Law & Order UK “Paternal” brought viewers back to the standard procedural format, albeit one that was a little light on the courtroom drama. “Paternal” was adapted from the original Law & Order episode “Deadbeat” (season 7, episode 7) and “Paternal” followed the original storyline very closely. That is, until the end, where CPS decides to take quick action against the daughter of the murderer for her role in the conspiracy. (In “Deadbeat”, Jack McCoy placed the case file on the top of a pile on his cabinet implying a stall, and saying there was no statute of limitations on murder.)
After the emotional and intense first two episodes of this new Law & Order UK series, “Paternal” moved at a slower pace. It was not without of emotional drama, however. The struggles of a mother who is coping with her son’s fatal illness plus the high cost of care was a story told with depressing realism.
For now, DS Sam Casey seems to be controlling his angst over his recent troubles. But, it is obvious that he isn’t thrilled that they have to cause grief for the terminally ill young boy who will find himself with his mother and grandfather likely in jail. Although Kate seems to forget for which side she’s working, her defense experience will, in the long run, likely help them to plan offensive strategies. She and Jake seem to have made peace. We also get a glimpse into how DI Wes Layton keeps himself calm and collected: taking care of his bonsai tree. We also learn that, much to Sam’s chagrin, DI Chandler will not be returning as she is looking after her mother. Despite Sam’s uneasiness with Wes, I believe that Ronnie will be the stabilizing factor between the two.
It also seems that in this new series that Henry has developed more of a likeable personality – still strong and authoritative, but not so much so that he can’t interject a little humor here and there. I’ve always enjoyed Peter Davison during his “Dr. Who” days and have enjoyed seeing a bit of a playful side in Henry Sharpe in these last few episodes.
Here is the recap
Bradley Walsh - DS Ronnie Brooks
Paul Nicholls - DS Sam Casey
Paterson Joseph - DI Wes Leyton
Dominic Rowan - Jacob Thorne
Georgia Taylor - Kate Barker
Peter Davison - Henry Sharpe
Amanda Mealing - Eleanor
Michaela Cole – Maid
Alexander Perkins – SOCO Pete
Branko Tomovic - Jan Kopecky
Christopher Sciueref - Radek Kopecky
Jessica Gunning - Angela
Emmanuella Cole - Annie
Gemma Atkinson - Becky Bryson
Ian Bleasdale - Philip Donovan
Jo Hartley - Lindsey
Max Furst – Joe Donovan
Simon Lawson – Luke
Mark Cameron - Hancock
Davood Ghadami - Russell
Jack Beale – Court Clerk
Amerjit Deu - Judge Asif Pathan
A maid, entering a room at the Crossthorne Hotel for turndown service, finds a man laying on the floor, dead. Later, DS Ronnie Brooks is at the scene and hears that the man – Michael Trent - was shot once in the chest with a small caliber, maybe a 22. A person in another room heard a shot and thought it was a TV and a witness saw a man in the corridor wearing a green sweatshirt. It does not appear to be a robbery and there is no sign of forced entry. He has few clothes in the room and Ronnie thinks it is a fly in visit. Trent’s mobile phone rings and Ronnie answers it, pretending to be Trent, and tells the caller to come up to room 603.
As two men get out of the lift, Ronnie approaches and identifies himself. He questions the men as to why they are there and they are evasive, so he asks them to voluntarily come down to the station and answer some questions. Ronnie tells them the meeting with Trent is canceled..
At M.I.U. headquarters, DS Sam Casey and Ronnie question the men, Radek and Jan Kopecky, separately. They both have records. The detectives inform the men that Trent is dead. The detectives hear that Trent said he was coming to town and wanted to meet, Trent buys cars and the Radeks sell them.
Afterwards, Ronnie tells DI Wes Leyton that he is not charging the Kopecky brothers; even though they carry their biceps between their ears, they are not stupid enough to go meet a bloke they have just killed. They don’t have anything bad on Trent. Sam tells them that the lab just confirmed that Trent died from a single shot from a .22 caliber gun. Ronnie says there was no sign of a struggle and no murder weapon or casings. Wes says all they have is the green sweatshirt. Angela approaches and gives them Trent’s bill and credit card details from the hotel. In Wes’s office, Ronnie explains that he thinks Trent let the killer in, and Wes wonders if he had a key card, telling them to find out how easy it is to clone one. As Wes sits down at his desk and tends to his bonsai tree Ronnie explains that the phone is a pay as you go. There was no room service on the bill so they wonder where the vodka came from.
At the nearby Wine, Spirits & More store, Ronnie and Sam speak with the clerk who shows them the security video with Trent making his purchase. She told Trent to put away his big wad of money which he continued to flash around, and he asked to be pointed in the direction of the hookers.
Back at M.I.U., Sam tells Wes that they couldn’t find that Trent picked up a hooker but Wes wonders if he did and she robbed and murdered him. Sam says Trent has a shared account with Rebecca Bryson and he tried Trent’s contact number but it keeps going to voice mail. Ronnie shows them Trent’s calls log with 7 calls to other mobiles, 3 to the same number, and one call to a dental practice. Sam notices the three calls were to Rebecca Bryson and the last call to her mobile lasted 7 seconds which Sam thinks is just enough time not to leave a message. Ronnie finishes that he rang her work instead – the next call was to the dentist’s office. Sam makes a call to the office posing as Rebecca’s neighbor saying he locked himself out. He finds out that “Becky” is taking the afternoon off for her birthday and she is on her way to London to meet her boyfriend. Wes tells them to keep calling her mobile and meet her at the train.
At Waterloo Station, Ronnie and Sam meet with Becky and they explain that Trent is dead. Later, at the medical examiner’s, she identifies his body and she tells them he was a copper.
At M.I.U., Becky explains that Trent was an undercover cop in Southampton and said he was tracking drug gangs and organized crime. Her phasing makes both Sam and Ronnie suspicious. She said they were engaged and he trusted her and they had a joint bank account as he needed somewhere to put all the spare money. She met one of his colleagues when he took ten grand out of the account to pay an informant. There was a letter for Gary Tully that she thought was for a previous tenant. He said there was an undercover deal he had to take care of with a big payoff – 250 grand.
Later, Ronnie tells Wes they never heard of Trent at Southampton and when Wes wonders if he was scamming, Ronnie says Trent was putting money INTO the account and 90% of the money belonged to him. After Wes leaves, Sam asks Ronnie if DI Chandler is coming back, and Ronnie says she is looking after her mum and that Sam will get used to Wes. Sam comments “bonsais and all” and Ronnie say Wes may trim tiny trees but he is still one of the good guys. Sam then says “bingo” saying that while there is nothing on Trent, he found that Gary Tully is wanted by family court for non-payment of maintenance. Ronnie says Tully has wife somewhere that he owes, he has for years, and wonders if she got tired of waiting,
At the home of Lindsey Donovan, Ronnie and Sam speak with her father, Philip, about Tully and explain he is dead, shot at a hotel. Philip is shocked he was in town, saying the bastard owes them about 100 thousand. Ronnie asks where he was yesterday at about 5PM and Philip says where he always is – loading sacks of dirty tablecloths. He unlocks the doors of his “Larry’s Laundry” truck as Sam asks how they can find his daughter. He tells them she is at Great Ormond hospital, her son Joe has leukemia.
At the hospital, Sam and Ronnie speak with Lindsey as her son plays a video game on an iPad. In another room, she explains that Gary never bothered to see Joe and when they first got married he always had a lot of money. At first she did not mind his overnight business trips but it got harder when the women he was shagging started calling. They got divorced when she got pregnant with Joe and the day the divorce went through he took all the money from the accounts and left them with nothing. CSA tried to help but Tully was very clever, he claimed he was living abroad and created an umbrella company. She sold the house but had borrowed so much money against it there was hardly any money left. She moved in with her dad, who flog himself on his rounds while she looks after Joe. She says she will get a part time job...later. Ronnie asks where she was at 5PM yesterday and she said she was there with Joe, where she always is, and she did not kill Gary, she just wanted the money he owned them.
Afterwards, Ronnie and Sam are at the CSA office and hear about a web site created to help people avoid paying child support. They can’t prove how much Tully is earning and he has several IDs and mobile phones. Sam says Tully deals in used cars but hear that on paper, Tully is an employee on minimum wage. There is nothing they can do, they know about Joe but there is nothing they can do. The file says Tully is a potential bone marrow donor and that Lindsey and Philip are not a match. The closest they came to Tully was a few months ago when they found he was in Southampton so they sent their legal enforcement officer and by the time he got there, he wasn’t there.
Afterwards, Ronnie wonders to Sam about the collection agent being there at the same time Tully made a 10 thousand pound payment.
At the Thames riverbank, Sam speaks with the collection agent Mr. Hancock, while Ronnie is sitting nearby with Becky. She sees the collection agent with Sam and she identifies Hancock as the man who got the 10 thousand pound payment. While Hancock denies it, Becky realizes Tully was lying to her. Sam walks off with her to get coffee and Hancock admits to Ronnie that he found Tully and took the money her offered. He says he never saw Tully again, At the time of the murder he was doing a repossession with many witnesses. He got Tully’s mobile phone number from Tully’s father in law, Philip Donovan.
At Larry’s Laundry Depot, Ronnie and Sam speak with the manager who moans about a machine that is banging as it tumbles the laundry. He speaks highly of Philip’s work. He gives them the schedule of where Philip was on the day of the murder. They find he is working in Hammersmith that day.
They catch up with Philip on the job - he’s wearing a green sweatshirt – and he says he got Tully’s number from a guy who sold him a car and he had to bribe many of his old contacts. It was a business number and they never answered, you had to leave a message. If it was kosher he would call you back, that way he only had his phone on long enough to listen and he couldn’t be tracked. He just left a message saying that Joe needed a bone marrow transplant and if Tully had a shred of decency he’d have himself tested. He never heard back. As Philip goes back to his truck to leave, Sam comments on the color of Philip’s sweatshirt. Ronnie says there are plenty of green sweatshirts in London but wonders why, if Phillip is sitting on all that dosh, why Philip I still lugging all that laundry. Sam wonders if the money is not for him, am recalls the new iPad the kid had, and Ronnie questions where they got the money for that,
Back at Great Ormond Street hospital, Ronnie and Sam speak with Joe who talks about the video game, saying he can pick his weapons and has a “pea shooter” as backup to his magnum. He says pea shooter is his gun’s nickname and his grand dad got him the iPad yesterday. Lindsey runs in and stops the questioning of her son.
Outside the room, she chastises them, saying they do not talk to Joe without her permission. Ronnie asks about the iPad and where the money came from, and she said they sold the last of her mother’s jewelry – that was the last they had of her – and told Joe it came from his grand dad. As she walks back into the room, Sam comments about after all Lindsey has been though and now this. Ronnie reminds him they still have to ask the questions. Ronnie comments that Philip Donovan is Mr. Reliable, and wonders how he found the time to buy an iPad and bring it into the hospital for his grandson yesterday morning? According to Philip’s work roster, on Friday morning he was supposed to be making a pickup at a brasserie around the corner from Tully’s hotel, wondering when he found the time to make THAT pickup?
Later, with Philip in interrogation, they tell him they spoke to the brasserie manger and know when Philip was there, and that Tully would have walked right past him on his way to the hotel. Ronnie reminds Philip he is entitled to a brief, but Philip says he has nothing to hide. Sam explains that Philips flat is being searched by experienced police officers who know all the hiding places. Philip still denies everything while Kate Baker watches in the next room on the video feed with Wes. The phone rings and Wes answers it, telling the caller he is coming down. Ronnie and Sam continue to question Philip and Wes enters the room. Wes shows Philip two rolls of 50 pound notes found in a pack of frozen peas in his flat. Philip insists he won it on the horses but when Wes presses for details,, Philip can’t give any. Ronnie says he can’t image what his family has been through and says now is the time to tell the truth. Philip admits he saw Tully on the street and went up to his room and when Wes asks how he came by the money, Philip gets silent. Ronnie suggests now is the time for the brief.
At the Crown Prosecution Service, Jake and Kate meet with Eleanor, Philip’s brief, who says they have nothing. When Jake mentions the money, Eleanor says that can’t be linked to Tully. Kate reminds her Phillip admitted to being in Tully’s room and Eleanor counters that Tully was alive when he left. Jake says they have motive but Eleanor dismisses this, saying many people hated Gary Tully. She suggests they go to court where she will tell the story of a man wrongly accused who did everything he could to help his family, and the story of a man who did everything he could NOT to.
Afterwards, Henry Sharpe tells Jake and Kate that Eleanor is right, the case is iffy at best. Jake replies he can put Philip at the scene, he has motive, and he has the money. Henry says Eleanor has the sympathy card. Kate says Eleanor will make it about personality – and she would. Jake says to let her, it doesn’t alter the facts. Kate asks which are what – they can’t prove Philip was even in the hotel room when Tully died. Jake reminds her that they do the prosecuting here. Henry says that Philip is not a criminal mastermind – he put the money in the frozen peas and thinks Philip has to have made mistake. Jake comments that the gun had to come from somewhere, wondering how he got a hold of it, and Kate wonders what he did with it afterwards. Jake adds that according to the police, Philip went straight back to the depot.
Back at the laundry depot, Sam speaks with the manager about Philip and the night of the murder while Ronnie looks around. Ronnie hears the banging noise again from one of the machines. Sam thinks that Philip stashed the gun so he can take care of it later, and Ronnie reaches behind the banging machine and finds the gun wrapped in a tablecloth – it’s a .22 caliber.
Back at CPS, Kate tells Jake that there is a ballistics match with the gun and though it was wiped down, they did lift a partial thumbprint – Philip Donovan’s. Eleanor is waiting in Jake’s office and comments about Jake and Kate bonding, saying that is nice. They mention the ballistic report that matches the gun to Philip, and Jake says now would be a good time to change her plea. Eleanor says it is still not guilty, but she will be running self defense. Kate reminds Eleanor that according to her, Philip wasn’t even there. Eleanor replies these are new instructions, they argued, Tully pulled a gun, and it went off in the struggle. She shows Jake a copy of the license showing that the gun is Tully’s. She walks out of the office, leaving a stunned Jake and Kate.
At Temple Walk, Henry, Jake and Kate discuss the latest developments, Kate feels there is no proof of intent and that Eleanor will argue reasonable fault and say that Tully was the aggressor and that Donovan was in fear of his life. Jake asks if she really thinks Donovan would go after someone half his age who is holding a gun on him, and Henry thinks Lindsey Donovan might.
With Lindsey at CPS, along with Eleanor, Kate asks if her father has a temper, and Lindsay cites a few simple examples of how he gets upset which are minor. When Kate mentions ex-husbands not paying their way, Eleanor puts her hand on Lindsey’s arm to stop her from replying. Kate asks about her ex and whether he is violent and would he pull a gun. She states that the day she told Gary she was divorcing him, he decided to return the favor by using her as an ashtray, showing the others a burn mark on her chest. She asks Kate if that answers her question, and Kate is silent.
Afterwards, Henry tells Jake and Kate to tell Eleanor to accept a plea to manslaughter, loss of control, fear that Tully would use violence. Jake still thinks that…but Henry cuts him off and tells him to put this one to bed, it’s turning toxic. Henry walks into his office and as Jake and Kate walk to theirs, Kate comments that Henry is right and that manslaughter is something. Jake thinks this is settling. Kate says he can’t make his case, and Jake comments doesn’t she mean WE can’t. Kate discusses where the is the proof, and suggests Jake try this: a couple of days after he died, the girlfriend says the hospital wrote to Tully – he had made an appointment for a test to see if he was a match for his son. The man was a potential donor, and asks Jake if he thinks that Philip would kill him?
Later, Jake and Kate meet with Philip and Eleanor to suggest a deal and what he would have if they went to trial and the impact to this daughter and family. Philip decides to talk, saying that he told Gary they were desperate and could not do it on their own, with the cost of looking after Joe. At first he thought Gary was going to help when he got out a bag of money, but then Gary got his gun out and said he was going to teach Phillip a lesson with his pea shooter. Philip threw himself at Gary and grabbed his arm and it just went off. Eleanor suggest manslaughter.
At Crown V Donovan at the plea and case management hearing, Jake tells Kate he can do this but she wants to as Eleanor has been calling the shots for too long, it is her turn now.
Later in court as the charge of murder is being read, Philip pleads not guilty, but Eleanor says he pleads guilty to manslaughter. Kate stands up and says this is not acceptable, they plan to proceed to trial, much to the shock of Philip, Eleanor, and Lindsey.
Back at CPS, Eleanor, who is with Philip, complains about being hauled into their office because of a nickname. Jake explains that in speaking to the police. Philip’s grandson Joe referred to a gun as a pea shooter, which is the same name Philip used for Gary Tully’s gun. Eleanor replies this is completely inappropriate and illegal. When Philip says he misspoke, Eleanor tells him not to talk to them. Jake asks if that is right, and Eleanor asks who does Jake think he is. She says to Kate she hopes she is happy she crossed over and is she proud, adding her sympathies, saying she hopes the regular paycheck makes it worthwhile. She says the meeting is over. But Kate comments to Philip that the pea shooter is real, isn’t it and that Joe said that is the name Philip gave to Gary’s gun, the one he saw in their flat. She adds that Gary never took it after the divorce, and it was in the hotel room because Philip brought it. Philip says nothing.
Afterwards and outside, Eleanor tells Jake and Kate that Philip had the gun, his daughter gave it to him for protection. She said Tully saw the gun sticking out of his pocket and grabbed it, saying Tully is still the aggressor and Philip feared for his life. Jake this is not true but Eleanor says to let the jury decide.
Back at CPD, Henry walks out of the lift with Jake and Kate reminding them he said to accept a plea, asking did he not make himself clear? He thinks to go to trial will turn this into a beauty pageant and Philip is a lot prettier than Gary. Kate replies that they will not let that happen. Henry quips that the jury always does what they want them to. Jake thinks Lindsey knows something but Henry questions that she will give evidence against her own father. Jake suggest to issue a witness summons and tells her unless she cooperates they will have her on joint enterprise. Henry sarcastically responds that will play wonderfully well out there, a witch hunt for the woman with a dying son. Jake is skeptical about how Philip just happened to bump into Tully on the same day he just happened to change his route, and when Henry comments about the coincidence, Jake says he is a prosecutor, there is no such thing. Kate interjects that Philip changed his route so he could see Joe the next morning, which put him near Tully’s hotel that afternoon. Jake asks why that morning and why that afternoon? Henry asks who knew Tully would be at that hotel that afternoon?
At RJK Autos, Ronnie and Sam question the Kopeckys and after putting on some pressure for a customs and revenue search, the brothers admit that there was a middle man. He told them there was a guy always on the lookout for classy motors, so they called them. They didn’t mention it before as they thought they had been set up. His name is Hancock, he is a collection agent.
Later, Hancock is in interrogation denying everything. They think they only reason Tully was persuaded to come to London was so he could be killed. Sam adds if they find out that Hancock knew that, then that would be conspiracy to murder. Hancock scoffs and says they can’t do that. The looks on Ronnie and Sam’s faces wipes the smile off Hancock’s. He admits it was Philip Donovan. The plan was to bring Tully to ton and get him arrested and recover the money. Philip promised him a cut, which he stiffed him on. Donovan never said anything about a gun.
Later, Philip, Lindsey, and Eleanor are back at CPS with Jake and Kate and Phillip says Hancock is lying. Kate brings out the witness statement from Hancock which says otherwise. Eleanor calls him a self confessed liar and cheat. Jake outlined what Hancock said and that Philip turned up at the meet and shot Tully and took the money. Philip admits they knew Tully was not a match for Joe, Lindsey had some old medical records, so he got Hancock to bring Tully there. Kate asks why not have Hancock arrested and recover the money that way, and Philip says they saw how Tully ran rings around the CSA. Philip says Joe is dying and asks how much time they think he has. He admits he stole the money and admits to killing Tully.
Afterwards, Henry enters Jake and Kate’s office and comments that Philip Donovan will plead guilty to murder, and Jake replies Philip will hope for a sympathetic judge when it comes to sentencing. Henry adds it is all without Eleanor comparing Donovan to Tully, she would have had the jury wanting to kill him themselves. Kate comments at least Tully was going to be tested for bone marrow transplant, but Jake comments he wasn’t picky on how he put his cigarettes out. Henry says he just wanted to say Jake was right and he was less so. Jake blandly replies it is gracious if him. Henry smiles and says it was, wasn’t it? He wonders why getting the test was such a big deal, and surely they could have just checked his records like the Donovan’s did. Henry walks out and Jake asks Kate if she fancies a drink. Kate pauses and says yeah, she’d like that/ As they move to leave, she stops and asks Jake what sort of records did Lindsey Donovan have?
Later, Kate is knocking at Lindsey’s door and when Lindsey opens it and sees it is Kate, she says she has nothing to say to her and moves to slam the door. But Kate pushes back so the door will not close. Kate explains that she spoke to the transplant team and she knows why she conspired with her father to kill her ex husband. Lindsey lets her in.
Kate explains that medical records won’t tell if you are a donor match but they will tell you blood type, and will tell if you are not the father. She asks when Gary changed his mind, suddenly wanting to get tested. Lindsey explains that Philip told Gary that if he got tested, he would drop the CSA claim. He father was so happy but Lindsey always knew there was a chance Gary wasn’t Joe’s father and she kept it to herself. Afterwards, her father wondered why she wasn’t jumping up and down. Kate says Lindsey knew the second that Gary found out he wasn’t Joe’s father, her claims for child support would go up in a puff of smoke and she would have nothing. Lindsey explains about a new costly drug that could help Joe that they could not get on NHS, and that means her son’s life was not worth saving. Lindsey opens up the cupboard to show Kate packages of the drug, a six week course that costs 2 thousand pounds a day. It could extend Joe’s life by a year, maybe two. She asks Kate if she has any kids, and Kate says no. Lindsey says she can tell her that the number of night she has left watching him go to sleep, the smell on the back of his neck, his heart beating. Lindsey cries, and then asks what has she done.
The next day, back at CPS, Jake comments to Kate that she knows Lindsey is as guilty as her dad. Kate says they can’t prove her father made this dead with Gary to be tested and Philip will not talk. Jake gets up with the file and replies so they build a case. He hands her the file and reminds her they speak for the victim because no one else does.
Later, as Ronnie and Sam leave M.I.U., Sam complains that there is no way that this doesn’t punish the kid as well. Ronnie said Tully is not even the boy’s father and owes him nothing. Sam says if Lindsey goes to trial, Joe will die alone. Ronnie reminds him that Lindsey has to answer for what she did. Sam asks if Ronnie is okay with that, and Ronnie says they don’t get to ask that one.
Ronnie and Sam are at Lindsey’s door and she opens it, says nothing, and then moves to let them in. She closes the door and we cut to black.
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