Law & Order UK: 702 “Tremors” Review
Reviewed by David Selby
“It’s been a funny old day today. I spent it trying to find out how a man was murdered. The man killed a lot of innocent people, and we did our best to get justice for the families – but the court decided he wasn’t really responsible. I saw people on the news cheering because the guy was dead and saying that the death penalty should be brought back for people like him, and one of his victims even took justice into his own hands and now he’s going to spend the rest of his life in prison paying for it. There’s people saying that justice has been done… I know. I still keep thinking of that little girl; growing up without a dad. Emma, I- I’m sorry I’ve let you down.” – DS Ronnie Brooks
This week’s episode of the British crime drama took a step back from murder, mystery and even the court. Whilst there were noticeable crime undertones, the focal points of the second episode, Tremors, were the personal lives of the two protagonists. Law and Order UK took a step back from the usual – and, as expected, it was fascinating.
One of the things which I find so appealing about Law and Order UK is how I can rarely if ever find a single thing to criticise. The episodes aren’t just written carefully, but passionately: if we’re supposed to laugh, we laugh, and if we’re supposed to cry, we cry. Brooks and Casey, especially, have been such complex and realistic characters that we’re fully invested in them. We are, essentially, at the mercy of the writer for one hour every week.
It was a pleasant surprise to see the return of Casey’s son, as he was used to elicit the classic ‘awww’ from the audience as it was revealed that he sees Casey as his hero. This was a captivating, albeit short-lived insight into the different perspectives of a child and adult (Casey, having witnessed the brutal truth of society, is robbed of the ability to innocently appoint a ‘hero’ title to anyone).
The truth behind the killer was shocking, despite the few suspects that there were – and it was a relief to know that Casey was in the clear. Where Law and Order UK excels itself – this year apparently more than ever – is finding different motives for murder. You can actually sympathise with the killer here, despite what he has done.
This episode wasn’t a rollercoaster ride, yet it left that sort of powerful impact. Seeing Kate Barker soften up at the news of Jacob Thorne’s mother’s passing brought a more relatable side to her – whilst Thorne managed to pull at the heartstrings with his hidden sorrow. It was promising seeing Brooks trying to make an effort with his daughter – sadly, he became so immersed in his work that he forgot about his meeting. This perhaps is telling on how used he is to living his career as his life.
In a nutshell: after another thought-provoking, engaging week, Law and Order UK has done it again.