Monday, August 1, 2011

Law & Order UK “Tick Tock” Recap & Review

Law & Order UK “Tick Tock” was based on the original Law & Order episode “Hot Pursuit” from season 6. That was a very memorable episode and “Tick Tock” can also stand on its own as another fine episode. I finally feel comfortable with Jake Thorne, and likewise with Dominic Rowan. This case showed that Jake is not afraid to stick to his principles and a tough case even when it may bring scrutiny to his performance.  Jake and Henry Sharpe (Peter Davison) have a close friendship, but that doesn't stop Henry from showing visible concern about Jake's approach  to Alesha (Freema Agyeman).  In this particular instance, though, it was Alesha who was overly cautious about how they prosecuted the case, almost seeming afraid to take a risk to get a big win. I like that Alesha is becoming more vocal about her opinions, even when they differ from Jake's. Despite her wanting to take a safer approach to the case, she did try to show Jake that she is much more than a pretty face.

Again, this was another well written episode, which makes it very easy to forget that the story is based on an old Law & Order episode that I've seen more times than I can count. The only thing I wonder about with this case is - what if that really WAS Joanne that called into the police as "Maggie"  and spoke with Ronnie?  Is there a possibility that she really did feel she could not escape him?

Here is the recap:

DS Ronnie Brooks (Bradley Walsh) and DS Matt Devlin (Jamie Bamber) are called to investigate a multiple shooting incident at the Moon Club nightclub. The shooters were a man and woman wearing masks, the man wearing a Tony Blair or David Cameron mask and the woman was wearing a Maggie Thatcher mask. One man was shot in the head first and then shot more times, apparently to be sure he was dead. A man enters and gives the detectives a purse that he found that belonged to Helen Shane’s – the manager - and  the strap was torn. Ronnie asks an office to take the description of Helen and get it to him as she may be a hostage. Matt gets a phone call and tells Ronnie that a guy and a girl wearing masks just shot the owner of a store dead.

At Metro Drinker, the detectives discuss this latest shooting with a witness who said the shooters left in a silver car, a Citroen or a Peugeot. The owner was shot point blank. They see a security camera and Matt hopes it is not a fake.

Back at headquarters, the detectives and DI Natalie Chandler (Harriet Walter) watch the security camera video and see the store owner being shot by the man in the mask, the woman in the mask standing beside him. Natalie asks for a risk assessment and then seems stressed that the media is camped outside. Helen Shane has not shown up anywhere. Natalie sees how the woman is holding the gun, saying the recoil would knock the gun into her face if she fired it. Angela (Jessica Gunning) tells Natalie that Helen Shane’s brother  has arrived and she put him in the interview room.

Natalie and the detectives speak with Frank Shane (Glenn Doherty), who says Helen is his twin. She manages this business and she closes up and then brings everything to “Napalm” – Nathan Palmer, the head barman, who was killed in the shooting. Napalm put everything in the safe and then takes it to the bank in the morning. Frank insists Helen is not involved. They asks if anyone had a grudge.

Later, the detectives speak with the bouncer at the Moon Club. He quit because he was only getting paid minimum wage. The last time he saw Helen she almost ran him over with her can, a silver Peugeot.

Back at the Moon Club, the media is all over the area as Matt and Ronnie get information from Angela that the silver Peugeot 406 belonging to Helen has not yet been found. As the detectives wonder how the two shooters got there, Angela suggests that they came in a car and just nicked a better one. They later speak with an officer in the area who shows them a car that had been reported stolen, and it has a flat tire, a bag with what seems to have weed resin traces, and a receipt from Novo’s news dated the day before for tobacco products including “Old St. Louis” and old brand tobacco. Ronnie believes these items were purchased by the killers and he wants to talk to the person who sold the tobacco in hopes of getting more information.

Back at headquarters, Ronnie question Ruby (Frieda Thiel), who sold the items,  to try to get a description and is having a hard time getting information from her. Matt tells Ronnie they got fingerprints off the stolen car, one partial that did not belong to the owner but not enough for an ID. He tells Ronnie that Natalie is having a rough press conference and there are TV crews everywhere. Angels rushes in and tells them that they found the Peugeot.

At Tellington Estate, Matt and Ronnie arrive to see Natalie and police waiting in the area and she has the area covered. She believes the shooters don’t know they found the car yet. The news crews show up and Natalie says they have to move quick before the media gets any pictures. They walk over to the car, which is not locked, and Matt opens the trunk to find Helen Shane’s dead body in the trunk.

Back at headquarters while watching news coverage, Natalie says Helen was dead only a few hours and she bled out before they could find her. Angela tells them that they found another print which matches the one in the stolen car. Ronnie gets a call and shouts for them to all listen up and he puts the call on speaker. The caller says her name is Maggie and when Ronnie tries to get information from her, she just says someone is coming back and she has to go and hangs up. Angela gets a call and tells them they have a fingerprint match.

Later,  Natalie tells the staff that the fingerprints match Andy Bishop, a decorated ex-serviceman who served in Iraq but had difficulty adjusting back home. He went through alcohol detox twice. He was tagged for domestic abuse but was out six months ago and since then, no known address. He never showed up for his probation appointments. They are trying to track down his ex-girlfriend. His brother Sam lives in Hackney.

At the home of Sam Bishop (Tommy McDonnell), the detectives get a hard time from Sam and his pregnant “bird” Tina (Brooke Kinsella) as they try to get information on Andy’s location. The detectives continue to press and Sam’s girlfriend tells them that Andy gets his drugs from Kyle Branning.

The detectives arrive at Kyle’s (Jack Bence) location with police in tow and burst in. He has plenty of drugs and related paraphernalia and Matt tries to scare him into giving information. Kyle admits that Andy gets weed from him sometimes. Kyle said the day before yesterday, Andy didn’t pay for it, Andy said he had no cash and when Kyle told Andy he didn’t take credit, Andy pulled a gun on him.

As they leave Kyle’s, Matt gets a call on another lead nearby, and when they get there, they find the shop owner called them about two kids, a girl and a boy, he caught stealing. Ronnie sees that the shop sells Old St. Louis tobacco.

The detectives head back to Sam Bishop’s and remind him that he said they didn’t smoke, and asks if this is so, why do they smell tobacco? When Sam and Tina deny it, Ronnie asks as it is laundry day, why do none of the clothes hanging to dry belong to her and he asks where does she live? Matt opens up her wallet sitting on the table and find she lives 10 minutes from there.

At Tina’s home, the police break in and no one is home. Ronnie sees that they ran out of booze and decide to check the store around the corner. The detectives, along with police back up, arrive at the store and as the police take up positions, Matt and Ronnie enter the store and Andy (Maxi Tilyard) and his female companion are inside. Meanwhile, a TV news crew arrives and step out of the van with the cameras running. Andy sees the live coverage of the police outside the store on the television inside the store. He turns around to see Ronnie and moves the woman he’s with to stand behind him. He pulls out a gun and orders Ronnie to the floor. The police burst in with guns drawn and Ronnie tries to calm Andy to get him to put down his gun. He brings up Andy’s military service and decorations and when it looks like Andy will drop the gun, a shot is fired. Andy drops to the floor, shot by his girlfriend. She drops the gun and thanks them as they cuff her.

At headquarters, Natalie tells CPS Jake Thorne (Dominic Rowan) and Alesha Phillips (Freema Agyeman) the girl’s name is Joanne Vickery (Louise Brealey) and she is Andy Bishop’s mate but claims he kidnapped her when he got out of prison. Her nan, Jessica Vickery (Lin Blakley) is in the interrogation room with her and seems clueless as to what Joanne has done. Joanne tells Jake and Alesha that Andy came to her house after he was released and said they would be together and she was scared because he could lose it. She told him she was seeing someone else to get rid of him but he want mad and he dragged her to his car. Mrs. Vickery says Andy used to beat him all the time. She asks if she can take Joanne home, and Jake tells her that Joanne has been charged with 5 counts of murder.

At the office of CPS Director Henry Sharpe (Peter Davison), Jake and Alesha discuss their separate viewpoints on the case. Alesha agrees Joanne is guilty of joint enterprise but thinks the rest is less clear cut. Jake thinks it was a choice. Henry thinks if the public starts to her as a victim they may struggle to get murder through to a jury. Jake says they need to make sure that doesn’t happen, and it’s time to put away the liberal textbooks. As Jake walks out, Henry sighs and Alesha gives Henry a look.

At the office of Phyllis Gladstone (Leslie Manville), she asks Alesha how is his new Batman, and Alesha says they are a dynamic duo. Phyllis says he is driving her mad, she can see it in her eyes. She tells Alesha all his assistants fall for him, and as Jake smiles, Alesha says when she sees his assistant, she will tell her. Phyllis says they missed the first class in law school where they distinguish between the criminal and the victim. Jake replies that if Andy was still with them, he would be prosecuting him as well. He says it is murder and that Joanne stood by holding a gun and did nothing and deserves life. Phyllis says Joanne is not guilty of anything, and Jake should drop all charges. Jake says that is never going to happen, she was key to the commission simply by holding the gun and intimidating people. Phyllis sternly remarks that Joanne was systematically abused by Bishop in a one-sided relationship since she was 17 and he dictated all her actions. Jake counters that this is not a poster girl for the fight against domestic violence, she shot Bishop at point blank range. Phyllis replies that Joanne had no idea the gun was loaded and was surprised when it went off. Alesha wonders why did she pull the trigger, and Phyllis answers that she was nervous, trembling, and there could be a hundred reasons. Alesha reminds her that the gun was also loaded in the Moon Club and in the off license and driving in Hackney and sarcastically wonders how many other deaths would have happened if her gun went off. Phyllis concluded they have themselves a ball game, saying Joanne was not in control of her actions, had no clue to Andy’s intentions and wasp psychologically harmed. Alesha says that if Phyllis is questioning her mental state, then they want her to see their psychiatrist.

Later,  Dr. Roddy Armitage (George Anton) speaks with Joanne who said Andy protected her and she loved him. They talked about running away together to get married but they never did. He hit her when she did something wrong and drinking made it worse. She had to go with him to the Moon Club, she knew how he was when he got angry. She felt if she went along with it, he would be the Andy he was when she first met him. Armitage mentions when Andy broke her jaw and put her in hospital and she admits she did not love him then.

At CPS, Armitage tells Jake and Alesha that Joanne was a willing participant but not for the reason they assumed. She was scared of Andy but wanted to turn him, Jake commenting she was with him because she loved him. Armitage is not quite sure about it and says they would need to spend more time assessing her. Jake comments it is not the unequivocal yes he was hoping for. Armitage adds that Joanne claims she called the police, to warn them.

Back at M.I.U. headquarters, Jake and Alesha talk with Ronnie about the phone call he got from Maggie and he explains what happened. They tracked the call to a pay as you go number, and Jake asks if there were also other calls. Ronnie says not to him. But he hasn’t checked all the call logs.

Afterwards, Jakes tells Alesha they should do some digging and see how many Maggies decided to call the police that morning. If the defense can’t prove it was her, they can’t use it. Alesha says maybe they should consider taking a plea for manslaughter, and Jake says then the jury can acquit her for everything and he’s not having that. Alesha is not convinced Joanne is a cold blooded murderer, but Jake counters that she didn’t shoot Andy by accident. Alesha argues she shot him because she wasn’t in control of her actions. Jake does not believe it. Alesha tells him to admit it, the jury will they Joanne has already done the job for them and says Joanne would not have done any of this without Andy. Jake asks about other women who have been bent and twisted by an abusive partner but every jury has put them away because they all though the same four words: they had a choice. Alesha questions if there is any shade of gray in Jake’s world, and Jake replies of course there is, every Saturday night in the pub over a pint. He says Joanne killed Andy when she didn’t have to and to wrap it up in as much sympathy as you like, it’s still murder.

At Crown v Vickery at the plea and case management hearing, Phyllis and Jake argue the point about Joanne being Andy’s captor and about the phone call made to the police as “Maggie.” Both Jake and Phyllis have presented arguments about the voice on the call being – or not being – Joanne’s. Jake argues the phone call is prejudicial and the judge agrees with Jake and rules the recording inadmissible. After the hearing is over, Alesha tells Jake it was well done, and he says once more with feeling. She tells him she is not naive, she know with either murder or manslaughter they need the strongest possible case to win. He asks does she want to win, and she says yes, it is important to Helen's  brother, who was sitting in the courtroom, which makes it important to them. Jake comments that was spoken like a true public servant.

At Crown v Vickery, Joanne listens as Jake outlines the crimes as murder and says the defense will paint Joanne as a victim. He asks them not to have their judgment clouded and the real victims are not able to be there but their relatives hope they make the right choice. He asks them to remember that one or all of the 5 victims would be there today if Joanne acted sooner. Phyllis counters that she will paint Joanne as a victim, and shows in the store video how Joanne seemed to be afraid of Andy. She puts the blame on Andy for the 4 murders, adding now Andy is dead and that Joanne stood up to a violent controlling man. She wonders if Joanne stopped more killings, and said Joanne is the most innocent victim.

Later, in Henry’s office over a drink, Henry asks Jake if he is worried the jury is already siding against him. Jake comments that Phyllis fought hard to get her opening speech after his and he can see why now. Henry says he hopes losing that little battle didn’t cost him the war. Jake thinks Judge Redford wanted to level the playing field after excluding the “Maggie” phone call. Henry questions that Jake pushed for murder when he could have gone for manslaughter, and Jake asks if he is slapping his wrist. Henry replies he is double checking what he is doing as it is a high profile case that they are at risk of losing and he is worried for Jake’s reputation. He warns Jake not to lean on their friendship and that the DPP is keeping a close eye on Jake and if Joanne is acquitted, Jake could lose a lot more than this case. Jake believes she should go down for murder and says he can win with that. Henry says Jake needs a few more victories under his belt and blow this and he can be out on his ear before he’s even begun.

Back in court, Sam Bishop is being questioned by Phyllis and he testifies that Andy once stabbed him in the hand with a fork over the TV remote. Phyllis brings out Sam’s size compared to Joanne’s and says Sam gets stabbed once by Andy and then afterwards does whatever Andy says.

On another day at trial, Joanne’s nan testifies about how Andy would beat Joanne and about Andy breaking her jaw. She said Andy went to prison for it. Jake questions her about Joanne testifying at Andy’s ABH trial, and that she wasn’t happy about testifying at trial but she must admit despite it was hard, she stood up to him . She says afterwards Joanne went on a diet and changed her hair and she looked lovely. It comes out that Joanne was suspended from one school for truancy. Mrs. Vickery said Joanne got a job at a club for a while but then came back home. Jake insists that Joanne would always go back to Andy because she deluded herself that she could change him. He adds she would have done anything to prove that she loved him, including the abduction and murder of an innocent bystander and a cold blooded shooting of three others.

Afterwards, Alesha comments to Jake that she does not think Mrs. Vickery liked him. He says he is not paid to be liked, and she adds, “good job.” Alesha asks if they have a picture of Joanne before her makeover and Jake says he is sure they can get hold of one.

At the Moon Club, Alesha shows a photo of Joanne to Frank and he tells her that he never saw Joanne before the trial. But Alesha shows him the picture of Joanne before her makeover and he is shocked it is the same girl. Alesha tells him Joanne was 16 when she worked there.

Later, in Jake’s office, she shows him the older photo of Joanne and he complements Alesha  on her really great work. She tells her to see her pretty face and comments “more than.” He asks why she didn’t take him with her, and she scoffs and comments, “to a club?” He comments that she hasn’t see him on a dance floor, he can “throw some shapes.” They look at each other and smile, and Jake says to watch how Joanne will react to this in court.

Back in court, Joanne is testifying and Joanne says she was pretending with Andy. She said she went with him because he made her go. Jake thinks maybe she was turned on by the power she had when with him. She thought they were going to just rob the place. Jake asks how she felt when they shot Napalm, and Joanne replies that she was sick. But when Jack questions how she knows Napalm, since they only referred to him in court as Mr. Palmer, Joanne is taken aback. He brings up the fact that she worked at the Moon Club when she ran away from home 6 years ago, and she knew how they handled the money. Joanne admits that she worked there for three weeks, and claims she was not fired, she ran away. Jake asks why she went back home after just running away from home, and she admits she and Napalm went out for a bit but he dumped her after they slept together. He told her he loved her but then he ignored her, saying if she did not leave him alone he would tell the boss her real age. Jake asks if she told Andy Bishop and what Nathan had done. She admits they were having an argument as Andy thought he was her first, and she wanted to hurt him so she told him her wasn’t and told him about Napalm. She told him the night before the shootings. She only thought he was going to scare him. Jake comments that Joanne just wanted to get back at Nathan for hurting her and she told a dangerous man about her first sexual partner because she wanted to hurt him. He thinks she knew what Andy would do, adding that none of those people would have been murdered had she not lit the fuse.

Later, in Phyllis’s office, Phyllis comments it’s the last chance before closing speeches and says if they drop the murder counts they will plead to manslaughter. Jake is surprised she still thinks she has a case left after that. Jake states that Joanne knew how dangerous Andy could be but Joanne had no problem using Nathan Palmer as leverage during a domestic. Phyllis claims Joanne didn’t know that Andy would kill him. But Alesha thinks she did, or that Andy would try, that Joanne wanted to punish all the men in her life who caused her pain and she can understand that. She saw an opportunity and she took it and didn’t care who got in the way. To Joanne, they were just collateral damage.

At Crown v Vickery, the verdict is read, and Joanne is found guilty of murder on all counts.

Afterwards, in Jake’s office, he tells Alesha that Phyllis is not going to let this one go, she’s getting a whole new psych evaluation on Joanne. Alesha says he does not have to fight it if he doesn’t want to. He does want to – all those murdered had lives left to lead, adding “what a waste.” Alesha reminds him they won the case, and to move on. He asks, “What, like Frank Shane? Sometimes just winning isn’t enough.” As Jake looks back to his work, we fade to black.

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1 comment:

Michele said...

Thank goodness the writers are again giving Alesha more to do than sit around looking at a computer or walk around London looking decorative...

And her put down to Phyllis was especially welcome after the way Phyllis blamed Alesha for what happened to her in the ep 'Alesha'.