Saturday, November 20, 2010

AUS Television: Rake, Episode 1.3 "R vs. Dana"

Season One, Episode Three, R vs. Dana
Original Air Date:  November 18, 2010

Famous chef George Dana is arrested for having not one but two wives and families:  one for each of his restaurants.  Things go from bad to worse for Dana when it is learned that he has not just two but three wives.  Cleaver has an affair with Scarlett.  Barney pays a visit to Cleave's office asking about a private investigator and Cleave talks him out of it suggesting instead that he (Barney) talk to her himself.  David asks Missy to move in with him.  She agrees, but only until he recovers from his injuries and she will make him no promises.  Cleaver comes through in a big way to help Missy.

Successful and famous chef George Dana (Lech Mackiewicz) returns home to find Detectives Turner and Bradbury (Johann Walraven) waiting for him.  Taylor showers him with compliments and praise for his recipies and cooking while Bradbury gets more to the point about an issue in the Blue Mountains where one of the two restaurants Dana owns is located, with a third to soon be opening in Newcastle.  Dana begs the detectives for a moment to freshen up after his long drive which they grant.  Dana tries to flee and trips over his sons bicycle on the front walk.  The detectives rush out and place him under arrest.  Dana assures his wife that, no matter what happens, he loves her. 

Cleaver awakens with a woman's hand wrapped around his bits and rolls over to see it's none other than Scarlett sleeping behind him.  He replays the previous night over in his head while bashing his forehead against the bathroom mirror.  Scarlett walks into the bathroom and asks him "what will become of us all, Mr. Wizard?".  His mistake with Scarlett dominates his thoughts all day and his day just gets worse when Nicole shows him the paper with headlines about David Potter's heroism on the front page.  He can't help but wonder how the shooter could miss David at point blank range.  The news gets better when she reads him the small article about his disgrace on page five. 

Cleaver goes to clear his good name.  He ends up at The Club where he accepts a drink but declines the cocaine.  He has plans for a certain girl, Tammy.  He holds a meeting with two members of the committee that will soon be judging him, Danny and Johnny, and states his case.  It's hardly news when a barrister has sex with a client!  He humbly agrees with them that they are all accountable for their own actions.  Enter Tammy.  Dressed in a smart business suit, Cleave introduces her as his new assistant.  She calls them both by name and we get a brief look at how they spend their free time.  Danny and Johnny, while not condoning Cleaver's actions in the slightest, find that the evidence against him is, at best, murky. 

When Cleave arrives back at his office, Barney is there waiting on him.  He drops off a brief for Cleave and asks if he's seen Scarlett.  Cleave dances around the question as he's been dealing with the committee for his legal indiscretions.  Scarlett didn't go home last night (of course!) and she hasn't called Barney.  Barney wants the name of a private detective Cleave used on an old case but Cleave doesn't think it's a good idea (wonder why?).  Cleave suggests that Barney just talk to Scarlett, in a general way, not getting bogged down in details.  When Barney asks if maybe Scarlett did find someone better, kinder, more giving and able to properly love her, Cleave guarantees him that isn't the case at all.

The brief Barney left for Cleave was the Dana case.  Cleave goes to Dana's restaurant there in town and talks with him.  Dana has nothing but glowing things to say about both of his wives.  He knows he has made both of his wives unhappy (downright angry!).  He's married to each separately in his heart; each one is an equal part of his life.  He managed to conceal the marriages for six years because he's always coming and going between his two restaurants and no one has ever asked.  The first marriage was legally solid as a rock.  He couldn't have divorced his first wife because he made a solemn promise to her in a church before God.  The second wife, she wanted a proper marriage with all the trimmings.  Neither wife had an illness that would have been exacerbated by a divorce.  The fact he loves both women means nothing as the law takes a very dim view of love, according to Cleave.  He wants as many happy snaps of George and his kids that he can round up. 

David Potter leaves the hospital and the press is right there waiting on the good hero.  He doesn't consider himself a hero as he feels he did what any normal person would have done under the circumstances and would do so again.  Once they are home, David asks Missy to move in with him.  She agrees to stay until he's well but makes him no promises.  Cleaver pays a visit to the equally distracted Scarlett to tell her their night together was a mistake, which they both already know.  They talk about their previous relationship a long time ago and the circumstances surrounding it but Scarlett felt that the night they just had was different from any other time they had been together.  Cleaver will not continue an affair with her because of Barney.  Even though she says she isn't in love with Barney, he tells her she must be.  He asks her to please try and forget last night.  She cries in the ladies room before going into court.

When Scarlett arrives home that evening, Barney reminds her of her cousin Joe at their wedding who removed his teeth and whistled "My Way".  Everyone laughed at Joe except Scarlett who got up and sang along with him.  He asks if it is really awful living with him.  She tells him she's dying there and wants a different life.  She wants a break from the law and perhaps return to her painting.  He asks if she's constructing all the problems in her head so she can run off and have her little affair.  Before she can respond, their son runs in to talk to her.

Cleave stops by Wendy's for another of his freebie sessions.  He spends a few minutes giving her a hilarious account of the life of chimpanzees then tells her about having sex with Scarlett.  She is shocked and angry at him for what he did.  Cleaver asks Fuzz about the new love of his life.  The girl is in Fuzz's English class and into Shakespeare.  He's working on his homework and one of the questions is to understand Iago by defining a bad man.  Cleaver gives him a brilliant description of a bad man and we know he is describing himself. 

George Dana has made the cover of the newspaper.  His first wife doesn't want to have a chat with Cleaver and Barney and his second wife is furious.  Cleaver asks Barney to "go and lavish wife #1 with some of the old Barnyard charm" while he pays a visit to the judge in chambers.  The judge is angry wanting to know why he intends to plead Dana not guilty.  Cleaver feels that the laws relating to bigamy are outdated and give him the basis for the plea.  The judge reluctantly agrees that Cleaver's argument does have some merit.

Dana's first wife, Sonja, feels guilty for her husband's bigamy.  She feels she drove him into the arms of another woman.  When she comments that she had always known she wasn't meeting George's needs, she and Barney begin a mutual conversation on the subject.  They commiserate on the heartbreak of loving someone and doing everything for them. 

In court, while the prosecution details her case against Dana in her opening statement, Cleaver looks over the jury and sets his sights on a pretty young woman in the front row.  He smiles at her and, when it is his turn to deliver his opening statement, he informs the jury that the laws support the ideals of Victorian Britain and that things have changed. 

Mrs. Dana #2 gets on the stand and she's clearly angry and upset but she admits he was never cruel to her and was, in fact, her fairy tale prince but he's destroyed everything they worked hard to build.  When Dana takes the stand, Cleave questions him on various things about being a good dad.  Dana can tell him what his children's favorite toys are and what their favorite sports are.  The judge is clearly taken by George's attention to detail in his children's lives, so much so that the prosecutor calls to him to distract him. 

Barney returns home that night and Scarlett admits that there is someone else.  Barney immediately goes to Cleaver with the news that "she admitted it".  However, she didn't admit who the someone else was.  They go out for a drink and Cleaver isn't happy about being at a lawyers bar where everyone has irritable bowel syndrome.  HE wants to go somewhere where he feels more like a gynecologist.  Barney can't stop talking about Scarlett.  Cleaver is even more unhappy when David Potter and Missy walk in.  The good times keep rolling when Barney drops the news that Scarlett said the other guy was "hopeless, and indulgent, tragic, middle-aged failure" and that he wasn't even all that good in bed. 

David introduces Missy to his friends as "the love of my life".  When, Norton, one of David's friends sits down to talk with them, Missy excuses herself and goes to the ladies.  Norton comes in a few minutes later and she wants him to leave.  He was a former client of hers at The Club and she begs him to not say anything to David about her past life.  He propositions her but she's able to get away from him.  The next day, she's waiting on Cleaver in his office.  She wants him to help her so that David will know nothing about her past. 

Sonja admits on the stand that she still loves George and that he's been a fine father to their children.  She also says that when the judge hands down his decision, she would like it to be seven years in prison.  What she talked about with Barney got her to thinking.  Cleaver wants to stop her testimony but the prosecution is quite pleased with it. 

While Cleaver is delivering his heartfelt closing arguments, someone comes in and gives the prosecutor a bit of information which causes her to interrupt Cleave.  A third wife has been found.  Dana was hoping the third wife wouldn't come to light.  Cleaver tells him he needs to stop marrying women.  When Dana replies that he loves the women, Cleaver tells him that he's going to have to learn to start loving men in showers as he doesn't know how to save him. 

Cleave pays a visit to Norton and tells him to leave Missy be and allow her to live her life.  If he doesn't leave her alone, Cleave will drag him down to his level, and even Cleave doesn't want to live there.  Norton makes it clear that he will do with Missy whatever he feels like.  When the lift doors open, a woman walking by sees Cleaver standing with his hands in his pockets and Norton on the floor of the lift, bloodied and groaning.

Barney tells Scarlett that he is unchaining her and she can have her precious freedom.  He tells her that her art is crap and that it's crazy she wants to give up the law for it.The prosecution delivers her closing arguments pointing out that Dana has proven himself to be a liar and a criminal.  Cleaver paints a picture of Dana as the last, true champion of marriage as he is one of the few who still believe in marriage.  The jury finds Dana guilty.  The judge agrees with the prosecution that Dana was aware of the law and knowingly deceived three women.  He also agrees with Cleaver that the penalties under the law greatly outweigh the crime.  He gives Dana a three year sentence but suspends all but three months and Dana must divorce at least two of his wives.  Cleaver whispers to Dana "try not to marry anyone while you're inside, will ya?".

David refers to the house to Missy as "our home".  That night, she gets out of bed and calls Cleaver.  She thanks him for whatever he did to help.  She admits that David is a good man who loves her and she could be happy with him, but she doesn't know why when things turned bad she went to Cleave rather than David.

Another excellent episode!  I'm really loving this show so much!  Nothing seemed to go right for poor Cleaver this week.  Cleave put his own feelings aside and came through in a big way for Missy when she needed him.  I believe he's truly remorseful about the night he spent with Scarlett because of how much he thinks of Barney.  He doesn't want to hurt his best friend.  Despite everything bad about our charming and unusual hero, he does have a lot of good in him as well. 

Rake airs each Thursday at 8:30 p.m. (AUS time) on ABC1.
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  1. Anyone know where the Mr Wizard quote is from?

  2. x2 for the "Mr Wizard" quote?