Thursday, September 16, 2010

UK Television: Law & Order: UK, Episode 3.1 "Broken"

Law & Order:  UK
Season Three, Episode One, Broken
Broken, Original Air Date:  September 9, 2010
Based on Law & Order (US) "Killerz", Season 10, Episode 2 (September 29, 1999)

The body of a 6 year-old boy, Connor, is found and the police originally look to the boyfriend of a woman who lived in the same building as Connor.  When the man's alibi is backed up by CCTV, the detectives are shocked and horrified when two new suspects they never would have imagined come to light.

I wasn't going to blog about Law & Order:  UK.  But, the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to blog about it.  Some shows just need to be blogged about.  I'm a big Law & Order fan and I'm also a big fan of UK entertainment.  Put the two together, and you've got something that is very appealing to me.  Right now, I'm going to focus on just this episode.  Within the next couple of weeks (if not before), I'll try to get an "Introduction" post together (as well as short summaries of the 13 episodes of the first two seasons) with details about each character and the show itself.

Rose Ward and Paige Shaw, the two young girls responsible for Connor's death are, themselves, almost as sad as what happened.  Rose and her mother both have diminished mental capacity and Rose appears to be more of a follower than a leader.  Paige's life is even worse.  Her mother is a prostitute drug addict who entertains her clients in the flat with Paige home and even leaves her daughter during her police interview because she needs a fix.  No child should have to grow up in an environment like that.  Even sitting in the court room, the girls don't really take the situation they're in seriously or, most likely, don't fully understand what everything means.  They look at each other and giggle and look around the room.

Once the case leaves the hands of the detectives and goes to the solicitors, things get complicated.  Paige's confession is thrown out of court and Connor's mother pleads with Crown Prosecution Service Director George Castle not to allow Rose to end up in the legal system but, instead to get her the help she needs.  Feeling an obligation to Connor's mum above all else, Castle orders Steel and Phillips to see to it that Rose is placed in a facility to get the help she needs rather than end up in incarceration.  However, Rose's solicitor, Kim Sharkey wants the case to go to court.  She refuses all offers Steel makes.  She wants the notoriety the case will surely bring her.

Steel takes the hard approach to Rose's mum when he gets her on the stand.  She is not apparently concerned about how her life has affected her daughter until Steel comes right out and tells her that it is her fault that her daughter has the issues she does.  It is only then that she seems to show any emotion about what could happen to her daughter.

The case doesn't go the way the Crown Prosecutors want it to.  The Judge sentences Rose to be detained at Her Majesties pleasure for a minimum term of 12 years.  She isn't sent to a medical facility the way they had hoped.  Dr. Marsh will work with Rose in the secure facility and George Castle promises Connor's mum he will personally appeal against Rose being moved into a prison.

Everyone takes this case hard.  Brooks has children of his own and he remembers how it was raising them.  He sees this case through a father's eyes as well as through the eyes of a seasoned detective.  George Castle is driven to honor Connor's mum's wishes.  No one likes the situation they must deal with.

This was a very emotionally-charged episode.  The brutal murder of a young child is bad enough.  But, when you've got two children not much older than the victim that were responsible for the death, it's beyond terrible.  It's sad, shocking and unbelievable.

Law & Order:  UK airs on Thursday nights at 9:00 p.m. on ITV1 in the UK.

For more information:
Law & Order:  UK ITV1 Official Site:
Internet Movie Database:
TV Rage:

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