Monday, August 5, 2013

Law & Order UK “Fatherly Love” Recap & Review

Law & Order UK “Fatherly Love” was a dramatic story adapted from the original Law & Order “Family Values” (season 5, episode 4). This is one of those original Law & Order stories that predates the start of Law & Order SVU; it was a murder case with a hint of a special victims-type storyline. “Fatherly Love” gave most of the attention to the detective work and less to the legal action, and, at the end, it’s Ronnie’s persistence that gets the real answer on who was the killer and why. I was a little disappointed that, with new character Kate Barker (Georgia Taylor), we didn’t get to see much substantive action from her in this episode. It does appear, however,  that she and Jake and getting along fine.  We did get to see a little more of DI Wes Leyton's (Paterson Joseph) personality and behaviors, and he is a very comfortable character and a good fit for the show.

I always enjoy the visual side of Law & Order UK, with its nice location settings that gives viewers (especially those outside the UK) the feel for London and the surrounding area.

While the outcome of this episode was predictable, the story was well written and well acted. It portrayed the scheming side of a husband who has a predilection for young girls, and the anguish that has cause for all those that he touched, literally and figuratively.

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

Guest Stars
Barney Walsh – Kit
Josh Williams – Theo
Graham Bryan – PC George Denmoor
Kirstin Foster – Officer Two
Rory Keenan – Sean Harte
Charlotte Hope – Holly Leigh
Terry Dwyer – Sara Hays
Jodie Comer - Jess Hays
Patrick Baladi – Richard McGrath
Eleanor Matsuura – Sophie Cohen
Jessica Gunning - Angela
Adjoa Andoh – Lilly
Raji James – Simor Alforth
Sophie Colquhoun – Kim
Colin Maher – Eddie
Brian Doherty – Ged
Valerie Edmond – Liz Booth
Julien Ball - Dr. John Crossley
Amerjit Deu – Judge Asif Pathan
Pip Torrens - Philip Nevins

At the Albert Bridge, two guys who appear to be stealing a car parked on the bridge are stopped by police. The police find the vehicle is registered to Charlotte Leigh and when the guys say she went off to get some patrol, the officer questions this as Charlotte left her purse behind.

Later, DS Ronnie Brooks and DS Sam Casey are on the scene. Sam explains that the husband is frantic as he has no idea where Charlotte is. The two guys tried to start the car but it is a keyless ignition and the fob has to be in the car. Ronnie comments that the fob was sitting in her purse, just 2 feet away. Ronnie suggests they check CCTV to see if she went for a walk with anyone - or – maybe she “went for a dip.”

At the Leigh home, Ronnie and Sam speak with Charlotte’s husband Sean who last saw her in the morning when she went to work. He went to the pub and got home after midnight but she works late and he thought she was at the office, she is a property developer. Sam asks if everything is alright at work or if there are money problems, and Sean says all is fine. Sam’s questions make Sean wonder if she killed herself, then admits that she did try suicide once, a few years ago and before his time when she was still with Holly’s dad – she took an overdose.

Elsewhere, Ronnie speaks with Holly who said at the time she was at a concert at school and got home about a half nine. Her mother was there at the time. Holly wants to go look for her but Ronnie suggests her mom would want her to be home when she got back. When Holly starts to get upset over the issues, Sean steps in and stops the questions.

Later, at M.I.U. headquarters, Ronnie and Sam bring DI Wes Leyton up to speed. Sam wonders if Charlotte was not planning on leaving. Ronnie does not believe she has been kidnapped but Sam wonders if the husband would not have told them about a ransom note. Wes comments that she attempted suicide once before and they now find her car on the Albert Bridge. Sam adds there are no CCTV cameras on the bridge. Ronnie suggests they ask around with her close friends,

At the home of Sara Hays, Ronnie and Sam find that Charlotte was planning a trip to France and already booked the house and doubts she was planning to kill herself. Her previous suicide attempt was not that – she was on pain killers and accidentally double-dosed. Sara’s daughter Jess enters and says she got her mother’s text on Charlotte and she had not spoken to her, she wasn’t in. She asks to be excused. Sara asks Ronnie and Sam if they spoke to Charlotte’s ex and Sam looks surprised to hear of an ex. He is Richard McGrath, and Sara says to say he is a drunk and violent pig would be unfair to pigs. He fractured her jaw, which is why she was on the pain killers. She knew he was violent but she finally left him. Holly still sees her father but Holy did not tell Charlotte, Sara had to pick her up from there once. He has a flat in Battersea, near the bridge.

At the home of Richard McGrath, Ronnie and Sam question him and he last saw Charlotte last weekend, he had been a good boy and she granted him a supervised hour visit with their daughter. He spoke to Charlotte last night, Holly was not answering her phone and Charlotte called him in a panic accusing him but she was not there. Holly said she was at a concert and he believed her. He got the call at 8:27. He got a cab to get to Edinboro to meet a contractor the next morning. He is an architect which is how he and Charlotte met, she finds the properties and he did the schemes, until they split up and she turfed him.

At Leigh and Cohen Properties, Ronnie and Sam find that Richard was useless and a nightmare when he worked there. He was just there last week as Charlotte was trying to help him get treatment as a condition of access to Holly. The cleaner he got the more he could see her. They find Richard had been arrested for assault just a few weeks ago.

Back at M.I.U., they hear a frantic recording of a call Charlotte made to police where she yells “Richard NO!” Angela apologizes for not having the recording sooner. Wes asks what were Charlotte’s movements the night she disappeared. Angela explains that Charlotte called Richard at 8:27 and the call lasted for 8 minutes. A car picked Richard up for the airport at 9 and they have him on a flight to Edinboro the evening. Wes wonders if that is enough time but Ronnie thinks the timing is too tight. As they muse over the issue and Sam comments they don’t have a body, Angela gets off the phone and informs them they have now.

Later, Wes, Ronnie, and Sam arrive at the location by the river where the body is found. It is Charlotte.

At the medical examiner’s, Lilly tells Ronnie and Sam that the cause of death is intra-cerebral hemorrhage, compound fracture of the occipital hone. But Lilly believes that the hit occurred before the jump as there was no water in Charlotte’s lungs. Ronnie comments she was dead before she hit the water.

At M.I.U., Ronnie and Sam question Richard with his brief. He denies any involvement in her disappearance. He says she never set foot in her place and as forensics went all over his place they should know that. Ronnie says Charlotte took away Richard’s whole life and he must be bitter. Richard admits he is, but so are plenty of divorced fathers. Sam outlines all of Richard’s behavioral problems and with Charlotte gone, Richard would have sole custody of Holly. Richard replies that a daughter whose mother is dead, asking how is that for a parenting strategy?

At the Thames embankment, they speak with a police officer about where the body was pulled out and the officer thinks that body was likely not dumped for the Albert Bridge but from the west, maybe in Richmond. Sean, Holly and Charlotte live there. Ronnie does not think Richard would have had enough time to kill Charlotte and then get back to his place and pick up a cab to the airport. Charlotte went into the river 2 minutes from her home and Ronnie wonders who helped her off that bridge

At the Leigh home, Ronnie questions Holly who is very skittish. When Ronnie mentions her stepfather Sean, she gets more upset. Ronnie explains that Holly may have been the last person to see Charlotte alive. Holly says she didn’t exactly see her, the lights were on so she thought she was there. She didn’t check because of her dad, they had a massive fight before they went out and she could not cope with part 2. Her mother hated Richard and Holly said she wished her mother was dead.

Later, at Waterloo, Ronnie and Sam speak with Kim, who says she has been with the family for 3 years, just as Richard and Charlotte were breaking up. It got ugly. She says Charlotte and Sean argued sometimes and that Charlotte can be hard work and she treated Sean like an employee. She gave him an allowance and she thought Sean could do so much better. Ronnie comments that they heard the night Charlotte was killed that Kim dropped off Holly at a school concert. She said she did nut she did not stay, Holly was getting a lift back with her friend Jess and Charlotte said she could go home. Kim admits it is weird that Charlotte would leave Holly home alone but if Sean said that is what happened then it must be. When Kim leaves, Sam comments that it looks like the pretty nanny has a crush on the handsome husband. Ronnie says the bloke is like catnip and wonders about his alibi. Sam replies that before Sean went to the pub he said he was working overtime with an Eddie Markham.

Ronnie and Sam speak with Eddie who says is uncle Sean is a good fellow who is letting him stay at his flat. Sam finds a pair of ladies panties and Eddie admits sometimes Sean gives him the nod and Eddie has to make himself scarce. He doesn’t know the name of the latest but last week he saw a lass in there while he was pulling up. She had long brown hair and was quite young. He admits he and Sean were meant to be working late that night but Sean got a call and he said he had to go and said it was personal.

Later, Sam brings Ronnie a snack who is waiting in their parked car. Ronnie comments that Sean lied about working late so why don’t they see if he lied about going to the pub.

At Quinn’s pub, they find Sean is a regular and he came in just before the bell. He had a few whiskies and left around midnight. The bartender let him out back because his car was parked there, Sean said he had some stuff for the bins. But – the trash bins have already been emptied.

Back at M.I.U. Ronnie tells Wes that whatever Sean threw out, it is long gone at a landfill in Essex. Wes doesn’t have the resources to search the landfill. Sam pleads, saying this could be a potential lead. Wes says what they have is some guy who may or may not have put something in a bin. Angela walks in and informs them that the forensics are in from the Leigh house.

At the Forensic Pathology Lab, they find a faint patch of blood was found on the rug in the kitchen and they found traces of blood protein around the kitchen area. It is Charlotte’s blood. Ronnie suggests they see if Sean can explain what it is doing there.

Later, with Sean being questioned by Ronnie and Sam at M.I.U., he insists he did not kill his wife. He only threw out some old dust sheets in the bin. He admits he did not work late, he was on another job on private work and tried to pull a fast one and did not tell Eddie as Eddie would have let it slip. They ask him about the girl that he had in that flat and Sean says it was Holly. He adds she has made things difficult – she is obsessed with him.

Afterwards, with Holly at M.I.U. under questioning along with her father present, they explain Sean was cheating on her mother. Holly is very upset and she begins to cry. Ronnie asks about her alibi and she said she didn’t want to go home so she went to her dad’s house but he was not there so she let herself in. She doesn’t think anyone saw her there, she just watched TV. She did not want to back to her home because she thought Sean might come back. She explains that Sean has been coming on to her and she didn’t let him.

At CPS, Jake Thorne comments to Ronnie and Kate Barker that Sean is saying Holly is obsessed with him and Holly saying that Sean is grooming her. Jake adds that either way, mum ends up in the Thames. Jake instructs Ronnie to arrest them both on suspicion of murder and see whose story cracks first. Kate questions if Holly is capable of killing her own mother, and Ronnie explains what they found in the kitchen. Kate responds there is nothing to link her to the murder. Ronnie says Holly’s alibi is not strong. Jake comments that Holly matches the description of the girl who went into Sean’s flat. Ronnie replies this could be anyone, he admitted to being a lady’s man. Kate inquires if Ronnie has been to her school and spoken to her mates, girls talk.

At Newfield High School, they speak with the Dr. John Crossley about Holly and find she left the concert early and Jess Hayes said Holly was sick.

Ronnie and Sam speak with Jess who says it wasn’t a lie, Holly was in the toilet and did leave early. She tried to talk to Holly about that night but she was not answering her phone. Holly’s mom said boyfriends were off limits and that her mother even freaked over someone liking Holly’s profile photo. Holly was scared of her mother. Jess used to tell Holly to stick up for herself but stopped as Holly was defensive.

Afterwards, Ronnie tells Sam Holly left there wearing her school uniform and Sam says forensics took it in and it was still clean. Ronnie speculates she had a second uniform and they need to sweep that house again.

At forensics where the second uniform is being examined that was found in a carrier under the bed (and missed on the first search), Ronnie and Sam hear there was blood all over it and it is a match for Charlotte’s. Ronnie does not think Holly did this on her own.

Later, Ronnie and Sam arrest Sean, and afterwards, arrest Holly as she exits her school with her father. Jess stands by and watches.

At CPS, Jake and Kate watch a video of Holly’s interrogation. Kate thinks Holly is convincing but Jake wonders if the jury will believe her once they hear of her infatuation with Sean. As they discuss the issues with the case, Kate tells Jake that Holly’s school jumper was there and that Holly said she had gotten changed. Kate thinks Sean helped her and Jake counters that there isn’t enough evidence to support that. He wouldn’t enjoy putting away a 16 year old girl but if the jury decides she’s guilty, then they would have done their job properly. Henry enters the room and says that Ronnie has been in touch, Sean is ready to talk and is admitting to assisting but not murder.

At M.I.U., Jake and Kate watch the video feed of Sean’s interrogation. Kate says Sean is selling her out. In the room with Ronnie, Sean said he tried to let her down gently but Holly threatened to tell Charlotte that he abused her. He had no choice but to tell Charlotte himself . He says Charlotte was devastated, and Holly came home in the middle of it and they screamed at each other so he thought it was best to get out so he left. He went to the pub to drown his sorrows and when he got back, Holly was in the room sobbing. He does not think she meant to kill her. Ronnie reminds Sean he said he was moonlighting on another job and were there any witnesses. Sean says there was someone there who can prove he was telling the truth but he did not want to drag her into it. It was Jess.

Afterwards, Ronnie tells Jake and Kate he thinks Sean was hanging Holly out to dry and Kate reminds him her best friend is providing an alibi for him. Jake adds that Holly had a turbulent relationship with her mother, no alibi to speak of and forensic evidence pointing directly to her. Jake continues that he’s not saying he likes it, but they proceed with charging him with assisting an offender, and Holly with murder.

At Crown V Leigh, Jess testifies that Holly and her mother argued over her mother’s control. Jess did not think Holly had a boyfriend. As far as she knew, Holly’s relationship with Sean was good. After the concert, Jess says she went to see Sean about her mum and dad. Since they separated she missed having her dad around, and she did not mention this earlier as she did not want her mum to know.

With Sean testifying, he says he loves Holly like she is his own daughter, and her fixation started with loves notes left in her jacket pocket. The laughed it off as a schoolgirl crush and thought it would pass. Holly looks stunned. But it did not pass, it got worse. On the evening Charlotte was killed, Sean says he told her about Holly’s behavior and she was upset then Holly arrived home and it just exploded. With the tow of them screaming at each other he had to get out of there. He never imagined this would end in tragedy. He found Charlotte lying on the kitchen floor. In the gallery, Jess looks shocked and her mother asks if she is OK, and she nods. Sean goes on to say that Holly was in her room, shaking, and he asked her what happened. She kept saying she didn’t mean to, she didn’t mean to. Holly calls out “No, no!” and Sean looks at her and says he is sorry. Jake tells Sean to direct his answers to the jury. He testifies that Holly stated they fought, she pushed her mother and she fell back and hit her head. He tried to call 999 but Holly started screaming at him that if he didn’t help her, she would say he did it. He admits he helped dispose of the body and make it look like a suicide, adding that he panicked. He thinks this is his fault, if he hadn’t said anything.

At Crown V Leigh, Holly testifies in her defense about Sean sitting too close to her on the sofa or walking in when she was getting changed and giving her daddy bear hugs. He always found a way to get her alone. She never told anyone as she thought if she ignored it he would get bored and leave her alone. He did not. He tried to give her money and try to buy some underwear that her mom would not approve of as she was all grown up. He kept talking about her turning 16 and it made her feel sick. When she rejected him, he was angry and he said if she did not want to be his special girl he would find someone who did. Jess, sitting in the gallery, looks down and then quickly exits the courtroom. Ronnie follows her out. She said she left the school concert early and went home to get change but she did not want to stay there so she went to her dad’s. When she got home it was quiet and the lights were on and she assumed she was back and went straight upstairs. She heard her mother was missing when the police arrived and Sean told her. She keeps hoping when she wakes up her mom would be there and tell her it would be OK and this would all be a nightmare. She doesn’t understand why Sean is doing this.

Meanwhile, Ronnie catches up with Jess and asks if everything is alright. He tells her it must be hard seeing what is happening to Holly, as they are good friends. Ronnie adds it is harder for Holly as she lost her mum and now she will go to prison for it. Jess seems shocked about prison, and he explains first it will be the young offenders institution which is not nice but when she turns 18 she will go to an adult prison. Jess asks if she will get off, and Ronnie explains not unless Jess can help. Ronnie continues to press and says Jess knows Holly is telling the truth as Jess has heard those same lines from Sean. Ronnie adds whatever Sean has promised her, she has now seen what he is really capable of and she could be next. She admits it was not Holly’s fault.

At a later time, Jess testifies that she called Sean and he told her to go to the house. He said Charlotte was out and they could be alone. They have been sleeping together. She went to the Leigh home and had sex with Sean but it was not dirty, it wasn’t like that. Sean was kind and gentle and he called her his special girl. It all went wrong when Charlotte came home and they were in the kitchen having sex. She went mental and started screaming and calling him names. She said she was going to call the police and Sean would go to prison. Sean leaps up from his seat but is stopped at the door. Jess said Sean tried to calm him down but she started hitting him and was creaming so loud. Sean punched her and threw her and she cracked her head hard. She was just lying there not moving. Sean did not call an ambulance, he told her to shut up because she was crying and he got this big sheet and wrapped her up in it. He said he was going to make it look like she did it herself as she had tried it before. He used one of Holly’s school jumpers to clean up the blood. She did not call the police as he said if anyone found out they would both go to prison and they couldn’t be together. He said if she told anyone she would never see him again and she couldn’t bear that. It wasn’t meant to get this far, and it wasn’t meant to be Holly, no one could believe she could do that.

Later, in the courthouse hall, Jake tells Ronnie and Sam that Sean has been taken into custody and charged with murder. Kate adds along with Jess Hayes. Holly is free to go. Ronnie comments about her being free, saying Holly has lost everything she has even cared about; her mother did everything she could to protect Holly from danger and let it into her own home. As they watch Holly and her father leave, we cut to black.

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chillicothe20 said...

Worst ep of those so far, but those were so good. This was still decent. The predictability had me uninterested pretty early. The acting was pretty good, but I just wasn't engaged like I had been in the other eps this series.

usaman said...

The character with the Irish name is always the villain. A British tradition dating back to Moriarty but it makes this show predictable and boring.

usaman said...

The character with the Irish name is always the villain. A British tradition since Moriarty but this makes L & O UK predictable and boring. Sadly.