Saturday, November 12, 2011
Law & Order UK “Fault Lines” Recap & Review
The season finale of Law & Order UK “Fault” is based on the original Law & Order episode “Just a Girl in the World”
from season 20. In that episode, Detective Lupo compromises a case when he becomes involved with a witness who turns out to be involved in the crime.
In "Fault Lines," Sam Casey gets caught thinking with another part of his body that is not his brain. As a result, he enters into an intimate relationship with a woman who claims to be a victim of a crime. The problem is she’s the victimizer, not the victim. Because of her deception, the detectives and the CPS pursue and prosecute the wrong man. Despite the fact that Sam made a huge error in judgment, I find myself liking him more and more with every episode, even though I am sure that DI Natalie Chandler must be wondering what she got herself into with him.
Ronnie also attempts to dish out some sage advice, and Sam quickly shuts the door on him, saying he doesn’t need a father. Hopefully Sam has now learned that Ronnie wasn’t lecturing just for the sake of hearing himself talk.
I wondered why the forensics lab where the murder victim worked was even allowed to touch evidence dealing with this case. I saw this as a huge conflict of interest. I suppose for purposes of the story, it allowed them to write in a nice twist with the blood evidence. I also thought Sam remained too involved in the case, even after his lapse in judgement in the ID parade and after Ronnie had concerns that Sam had become intimate with the witness.
This was the last episode in this current season for Law & Order UK. As of this writing, I haven’t seen anything regarding the renewal of the series. These last 7 episodes that just aired on BBC America are scheduled to begin running in the UK in January 2012 so hopefully we will get renewal news soon afterwards. I certainly hope Law & Order UK continues on as I thoroughly enjoy the characters, the actors, the stories, the writing, the staging of scenes and location shots, the camera work - everything about the show. And I want more!
Here is the recap:
Bradley Walsh: DS Ronnie Brooks
Paul Nicholls: DS Sam Casey
Harriet Walter: DI Natalie Chandler
Freema Agyeman: CP Alesha Phillips
Dominic Rowan: Senior CP Jake Thorne
Peter Davison: Director CPS
Lydia Leonard: Lucy Kennard
Patricia Potter: Yvette Dyer
Jessica Gunning: Angela
Nicola Sanderson: Joy Ackroyd
Jennifer James: Chloe Abbot
Alexander Perkins: Pete
Ariyon Bakare: Carl Lucas
Luke Roberts: Tom Hartson
Ranjit Kirshnamma: Judge Gunner
Benedict Wong: Eli Smart
Jordan Young: Jeremy Barton
Joy Ackroyd and Chloe Abbot are out drinking and stop at their friend Kelly’s house. Chloe gets out of the car and Kelly’s front door is open so she walks in. She finds Kelly dead on the floor laying in a pool of blood.
Later, DS Ronnie Brooks and DS Sam Casey are on the scene. Kelly Mahon worked in forensics, in the same department as her two friends, Joy and Chloe, and she was supposed to be on a night out with Chloe and Joy. Pete from the lab says she was stabbed six times in the chest. The dishwasher was running when Chloe got there and a large knife was in it. The dishwasher buttons were wiped clean. She has defensive wounds on both hands. When Sam comments that it looks like she put up a good fight, Ronnie says it was not good enough.
At MIU. Ronnie and Sam speak with Chloe who said they were supposed to be out for Teddy’s birthday but Kelly never showed. She was finishing up some blood work and Chloe called her at about 8:30 and Kelly told them she was on her way home in a cab. They all use Kwik Kall Kabs. When the others left, she and Joy went to check. Kelly was supposed to be getting married next month to Tom Hartson.
Ronnie and Sam tell DI Natalie Chandler that the cab checks out. She tells them to check if the driver saw anyone hanging around outside the flat.
At Kwik Kall Kabs, they speak with the driver and he said he watched Kelly go in the house. He’s driven her before. He didn’t see anyone outside her flat and he went on to his next call in Gramercy. They tell her that Kelly is dead. Sam says they might need to speak to him again. Afterwards, Ronnie tells Sam they should have Ange run some background on the driver just in case, and also speak to her fiancé.
At the home of Kelly Mahon and Tom Hartson, while Tom is packing some things, he tells them he worked late that night and slept at the office. They just got a big client and he was under pressure to get their accounts finished. That is where he met Kelly. He said she did not mind him being out all night. He thinks a security guard can verify he was there. He asks how long before he can come back to the flat, and Sam says it could be a week. Ronnie tells him that Kelly had her bag stolen and asks Tom if he can list the contents, like credit cards. He said their shared a debit card and had a joint savings account. They were saving for a hour. She got a gift card to a Ann Summers to get something for their wedding night.
Back at MIU, Sam is trying to track the gift card and Ronnie tells him the security guard thought Tom Hartson’s office was empty when he locked up at 8:30. Sam tells him that the gift card was used to purchase a red lace chemise, and Ronnie has to explain to Sam that a chemise is a short nightie and then tells Sam to brush up on his French. He adds that the first Mrs. Brooks wore a black lace chemise on their wedding night and she was a knockout. Ronnie wonders if Tom is trying to make it look like a robbery. Angie tells them there is no activity on their bank cards since the day before yesterday but on their join bank account, Tom and Kelly both put in 100 quid every month with no withdrawals. Last Tuesday at 11 AM one of them cleaned out the whole account. Sam says last week at that time Kelly was at work all day and took no lunch break. Ronnie thinks it was Tom Hartson.
At the forensic pathology lab, they speak with Chloe says she and Tom fought a bit lately and said a week ago, Kelly got home and found all the bedding changed. Ronnie asks if Kelly though Tom had company, and Chloe says Tom would never change the sheets in his life. Chloe suggested that Kelly bring the sheets in for a test.
Later, with Tom at MIU in interrogation, he insists he was in the office sleeping on the sofa. He insists they were happy and he would not cheat. They tell him that they know he changed the bed sheets and that they are in forensics. Ange knocks on the door and enters, telling Ronnie and Sam that the guv wants a word.
Natalie tells them that Greenwich just called, a woman has been attacked outside her flat by a cab driver who drive her home. The victim was a temp who worked in the forensics lab where Kelly worked.
Ronnie and Sam speak with the temp worker, Lucy, who can’t recall the name of the cab company and she explains the attack. The man threatened her with a knife and got angry and he ripped the back of her dress with the knife and he started touching her. A car horn started beeping, and he grabbed her bag and ran off. She heard the cab drive off. The cab was green, maybe blue and she only saw his face for a second or two. He was wearing trainers that were white with a blue strip and one of them had orange paint splashed on the toe of the right foot. Afterwards, Ronnie mentions that Tom may be off the hook, and Sam thinks there is a cab driver preying on young women,
At the home of Lucy Kennard, she shows them where the attack took place and is thankful for the car horn. When Ronnie goes to make a call, Lucy asks Sam about the other killing from someone at work and asks if it could be the same bloke. He says it could be. He mentions that Lucy said she lost her keys and wonders if they were in her bag. She said definitely and worries that he has them He suggests she stay somewhere else that night until she can get her locks changed, and she doesn’t know who to call, she’s only been in London a few weeks. Sam says they will sort something.
Back at MIU, they discuss the similarities of the cases with Natalie who comments that Kelly had not been sexually attacked. Sam reminds her that Kelly fought back and she may have riled the killer. Sam gets a call and says he will be down in two secs. He tells Natalie and Ronnie that Lucy remembers something else, and Natalie is shocked that she is still there. He says she couldn’t get into her place because her keys were stoles, and Ronnie said she crashed in the soft room. Natalie asks what is wrong with a hotel? Sam said she did not feel safe and rationalizes that it is only for one night. Natalie says she hopes so, they are not running a B&B.
Lucy mentions there was a beaded cushion in the cab and the driver must have been wearing a leather jacket as she could hear it squeaking against it as he moved. Ronnie says that’s great and moves to leave. She thanks Sam (calling him “detective”) for letting her stay there, and he says it is no problem, and he adds, “And it’s Sam.” She smiles back at him.
Later, as the driver, Carl Lucas, is reading the paper outside his cab, he sees Sam and Ronnie approach and he runs. Sam and Ronnie chase him and Carl falls and hurts his leg. Sam apprehends him and arrests and cuffs him for suspicion of murder, robbery and rape, and he reads him his rights. As Carl is taken away, Sam calls out that his car is going to forensics, and Ronnie adds so are his trainers, holding up a right shoe with orange paint on the toe.
At MIU in interrogation, Carl says she got in his cab and that was the last time he saw her. He said he ran because his cousin gave him a load of iPads. Sam says they were nicked – and he had them in the cab. He has been in prison before for 2 years for GBH and his DNA got him convicted. Sam thinks he has a grudge against women in forensic services. He thinks they are joking. Ronnie thinks he stewed in jail for two years, but Carl said it was his own fault.
Later, in a line up, Lucy balks in the ID, telling Sam she did not think it would be this scary. She holds on to his hand and he tells her it is OK. They can’t see her. Lucy identifies Carl as the one who attacked her and she squeezes Sam’s hand. Yvette Dyer, Carls attorney, sees them holding hands.
Afterwards, Sam is walking with Lucy toward her flat, who said she shouldn’t even be there, she is supposed to be on a plane to Tokyo visiting her little sister who is travelling. He tells her he has been there. They both seem to be flirting with each other. She gets to her flat and asks if he can come in for a drink, that she would feel a lot safer of he checked the place out. He says he is really not supposed to, but he goes in anyway,
In her flat, Sam talks about his visit to Tokyo as they share some wine. She says he makes it so easy, he lets people in but most men are so shut down. She moves over to the sofa. Sam brings up the tsunami out there as he sits next to her on the sofa. They continue to make small talk, and then Sam says Carl Lucas really scared her. She says she thought he was going to kill her. He takes her hand and strokes it. He then says he should go, but she says “Please, don’t.” They begin to kiss.
The next day at MIU, Ronnie is already at his desk as Sam arrives. Ronnie notices Sam is wearing the same clothes as the day before. Sam tells Ronnie he should be a copper, and Ronnie warns that they have textbook evidence her and not to mess it up. Sam says he knows what he is doing. Ronnie counters Sam forgot what they taught him: Rule 1 - never get personally involved with a victim. Sam sarcastically comments that Ronnie never got personally involved in a case. Ronnie said he never slept with the only witness and tells Sam he is making a mistake. Sam tells Ronnie to leave him alone, he never had a dad and he doesn’t need one now.
In court, Lucy is testifying about identifying Carl and point him out in court. Yvette Dyer challenges her ID, saying that Lucy was probably sleepy. She mentioned how Lucy grabbed hold of DS Casey’s hand and that she held his hand through the entire ID parade. Senior Crown Prosecutor Jake Thorne throws a glance back to Sam, who is seated in the gallery. Yvette mentions that Sam squeezed her hand, and implies he did it twice to indicate which person to pick from the line up. Lucy insists Sam would not do that, he is an honest man. When Yvette hones in on the fact that Lucy calls him Sam and not DS Casey. Jake stands up and says it is preposterous that Sam would try to influence an ID. The judge states that physical contact between a witness making an ID and an officer is unacceptable. The judge excludes the ID, and Yvette gives satisfied smile to Jake.
At the forensic pathology lab, Chloe tells them she heard what happened in court. She adds that there were no footprints at the scene at Kelly’s but she did find blood on the sole of Carl’s trainer. Ronnie recalls that they didn’t find any bloodstained clothing so why would he keep hold of his trainers? Chloe said he would not have noticed, the blood is microscopic but she had enough for a profile and it is a match.
Later, at Lucy’s flat, Lucy whines to Sam that Yvette made her look like a liar. Sam says she was just doing her job, and tells her Carl is going down as they have forensics proving he killed Kelly. He says they should be celebrating and then asks what is her fancy. He brings out some menus and then says she chose last night and she replies she only chose pizza because she knew that is what he wanted. He tells her to chose again, and says to forget that. She kisses him – and he says he wants to freshen up.
Sam is in the bathroom and he takes some toothpaste and puts it on his finger to use it as a toothbrush. He splashes water on his face. After he dries his face, he grabs a towel to dry it and sees a red chemise hanging on a hook on the door. He pulls it off and looks at the label which has the brand name of Ann Summers. He is stunned.
He walks out of the bathroom and Lucy is in bed waiting for him. He says Ronnie just texted and he has to go in. She asks about tomorrow night and he says yeah, it’s a date. He kisses her and leaves.
In a restaurant, Sam is telling Ronnie about the nightie. Ronnie chides him for interrupting his beauty sleep to tell him that, adding they must have sold hundreds of them. Sam tells him they sold less than 10, it was a new line and that was all they had until next month. Ronnie reminds him they have Kelly’s blood on the cabbie’s shoe and Sam wonders if he has it wrong and wonders if Lucy is hiding something.
At MIU, Ange tells Ronnie and Sam that she went through the list of personnel that had day to day contact with the department where Lucy was temping. A few months ago, the wage slips are usually posted out to the accountants but a few months ago they were collected in person and Lucy was the temp that packed them up and handed them over. She gave them to Tom Hartson, Kelly’s fiancé.
At CPS, Sam, Ronnie and Alesha are talking with Tom and they confront him about flirting with Lucy. Tom says she came on to him. They speculated he took a shine to her and bought her a red nightie – but with his fiancée’s gift card. Tom said they told him the gift card was stolen. Sam says it all makes sense now, Tom had the hots for Lucy and she knocked him back and Kelly found out and they got into a fight. Tom says he was sleeping with her, but Sam gets angry and tells him to shut up. Alesha and Ronnie give a look over to Sam. Sam looks back at them and says Tom is lying through his teeth. Ronnie tells Tom to carry on, and Tom says it only happened a few times but he was ready to give it up for her and leave to Kelly. But then Lucy’s sister Sasha got sick while she was backpacking in India, It put a damper on everything. She got malaria and didn’t have travel insurance. Lucy needed a couple grand to pay medical expenses and he gave her the money. He knows it was stupid but Sasha could have died. He took the money from the account and told Kelly as soon as he’d done it. She was furious and guessed she and Lucy were more than friends. He adds they are not having an affair any more, after he gave her the money she stopped returning his calls. Sam asks if all this is true, why didn’t he tell them this before? Tom says he was scared, adding that one doesn’t live life with an alibi in one’s back pocket expecting to get accused of murder.
Later, in Natalie’s office, Sam tells her Lucy made up the accusation against the cabbie because she was under pressure from Tom Hartson. He paid her sister’s medical expenses and she feels like she owes him one. Natalie wonders how she gave such a good description of the cabbie, right down to the paint spattered trainers? Sam thinks Tom told her what to say. Natalie asks Sam if he is sure he is not getting carried away. He tells Natalie she has a red Ann Summers nightie just like the one bought with Kelly’s gift card. Natalie asks how would he know that. Sam says that he saw it in her bathroom. She asks what he was going there, and he says she invited him in. Natalie asks to do what, and then asks Ronnie to give them a few minutes. Ronnie leaves her office. As he closes the door and Natalie closes the window blinds, he hears Natalie raise her voice to Sam saying she could suspend him now and asking what the bloody hell was he thinking.
In Lucy’s apartment, she brings out a beer and asks Sam if he is sure she can’t tempt him. He says no, he has to keep his head clear. He tells her he got suspended as his boss found out about them. She gets very apologetic. He says they met on a case but they could have met at work. He says he is thinking about going away, like her sister, just chucking his stuff in a backpack and going. She says wow – what about the case and who will look after her? Sam says Ronnie will, he is also not sure that Ronnie buys into the guv’s theory. She asks what theory. He says they found out about her and Kelly’s fiancé Tom meeting at the lab and they reckon they had some sort of a fling. He tells her not to worry, he put them straight that it was just a coincidence. She says of course it is. He says if there is anything else she can tell him and he can get it sorted out. She says she doesn’t know what he means, and Sam implies that Tom got her to cover up for him and she can tell him the truth. She get angry and says she told him the truth, it was the cabbie, and asks why he is doing this. Sam says Tom gave her 2 grand and says they were having an affair. She gets up and says she never slept with him. Sam says she can tell him the truth but Lucy says Tom is lying.
Meanwhile, back in the car, Natalie and Ronnie are listening to the conversation and Natalie tells Ronnie that Lucy is too clever to incriminate herself. As they hear Sam tell Lucy he can help her, Ronnie asks Natalie if she wants to pull it and she says no, they should roll out plan B – bring her in and search the flat.
As Lucy is being arrested and Natalie reads her rights, Sam pulls out his wire. She calls to Sam and he tells her to be quiet. He points out where the nightie is located and Natalie tells them to bag the lot. Ronnie finds a wad of money and Natalie tells him to bag it. She also tells Sam he knows how to pick them.
At the CPS, Jake and Alesha speak with Lucy who says she did not have an affair with Tom. She had just found out her sister Sasha had been ill and he was there and he was nice and he told them about her. Her brief, Eli Smart, says she never asked for his help, that Tom wanted to. Jake comments “out of the kindness of his heart.” Lucy says she is not stupid, she knows what he wanted. She took his money because she was desperate and she would not sleep with a married man. Alesha reminds her that Tom is not married. Lucy said he is engaged and she is not like that. Eli says after Kelly died, Ton begged Lucy to make up a story about the cabbie and told her what to say. Lucy said she owed him as he saved her sister’s life. Alesha asks about the red nightie and Lucy said Tom sent that to her as a thank you after she gave her statement.
Afterwards, Natalie tells Jake and Alesha that there are no forensics linking her to the murder, they have been through everything. Alesha says Tom had the motive. Natalie says Lucy has motive, she may have wanted Kelly out of the way. Jake adds it would be simpler if DS Casey hadn’t jumped into bed with her. Henry asks if he thinks that is the only problem here – they presented blood evidence implicating the cab driver. He asks if someone can tell him how Kelly’s blood got on his shoes.
In the lab, Jake and Alesha speak with Chloe who confirms it was Kelly’s blood on the shoe. When Jake asks if she is 100% certain on this, she says absolutely, and then asks why. Alesha says the woman who claimed he attacked her admitted that she lied and that Kelly’s fiancé is the main suspect now. Chloe looks concerned and said the police looked so certain it was Lucas. Alesha asks if she and Kelly were close and Chloe says they were like sisters. Jake reminds her she will have to go into the witness box to speak to its credibility. Chloe admits they processed the blood samples from the murder scene and took blood from one of those samples and said she found it on Lucas’ shoe. Jake asks if she planted the evidence, and Chloe says everyone was so sure it was him. Alesha comments there was no evidence that Carl Lucas was near Kelly, and Chloe says she thought he killed her best friend and she didn’t want to see him get away with it. Jake furiously asks if she has any idea of the damage she has done.
Afterwards, while walking down the street, Alesha brings up the sheets that Kelly brought in to be tested when she thought Tom was cheating on her. There were two sets of DNA – Tom’s and an unknown female. Jake says now they have Lucy’s DNA.
Back at MIU with Jake, Alesha tells Ronnie and Sam that they retested the sheets and it is positive for Tom’s and Lucy’s DNA. Ronnie says Lucy lied, she and Tom were having an affair. Jake wonders if Kelly found out and confronted her. Alesha says Tom went cold on her after he gave Lucy the money, and thinks Lucy conned him with the story of her sister. Ronnie agrees, and Sam says if they are right, she has probably done this before.
Sam and Alesha speak with a man who identified Lucy as Melanie Carter and he filed a police report that she took him for 5 grand. He was told her sister got sick in Mozambique and then said her sister had died and she could not afford to fly her body home. When he first met her, she told him she made it easy. Sam looks at him and stops. He tells Sam he thought it meant he made it easy for her to fall for him, now he knows she meant easy for her to con him. Alesha tells him they may need him to give evidence and he says of course, anything to get her. As Alesha and Sam start to walk off, the guy tells them he got a call a few months ago from a woman who said she wanted to talk to him about Melanie who said she worked for the police – in forensics. He called back and left a message and never heard from her. Her name was Kelly – and Alesha asks if it was Kelly Mahon. He says that’s it. Alesha looks at Sam, who nods.
At Shoe Lane, Jake is sitting outside eating and Alesha rushes up to him and sits down next to him, saying there are three more reports. She used a different name but the con is the same every time. Jake says they need to find out if Lucy even has a sister, and Alesha says they need to get Lucas out of jail. She wants to charge Lucy with murder and asks if she can call Ronnie to give the police evidence. Jake says Sam found the crucial piece of evidence so they are officially screwed on that one. Alesha sighs and Jake continues to eat.
At a later date, Sam is testifying in court about finding the red nightie. He admits to a brief relationship with Lucy – who is now the one on trial – and said it ended the minute he began to suspect her. Eli asks him about having another suspect, the cab driver, and Sam says Lucy had accused him. Eli brings up the blood evidence, and Sam said that turned out to be fabricated by someone in the forensics lab. Eli accused them of framing the cab driver and when that fell apart they went looking for another innocent person. Sam says no. Eli accuses Sam of seducing Lucy and volunteering to take her home to get access to her flat and then planted evidence by putting the nightie in the bathroom. Sam denies all of it, saying it is ridiculous. Eli asks how they can trust a police officer who has sex with a victim. When Sam says she was not a victim, Eli says Sam certainly thought she was at the time. Sam admits at the time, he did. Eli asks how they can belie a single word that comes out his mouth?
Later, Lucy is testifying saying that Tom asked her to make up the story about the driver and she thought she was helping him to catch the real killer. She talks about meeting Sam and that he was so kind and that she took his hand at the ID parade and felt him squeeze it but thought he was just trying to comfort her. Jake now questions her about her sister and the medical bills, and brings up that he told another men that her sister died – and he rattles off the names of the men who paid the funeral expenses. Jake asks if her sister is dead or just ill. Lucy says she was ill and she died. Jake asks if Miss Kennard if she can please stand. Lucy says she is standing. Jake replies that he is not talking to her. Another woman sitting in the gallery stands up and stares at Lucy. Jake points and asks if this is her dead sister, and Eli voices an objection. While the woman stares at Lucy, Jake also stares at her with a smile on his face. Jake says this is Lucy's sister, Sasha – and then asks yes or no. Lucy’s face looks cold and she says yes. Eli looks stunned. Jake tells Sasha to sit down. He goes on to say that Lucy spun the story to four men and thinks there are many more too embarrassed. He says she did it to extort money and Kelly Mahon found out what she was up to and accuses Lucy of killing her to protect herself. When Jake presses and Lucy does not answer, the judge orders her to respond. Lucy tearfully asks him why they are letting them do this to her? When the judge looks mystified, Lucy goes on to tell him that he said he would help. She cries and goes on to say he said he would help her if she slept with him and he gave her his word. Eli looks exasperated and the judge calls counsel to his chambers – NOW.
In the judge’s chambers, Eli says he had no idea she was going to play a stunt like that. The judge says he has to recuse himself and Jake says she will do it to the next judge and Alesha adds and the one after that. Jake says they don’t have a choice but to continue, Lucy has manipulated every man she had something to gain from and the judge can’t allow him to do the same thing to him. The judge gives a stern warning to Eli that one more stunt from Lucy and he will have to dismiss the jury. He asks Eli if they are clear, and he responds, “Crystal.”
Back in court, the judge tells the jury that the defendant’s last remark should be disregarded. He also warns Lucy she is under oath. Jake asks her if any officer of the court has made promises to her in exchange for sexual favors. She says yes, the judge, saying she would not go to prison if she had sex with him. Jake asks when did this happen, and Lucy replies it was early today but could not say what time. Jake said she was brought to the court directly from the cells at the start of the proceeding and asks if this was a separate visit earlier today. Lucy answers yes. Jake asks if the court security staff conspired with him, and Lucy replies that she wouldn’t know that. Jake asks if the judges clerk was involved and if they all conspired with the judge so he could offer her favors for sex, and Jake asks if they actually expect them to believe this. Lucy says men don’t always think with their heads. Jake adds so they would do anything, including Tom cheating on his fiancée and DS Casey breaking his oath and sleeping with a victim. Jake brings up the men that gave her money because they are only after one thing, and she says, “You said it.” Jake asks if that makes them fair game. Lucy responds that they all think they are pieces of meat, they leer at us on the street and touch us up on the tube and think we like it, and can pick us up and put us down and cheat on us and treat us like shit. Lucy says she just turned the tables and took control. Jake adds to make them pay. Lucy says she made them all pay. She looks at the jury and said they should be thanking her. Jake says she made Kelly Mahon pay with her life by stabbing her repeatedly in the chest but 6 times, Jake making the stabbing motion while he counts out the number of stab wounds. Jakes adds Lucy left Kelly bleeding and dying in her flat, a month from her wedding. Jake finishes with “so much for sisterhood.”
Later, the jury announces the verdict as guilty of murder. The judges gives her life, with a minimum tariff of 15 years. As they take her away, Lucy looks back on the gallery. Sam looks at her, and then straight ahead, as we cut to black.
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