Thursday, July 15, 2010

Australian Television: City Homicide, Season 4, Episodes 1 & 2

City Homicide
Season Four, Episodes 4.1 & 4.2:  Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! & Good Cop/Bad Cop
Original Air Date:  July 14, 2010

Episode 4.1, Aussie! Aussie! Aussie!:  The detectives are called in when a drive by shooting aimed at one man claims the life of an innocent man out walking with his wife.  Terry Jarvis wants Simon back in service to assist with the case but his request isn't granted.  The investigation focuses on two opposing radical rights groups.  When two members of one of the groups is attacked, and one killed, the investigation takes a new turn as the body count rises.  Meanwhile, Simon faces a shrewd investigator in his misconduct case but is able to return to work when new evidence comes to light.  However, his problems return when an a previous suspect in an old case comes back to make a charge against him.  When the man turns up dead, Simon calls an old friend, Stanley Wolfe for help.

Episode 4.2, Good Cop/Bad Cop:  The investigation into Pullman's murder begins and Simon Joyner becomes the prime suspect.  Stanley Wolfe comes to see Simon and is at his apartment when Simon is taken in for questioning on the murder.  Stanley is given lead authority into the investigation with Simon.  As the investigation proceeds, the evidence stacks up against Simon.  Meanwhile, Buchanan's first unsolved case comes back into the forefront for him. 

(Please note that the following may contain spoilers.  While I try to keep these at an absolute minimum, some aspects of the show are so important that I can't not speak of them but, rest assured, I will step around them carefully.)

Wow!  What a show!  I've been eagerly awaiting the start of season four of City Homicide ever since the previous season ended in November 2009.  Things were tense then for Simon Joyner.  Knowing Daniel MacPherson wanted to leave the show to pursue other things, every time I'd watch an older episode of City Homicide I'd wonder just how MacPherson would be exiting the series.  As the minutes ticked away until the show started and right up until the last 30 seconds of the episode I was fearful that perhaps, just perhaps, Simon Joyner would be leaving the show in a way to where he could never return, even if just for a small appearance.  I thought that the character might die.

I've liked Simon since the beginning.  His character has most certainly grown and evolved over the past four years.  He started off as a detective that perhaps had a few things to learn but he was good.  You knew that with a bit of time he would learn all he needed to know and would end up being one of the seasoned veterans that the younger detectives could look up to.  He was driven to do his job well and put the bad guys in jail.  He had a vibrant life outside the job and he got along beautifully with his fellow detectives.

As the series progressed, however, Simon changed.  He was nearly killed in season one and saw his partner, and new found mentor almost killed as well in the same season.  In the second season, Simon, struggling with what happened to him the previous year, was faced with his good friend and fellow homicide detective Duncan Freeman being beaten nearly to death by two escaped convicts out for revenge. 

Simon didn't seem to be coping with the stress of the job very well after these three events.  He seemed to spiral farther and farther downward into a dark and angry place which led him to commit certain acts that he shouldn't have committed.  Some could argue that when he did the things he did, he was doing all the wrong things for the right reasons as his actions led to cases being solved.  Even if that were the case, eventually, we knew it would all have to come to a climax and either Simon would be able to walk away from it a man changed, either for better or worse, or he wouldn't walk away from it at all.

All of those questions have been answered now.  I admit that I am going to tremendously miss seeing Simon Joyner on City Homicide every week.  Not only is Daniel MacPherson a pleasure to look at but Simon Joyner is an awesome character.  I think it is amazing and a true testament to strong writing and acting when a character can evolve as much as Simon did.  While I don't feel that Simon no longer being in the cast of characters will be the end to City Homicide, there will be a place there where a former favorite used to be but no longer is.

To other aspects of the was awesome seeing Stanley Wolfe again!  I was very excited to see Wolfe in the season four trailer.  I absolutely adore Shane Bourne and his character.  When Stanley took his leave of absence last season I would hope with every new episode that it would be the one where Stanley came back.  Finally, he has returned, and he is just as amazing as ever. 

The rest of the cast is back and in top form.  It felt like the seven or eight months that the series was on break ceased to exist and everything picked right up and carried on.  I think the atmosphere of the show kind of changed from season one to two and then to three.  Things got darker and heavier, especially once the storyline surrounding Bernice Waverley began and after her son was murdered.  This two-part episode almost felt like we were back in season one again.  Like everything was fresh and hitting the ground running and ready for action.  I like that.  Overall, I was very pleased with this episode and found it a great opener for the fourth season.  I'm excited to see what John Banas and John Hugginson have in store for us this season.  Whatever their plans, I know I will most certainly be right there with them along for the ride!

Welcome back, City Homicide and welcome back Shane Bourne!

(A note about future City Homicide posts:  while I'll do my best, due to my Wednesday schedule, I may not always be able to get a post up about the show on Wednesday or even Thursday.  Rest assured, I promise to get the post up as quickly as possible.)

1 comment:

  1. I'm from the USA and only a few months back did I run across City Homicide on Hulu and I've watched it all. I feel I know these folks! I can't believe such a great show with great actors had to end. NOW what wi I watch???