27 February 2015

TV: Death in Paradise IV.8

I'm happy to report that the inconsistency of this fourth series continues right to the end, delivering us one of the better episodes of 2015. Although it really was a murder mystery with one suspect, the way the plot unfolded was pleasing and married up nicely with the story being told between Humphrey and his father. 

A man accused of murder is shot whilst waiting in the cells in the court house,  which is when the mysteries of this episode begin. Of course, Humphrey's father shows up at just the wrong moment, and a fleeing green Citroen is a substantial red herring. The path of revelations isn't of a conventional Death in Paradise style, but then this is perhaps the most atypical typical episode of the series.

There are some genuinely affecting moments in this. Although some of Martin's comments may have been unrealistically extreme, they were just a narrative shorthand to tell us about his and Humphrey's relationship, as if the previous anxiety wasn't a clear enough indicator of the animosity. Martin's disappointment resonated uncomfortably with this viewer, but it was very moving to see Humphrey stand up to him so defiantly. Of course it all came good by the end, but I thought this was one of the best-handled relationships of the series.

I was a little surprised that Camille didn't show up, but there's no letting up here. Shaun Dingwall doesn't play nearly as prominent a role as he deserves, but it's great to see one of my favourite actors still being cast in primetime drama. Let's hope this leads to more. Richard Signy has an impressive visual shorthand nailed by now, and it's unsurprising he was entrusted with half this series. Let's hope he gets more next year. Yes, you read that right, there will be a fifth series coming in 2016, to my delight.

We've seen much transition over this series, but all the newcomers have proven themselves. Florence fits naturally with the team now, and the plot strand concerning Dwayne and JP was most welcome. The contrasting styles have been building over the past four episodes, so it was satisfying to see it come to a head. As always with this most pleasant of shows, things work out in the end, and the team leave series four a tighter unit than they've ever been. Kris Marshall, Josephine Jobert and Danny John-Jules and Don Warrington have led this series brilliantly week after week and I hope to see them all back next year.

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