“What are your plans for the rest of the day?” Chief Superintendent Jean Innocent (Rebecca Front) inquires.
“I’m going to the hardware store,” retired Detective Inspector Lewis (Kevin Whately) replies. “I need some waterproof glue.”
“Exciting,” she says, unconvincingly. “Alternatively, you could figure out why a neurosurgeon has a bullet in his head.”
And just like that, Lewis is back in the fold.
I love Kevin Whately, but I don’t trust him anymore. He told us that Lewis wouldn’t be pursuing a love interest, especially not with Dr. Laura Hobson (Clare Holman). We know how that turned out.
Then he assured us that the partnership between Inspector Lewis and Sergeant Hathaway (Laurence Fox) had run its course and they’d be bidding each other adieu.
Not so fast.
Hathaway’s a DI now, teamed with Detective Sergeant Lizzie Maddox (Angela Griffin). But he still needs Lewis’s help. There’s a manpower shortage, you see. Even though that’s a flimsy excuse for bringing Lewis and Hathaway together again, I’ll take it—and so will Lewis. Dr. Hobson’s not so sure.
We begin with an arson attack on a commercial hunting lodge. It seems to be the work of animal rights activists who targeted the lodge’s owners with an Internet smear campaign. But when one of those owners, a brain surgeon named Alistair Stoke (Jonny Phillips), is shot to death the signs point toward a personal grudge. That seems all the more likely when we learn the surgeon botched an operation that had terrible consequences for a young man and his family.
Writer Helen Jenkins, who also wrote the erstwhile series finale “Intelligent Design,” does a fine job of addressing the main characters’ interpersonal relationships. Lewis transitions naturally to the role of mentor. He never was governed by ego anyway. Hathaway, still wrestling with his crisis of faith, now finds himself unable to put faith in DS Maddox. Are you surprised that he has trouble delegating?
Jenkins also works in references to the late-18th-century writer Jeremy Bentham, a proponent of the ethical philosophy Utiliarianism. (Its tenets state, “it is the greatest happiness of the greatest number that is the measure of right and wrong.” Thus the hidden message in the closing credits.) Bentham is also considered the father of the animal rights movement. Weirdly—and you can look this up—his remains have been preserved in what is known as an Auto-icon, of which read more here. You can visit him next time you’re in London.
And the mystery’s not bad either!
All of which is to say that Inspector Lewis is back in form. We’re not finished with him yet!
Leslie Gilbert Elman is 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.