|Index||8 reviews in total|
This is the best of the three episodes in the series. The story is
absorbing, although the plot is one of those that depends on a witness
withholding vital information from the police for no apparent reason.
Had that not happened, the whole thing could have been over in a few
minutes. Lewis and Hathaway also fail to press certain points which
equally could have shortened the story immensely.
Nevertheless, it is coming together, and the relationship between Lewis and Hathaway finally seems to be gelling. Their superior, however, is getting sillier, moving rapidly towards the old cliché of "You're off the case!". Why do these TV police superiors persistently fail to notice who actually solves all the numerous murders on their patch?
There are some strange features. The producers are continuing with the idea that Lewis must have a fleeting love interest, as Morse did, but they have not got this right yet. Lewis' conduct is not credible in this case, but I can't say more without giving a spoiler. Another weird part is the amazingly unconcerned behaviour of the children in the case.
All in all, though, it's fun. I hope there will be more.
I just watched this episode last night, and found it to be the best of the three so far. I found the plot very complicated, so I had to keep concentrating on the screen and not let my mind wander: this is something I expect a good mystery drama to do with me. I found myself having to think through each character very carefully to come up with whodunit, but the one I thought most likely wasn't, so it satisfied me there as well by tricking my own deductions as well. That and the fact that after the show, which I had be watching in bed, I had a very stiff neck; a sign that I was taut all through the show as it kept me on edge. My parents phoned me after wards and both said that they really enjoyed it as well. So that is the opinion of three people!
"Expiation" is a really excellent mystery in the Inspector Lewis
series. When a woman is found hanged in her home, it's called a
suicide, but is it? The investigation leads Lewis to a mysterious
woman, homosexuality, wife swapping, and an old murder.
The connection between Hathaway and Lewis is very strong in this, and brings some humor to the episode, particularly when they are being admonished in front of their commander.
This one will keep you guessing and interested for the entire episode. I am really enjoying this series immensely.
I believe that The Inspector Lewis Series has already equaled and may
surpass The Inspector Morse Series -- which was one of my favorite
mystery series of all time.
I had hoped that Colin Dexter's creation of a detective working in the village of the Ford of the Ox would survive either or both Dexter's and / or John Thaw's life. Thanks to the imagination and writing, directorial, cinematographic and acting talent of the "team" or "company" who have given us this series sequel deserve high praise.
As a writer myself, I don't usually write reviews. But reading the imbecilic review of someone who cannot appreciate this series only publicly displays his soaring IQ of 6.8. I guess some of us have to be outrageous to be noticed.
A small example can speak volumes of the talent here: Laurence Fox's gentle touching of Kevin Whately's hand moments before an unseen explanation to a school master.
I hope this series has a very long run, and when Kevin Whately's days are, sadly, over that another series, The Inspector James Hathaway Series will sally forth. All it would take then, as now, is another great and wonderful team of fine talent.
Min Yee, 71, retired Bellevue, WA
Hearing about 'Lewis' for the first time when it first started, there
was a big touch of excitement seeing as 'Inspector Morse' was and still
is one of my favourites but also a little intrepidation, wondering
whether the series would be as good. The good news is, like the prequel
series 'Endeavour', 'Lewis' is every bit as good as 'Inspector Morse'
and stands very well on its own two feet as a detective mystery and
show in general.
"Expiation" is a good episode with a lot to recommend. Personally think however that it is the weakest episode of Season 1 ("Whom the Gods Would Destroy" was the best), with some glaring problems, but it is not a bad episode, far from it. Lewis' conduct is highly questionable throughout. It was a turn off for the child characters to be pretty unconcerned. Innocent was not an interesting, well-written or likable character, Rebecca Front deserved better than this. A few things could have been explained a little bit better. Lastly, to me, the identity of the murderer was too obvious too early, which was a shame after the murderers were so shocking in the previous episode.
However, the acting is fine, anchored by Kevin Whately and Laurence Fox. Whately is again very good and carries the episode with aplomb, even if Lewis becomes better developed later. Fox is a breath of fresh air in a great contrasting role that reminds one of a more intelligent Lewis in his younger days and his sparkling sparring chemistry with Whately is a big part of the episode's, and show's, appeal. Clare Holman is reliably strong too.
As to be expected, the production values in "Expiation" are of very high quality. It's beautifully shot, and Oxford not only looks exquisite but is like a supporting character in itself. Barrington Pheloung returns as composer, and does a first-rate job. The theme tune, while not as iconic or quite as clever as Morse's, is very pleasant to listen to, the episode is charmingly and hauntingly scored and the use of pre-existing music is very well-incorporated.
Much of the writing is smart and thoughtful, some lovely droll exchanges with Lewis and Hathaway and some emotional impact. The story starts off promisingly, with a lot of twists and turns and tension, the climax is pretty nail-biting.
In conclusion, good but could have been better. 7/10 Bethany Cox
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Can anyone explain to me why La Plassiter knew everything he did, and what his relationship was to Alison/Rachel? And what Jane Templeton's motives were for confronting her, other than her supposed jealousy about the difference(s) in their lifestyles? Why was David so much richer than Hugh if they were partners in the same optometry practice? Why did Templeton show up at the practice that afternoon? The writing was tighter than in the previous two episodes, and the portraits of the people's lives more finely drawn. And yes, the relationship between Morse and Hathaway is developing well. But so much of this episode didn't make sense -- add to the list Innocent's ire after they solved a double murder.
C'mon. This is really so poorly written that it's laughable. There is absolutely no "unfolding" of a plot whatsoever, just gibberish until the end when it's, "well, he/she did it." Oh, OK. In Morse there was brilliant writing with believable characters, dark old secrets that were revealed intelligently and an ending that made you feel like you'd spent 100 minutes on something worthwhile. And then there's Superintendent Innocent who is some kind of unnecessary cranky middle-aged nincompoop or something -- it's: "let's have an interfering superior like the American shows do" by the producers. Zero subtlety and zero caring about anything that's going on. What a waste of talent -- all done in by silly drivel writing.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Very unimpressed with this episode, which is the worst of the three so
far. No where near the standard of Morse.
The dialogue for all the characters was awful. None of the characters seemed real - they say the oddest things for no apparent reason. Its almost impossible to know what the characters are thinking or feeling, or what their motivations are, so I felt disconnected almost all the time. Its as if someone had snipped the various characters out of previous Morse shows, and hoped they would somehow gel. This is an example of the case where the whole is much less than the sum of the parts. The La Plassiter character especially looked like a Morse cut and paste. Someone seems to have said "hey, if we put in a crusty Oxford academic, like so many of the Morse shows had, then well have a winner", but the character just looks like he's in the wrong episode. Even Lewis himself has trouble justifying why he should take any notice of this character, who is initially at least seemingly unconnected to the case.
And the plot - as bad as the characters are the plot is much worse. None of it is in the least bit plausible, and its full of annoying idiotic plot devices to explain why Lewis is unable to solve a very obvious crime. I wouldn't be surprised if the author was high on something when they wrote this. The Stoker character is obviously the result of a desperate attempt by the writer to justify the inclusion of Le Plassiter, and to explain why he does not provide the information which if he did would have solved the case in five minutes. Worst of all is the way Lewis performs a very half-hearted investigation, hardly asking any useful questions, and cutting interviews short in order to keep the shaky plot from coming to a complete halt. Then there is the childishly obvious plot device of the substitute pathologist, who just happens to be incompetent, and once again allows the fragile plot to limp along for an extra hour.
The relationship between Lewis and the next door neighbour is really badly handled, and never seems believable either to myself as the viewer nor even to some of the characters.
One of the fundamental aspects of the plot, the wife swap, is completely ridiculous. Its simply a plot device, not a real situation, and the script fails to explain why it took so long for Lewis and co to find out that the two couples were not really married. Is it really that easy to forge documents? Could Rachel Hayward become Rachel Mallory that easily? Once again once Lewis learned about the marriage swap, then he came much closer to solving the case, and this had to be delayed.
The Lewis character seemed really strained and shallow in this episode. There is less to like about him in each subsequent episode. The character has too few likable qualities, and whilst I think very highly of Kevin Whately as an actor, I think the Lewis character needs some work to develop more positive character traits. Sarcasm and complaining get old very quickly.
If this serious does not improve dramatically I think it likely I will stop watching it altogether.
Thanks goodness we still have Morse (with Lewis).
The Almost every single aspect of the plot if far fetched.
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