Law & Order: UK
Season Four, Episode One, ID
ID, Original Air Date: November 4, 2010 (Canada)
ID, Original Air Date: March 21, 2011 (U.K.)
Based on Law & Order (US) "Promises to Keep", Season 3, Episode 14 (10th February, 1993)
A young doctor is brutally murdered in the car park of the hospital where she works. The case takes on a dramatic twist when the prime suspect turns out to have a shocking identity. As the investigation continues, even more details emerge and the case takes on a complication that could potentially threaten the legal system.
In 1997, Billy Wells (Matthew Loreti) is given a sentence of 12 years for his part in the killing of teacher Yvonne Macy and her unborn child. In the present day, at the Royal Hampton Hospital, Alice Cullen was murdered. The murder wasn't caught on CCTV has it happened between cars and the cameras didn't pick it up. Nothing was missing with the exception of her keys. Brooks feels Alice Cullen knew her attacker.
When Brooks and Devlin search Alice Cullen's flat, they find that whoever killed her had already used her keys to get in and ransack the flat. Matt Devlin finds an ultrasound that had been done of the child Alice was carrying and post-mortem confirmed she was 10 weeks pregnant. Two dark hairs found on her clothes were sent in for DNA analysis.
Alice's parents Robert and Ellen Cullen (Ian Cairns & Geraldine Alexander) and her fiance, Joe Nash (Matthew McNulty), speak with Brooks and Devlin at the station. Her parents cannot think of anything in her flat that anyone could have wanted unless it would have been an addict breaking into a doctors flat looking for drugs. Devlin fingerprints Joe Nash to rule him out as one of the two sets of fingerprints they found at Alice's flat. Her parents tell Ronnie Brooks they should be checking up on Alice's last boyfriend rather than Joe, her current one.
Brooks and Devlin speak with Alice's previous boyfriend. He said he had moved on from Alice and "never lost any sleep" over her becoming engaged to Joe Nash. He said the marriage and family wouldn't have lasted because she would have gone running home to her father the minute she didn't get her own way. He insists that he's dealt with his anger issues and maintains that he didn't kill her. His alibi that he was spending the evening with his personal assistant holds true.
Nash's alibi was that he was in Chinatown. Chandler sends Brooks and Devlin to investigate Nash's alibi further. No one in Chinatown remembers seeing him so they go through his phone records and find he called Daniela Renzo (Nicola Walker), a psychiatric social worker, three times on the night Alice was murdered and none of the calls were made from Chinatown. The calls put Joe at the murder scene a half hour before the killing, near Alice's flat at the time of the break-in and finally at Daniela Renzo's in time for bed.
In an effort to test Joe, Chandler sends Brooks and Devlin to convince him to make a public appeal for information about Alice's murder on the news. He declines saying he wouldn't know what to say with all those people watching and they should ask someone else to do it instead.
They next go to see Daniela Renzo who inform them Joe is a client and nothing more. She gives them a few details about the issues Joe suffers from but doesn't divulge too much because of client confidentiality. She is surprised to learn that Alice was murdered and tells them he was there, at her home, Sunday night. He didn't want Alice to know of their appointments. She said he called about 5:30, arrived at six and left about eight. The other two calls to her were because he left his jacket at her home.
They speak with Joe again and he admits he didn't tell the truth because he was ashamed of needing a psychiatric social worker. He was supposed to meet Alice for dinner that night but after his meeting with Daniela, he went to the restaurant but it was too late. He says he then went to her flat but Alice wasn't there so he went home then back to Daniela's to collect the jacket he had forgotten there earlier that night.
When they leave, Brooks brings up Joe's manner of dress and how he makes his bed to Matt. They both exhibit behaviours of someone who has been in prison. Joe did spend three months in prison for nicking cars when he was younger. Ronnie Brooks is certain Joe is an ex-con. Brooks finds in Nash's files from Manchester that the arresting officer for Nash's TWOC arrest was Detective Sergeant Marvin Douglas. Martin Douglas was transferred from Manchester to London six months prior to Joe's arrest. Brooks knows that for a fact because Douglas was an usher at his (Brooks') second wedding that took place one month after Douglas got back to London.
Matt learns from Daniela Renzo's landlord that he tried to deliver a parcel to her three times on the day Alice was murdered but she was out all evening. Chandler orders them to bring both Renzo and Nash in as she's covering for him or they are in it together.
Renzo and Nash share a look in the corridor before each of them is ushered into separate rooms. Alesha watches on the monitors as Brooks and Devlin interview Joe Nash. He admits that he and Alice were going to meet at the restaurant but they had a fight. He didn't go to Daniela's flat until around 10:30 that night. He called her from outside her flat but she was getting ready to go to bed and didn't let him in. They push him wanting to know if he and Daniela were sleeping together and if Alice found out. If that is what Alice and Joe fought about that night. Joe begs to stop the interview saying he needs some sleep. He doesn't want to tell them what he and Alice argued about. He finally breaks down and admits they argued about his diary. He also admits to killing Alice saying he never meant to do it.
As Matt Devlin places Joe under arrest for Alice's murder, Joe starts rambling about not really being "Joe Nash". He says the home office arranged things and he was moved down here and given the name and history and was given a new passport. Chandler, who is with Daniela, questions her if she is more than just Joe's social worker to which Daniela replies "you've got no idea what you're asking". She reveals to Chandler that she was assigned to help Joe deal with his new identity as he is on Life License. Joe tells Brooks and Devlin about the murder of the teacher when he was a young boy. He was released six years ago on Life License. He isn't Joe Nash, he is Billy Wells.
Castle, Steel and Phillips attend a meeting at the Offices of the Director of Public Prosecutions with Carla Hopley (Isla Blair) regarding Joe Nash. They are informed that Joe Nash spent 3 months in the same YOI as Billy Wells. They two shared a cell. Steel questions why Nash would claim to be Billy Wells if he isn't. The response is that Nash suffers from delusion disorder. Alesha states that the police surgeon found Joe fit for questioning. She insists that Joe Nash is definitely not Billy Wells. She is adamant that there cannot be a trial. Steel sees no problem in this as Joe has confessed to killing Alice. She wants them to offer Nash a deal to plead manslaughter, diminished responsibility so he will be given a hospital order and it will be made sure that he will need Ministry of Justice approval for any future release. They agree to the terms and Steel will present it to Nash's brief.
Nash's solicitor, Eli Smart (Benedict Wong) arrives with praise for Steel. Steel presents Smart with the terms of the deal and Smart assures Steel that, while he just got the case that morning, he can be certain his client wouldn't turn down a deal that good.
Joe surprises everyone in court when he pleads "not guilty" instead of "guilty" as he was expected to do. Eli Smart is as shocked and surprised as everyone else as he had no idea his client would change his plea. Later, Phillips presents Steel with paperwork from Eli Smart that claims Joe Nash was coerced into confessing to Alice's murder.
Steel meets with Joe and Smart and is told that Joe was confused when he made the claims that he was Billy Wells and that he killed Alice. Smart wants Steel to look over the confession tapes again as he maintains Joe never actually said he killed Alice. Steel and Phillips do just that. Phillips says Joe did admit killing Alice while Steel questions if he really does. He goes through the confession Joe makes word for word and notes that it is Billy Wells confession from 1997. Joe's using the exact same words Billy Wells did leading Alesha to question if Joe really could be Billy Wells. Steel compares photographs of a young Billy Wells to those of Joe and he can see similarities while Alesha isn't convinced. Steel points out how the case changes if Joe truly is Billy Wells. He wants to know one way or the other.
Chandler informs Steel that Joe's prints came back identified as Joe Nash. He asks about the diary Joe mentioned in his confession. It was never found and could very well have been destroyed by Joe. He wants her to check Joe Nash's DNA against that of Billy Wells but there is no DNA profile in Wells' file to compare it against.
Steel and Phillips next go to the Dangerous Offenders Unit wanting more information about Billy Wells. They hit a brick wall as they are told the information they want cannot be disclosed for the safety of both the offender and the social worker. Unless they have authority from the Home Secretary, the information they want remains confidential. Daniela Renzo will not even disclose anything to them without a signed letter of consent from Joe despite the fact she had already told Chandler she was assigned to help him deal with his new identity. She's now a witness for the defense and they can hold their questions for court.
Joe Nash was attacked in prison and moved to the Vulnerable Prisoners Wing. A new prisoner "went crazy" and attacked Joe after seeing him. They pay Joe a visit in prison and ask him about his identity. He denies being Billy Wells. Steel pushes Joe, pointing out the verbatim confession and similarities between Yvonne Macy's murder and Alice's murder. Joe insists he isn't Billy Wells and calls the guard to take him back to his cell.
Chandler tells Steel and Phillips there were certain details both defense and prosecution agreed to keep out of court in the Billy Wells trial. Steel asks Chandler to check the Yvonne Macy file to see if when she was found if her underwear were in her mouth. Chandler says she doesn't need to check because she already knows. The fact Joe knew that one detail is proof enough for Steel that Joe Nash is, in fact, Billy Wells. Steel wants to charge Joe/Billy accordingly now that his true identity is known. Steel refuses to cover up Billy Wills true identity and his crimes to save face for the Home Secretary. Castle warns him the issue isn't about one case and that this case could threaten the entire criminal justice system. The repercussions could be frightening and that sometimes the truth causes more harm than good. He tells Steel to talk to Eli Smart again to convince him to take the plea in light of the new information. And he must do it before the DPP finds out what he's been doing.
Eli Smart says Nash's true identity changes nothing because he was hired to defend John Nash and that's what he is doing. Steel tells him that if the fact he's really Billy Wells comes out he will never get a fair trial and they need to keep it out of court. Smart agrees to book a visit with Nash.
Chandler pays a visit to Steel's office and throws a thick folder down on his desk telling him to not ask how she got it. The folder is Billy Wells prison records. She flagged the last section that records identifying marks. Billy Wells has a three-inch scar on his left arm from a suicide attempt. Steel confronts Nash with the scar but Nash still insists he isn't Billy Wells until Steel tells him to pull up his sleeve. He finally admits who he really is but he maintains that he never killed Alice. Steel encourages him to take the deal because the DNA evidence will prove his guilt. He tells Steel to find his diary and read what prison did to him and if he still thinks he could have killed Alice he'll see him in court.
Knowing that anyone who would have read Nash's diary would have known right off who he really was, Steel sends Devlin and Brooks to Daniela Renzo's. Brooks finds it hidden behind a couch cushion. The diary lays out every detail and Alesha remarks he gave it to Alice because he wanted her to know he was Billy Wells. Daniela claims in interview that Joe gave her Alice's keys and begged her to get his diary back for him and that she had no idea Joe had killed Alice. Chandler takes a swab from Daniela's cheek for DNA analysis. After Steel informs her they have a DNA profile from the scene, she wants to get up and leave but Chandler orders her to sit back down. He reads from Joe's diary where he had told Daniela he wanted to stop his appointments with her. She claims Joe couldn't have survived without her. She admitted to being with Alice the night she died but only to talk to her. She tells Steel that she grabbed Alice's bag and Alice fell and hit her head against the car door; an accident. Even if Joe/Billy had gone back to prison, Daniela felt she could have still worked with him and made sure he was alright. She had no idea Alice was pregnant which is a wake up call to her that Joe/Billy didn't tell her everything the way she claimed he did. Chandler places her under arrest for Alice's murder.
Steel and Alesha present a somber Eli Smart with Billy Wells release papers at a local pub. Smart tells them Billy was found hanging in his cell two hours ago.
Promises to Keep, the original Law & Order episode ID was based on is one of my favorites. In the original, the amazing (and very underrated, I might add) Lindsey Crouse plays Dr. Diane Meade, the psychiatrist who is pulling the strings, so to speak, of her client Danny Garrett (Frederick Weller). The US and UK shows differ in that in the US original, Meade and Garrett are actually having an affair and Meade even visits Garrett in prison where she tells him she loves him. I liked the changes in the story for the UK version. They were subtle but enough to give this version a unique twist.
Law & Order: UK airs on Thursday nights at 10:00 p.m. on CityTV in Canada. Season four is currently not airing in the UK and will air at a later date.
For more information:
Law & Order: UK ITV1 Official Site: http://www.itv.com/drama/copsandcrime/lawandorder/
Internet Movie Database: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1166893/
TV Rage: http://www.tvrage.com/shows/id-18198