Richard Scott, a talented but drug-taking, light-fingered actor, is stabbed during an alfresco student production of 'The Merchant of Venice'. The following night a cocky media graduate, known for her unkind reviews of student plays, is strangled. The play's ambitious director's "brilliant" thesis was actually written by her drop-out ex-boyfriend, and Scott knew this as he stole their computer. Plainly, so does the murderer. James Hathaway pursues a petty con man, and discovers that this is the man who killed Val Lewis in a hit-and-run. Should he tell Robbie and give him closure at last?Written by
don @ minifie-1
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.
As said a number of times already, 'Lewis' started off very promising with the pilot and Season 1. It was with Season 2 where 'Lewis' hit its stride with things generally feeling more settled. Season 3 started off disappointingly with "Allegory of Love", which to me wasn't that bad but compared to the high calibre of the best episodes it could have been much better. "The Quality of Mercy" is an improvement and sees the show back on track.
My only complaints are the underdeveloped and not particularly logical ending, with a practically non-existent motive for the killer, and the pacing occasionally lacks tightness.
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. Ronan Vibert gives the best performance of the solid supporting cast.
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 is gripping with great twists and turns, Lewis' subplot is incredibly well done with lots of intensity and poignancy, one relates to him here too.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.
In conclusion, good episode with Season 3 and the show back on track. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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