30 January 2015

TV: Death in Paradise IV.4

This fourth episode of the series has at its heart a very satisfying script, but comes off as something of a non-event. I can't place entirely what it is, but what should end up as one of the most involving stories of the year instead feels like a quiet mid-series continuation.

The premise is one that you'd probably assume has come in Death in Paradise before, but the show's been going so long now there's no-one old enough to remember: a hen party. And it is of course the bride-to-be who death looms for. In a nice reversal of the usual setup, this week it wasn't the person it seemed it couldn't be, it was the obvious candidate (in my opinion). 

That doesn't mean I guessed correctly though.

From the start I was convinced William Ash's sneaky manager was our guilty suspect. Especially when, confessing to sleeping with one of the bridesmaids, he remarked "how could I say no?". I was sure it was him right up until Humphrey exclaimed in a distractingly upbeat exclamation "got her!" towards the close of the episode. He's very good, isn't he? He always manages to solve the mystery within 48 hours nowadays. I'd like a little changing up of this if possible. Surely an extra morning wouldn't hurt his reputation? Either that, or take it the other way so he must crack the case in an extremely short period of time.

I thought this was a really well constructed episode though, and the motive was another born from love, a real theme this series. There aren't many impulsive murders in this programme, so it was refreshing to have one that relatively unplanned. I shan't spoil it, but suffice to say I thought Rebecca Wojciechowski (try saying that... er, at all, actually) did a marvellous job and I hope she contributes to more of the shows I frequent. As hinted above, I thought the direction let her story down however and made this into a somewhat unspectacular affair. The reveal felt like it just happened, rather than being a wave of revelation. All the narrative clues and tics were there, but something was missing.

A strong guest cast in this though, particularly the murderer. William Ash hammed it up a little once or twice, and seemed to play his role in much the same way as his part in Eileen

But, after three and a half series, Sara Martins departs the series, meaning that as of next week, Danny John-Jules will be the only person to have appeared in every episode (I think Elizabeth Bourgine has missed a few). And ironically, Dwayne is still the lowest rank. This was a touching send-off to the character, and I will miss her. I was never in any doubt Humphrey would do the right thing in the end. 

Overall, a strong episode let down slightly by the flat(ter) direction. The fourth series continues to prove Death in Paradise still has legs though.

No comments:

Post a Comment