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.