Word of God

 

 

 

 

Cast
Nathaniel Parker .... Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley
Sharon Small .... Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers
Mark Benton .... Professor Elias Blackwell
Jane Lapotaire .... Fiona Deakin-Jones
Matilda Ziegler .... Christine Miller
Nigel Betts .... Mike Brennan
Maggy Sherif .... Narima Ansari
Keith Bartlett .... DCI Harris
Cavan Clerkin .... Craig
Paul Hickey .... Lafferty
Khalid Laith .... Ahmed Ansari
Alison Lintott .... Caroline Moran
Joseph Long .... Dmitri Zavos
Neil Maskell .... Martin Moran
Colin Tierney .... Michael Sweet

Directed by Julian Simpson
Written by Peter Jukes, based on the characters by Elizabeth George
First Broadcast on BBC One April 7, 2005

Plot

A corpse of a man is found frozen on a meat truck. Lynley and Havers don’t know where to start their investigation, because they lack clues. Only by chance they find a British passport and a page of parchment with golden Arabic script as they are leaving the crime scene. Lynley suspects that the page is an old original parchment. When Lynley and Havers turn up at the victim’s home. It turns out that the passport was a forgery, the wrong family had to cope with the news that the father is dead. The first of a couple of mistakes Lynley has to face in this episode. The victim is without an identity yet again. With the help of the Home Office, the victim finally has a name: Latif Ansari, a Persian illegal immigrant. Mike Brennan who’s running the investigation at the immigration office suspects professional people trafficking. Lynley doesn’t like Brennan’s approach to the whole case. He contacts the British Library to have an Islamic expert analysing the parchment. Our duo meets Professor Elias Blackwell, who identifies the artefact as a valuable part of an ancient golden Koran. This could very well have been a motive for a murder.

Lynley and Havers manage to track down Narima Ansari, the victim’s pregnant wife. She’s reluctant to talk to them, knowing that she’s an illegal immigrant who’s in danger of being sent home should Brennan ever find her. Brennan is trying to get hold of his prime suspect, a known people trafficker, but doesn’t succeed in finding the evidence, getting a confession - and consequently fails to nail Martin Moran in an interview. Now Brennan starts to focus on the overstayers – he needs his sense of achievement.

Our detective duo suspects that the old scripture is the true motive behind the murder, not people trafficking. They also find out that Latif suffered from a kidney failure and that he had one kidney removed years ago. They are able to trace Latif’s doctor: Fiona Deakin-Jones, a rather curious surgeon, who funnily doesn’t really seem to remember her patients. But Lynley gets an address out of her files. Lynley is wondering how Latif was able to pay the expensive dialysis. Another motive turns up: Is it possible that the good doctor sold Latif’s healthy kidney years ago, that he came to London to have it sold and start a new life with his wife and his brother? Did the doctor give him the treatment for free when it turned out that his other kidney diseased to make sure that he wouldn’t talk? Was she finally trying silent him forever?

Lynley and Havers still lack the vital clue to solve the riddle. With the help of professor Blackwell they are trying to set up a trap for the antique dealer Dmitri Zavos, whom they suspect of foul play. As a matter of fact, Zavos is taking the bait and a forged deal is set up. As things develop, Lynley and Blackwell find a dead antique dealer and Ahmed Ansari fleeing from the crime scene. It seems as if the killer is one step ahead of the investigation. Lynley is devastated, he thinks that he perpetuated Zavos’ death. The pressure begins to mount up on Lynley, Havers advises him to take a break. She worried about Lynley’s state of mind. He tries to meet his new love interest, Christine Miller, but suddenly changes his mind right on her doorstep. He turns up at Havers’ place and finally talks about his marriage and his feelings for Helen.

The next day Lynley gets into more trouble: The conflict between Brennan and Lynley escalates when Lynley deliberately absconds Narima from justice by fooling Brennan. Havers and Lynley finally are able to get hold of Ahmed. In his interview they finally realize that professor Blackwell was the only person to know of that attempt to sell the pages from the golden Koran to Zavos. He must be the killer. Lynley and Havers rush to Narima’s apartment, only to find her threatened by Blackwell, who’s trying to force her to tell him the hiding place of rest of the golden Koran. Lynley attacks Blackwell, loses control over the whole situation and almost kills Blackwell. Havers is able to prevent him from going completely mad.

Havers finally finds a clue to the hiding place for the Koran. Latif left a message on the backside of a photograph, and Narima remembers the situation when her husband proposed to her. Finally the golden Koran is safe. As they discuss what to do with the Koran, Lynley is being arrested on grounds of a serious assault and unsuitable behaviour. He leaves Havers with the words "I am sorry Barbara." There had been accusations and complaints about him - now it seems Lynley will have to withstand them.

Review


A finale furioso. Naturally we do have a cliff hanger here, this time it’s on Lynley. We don’t know what’s going to happen to him. But his catastrophe builds up right from the last episode The Seed of Cunning. It’s only consequent that Lynley finally loses control over his whole existence. His professional and his private life as well lie in ruins. Havers is completely powerless to help him in his situation or to prevent him from making dangerous moves towards this. She’s there when he finally wants to speak – and doesn’t take advantage of his situation. This is also a nice crossover mirroring: Lynley’s new love interest, Christine Miller, who is trying to push him into an affair he’s unwilling and unable to start acts quite contrarily. And she’s not very successful in her courtship. She’s not half as understanding as Havers is. The series’ underlying background story becomes stronger with each season. This fourth series gives Havers the chance to grow, become mature and stronger. Lynley’s character is able to show his inconsistencies, his unwillingness to admit that he didn’t invent the Theory of Everything. But the best part of this season is that both seem to have found the right level of talking with another. Their different social paths don’t seem to matter any longer.

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