Saturday, November 13, 2010

AUS Television: Rake, Episode 1.2 "R vs. Marx"

Season One, Episode Two, R vs. Marx
Original Air Date:  November 11, 2010

Cleave's problems just never end.  Mick and Vanessa make him a deal to pay what he owes them.  His nemesis, David Potter, becomes a hero after wrestling with a gunman after having been shot by him.  His son, Fuzz, wants to use his flat as a meeting place with his girlfriend after school so his mother won't know about their relationship.  He learns that Missy has been seeing David Potter.  Cleave and Barney take the case of Lucy Marx, a woman who believes her daughter was innocent of the murder she was convicted of.  Lucy is charged with tampering with a juror after the trial and she actually wants to go to jail.  But, will the affair she starts up with Cleave cause problems for them both?

Mick and Vanessa (Haiha Le), two people Cleave owe a great deal of gambling money to, have a sit down with him to discuss payment arrangements.  They have rolled their two debts into one for him to make things easier.  They have agreed on an interest rate of 29% compounded weekly that is an exclusive just for him.  However, that stellar rate comes with a confidentiality clause.  If he tells anyone, that beautiful rate will "literally become crippling interest". 

After leaving the meeting with Mick and Vanessa, Cleave runs across Scarlett.  They go back to his place where they talk for a little while before he tells her to bugger off back to her husband and kids.  Scarlett has pretty much decided she wants to end her marriage which doesn't please Cleave too much.  Barney arrives at Cleave's flat leading Scarlett to hide out in the bathroom so he won't know she was there (as she was supposed to be at her sisters).  Barney confides in Cleave that he feels something is wrong with Scarlett.  He even checked on her at her sisters but was told she'd already left but he suspected she'd never been there.  Barney worries his wife has found another man and acknowledges the marriage has been in a rut.  Scarlett hears every word he says from where she is hiding. 

When Barney leaves, Cleave goes into the bathroom and tells Scarlett to go home.  Meanwhile, the scenes flash back and forth between Cleave, Scarlett and Barney to show us a beautiful blond woman and a handsome young dark haired man having sex then talking about jury duty while drinking tequila.  The woman is apparently plying the young man for information as she wants to know about the case he served on.  He tells her about the case of a murdered footie star, Gavin Warner, and the woman accused of the crime, Tanisha Marx.  The jury found her guilty.  She continues digging for information during their tryst claiming that she's into crime as it sort of turns her on.  He expresses that there was a doubt about how the woman was able to get the man she killed, who was a large man, into the car. 

We learn that the woman is the mother of Tanisha Marx, Lucy Marx (Lisa McCune) and has taped everything the young man told her and plays the tape at a press conference.  The young man told her that the cousin of Gavin Warner was a mate of the head juror.  She believed the foreman bullied other jurors into finding her daughter guilty.  She wants to prove her nineteen year-old daughters innocence and went so far as to drop 20 pounds and have a complete makeover then go in search of jurors to seduce to gain information about the trial.  Attorney General Joe Sandilands knows she is right that the system failed.  Joe tells Bill Hampton (Matt Walker) that two things need to happen now:  Tanisha Marx needs to get out of jail and Lucy Marx will not go to jail.

Cleave is back before the tax judge.  This time, he admits that the removalists were not at fault for the destruction of the records the tax offices are requesting.  The documents were already damaged before the move, he says.  But, he is reliably informed by the janitor of his former storage facility, Turgut Erezem (Ivan Topic) that a dormer window was left open during the storm causing considerable flooding in the area where his papers were stored.  David Potter requests the judge either force Cleave to produce the records or find him in contempt.  Cleave even brings Turgut Erezem in to testify before the tax judge but his poor English seems to be a great problem.  The judge orders them to reconvene in 3 months time with a Turkish translator.  As Cleave is leaving, Turgut asks him about a trip to the dog races on Friday in perfect English.

The judge orders that Lucy Marx's tape is inadmissible as it was obtained illegally.  An angry Lucy Marx stands and yells at the judge that if they truly want the public to have faith in the jury system they need to do something to fix it then storms out.  She goes to the press and calls on the Attorney General to act.

Lucy Marx has a meeting with Cleave and Barney.  She is perfectly happy to go to jail because if she gets off on the charges, it will be in the news for five minutes.  If she goes to jail, every day more questions will arise and it will stay an issue longer.  She instructs Cleve to plead her guilty.  He advises her to do the opposite, however, and make them prove their case, hound her and persecute her.  He assures her that in his capable hands there will be no way she could avoid a jail term. 

Joe makes it clear to his staff that Lucy Marx cannot go to jail.  The charges cannot be dropped because she has publicly admitted to a serious offense.  Joe suggests that they choose a very green ("emerald is what we want") prosecutor for the case and a mother on the bench as the judge.

Cleave feels it is nice to finally have a client who is guilty for all the right reasons.  He and Barney are still at the office as they are waiting for Scarlett to meet them there.  Cleave asks his friend how the marriage is going and Barney replies "very cool".  Nicole comes in to drop a file off and Barney notices she has an engagement ring on her finger.  Three weeks ago she became engaged to her boyfriend of eleven years, Bevan.  He has been her first and only and Cleave wishes to know if she is curious about all the other men out there of all shapes, colors and sizes and even if she's curious about women.  Cleave goes into an awesomely funny diatribe about how she could find out one day that she could have had something better than Bevan.  But he IS happy for her.

Scarlett, Barney and Cleave go to dinner with some friends, including David Potter.  Cleave is stuck at the opposite end of the table from Barney and Scarlett and is forced to listen to what he feels has to be the most boring conversation ever between two women.  He even considers stabbing his eyes out with his fork.  Cleave is shocked when Missy shows up at the restaurant and is there as David Potter's date!  When Missy gets up to go to the ladies room, he gets up and follows her to question her about why she's there with David.  She met David when he gave a tax seminar at her law school.  She didn't put it together, at first, that David was the man Cleave spent over a year complaining about because he called him "Harry" and David called Cleave "a clown".  She goes into the ladies and he waits for her.  David sees the two of them talking in the restaurant.  David asks her if she'd met Cleave before.  She says he is an old friend of a cousin of hers.  She texts that to Cleave to make sure the story is safe.  Cleave can no longer take the conversation between the two women and critiques the grammar of one of them, LeeAnn.  The other woman throws her wine in his face and he simply says "You go girl!"

David accosts Cleave in the men's room and asks about his friendship with her cousin, Angus.  Cleave sticks to the story and even adds to it a bit.  Apparently, in Cleave's version of the story, Melissa and her cousin Angus had a relationship when she was barely seventeen and he around 38 or 39.  They are first cousins and this angered the family because the relationship lasted the better part of a year.  The longer Cleave talks, the more sordid the affair gets.

Cleave runs into Lucy Marx the next morning when he goes down to the cafe for breakfast.  They go up to his flat where they immediately proceed to have sex on his bar.  Barney and Scarlett have sex and talk about the Marx case afterwards.  She tells her husband to have a chat with Dennis, Tanisha's solicitor because even he had his doubts about his client's innocence.  Missy wakes up with David watching her sleeping.  He tells her that Cleaver had told him about everything between she and Angus.  He tells her she can tell him anything or nothing.  When Dennis goes out to get the paper, a gunman runs up and shoots his neighbour then Dennis.  Despite having been shot in the shoulder, Dennis jumps the gunman (who later turns out to be the neighbours brother) but is shot a second time in the stomach.  The shoulder was a flesh wound and the bullet went through the abdomen so David got lucky.

Fuzz tells his father he is seeing someone and he wants to be able to bring her to Cleave's flat because there isn't anywhere else they can go.  He knows his mother would insist they start a dialogue with the girls parents and the girl can't or won't tell her parents about her relationship with Fuzz.  Fuzz only wants 2 (or 3 max) afternoons a week and since Cleave will be at work anyway there shouldn't be a problem. 

Cleave sees the story about David having been shot on the news and calls Missy.  She recalls the entire exciting story for him and how David is such a hero.  Cleave is clearly jealous and says he could have done the same thing despite going crazy when the fire alarm when off by mistake once at the Club. 

Lucy Marx comes over and while she and Cleave are in bed, she rolls over onto a used condom that Cleave tells her "would be my sons".  Once the scare of the condom has passed, they resume their  "conference" because, after all, she doesn't want him doing any real prep because then she might stand a chance of being acquitted.

Cleave meets with Joe to ask about Katrina Ryan, the prosecutor of the trial, who is just two years out of law school.  The judge is Jessica Mason, a single mother with four daughters, one of whom lost a leg in a ferry disaster last year.  He knows something is up because "Julie Andrews is the judge and Shirley Temple is the prosecutor" but Joe denies that he had anything to do with it.

Barney has lunch with "Dennis the Menace", Tanisha Marx's solicitor.  According to Dennis, none of Warner's teammates would talk about his murder even with the prosecution.  They gave just the barest of information on him.  He could tell Tanisha wasn't well liked because when her name was mentioned "the room got a little chillier". 

Katrina Ryan is a mess in court.  She stutters and stumbles in her words, her paperwork is a mess and she appears generally uncomfortable in a court setting.  Cleave requests an adjournment to confer with Lucy and takes the chance to speak with Katrina.  It is her first big trial and she's a bundle of nerves.  He gives her an entire pack of beta blockers and her performance in court is much improved thanks to them.  She gives a brilliant opening statement that impresses even those from her own office.  Cleave delivers a completely sexist opening statement directed toward women.  He reveals that Lucy's daughter was the product of a one-night stand she had in Auckland nineteen years ago and her father is still blissfully ignorant of his daughter.  He also has to get the fact that Lucy Marx had a lot of sexual partners when she was young in there for good measure.  Judge Mason chastises Cleave for his opening statement and even brings Barney in on the chat.  They both make it clear to her that Lucy Marx is pleased with the way the case is being handled.

On the stand, Lucy answers the prosecutors questions perfectly to illustrate that she knew exactly what she was doing was against the law.  Barney is starting to wonder if Tanisha Marx really might be guilty but Cleave assures him he knows what he's doing.  Barney pays a visit to Michael Warner, Gavin Warner's cousin.  Barney asks him to tell him what really happened.  Michael had information about the murder and wanted to tell the police but no one would back him up.  Tanisha was having an affair with Gavin's coach, Clive Booth.  Gavin called Michael the night he died and told him he was going to confront Tanisha about the affair.  He believes Clive was the one who helped her get rid of Gavin's body.  Clive Booth died from a heart attack four months after Gavin.

Barney goes to see Cleave that night and asks if Lucy is upstairs, which she is.  He tells Cleave that Tanisha is guilty of the murder.  He tells him everything Michael had told him about Booth and the affair and warns Cleave that Lucy is using him.  When he goes back upstairs, Cleave doesn't tell Lucy the reason Barney was there. 

The next day in court, Cleave questions the juror Lucy used to get information about the trial.  He asks how much Daniels received for his story which angers Lucy.  She feels Cleave isn't sticking to the plan to make her look bad and everyone else look good.  Cleave asks her about her being her daughters alibi and presents her with how he feels things happened the night of Gavin Warner's murder.  He informs her he can't represent her anymore because he was only prepared to put her in jail when she wasn't guilty.  She threatens him that it will have consequences for him.

Cleave talks to Wendy about Lucy Marx.  The judge declared a mistrial and referred Cleave to the Professional Conducts Committee of the Bar Association.  Lucy gets on television and accuses Cleave of not only being incompetent at trial but for seducing her when she was at her most vulnerable point.  She had taped him too, just like she did the juror.  As Cleave is sitting in a cafe drowning his sorrows, Scarlett walks up to him and asks him if he's OK.

I love this show more and more each week.  It's got just about everything that makes a great show great:  humor (tons of humor), awesome characters, compelling story lines, good actors and good writing.  I love that there is a serious story in each episode along with all that excellent humor.  Richard Roxburgh is brilliant as Cleaver Greene.  Note to self:  never watch Rake and drink tea at the same time.  Drinking tea and laughing hysterically do not mix.  If Rake keeps up the awesome lines by Cleaver and the absurdly funny situations he gets himself into, by time this eight episode first run is over, it will most certainly be my very favorite show on television.

"You go, girl!"

Rake airs each Thursday at 8:30 p.m. (AUS time) on ABC1.
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1 comment:

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