|Index||5 reviews in total|
One thing you could always count on in the Morse episodes is being
confused for a time, as the plots were often very dense. It's one of
the things that made them so intriguing. I remember one episode where I
got so confused, I called a friend and asked him whodunit. He replied,
"I not only don't know whodunit, I don't even know who was killed."
"The Great and the Good" is one of those, tying several plot lines
together, past and present, throwing in the death of Lewis' wife, and
being difficult to follow.
While Lewis is in the emergency room being treated for a back injury, a teenage girl is brought into the hospital. She was found naked and has no memory of what happened to her. It turns out that she was drugged with Dipronex, a sedative, and then raped. Lewis and Hathaway do a prescription search and come up with a teacher at the girl's school named Cooper. He, however, has an alibi provided by three uppity-ups in the community -- a man who is building the first green city, a former diplomat, and a radio personality. What's intriguing to the detectives is, how is it that this nobody has these big friends? When Cooper is found murdered, the plot thickens. All three men are questioned, to the complete horror of Lewis' supervisor.
What's behind all this is, as I say, a little confusing at times, but it's still a good episode and well worth seeing - strange letters, ties to the past, castration, a secret, and something about the death of Lewis' wife all come into play.
Enjoy, but pay attention.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
After an accident playing squash with Hathaway, Lewis visits a&e, where
they discover Beatrice Donnelly, a young girl that had been drugged and
raped. Lewis and Hathaway begin looking for all users of the drug used.
One particular Oswald Cooper, who works at Beatrice's school rubs Lewis
up the wrong way by mentioning the death of Lewis's wife Val. That
night, Oswald is found murdered and mutilated, the duo must discover if
the cases are linked.
This is a hugely memorable episode, it's a dark and deep story, reminiscent of the Morse episodes. It features an incredibly good cast list, top notch showings from Jason Watkins, Sean McGinley, Daniela Nardini. Engaging til the very last.
Somehow watching this one, I feel that there's a definite connection with both Lewis and Hathaway, Lewis's irritation at the mention of Val was excellently done.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I thought this was a very good episode of one if my favourite series.
Lewis is always good and I can watch Hathaway forever..he fascinates
me. This episode is one of the most disturbing and complex of the
series. I liked the way they bring in the death of Lewis' wife and how
upsetting that is for him. He's really having a bad time coping and his
boss calling him a " chippy copper doesn't help. I had to laugh in the
" mattress" scene though.. Hathaway ( howling) " Call of the wild sir!"
It lightened an otherwise dark story.
However I have one thing to point out and that is the fact that if Beatrice's mother is supposed to be Spanish she wouldn't call her daughter cariña as the word for darling in Spanish is cariño, whether it refers to a male or female. Cariña is not a real word. She also puts the stress on the wrong syllable when she calls her Beatriz. Just little things but they could have got it right!
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.
Although 'Lewis' did start off promisingly it was Season 2 where it hit its stride and things felt more settled. "The Great and the Good" (not to be confused with the disappointing 'Midsomer Murders' episode of the same time), like "Life Born of Fire", is as far as Season 2 goes is not as good as "And the Moonbeams Kiss the Sea" and "Music to Die For", but still a solid episode that does a lot right.
It is let down somewhat by the ending, which has always to me felt very convoluted and under-explained. Tim Dutton is a little dull.
On the other hand, the acting is fine, anchored by Kevin Whately and Laurence Fox. Whately is again very good and carries the episode with aplomb, advantaged by that Lewis is much more developed and as said he has more development. Clare Holman adds a lot. 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. Innocent has more to do and is more commanding, her character not as problematic as in the pilot and Season 1. Jason Watkins, Deanna Nardini and Richard McCabe are very good in their roles.
Production values are of very high quality. It's beautifully shot (some of the best of the show at this point), 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, the darkest perhaps of the show up to this point, draws one right in and never lets go, with gripping twists and turns. There is also a real effort to properly develop all the ideas introduced rather than leaving questions in the balance. The characters are well written and engaging and the murders are pretty creepy and bizarre.
Overall, solid stuff. 8/10 Bethany Cox
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
After something of a lacklustre series (suffice to say that the best episode in Series 2, which is probably Life Born of Fire, would merely be a mediocre episode in Series 1 or 3), "The Great And The Good" causes the series to end as it started, with a glossy mess. Whilst "And The Moonbeams Kiss The Sea" was probably worse, "The Great And The Good" does suffer from many of the same afflictions. Firstly, the script. Paul Rutman, making his debut contribution to the series, largely fails to create atmosphere or pace in his somewhat vacant script. The problem is that many of the ideas have been explored before. The plot with the four friends meeting at the house of Oswald Cooper is interesting in and of itself, however it just comes off as a cheap knock off of the Sons of the Twice Born from "Whom the Gods Would Destroy". Unfortunately neither the acting nor the writing are quite in the same league. In both cases the suit wearing businessman is the worst of the four, and Tim Dutton's performance here is the Neil Pearson side of lacklustre. Although Dutton is not quite as bad as Pearson, he does have about as much menace as a salad fork, and is a wholly unconvincing murderer as a result. The whole back-story leading up to the murders is mind bogglingly contrived as it is, but Dutton's performance makes it even more unbelievable. The final scene is the worst, with Dutton supposedly in fear of his life but crawling away backwards in a manner akin to a slow motion wheelbarrow race. Little better is Kwame Kwei Armah, who firmly proves why he mainly makes his living as a writer and director. Danny Adebayou is a character who could have been very good if played with a Francis Urquhart like slime, but Kwei Armah comes across as a somewhat throaty primary school headmaster, and all the menace is lost as a result. Jason Watkins & Richard McCabe come across significantly better, but neither gets a great deal of screen time, and Watkins has admittedly little to do before his character's inexplicably grim demise. McCabe, however, gives one of the best performances of the series. Although his connection to the plot is fairly minimal and poorly explained, I find his provincial radio shock jock far more interesting, and his character far more endearing, than the remainder of the plot. I would, in fact, be far happier if he had become the murder, as I believe that McCabe would respond extremely well to the demands that the role would provide. Outside of the group, the performances and writing are also somewhat mediocre. Daniela Nardini's character is very difficult to take seriously, partially due to Nardini's interesting decision to emulate the accent of Francisco Franco and take it up about five thousand octaves and add some incredibly irritating shrieking into the bargain. It's a wonder Sean McGinley mumbling portrayal can keep up, let alone be a serious threat to the former British Ambassador to Jordan, who seems somewhat pale for somebody who has spent a fair amount of time living in the desert, but there we are. This moves me on to the main problem with "The Great and the Good", the work of hair and make up is absolutely atrocious. Seemingly all the female characters are forced to wear a bizarre hairstyle which makes them look like Alvin Stardust, and they are all, without exception, forced to wear around four tons of rouge on each cheek (although, bizarrely, so is Kevin Whately). The main thing that differentiates "The Great and the Good" from "And the Moonbeams " is the direction. After his single episode of "Morse" in 1993, Stuart Orme returns for his lone outing at the helm of "Lewis", and it proves probably the most interesting of Series 2's direction. The scenes on the housing estate in particular are marvellously eerie, and imbibes the setting with a considerable amount of menace (this may be because the new estates scare the willies out of me). In fact it is of interest how much more frightening this setting is than the more typical setting in some sort of college. Beyond this, however, "The Great and the Good" is something of a disappointment, and can be summed up by the fact that Richard McCabe is the best thing in it and he gets less than ten minutes of screen time.
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