did took balls. Matt reassure Kaden it is not like jail. But, across the way, Matt sees a black car pull up and a window roll down, and a gun points directly at them. As he moves to protect Kaden and Alesha, telling them to get down and get back, shots ring out and he is hit. Ronnie races to Matt who is bleeding, and Alesha seems frozen in shock. Another officer lay motionless on the ground nearby. As Ronnie attempts to stop the bleeding and call for help, Alesha shakes, stunned. Matt lay there, bleeding yet conscious, as we fade to black, and a message flashes: To be continued...

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idiotdogbrain said...

I have two words in re: the shooting of Matt Devlin - Phil Cerreta. It is possible to survive the shooting, but still not be on the show anymore. Given Jamie Bamber was in a pilot (that wasn't picked up) it could be how they are writing him out. For me, that would be better than writing him out the same way Logan was written out. Although, I will miss him. Devlin and Brooks have the best chemistry since Briscoe and Logan.

All Things Law and Order said...

Det. Ed Green was also shot in the line of duty and survived. That story line was set up to allow Jesse L. Martin to do the movie "Rent". Unlike Cerreta, Ed Green returned to his job after his recovery.

It is possible they wrote this story in for Jamie in the event that the pilot for "17th Precinct" would get picked up; it would be a way for him to leave the show. But, since that series did not get picked up as you say, anything could be in the works here. I guess we will all have to wait and see how "Survivor's Guilt" pans out. But, by reading the information already released on Survivor's Guilt", my educated guess is that at least Matt survives and the other person who was shot is the one who dies. My personal opinion is that I would hate to see Jamie leave the show, but also wouldn't object if he left for another series where we'd get to see him as much as on L&O UK!