Thursday, December 9, 2010

AUS Television: Rake, Episode 1.5 "R vs. Chandler"

Season One, Episode Five, R vs. Chandler
Original Air Date:  December 2, 2010

Dr. Bruce Chandler is in need of the stellar legal services of Cleaver Greene when a DVD hidden in the good doctors briefcase is discovered following the theft of said briefcase.  Barney doesn't want anything to do with Cleaver.  Scarlett shows up at Cleaver's flat after Barney kicks her out of their house.  David Potter starts his political run but will it cause problems between he and Missy?

Cleave tries to get Barney to talk to him and wants Barnyard to even give him a good hit.  Barney keeps his cool until Cleave tells his friend he has too much respect for him.  He accuses Cleave of never giving respect no matter how much he talks about it and of being a selfish turd.  Things don't go too much better when Cleave drops by Wendy's.  Fuzz will not let him in the house because neither he or Wendy want him there.  He pleads his case to Wendy (and Fuzz) in that he thought his son was seeing a girl his own age and not a 28 year-old woman.  She tells Cleaver to not come back until he feels he can shoulder some of the responsibility of raising their son.  Cleave walks away grumbling about how their conversation should have gone.

Dr. Bruce Chandler's (Sam Neill) briefcase is stolen as he is at the check out at the market.  A policeman later finds the briefcase on the curb and takes it back to his desk to look through it where he finds a DVD hidden in the case.  The police pay a visit to Dr. Chandler at the hospital about his stolen briefcase (and the contents of the DVD).  Chandler ends up at the police station.  When his wife, Jan (Heather Mitchell), comes to visit him, he whispers to her that they found the DVD.  She's angry he didn't keep the DVD in their home safe.  That wasn't an option because their daughter, Bec (Brooke Harman) has the combination to the safe.

At a loss in every other aspect of his life, Cleave goes where he feels at home:  to gamble on the fights.  He goes into the restroom with some cocaine and, after a few moments of though, does all four lines. 

Chandler tells Bec about his current problems.  She wants to see the DVD but he refuses to let her. 

Cleave, now high and drinking beer, goads the fighters and demands Col (Steve Le Marquand) double the bet he placed.  Cleave loses the bet, of course, and ends up taking the punishment for it because he didn't have the money to cover the bet as he claimed he did.  "Life's too short to wait for a beating" so he urges Col to get on with things.  Cleave goes back to Barney's but his old (and now former) friend still doesn't want anything to do with him.  He goes home and Missy comes to his aid when called.  She takes care of his injuries and cleans him up.  They kiss and he confesses to her that he slept with his best friends wife and she replies "I know".  He asks her how she knew and when he looks at her it's Wendy, not Missy.  The buzzer awakens him from his dream and it is Scarlett there to see him.  Barney has kicked Scarlett out of their home.  She is going to spend the day at Cleave's flat.

At work, Lincoln (Rhys Muldoon) will be briefing Cleave (who is suffering from a great case of hay fever) on the Chandler case, after he learns how to work the DVD player.  Finally, Cleave must call Nicole in to start the DVD for them.  The contents of the DVD are apparently something judging from Cleave's reaction to them.  Lincoln isn't the best assistant Cleave could ever hope for.  He cannot find some of the necessary information for the case and appears to be totally unprepared.  Cleave is perfectly familiar with Chandler as he delivered Fuzz.  Chandler, at first, maintains it wasn't him in the room.  Then, maintains it was him in the room but the room was in Canada so he technically didn't commit any crime under New South Wales law.

Cleave goes to see Chandler and makes it clear the Canada story will never fly as the opera house and Sydney Morning Herald can be clearly seen in the video.  He admits to Cleave that so far, the only thing he's told Bec about the situation is that he was with a prostitute and taking drugs.  We also learn that the DVD contained Chandler and "the other woman" having "a three-way with the family dog".  Chandler doesn't want his wife Jan charged with anything so he insists the woman he was with in the video was a prostitute and not his wife. 

David Potter makes his first public speech in his run for the Labour Party candidate against his opponent, an electrician from the area the candidate will represent, Jack Fulton (David Webb).  Joe Sandilands doesn't want David to worry about Jack but he's cautioned by Gav Myers (Alan Flower) to be prepared all the same.

Cleave arrives home that night to find Scarlett has cleaned his flat and is preparing dinner.  He excuses himself and goes to the bathroom to snort some more cocaine.  He gives her dozens of other options where she could stay and wants to know what will happen with Barney found out.  Barney dropped her at Cleaver's.  Scarlett starts to leave in tears but Cleave stops her.

Missy assumes that "be prepared" means they must find some dirt on Jack Fulton.  David informs her he already has dirt on Fulton, which surprises her.  David is comfortable with the whole thought of all the candidates, and their backers (including Joe) digging up dirt on each other.  Missy is worried and doesn't like the idea that she will have her private life and past possibly brought out in the process.

Missy goes to Cleaver's flat to tell him she thinks she's left David.  She starts to leave when she realizes he has company but he calls her to come back.  Cleave, Missy and Scarlett sit up talking about David.  Missy feels she isn't good enough for David and Scarlett tries to understand why she feels that way.  Missy reveals to her that she used to be a prostitute and Scarlett understands this was Cleave's old favorite.

That night, the family dog wanders into the Chandler's bedroom.  Bruce wants the animal out of the room immediately but Jan doesn't mind him staying as he was lonely outside.  Bruce is upset because his good name has been sullied by the DVD of them "buggering the family hound".  Bruce is beside himself with worry but Jan is calm and cool.  He tells her he's thinking of having Cleaver change his plea to guilty because a trial will only make things worse for her and Bec.  She refuses to allow him to do that.  He gets back in the bed but jumps up when he realizes the dog is under the covers with him and Jan.

Missy and Scarlett go to sleep in Cleave's bed and, as he is sitting there watching them, the buzzer sounds.  It's Wendy wanting to know if Fuzz is there.  She can't find him anywhere, even at the home of his teacher (she must have moved).  He suggests they change the approach they are using with Fuzz.  Wendy questions him on who is in his bed with Scarlett and he tells her it's Missy.  Cleave calls Fuzz's mobile and leaves a message for him to call, at the very least, Wendy.  Fuzz texts him back to let them know he's with his teacher and will see his mother in the morning.  After Wendy drinks more wine than she really should, Cleave ends up sitting and watching Missy, Scarlett and Wendy sleep in his bed.  The next day, he is awakened by the noise of all three women and Scarlett's children talking and playing in his flat.  He snorts more cocaine and is caught with some still under his nose when one of Scarlett's kids come into the bathroom. 

Jan Chandler finds things aren't as perfectly fine as she thinks when a clerk at the supermarket she frequents doesn't want to answer a question and avoids getting near her.

Missy makes an angry call to David while watching a news story detailing the dirt he had found on Fulton.  David wants her to come home but she needs some time to think and stays at Cleaver's.  Cleave goes downstairs to the diner to eat and Missy drops in while he's there.  David calls a few seconds after she sits down.  She doesn't see how it can work with David.  He tells her she needs to either tell David the truth or end the relationship because there is no way she can keep a secret in this town.  He offers her the job of helping him out with his current case for a distraction.  They go back to his office to watch the DVD and she's disgusted by what she sees.  When they return to Cleave's flat, it is empty.  Scarlett has gone to stay with her sister for a few nights.  Missy, too, soon leaves to stay at a friend's place while her friend is away.

A photographer (Brett Heath) is harassing Bec Chandler.  When Missy sees this, she bumps into him so Bec can get away then knees him in the groin.  Missy and Bec talk about why the photographer was hounding her.  Missy tries to reassure her that everyone is into something but Bec doesn't understand what she means.  She explains further then tells her she's working for her father.  Later, Bec wants her father to explain things to her.  He doesn't feel he could really give her a proper explanation that would be good enough for her.  She asks why mum is so forgiving of him and if he is protecting her. 

Cleave takes more cocaine before working over the case with Missy.  They work late and Missy suggests they shouldn't necessarily be afraid of the DVD.  They toss around the thought of playing it over and over and over because the more it's watched, the more the viewer becomes immune to it.  Lincoln arrives with a revelation that he might have come up with a way to minimize how much the jury sees the DVD. 

In court, Cleaver goes with the non-stop DVD playing theory.  He goes through the video literally frame-by-frame, almost one-hundred thousand of them and does commentary making frequent reference to the "unknown prostitute".  The judge takes Cleave and the prosecutor into his office about the "unknown prostitute" comments.  Cleaver admits that his directions are that Chandler and his wife love their daughter and want to keep Jan out of things.  He asks the judge and prosecutor to give the kid a break.

Cleaver questions Dr. D/Antonio (Genevieve Hegney) if she equates the act Chandler is accused of with the act of paedophilia, which she does.  He then asks if children and dogs are pretty much the same to her which draws an objection from the prosecutor.  He gets her to admit that she doesn't see why a dogs life is any less valuable than a humans.  He then suggestions that her views on animal welfare are extreme, which she rejects.  When she says she doesn't believe a dog should be forced to have sex against his or her will, Cleave goes back to the DVD.  He wants her to show them where the exact moment Felix the dog is being forced, coerced or encouraged. 

While having lunch outside the courthouse, Missy stops Bec from entering the building.  Bec wants to know if it was her mother in the room with her father on the DVD.  Missy assures her it was a prostitute and even gives her the woman's name and where she works.  When the trial resumes, the prosecution questions Chandler as to where he found the prostitute and how much he paid for the "specialization", then asks no further questions.  Cleave delivers amusing and statistic-filled closing arguments.  The jury finds Chandler not guilty.

Joe Sandilands calls Missy to encourage Missy to go back to David.  She calls a rain check for a celebration with Cleave and spends a sleepless night with David.  Scarlett isn't sleeping either.  And Cleaver, he's at his flat alone indulging in all his bad habits.  Felix the dog scratches to get into the Chandler's bedroom that night.

Cleaver is kind of spiraling out of control in this episode, isn't he?  He's getting back into the cocaine he had kicked previously, which can only mean trouble.  His relationship with Barney is in tatters and Fuzz is pretty angry at him right now as well.  We can surely hope that things work out for our hero at some point, can we not?

Sam Neill was awesome as Bruce Chandler.  I'm a great fan of Neill's to start off with so it was wonderful to see him here.  He was perfectly paranoid every time we saw him, at some points, almost to where I thought for sure Chandler would be having a heart attack at any second.  Neill's range as an actor is amazing and he never ceases to amaze me.

It's episodes like this that are proof positive that Rake isn't like any other legal drama on television.  I'm yet to find another that deals with cannibals, bestiality, politicians and lawyers the way this show does.  It's unique and it's perfect.

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

  1. I like Sam Neill. He's an amazing actor. I'll follow Rake