Friday, February 25, 2011

AUS Television: City Homicide, No Greater Honour, Part 1: Reward Day

City Homicide
No Greater Honour, Part One:  Reward Day
Original Air Date:  February 23, 2011

The murder of a prison guard leads the team to a drug ring within the prison.  The list of suspects range from the usual to the surprising.  Meanwhile, Nick Buchanan meets up with Dane Majors, a man he put in prison for the murder of his wife.  There's clearly tension between the two but is it because Nick planted evidence against him like Majors claims or just because Majors got caught by Nick?  Matters are further complicated when a beautiful reporter wants to interview Nick about the Majors case for a story the Tribune is planning.  Will she uncover information that will destroy Nick?

Nick and Duncan interview Eugene Ashton (Stephen Pease), the survivor of two prison guards who were terrorized and shot.  One of the guards, Ben Kelton (Lloyd Bissell), died.  The prisoner they were transporting, Sean Lynch (Chris Weir) pulled a gun on the two guards not far from the prison.  Lynch forced them from the car at gunpoint and demanded the keys.  Ashton turned them over and while Lynch was distracted with them, Ben Kelton pulled his gun and was shot by Lynch in the chest.  Ashton turned to run and was shot in the arm.  He blacked out and when he came to, Lynch was gone and the car and Ben Kelton, dead, were still there.

Lynch is armed and dangerous and on the run.  Uniforms and dogs scoured the area near the shooting but Lynch's half hour head start and rain starting three hours later made forensics a nightmare complicate the investigation and make it impossible for dogs to pick up a scent.  Neither of the guards guns were fired so Lynch must have gotten his gun en route.  The guards stopped at a petrol station and Lynch claimed he had to go to the loo.  Kelton accompanied Lynch while Aston stayed with the car but there is no security footage from the petrol station.

Lynch was out on a reward day.  Prisoners who stay out of trouble for twelve months are rewarded with a day out back in the community.  On the outside, Lynch has a girlfriend and mother of his two children, Kylie Barnett (Anna Lise Phillips) who could have possibly helped him.  Stanley orders Rhys and Allie to track down any old associates of Lynch that he might contact for help.  Duncan and Nick are to start at the prison while Stanley sets up a meeting with Melissa Gordon (Tracy Mann), the Governor.

Nick and Duncan arrive for their meeting with Ms. Gordon.  She has been fighting to get rid of reward days for years.  Duncan requests interviews with any prisoners who had contact with Lynch which she readily agrees to.  Lynch worked in the prison clinic and had contact with most of the prisoners at one time or another.  Gordon informs them Lynch's girlfriend visited him once a month.

Allie and Rhys interview Kylie Barnett who admits she visited him just last month as she does every month for seven years.  She tells them he has changed, reformed, and that she doesn't believe he shot the prison guard.  Allie doesn't feel she's being totally honest with them and threatens her that her only way to stay out jail herself and to keep her kids is to tell the truth.  Kylie looks her in the eyes and states she is.

At the prison, Nick and Duncan question Frank McGann (Adam Tuohy) about his association with Lynch.  He refuses to say anything.  Next on the interview list is Dane Majors (Lindsay Taylor).  Majors and Nick have an old history and neither are happy to see the other.  Majors doesn't want to talk to Nick so Duncan tells him to talk to him instead.  Majors still doesn't want to talk.  Reluctantly, he sits down at the table with Duncan and Nick to answer Duncan's questions.  He didn't know Sean Lynch well and never crossed paths with him in the yard or clinic.  When asked if he heard whispers about Lynch planning an escape, he answers after a short pause.  He turns to Nick and states it must be killing him.  When Nick replies that they'll get him, Majors laughs and says "yeah, you always get your man, don't you?" and implies that Nick will not be able to fit anyone up for this.  Nick doesn't even bat an eyelash and comments to Majors that he hasn't changed a bit in all the time he's been inside.

At the office, the team speak about Dane Majors and the crime he was imprisoned for, killing his wife by bashing her head in with a golf club.  Stanley asks for an update but there isn't much.  Duncan and Nick only got a few leads at the prison and Rhys hasn't found any large sums in Kylie Barnett's financial records to indicate she's feeding Lynch cash.  Stanley informs the team that Bernice Waverley has authorized a $100,000 reward for information on Sean Lynch.  Jarvis will be holding a press conference in a half hour and Wolfe wants Nick and Duncan to join him as a show of strength.

Jarvis is deluged with questions at the press conference.  He puts up a photo of Ben Kelton and releases the information about the reward being offered and puts up a photo of Sean Lynch.  Jarvis dismisses a question that Lynch's girlfriend said Kelton was killed by another officer saying the claim is totally without foundation and there will not be an independent inquiry into her claim.  Nick and a woman in the audience, Juliette Gardiner (Claire Van Der Boom) make eye contact and she smiles slightly at him.  When Jarvis leaves, Gardiner introduces herself to Nick as a reporter from the Tribune and wishes to ask him a few questions.  She doesn't want information about Sean Lynch but instead is doing a story on Dane Majors.  As far as he's concerned, Majors' story is over.  She gives him her card in case he changes his mind about talking with her.

Bernice has Jarvis in her office over radio and newspaper reports about the police being unable to find Lynch.  She's unhappy about Jarvis' behavior during the press conference and felt he could have done a better job "wooing" the journalists.  Alan Sullivan (John Howard) from the Tribune made a complaint to the police Media Unit because Nick turned Juliette Gardiner down for the Dane Majors interview.  Bernice informs Jarvis that Nick speaking with Gardiner isn't a matter of choice.  She has spoken with Sullivan and he agreed to revisit his coverage if Nick speaks with Gardiner.  She orders Jarvis to make sure that happens.

Jarvis goes to the Homicide office to speak with Nick about Juliette Gardiner.  Jarvis tells him about the deal made with the Tribune that the paper will hold off on the 'cop bashing' if Nick grants Gardiner her interview about Dane Majors.  Matt comes out of his office with news that he might have something.  Ben Kelton's wife went through his personal effects that morning and found his mobile phone was missing.  Duncan found a mobile with Kelton's belongings at the morgue.  Kelton had two phones, one for work, which Duncan found and a personal phone that is missing.  The missing phone was used the previous morning to make a call after Kelton was already dead.  The call went to Kylie Barnett.

Nick and Duncan bring Kylie in for a formal interview.  She doesn't deny that Lynch called her.  She insists she doesn't know where he is and that all he told her was that he was free.  She claims she hung up before he could say anything else because, while she understands why he wanted to get out of prison, she didn't want to get involved because her kids are her first priority now.  She vehemently denies planting the gun at the petrol station and helping Lynch escape.  She demands they either charge her or let her go home to her kids.  Stanley knows they can't keep her and tells Jarvis he'll have Nick keep up with her once she's released.  Jarvis informs him Nick is unavailable as he has to talk to Gardiner from the Tribune.

At the Tribune, Nick and Alan Sullivan talk about the last time they saw one another, the night Dane Majors was convicted.  Sullivan assures Nick there isn't any love for Majors there at the paper and that they just want to talk to the principal people to see how they are feeling now.  He tells Nick that Gardiner is good but not hard-nosed and that Majors will come out of the story looking worse than he already does.

Nick and Gardiner sit down at her desk and she turns on the recorder for their interview.  She asks if he thinks about Dane Majors ten years on and he replies he never does.  He doesn't because Majors never showed regret for what he did leading Nick to feel any compassion or sympathy for him.  The victims and their families is who he cares about.  He tells her that all he could think about when he saw Majors the day before during the prison interviews regarding Lynch was the father of Major's victim.  He admits he felt angry seeing Majors again because he's alive and his wife isn't and because of the pain he caused those left behind.  She asks about the media attention he received during the Majors case.  He replies that he was working with Senior Sergeant Bruce Dalton who received most of it.  He asks her if she's interviewing Majors, which she hopes to do.  Nick tells her Majors will her he's innocent and then try to charm her because she's young and good looking.  He warns her not to be taken in my Majors' charm.

Duncan is waiting on Nick in an interview room when he arrives back at the office.  Frank McGann wants to talk.  McGann says everyone, including him, was scared of Sean Lynch.  He was surprised when Lynch escaped.  He didn't expect it because there is a big drug problem at the prison and prisoners are dying "like flies".  Sean Lynch "was the drug ring" and all he had to do was stick things out a few years and he'd be set up for life.  He tells them to talk to the prison doctor.  The prison doctor, Clive Powell (David Woods), admits there are always drugs in jails and deaths related to them; that's an unfortunate fact of life.  Powell says he has a slight flu.  He has the only key to the safe that houses the drugs in the prison clinic and they've never had a problem with drugs being stolen.  He claims to not know Lynch was dealing drugs and was stunned when he heard what happened.  He wasn't aware of Lynch being close to any other inmates since Craig Ramage (Anthony Share) was paroled.  Ramage was the prison hard man who kept Lynch under his wing.  He is sure Ramage helped Lynch get the job in the clinic and doesn't know where Ramage is now as he was released two years ago.  Powell stands up wanting to get home to bed and denies ever using drugs himself when Duncan questions him and tells him he's seen a lot of junkies and he looks like one.  Juliette Gardiner texts Nick wanting a drink.  Duncan pulls up Craig Ramage's records and finds he has a history of drugs and violence.

At briefing, Duncan is sure the prison doctor is using drugs himself and he's the best way for the drugs to be getting into the prison.  Matt enters with news that uniforms responded to a drug overdose and Nick's card was found in the victim's pocket.  In the morgue, Lafferty tells them the needle was still in Powell's arm when he was found.  He was a long time user and there weren't tracks on his arms but she lost count on the marks she found on other places of his body.  She found four needle marks next to the vein where the drugs were injected.  His wrists show marks where he was tied up or handcuffed.  He was murdered.

Melissa Gordon brings Bernice and Stanley all the paperwork she can find on Powell.  She spoke with him last late the day before to speak about putting drug testing in place at the prison.  He seemed stressed.  She hasn't heard anything credible from the prisoners or officers since the announcement of the award although it has everyone talking.  Bernice asks about Ramage and Gordon confirms he's dangerous with a high opinion of himself.Nick and Duncan bring Ramage in for interview and he plays stupid when asked about Lynch.  They threaten him with going back to prison if they find he's hiding him.  Ramage admits if he knew where Lynch was he wouldn't tell them.  When told about the $100,000 reward Ramage's demeanor changes but he still claims to know nothing.  Jarvis gets a call that Sean Lynch has been found.  He was shot in the head and has been dead for two days.  He couldn't have killed Powell.  Jarvis orders them to go harder on Ramage and to bring Kylie Barnett back in for questioning.

Kylie is distraught by Sean's death while speaking with Jennifer and Nick.  Duncan and Matt  go harder on Ramage about Lynch's murder.  Kylie insists the conversation with Lynch went exactly as she previously said.  Ramage denies that Lynch came anywhere near him after his escape.  Kylie becomes enraged when Nick suggests she killed Sean.  Ramage admits Lynch was a good bloke but that he just knew him.  Both Kylie and Ramage deny they ever had an intimate relationship.  She tells Jennifer and Nick Ramage was nice to them and bought things for the kids.

Allie informs Stanley and Jarvis that a woman who lives up the street from Kylie is certain Kylie has a boyfriend who is at her home all the time.  She got a great description of the boyfriend and was able to pick his photo out when brought in.  She identified the wounded prison guard, Eugene Ashton, as Kylie's boyfriend.  At briefing, Rhys is thinking Kylie and Eugene were both in on the drug scheme.  She is the mule bringing in the drugs and Eugene turns a blind eye for a cut.  Stanley orders surveillance extended on both Kylie and Eugene around the clock.  Rhys and Allie are to trail Eugene while Duncan and Matt trail Kylie.  Stanley sends Nick home for some rest.

Nick gets another text for a drink from Juliette Gardiner and takes her up on the offer.  They make small talk about work over their drinks.  She usually does human interest stories but Alan Sullivan thinks her personality will get people to open up more.  On their stakeout of Eugene, Allie doesn't want to talk to Rhys unless they talk about work.  They disagree on everything from Kylie and Eugene's involvement in the drug scheme to them being cold sitting outside his house.  Nick takes Gardiner back to his place and the two end up spending the night together.  The next morning, Allie gets a call from Matt that Kylie is on the move to Eugene's place.  She arrives as Eugene is walking outside.  She runs to him carrying a weapon as Allie and Rhys move in.  Rhys apprehends Kylie while Allie gets Eugene.

In interview, Kylie admits she was involved with the drug ring but she didn't kill Lynch and Powell.  She implicates Eugene in the murders of Ben Kelton and Sean.  Eugene was supposed to help Sean get away but he killed him instead.  He called her after the murders and told her Sean was fine.  Eugene denies the killings to Nick and Jennifer in interview.  They present him with a scenario regarding the drug ring at the prison and Kelton's and Lynch's murders.  He insists they've got things wrong.  He'll talk but he wants to make a deal as he can't go to jail since he was a guard.  If they make a deal, he'll tell them everything he knows.

Jennifer and Nick have Melissa Gordon in for an official interview.  She denies any involvement in anything stating Eugene is a confessed drug dealer and a liar.  Gordon was running the drug ring with Lynch and Eugene but Lynch got greedy and wanted more money.  She came up with a plan to get Lynch out of the picture.  She was at the murder scene and she was the one who killed both Kelton and Lynch.  Eugene then called Kylie to tell her Sean was fine but going underground until the heat died down.  She shot Eugene in the arm from behind as he was putting Lynch in the trunk of her car to drop the body elsewhere.  She insists nothing can be proven.  Nick and Jennifer bring up her alibi of driving home at the time of the murders.  She didn't take her regular route because she claims she was saving on toll.  Jennifer presents her with a phone log.  Her phone logged onto the nearest tower as it wasn't turned off.  The log times place her at the scene of the murders and at the dump location for Lynch's body.  She assures them she will fight every step of the way and Jennifer makes the same promise to her.  Nick charges her with the murders of Lynch, Kelton and Powell.

At the prison, Juliette Gardiner interviews Dane Majors.  She assures him she'll write his story honestly despite her working for Alan Sullivan, who Dane doesn't trust.  She gives him her word that she will not distort the truth.  He tells her the two homicide cops set him up.  She informs him she's spoken to Nick Buchanan and he asks how well she knows him.  He tells her Bruce Dalton and Nick Buchanan planted evidence to set him up for his wife's murder.

That night, at Nick's place, Juliette tells him she wants to get to know him better.  While they are talking, she gets a call from an anonymous caller who whispers about the Dane Majors murder trial and refuses to give a name.  He tells her he has information and will not speak over the phone.  He wants to meet in 20 minutes at the car park on the corner of George and King Streets on level one.  She tells Nick work calls her out and she must leave.  She goes to the meeting and the man tells her there are people involved who have a lot to lose.  He tells her Nick isn't as clean as she thinks.  The elevator opens and man steps out and her informant runs off.  She tries to pursue him but he gets away.  She finds an envelope with papers in it.

I must admit that I've always liked Nick Buchanan.  John Adam has made him a very likable character, I think, and I hope everything works out good for Nick in the end.  I can't see him fabricating evidence against Dane Majors because that seems very uncharacteristic for Nick.  However, it was a younger Nick that investigated the Majors case and I imagine it was possible he could have went along with the other investigators plan to plant evidence.  I still can't see it happening, though.  Nick has always been a straight forward guy.

This mystery informant that is feeding information to Juliette Gardiner is the key to everything.  Who is he, what exactly does he know and what does he stand to gain by feeding her the information he is?  And what was in that mysterious envelope?  Time will tell!

The first of the final six episodes of City Homicide is behind us now.  The story arc has been started and, as with all story lines for this show, it will most certainly prove to be an interesting one when it's finished.  I plan to fully savor these next five episodes since they will mark the end of one of my very favorite programs.

For more information:
City Homicide Official Site:
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