Thursday, October 17, 2013
'Kavanagh Q.C.:' 'The End of Law (and an Awesome British Courtroomn Drama Series)'
Although the aptly titled series finale episode "The End of the Law" of the exceptional British courtroom drama "Kavanagh Q.C." is "super-sized," this review is not. The "super-size" regarding Unreal TV's analysis of "Kavanagh" relates to this post being the final installment of a three-part review of the complete series set of this perfect show.
As part two of this series (no pun intended) of reviews requests, readers are asked to please refer to part one of these reviews for background information on "Kavanagh." One spoiler is that that review describes why the complete series set is at the top of the list of best ever sets of that type.
Like the title of many "Kavanagh" episodes, "The End of the Law" has multiple meanings. The most obvious relates to it being the final episode of this program; it also refers to the noble objectives that practicing law is supposed to achieve, to the criminal appeal around which the episode revolves, and to the probability that titular character James Kavanagh is going to move on from practicing law to being a judge.
The potential judgeship is one more progression in a long and distinguished legal career that has led to Kavanagh being the head of chambers in the law offices from which he operates. Rather than being equivalent to senior partner in an American firm, a head of chambers is more of a Yoda who advises and otherwise guides his or her fellow legal practitioners.
Also ala a typically awesome "Kavanagh" episode, "Law" centers around a case in which the evidence is purely circumstantial. In this instance, a man who is occupying a hotel room in which a brutally murdered woman (who may be a prostitute) is discovered in his absence is either a poor dupe whose personal circumstances make him look guilty or a killer who those circumstances led him to take a life.
Said circumstances include said man making a large cash withdrawal and watching adult-oriented pay-per-view fare on the hotel's television system on the evening of said murder.
Kavanagh granting the attorney who is representing said man requested assistance with a criminal appeal following said man's conviction for the murder coincides with a government official approaching Kavanagh regarding his interest in a judgeship. As is usually the case when a government official pops up in a "Kavanagh" episode, the hands of this representative of her Majesty's government are not so clean.
A series of events lead to Kavanagh taking an active role in presenting the appeal; this causes him to face off against buffonish Jeremy Aldermarten, who practices from the same legal chambers as Kavanagh.
Having Albermarten salivate at the prospect of assuming the role of head of chambers if Kavanagh becomes a judge is a nice homage to an earlier story line in which Aldermarten is his own worst enemy regarding his application to join a prestigious social club.
The outcome of the legal case is somewhat predictable and partially satisfying. The truly awesome aspect of it is that it both reflects the themes of the pilot episode, which part one of this review discusses in depth, and expresses how a long career practicing law has affected Kavanagh.
Additionally, "Law" is like many great series finales in that it leaves the door open for more stories. One sad aspect of the passing of "Kavanagh" star John Thaw soon after that program ended its six series (my people call them seasons) run is that it precluded those tales from coming.
The verdict in this final appeal to check out this terrific show affirms the verdicts in the prior two reviews of "Kavanagh." Thaw is perfectly cast in the role; the stories are great drama that very rarely veer into the realm of melodrama, and every additional (mostly) understated element of the show makes it far superior to any courtroom drama on this side of the pond.
Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Kavanagh" is STRONGLY encouraged to email me. You can also find me on Twitter via @tvdvdguy. This court of DVD sets is now adjourned until tomorrow morning.