Thursday, February 3, 2011

UK Television: Law & Order: UK, Episode 4.5 "Help"

Law & Order:  UK
Season Four, Episode Five, Help
Help, Original Air Date:  December 12, 2010 (Canada)

Help, Original Air Date:  March 7, 2011 (U.K.)
Based on Law & Order (US) "We Like Mike", Season 7, Episode 20 (30th April, 1997)

When a former footballer is found murdered a good Samaritan becomes the prime suspect.  Things turn sinister when the footballer's murder is linked to a dangerous local crime boss.  The good Samaritan must choose between what is right and his fear to help Steel and Phillips put the crime boss behind bars where he belongs.

Footballer Robert Nichols is found dead by his sister, Jennifer (Matti Houghton).  Robert was killed as he was trying to change a flat tire on his car.  Jennifer last spoke to her brother earlier in the evening.  They were supposed to meet at Andrew's Restaurant.  Brooks and Devlin speak with the owner who tells them about the suspicious bloke who came in and cleaned his hands with napkins then left not long after Jennifer.  The rubbish bag containing the napkins he used should be in the bag that is still out front waiting to be collected.  Devlin goes out to collect the rubbish bag while Brooks stays inside, eating chips, and talking with the restaurant owner.  He mentions the man had a carrier bag from Barry Flowers with him.  At Barry Flowers, they speak with Barry Flowers (Richard Cunningham).  The man in question wanted a bridal display for that Saturday.  They find 54 weddings scheduled for that Saturday.

At Saint Mark's Church Father Lee Young (Jamie Cho) identifies the man as Mike Jones (Lorcan Cranitch).  He tells them Mark has had a rough couple of years:  a divorce and his ex-wife taking their children up north.  They find Mike dining with his fiance, Fiona Sears (Elizabeth Rider) and friends.  He accompanies them back for interview.  Jones has priors.  He used to own a black cab but lost his license for three years due to drunk driving.  At seventeen he was down for assault.

Mike tells Brooks and Devlin he and Fiona were out with friends and got home around one in the morning.  He worked a double shift starting at six in the morning and finished at nine in the evening.  He saw Robbie Nichols on his way home and offered to help him change the tire.  He denies killing and robbing Nichols.  Mike's boss at the Warren Hotel confirms he left work at nine o'clock on the dot just as Mike claimed in his interview.  As his boss used the same wording as Mike, Brooks and Devlin know it's a rehearsed alibi.  When he knows they are investigating a murder, tells them he left at six and swiped Mike's card at nine for him.

Devlin speaks with the caterer for Mike's wedding and learns he couldn't pay the deposit six months ago.  Yesterday, Mike gave them £5,500 in cash.  They go to Mike's flat to arrest him for Robert Nichol's murder.  Mike still insists he just stopped to help Robert change his tire.  He admits he drove a cab illegally to save money and didn't want to say anything for fear of getting his friend who hired him in trouble.  The DNA on the napkins and murder weapon matched Mike which he knows as he insists all he did was help change the wheel.  He tells them there was another bloke who seemed to know Robbie there that turned up as he was taking the spare wheel out of the car.  He says the man took over for him and the two were changing the wheel when he left.  When Brooks and Devlin press harder and harder Mike finally breaks down and gives them the name Don Marsh (David Kennedy).  He never came forward out of fear of Marsh.  Chandler directs Brooks and Devlin to see if there's a connection to Don Marsh and has them work in a secure office upstairs for their own protection in case Marsh has bought off a policeman.  She warns them to watch their backs.

Going through Robbie's financial records they find he had large cash withdrawals starting around a year ago from a location near the Palms Casino, of which Don Marsh is a major shareholder.  A dealer from the casino tells them that Robbie was a good tipper and never had any troubles while he was visiting the casino as Marsh always looked after him.  They find he was still spending like a premiere league player even though he no longer was one.  His credit cards were maxed out and he was well behind in his mortgage.  Chandler orders a search of Marsh's office.  There is to be no briefings, no mobiles so there's no chance Marsh can get a heads up of the search.

They show up to search his office and Marsh calls his brief after being surprised with the warrant.  Brooks sees a young man acting strangely in front of a locker and, when he asks him if everything is alright, the young man pulls a gun.  Brooks sends Devlin from the room and talks to the young man, Charlie Blake (Theo Barklem Biggs) and convinces him to give up the gun.

A uniform found Robbie Nichols' watch in Charlie Blake's bag.  Brooks presents the watch to Charlie but he doesn't want to talk against Marsh.  Chandler threatens that it isn't Marsh he should fear but her instead.  He finally admits that Marsh gave him the watch as a finder's fee.  He phoned Marsh after he passed Nichols car on the street.  Marsh refuses to make comment during his interview with Devlin.  Brooks and Devlin brief Steel and Phillips on the case.  Steel orders them to charge Marsh with murder while they prep the case.

Mike Jones, who was released from prison, is angry about missing his wedding and spending four days in jail.  Jones' lawyer, Cathal Morris (Andrew Havill) chastises Alesha for Mike's treatment, his missed wedding and lost money and that they will be seeking financial compensation.  A larger problem has come up:  evidence is missing.  Marsh's lawyer, Jason Peters (Eddie Marsan) meets with Steel and Judge Burchville (Michael Cochrane) about the missing watch and fingerprints on it.  Burchville virtually ignores Steel and caters to Peters in his bail request for Marsh.

In court, Charlie Blake takes the stand under Marsh's watchful eyes.  Steel can tell that Marsh has gotten to Charlie.  Sure enough, he changes his testimony in court.  Steel questions Castle on how well he knows Judge Burchville as he feels Burchville was too quick to accept Charlie's change of story.  Judge Burchville again shoots Steel down in court regarding further evidence that has been stricken from the record.  During a court break, Castle reinforces to Steel how important it is they secure a conviction for Marsh.  Steel informs Castle he did digging on Burchville and learned the judge asked for the Marsh case specifically.  Alesha reminds them of another witness:  Mike Jones.  Problem is, Jones will not answer their calls.  Alesha vows to track Mike down and do some grovelling to get him to testify.  She finds him at the Warren Hotel but he's still understandably angry.  She acknowledges he is a good man who did the right thing and was punished for it.  Mike goes to the police station with her and identifies Marsh in a photo line up.  While there, he gets a call from Fiona that she's been attacked.  Steel and Phillips go to see Mike and Fiona and try to convince him to help them despite Marsh's threats.  Mike refuses to help.  Steel threatens to force Mike into the witness box.

Castle suggests they have a written statement from Mike to be read in court but Steel feels Judge Burchville would be a road block to that.  Steel tells Alesha to set up a meeting with Marsh and his lawyer.  Steel offers Marsh a plea to manslaughter which is promptly refused.  Steel tells them they have a witness who can't wait to give evidence and can place Marsh on the street with Robbie Nichols.  Alesha wasn't happy with the game Steel was playing with Marsh and Peters.  Brooks and Devlin stake out Marsh's office and find that Marsh's brother left, took his mobile apart and threw something down a drain.  They find out that Mike received a call that night threatening he and Fiona.  Brooks and Devlin were able to confirm from the phone company that Mike's house was called from the disposed mobile and SIM card.  Steel directs them to charge Marsh's brother with witness intimidation while he and Alesha set up a meeting with Mike.  Alesha assures them Harry Marsh will not get out of prison.  Fiona still doesn't want Mike to give evidence.  Mike knows what he must do.

In court, Jennifer Nichols testifies about what she saw the night her brother died, including what she saw regarding Mike Jones.  Steel gets an adjournment when his witness, Mike, doesn't show up in the for court.  Steel pays a visit to Don Marsh wanting to know where Mike Jones is.  Marsh, of course, plays dumb.  Alesha brings news that Mike has been arrested for driving with faulty brake lights.  Fiona has left Mike.  He's torn about the right thing to do and is distraught over all that's happened over one simple act of kindness.

Mike testifies in court but Peters is able to cast doubt upon Mike's character by him admitting he worked for a cab company that hired illegal workers.  The judge allows Peter's questioning.  On rebuttal, Steel asks Mike why he originally lied to the police.  When Mike sees Fiona enter the courtroom, he tells the court he's made mistakes but the right thing is for him to tell the truth.  He places Marsh with Robbie Nichols.  The jury convicts Marsh of murder.  Fiona and Mike are together once more.  Mike will stick to being a kitchen porter and Steel will speak to his defense to secure community work for him instead of prison time.

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:
Internet Movie Database:
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