Was Inspector Lewis responsible for sending an innocent man to prison thirteen years ago?
Of course not. This is Lewis we’re talking about. He would never. (And no one really believes he did.)
Yet doubts are raised when it’s revealed that the forensic lab contaminated DNA from the original case. Now the convicted murderer—who’s protested his innocence all along—could go free. And Lewis is left to explain why and how the murders could have started up again if the right man is behind bars.
We begin with a halfhearted attempt to cast doubts on Lewis’s investigation of a man named Graham Lawrie, who was convicted in 2001 of killing three police officers. Lewis (Kevin Whately) stands his ground. Hathaway (Laurence Fox) waves some misfiled paperwork in his face. And Superintendent Innocent (Rebecca Front) tells them to get on with things.
About ten minutes into the episode a police officer is killed. (He might was well have been wearing a red shirt on the Starship Enterprise.) The M.O. is nearly identical to the one used in 2001, which means that either Lawrie didn’t do the original murders or he now has an accomplice who’s trying to make it seem like he didn’t.
The latter option seems more likely, which leaves us with the question of who that accomplice might be.
Is it Pamela, the meek bookbinder, who sees Lawrie’s incarceration as a grave miscarriage of justice? (There are still working bookbinders. Who knew?)
Is it Sally, Lawrie’s shrink, who proudly refers to him as a “perfect psychopath”?
Is it Lawrie’s smug lawyer? The professor who discusses Nietzsche with him? The orderly who helpfully looks the other way when Lawrie smuggles various things in and out of his psychiatric facility? The philosophy student who got lost on his way to audition for The Following? Or is someone else involved?
As Lawrie, Alec Newman is a convincing psychopath, charming, laser-focused, and utterly devoid of morality. (Thus the Nietzsche connection to the question of what “good” and “evil” really mean.) The “If I’d done it” conversation was particularly effective, and writer Noel Farragher did a nice job of demonstrating how a person who is so obviously evil manages to enlist others to his cause.
We know that Lewis’s reputation won’t suffer because of this case, but he does have a weak spot he never had before: Dr. Hobson (Clare Holman), who could be in danger if Lawrie finds her. (Her response to Lewis’s concern is just so…Hobson.)
And then there’s Lizzie Maddox (Angela Griffin), who’s proving herself more valuable with each case. If you thought—as I did—there might be sparks between her and Hathaway, probably not, she has a husband. Then again, I’m not speculating about anything Lewis-related anymore. Will they be back for another series? Who knows? Do I hope they will be. Of course I do. Don’t you? Will I believe what Kevin Whately tells the press about the future of the series. I’ll get back to you on that.
But first things first: I have to finish reading Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James so I’m prepared for next week’s Masterpiece Mystery.
Leslie Gilbert Elmanis the author of Weird But True: 200 Astounding, Outrageous, and Totally Off the Wall Facts. Follow her on Twitter @leslieelman.
Read all of Leslie Gilbert Elman’s posts for Criminal Element.