16 January 2016

TV Review: Death in Paradise 5.2

While not amazing, the second episode of Death in Paradise's fifth run was an improvement on last week's opener. The nature of the show is that it's quite summery and easy viewing but this matter series does seem to be overdoing it a bit. Perhaps in a climate populated by crime drama heavyweights And Then There Were None and Endeavour I'm expecting the wrong kind of thing from this show but even so something seems to be missing.

This week's victim is Saint Marie's governor and even though it's understandable (though not ideal) that we've never heard of her before, it almost seemed like none of the lead cast had either. Even a brief mention from Florence or JP about how much she was loved or had been better/worse than predecessors would've given us some idea that they actually knew who this person was. But anyway.

This was a more substantial mystery than last time but bits of it were still relatively easy to work out, which I suppose is the aim. Like last week, if something seems impossible, then it probably was. The impossible act here was getting cyanide into a glass without it leaving the Commissioner's hand. Also like last week, the murder was committed earlier than it first appeared. I didn't work out the why but was pretty certain of the who and how. Again, I didn't apply too much thought to it, more sat back and let the episode wash over me.

There was some more unusual setup with no resolution here as Dwayne advises Humphrey on online dating. At one point he gets a 94% match but she promptly disappears off the site. This, coupled with his involvement in filling in the 100 questions when joining the site (that did make me laugh), made me sure Dwayne must be behind this gorgeous, mysteriously location-free lady. But it was never mentioned again, so who knows? That's pretty much the only subplot here so let's hope Florence gets something soon, even if it's *finally* getting it together with Humphrey, as Josephine Jobert is a highly talented actress who is given consistently little to do on this show.

The guest cast are all fine, if a little one note, despite Dan Muirden's best attempts to make their characters a little more layered. The direction has a few very nice shots but possibly needed a more appropriate cinematographer to really make this look really good. That's the general feeling this episode gives me - just ticking along, not trying anything too drastic.

This is good for a bit of mindless telly but as always it feels about a quarter of an hour too long and disappointingly little new material is given to the guest cast. Pretty average.

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