Saturday, November 27, 2010

AUS Television: Rake, Episode 1.4 "R vs. Lorton"

Season One, Episode Four, R vs. Lorton
Original Air Date:  November 25, 2010

A young male prostitute is found murdered in a lane.  The man who is accused of the crime has a surprising past and might just be Cleaver's one truly innocent client.  Meanwhile, David and Missy are thrust into new territory when Joe Sandilands asks David to run for state Parliament.  Wendy and Cleaver Greene meet Fuzz's new girlfriend.  Barney makes a shocking discovery about his good friend, Cleaver Greene.

A young man is found bound and murdered in a lane.  There was one witness, Stanley Shrimpton, who said he saw a man stab the boy, run out of the lane, saw the man holding the knife and saw him dump the knife in a bin.  The man who did the killing, according to the witness, calls himself "Peaker". 

David and Missy attend an art gallery opening where he wants her to choose something to put on the walls of "their" house.  She doesn't like his taste in art and would prefer to paint the walls in cheese dip.  Missy gets a call and Joe Sandilands arrives and says hello to David (who introduces Joe to Missy).  Joe and Missy act as if they have never met and the conversation continues.  Joe tells David the Premiere wants to meet him and wants to know on which side of the labour fence he sits and tells David to call.  A drunk Cleave stumbles towards Missy and David.  He kisses Missy's hand and takes the opportunity, as always, to send a jab David's way.  Cleave also takes the opportunity to heckle the gallery owner before being escorted out by "a better class of bouncers".  Missy finds him sitting outside on the curb and tells him to go home and go to bed--without her.  Later that night, Missy is riding her exercise bike when David walks into the room.  She had trouble sleeping in the bed after they had sex that night and had to leave the room.  She declines his offer of tea saying she will cycle a bit more then come back to bed.

The next day, Cleaver arrives for court and exchanges a look with his prosecutor who is none other than Scarlett!  Cleaver questions the constable on the stand about a stash of porn the constable found beneath Cleaver's clients bed.  Apparently, the constable spent a good deal of time meticulously cataloging the porn "to make sure it wasn't kiddie porn".  The constable admits it took him about a half hour to go through the porn under the bed.  Cleaver, being the thorough attorney he most certainly is, asks the constable if he masturbated while he was under the bed, a question Scarlett objects to.

The police get a match to "Peaker", a man by the name of Danny Lorton who has form for sexual assault 30 years ago.  The dead boy in the lane was Benjamin Rigby, 15, who was selling himself for 18 months or so.  Rigby's mother was a junkie so the boy wasn't reported missing.  While discussing the case with the detective, the female constable wonders why the room they are in has to be so ugly.  She chatters on about how she could improve the look of the room then muses she's wasted in her current profession.  The detective orders her to pick Lorton up.

In payment for winning the case, Cleaver's client wants to give him a bag of cocaine.  However, Cleave will not accept it.  He goes on a strictly cash basis now ever since waking up in a hotel room with 3rd degree burns on his arse and no idea how they got there.  Scarlett calls him to chastise him on his behaviour in court that morning.  Nicole interrupts his conversation with Scarlett to let him know he was due at a meeting a Fuzz's school an hour ago.

Wendy is surprised when Fuzz's English teacher, Fiona McCready, gives her a glowing recommendation of her son.  The teacher describes him as an absolute pleasure to teach which is in stark contrast to what the other teachers have said (everything from "is everything alright at home" to "have doctors mentioned medication?").  The teacher tells her he expresses himself beautifully.  Cleaver arrives and is introduced to Fiona who tells him she thinks Fuzz might even be wanting to follow in his father's footsteps.  After speaking with Miss McCready, Wendy and Cleave discuss Fuzz's academic behavior and Miss McCready and how impressed she was with Fuzz.  Wendy asks him right out if he was still seeing Scarlett and how poor Barney is doing.  While lecturing Fuzz on why he should take his studies more seriously, Cleave gets a call that he must take.  He claims the call is work but it's actually his bookie.

The tension between Barney and Scarlett is unspeakable.  They don't talk much.  And when they do talk, it's cold.  They both even snap at their son when he asks which one of them is going to read him a story.  Barney wants to know the name of the man Scarlett had an affair with but she refuses.

The Benjamin Rigby murder case lands on Cleaver's desk.  Barney and Cleaver interview their client, Danny Lorton (David Field).  Despite the fact that the police have Lorton's DNA on the knife and Rigby's blood on Lorton's clothing, he denies killing the young man.  He says Rigby was alive when he found him.  He took the knife out of Rigby but the boy died.  When Lorton leaves the room, Cleave turns the legal pad Lorton was doodling on and finds that he had drawn the picture of man.  Over a drink, Cleave and Barney talk about the case.  Everything sounds like "Peaker" killed the boy and his past certainly doesn't do him an favours. 

David tells Missy Joe Sandilands wants him to run for the state Parliament.  He says it is something that would make him happy but he never thought he could have had a chance at it.  She implies that the reason he was asked was because he was shot.  She points out that most politicians she knows are sad.  He wants to do some good instead of spending his life trying to get people like Cleaver Greene to pay their taxes. 

Cleaver talks with some of the other people where Lorton lives and takes a look round his room.  It's dark and full of artwork and art supplies.

Wendy sees Fuzz on the street with his teacher, Miss McCready.  When the two part, McCready blows Fuzz a kiss.  At home, Wendy tells her son that his relationship with his teacher is "age inappropriate sex".  He should instead be having exploratory sex with a girl his own age and maybe some oral.  He refuses to end the relationship despite his mother's protests that it is immoral and could cause him irreparable damage.  She threatens to report them to the school so the teacher will go to prison and he can visit her on weekends.  He claims they love each other. 

Cleaver returns to the gallery where he showed out a couple of days earlier to speak with the owner about Lorton's drawings.  Once Lorton's name is mentioned, she immediately knows him from.  He had several major exhibitions and two paintings in the National Gallery before he disappeared.  She thought he had died.  When asked what his paintings are worth, she tells Cleaver it depends on the size of them.  His work used to go for up to $60,000. 

Wendy starts in on Cleaver about how he could let their son have sex in his apartment.  He hails a cab while telling Wendy that their son is almost 16 and he's just a kid in love with another kid from his English class.  Wendy informs him that the girl is his teacher.  A girl gets into the cab he hailed and, even though he's stunned over Fuzz's girlfriend, Cleaver reaches into the cab, takes the girls shopping out and puts it on the curb then gets in the cab.  Cleaver insists Fuzz will tire of his teacher but Wendy accuses Cleave of ruining both her life and Fuzz's. 

Cleaver and Nicole talk about art while he puts his feet up and she does all the work packing up their office.  She bends over to pick up some folders and Cleaver, being the perfect gentleman he always is, asks her if it isn't about time she went on a diet.  She's the perfect weight, she says.   Barney arrives to tell Cleaver he has found out what Lorton does with his money.  He makes a painting, sells it for half what it's worth then wanders around the city handing out money to homeless people. 

Cleave once again speaks to Lorton who tells him he doesn't need money.  Money was in his old life as Danny Lorton.  In his new life he finds money an intrusion.  Lorton, who had sold something, had been told about Rigby and thought he could use some cash and that he could possibly sketch Ben.  He had been told Ben was beautiful and he wanted to see for himself but he found Ben dying instead.  Cleaver does something he rarely does.  He asks Lorton straight out if he murdered Ben to which his client replies that he did not.  Lorton then pushes a paper across the table.  It contains a dotted picture of Ben.

David and Missy attend a party with Joe Sandilands at Parliamnet House so David can start working towards his run for Parliament.  David watches with a smile on his face while Missy talks with the wives. 

Cleave tells Wendy to leave the school out of the situation with Fuzz.  He'll talk to their son as well as speaking with "Mrs. Robinson".  Cleave and Barney go to the lane where Rigby was killed to recreate the crime.  The details of the crime don't add up to them the way Shrimpton set them out in his statement. 

Missy excuses herself from the ladies she's speaking with and goes outside to call Cleave.  They meet and she tells him about David having been asked to run.  She can't tell him why she keeps calling him.  She's reminded of a long weekend they spent together where she was able to really sleep.  She hurries back to David with Cleave calling after her to "call me anytime!". 

Cleaver pays a visit to Scarlett to ask her about a drug case she prosecuted a couple of years ago against Stanley Shrimpton.  He feels he might be defending a genuinely innocent man but Scarlett wants nothing of that conversation.  She wants to know why he went to bed with her if he didn't really want her.  He finally tells her it was because he was drowning and she was a life buoy and in the same wet place he was in.  She tells him Stanley Shrimpton got off child abuse charges by becoming a police informant then asks him to leave.

Missy apologizes to David for leaving.  She was bored talking with the women.  David is angry that she left the party.  Missy explains that one of the women has a brother that might have known her father while they were in Peru.  There was a woman at the embassy that her father had an affair with that ruined his career and drove her mother to the brink of suicide.  (That's where cousin Angus came in.)  She didn't want to talk about that in front of those women.  He ends up feeling bad for how he feels and asks her if she wants him to drop his run.  He must do what he has to do.

The prosecution opens their case with a statement mentioning the evidence they will be presenting and that there was even a witness to the crime.  The detective who investigated the case testifies about the blood evidence that was found on Lorton's clothing and the prosecutor gives the jury photos from the crime scene.  Cleaver questions the detective about the nature of Benjamin Rigby's profession.  He asks whether there were semen tests done on the contents of Rigby's stomach and whether or not Lorton's DNA was found there.  It wasn't.  He points out that there were many men who "abused" Rigby who weren't questioned in the case but the one man they know who didn't abuse him was accused of the crime.  Cleaver presents the theory that Lorton was, in fact, trying to help Ben rather than kill him.

Shrimpton gets on the stand and relates what he claims to have seen the night Ben Rigby died.  When it is Cleave's turn to question Shrimpton, he is quiet for a moment then stands and asks if it is the first time he's given evidence in a criminal trial.  Shrimpton admits to having given evidence in drug cases.  The prosecutor objects when Cleave asks if Shrimpton had been given immunity from prosecution for testifying against the accused in past trials.  The judge allows the question.  Shrimpton admits he knew Lorton and was even given money by him once.  He also admits to having led Lorton to the lane that night to see Ben and admits that he (Shrimpton) had had oral sex with Ben that night.  Cleave goes on to present Shrimpton with the details of the crime that do not add up and suggests that Shrimpton was the killer rather than Lorton. 

While having a celebratory drink at a pub, the detective on the Lorton murder steps up next to Cleave and tells him he did some checking into Lorton's old statutory rape case 30 years ago.  Lorton slashed both of the girls breasts but she wouldn't cooperate with the police because she said Lorton was "a genius" and that's what geniuses do. 

Barney arrives home and still refuses to talk to Scarlett.  She breaks down and tells him the man she had the affair with was a man she met at the Adelaide conference.  He was an Englishman who is now safely back in Devon with his wife and will never be returning to Australia.  Barney still wants to know his name.  Scarlett gives him a name:  John Bartrop--the same name Cleave is joking about in the alley while he and Barney are reconstructing the Rigby murder.

Cleaver spends the night going over the Rigby murder case and looking at the crime scene photos.  He realizes that Lorton killed Ben and posed him in the style of a Guido Reni painting.  He goes to see Lorton at his room and Lorton tells Cleave that in six months the streets would have made Ben ugly and he would have died in a crack haze.  He gave Ben his moment of absolute perfection.  Cleave hits Lorton and tells him he will go to the police but, as Lorton knows, there's nothing he can be charged on. 

Fuzz and Fiona McCready arrive at Cleaver's flat and he welcomes them.  Cleaver is completely nice and cordial to Fiona and has even gotten them dinner, burgers and chips.  Fiona sends Fuzz to get her purse from the car while she tries to explain her position to his father.  She wants to protect Fuzz emotionally and care for his academic future.  He calls her delusional when she claims she wants to protect Fuzz.  She tries to turn the tables on Cleave but he will have none of it.  He tells her she doesn't want to turn his son into his father.  The best thing she can do for him is to get in her car and keep driving (preferably off a cliff, he implies).  Fuzz, who has returned, hears his father.  Fuzz gets his things and he and Fiona leave.

When he is alone, Cleave calls Barney because he needs to hear a friendly voice after such a bad day.  Barney tells Cleave they should have nothing further to do with one another and to ask Scarlett about the name both of them knew. 


Poor Cleaver!  A bad day just kept getting worse!  He tried doing the right thing with Fuzz and his teacher but that didn't go very well.  His friendship with Barney is in tatters and you know how that will affect him.  Cleave thinks very highly of old Barnyard and it will be hard on him that the two aren't speaking.  Fuzz's relationship with his teacher is something he probably thought his father, of all people, would understand and not have a problem with.  Thing is, Cleaver is more of a father than Fuzz probably gives him credit for.    The one client Cleave really had a feeling was innocent turned out to be horribly guilty.  That had to be a good blow to the ego.  (On a side note, it was great seeing David Field as Lorton.  Can Field play an awesome character or what?)

The truth about Missy's past is going to come out sooner or later.  Now that David is going to be running for Parliament she is going to have to associate with a lot of the same men she used to have as clients.  All of them won't be as gentlemanly about things as Joe Sandilands or even Cleaver.  She's going to run up against another Norton at some point and before she can call in Cleave for help, the cat will be out of the bag.

Next weeks episode should be a can't-miss (isn't every episode of Rake a can't-miss, really?).  The amazing Sam Neill will be guest starring as Greene family friend, Dr. Bruce Chandler. 

Rake airs each Thursday at 8:30 p.m. (AUS time) on ABC1.
For more information:
Official ABC1 Site:
The Internet Movie Database:
TV Rage:


  1. I am confused about John Bartrop. What was the joke Cleave and Barney were making in the alley? How would Scarlett know the name? Is he a real character mentioned or introduced in some other episode?

  2. Did you ever get a response to your question? I don't understand the reference to that name either. Does anyone know what the reference to John Barton is about?

  3. Argh, I've been wondering about this whole John thing too!!