In Divine Proportion

 

 

 

 

 

Cast:

Nathaniel Parker .... Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley
Sharon Small .... Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers
Jimmy Yuill .... PC Garratt
Richard Armitage .... Philip Turner
Eve Best .... Amanda Gibson
Sylvestra Le Touzel .... Paula Marshall
Adie Allen .... Liz Hughes
James Buller .... David Hughes
Burn Gorman .... Billy Verger
Louise Hickson .... Samantha Walthew
Jamie Martin .... PC Blackmore
Craig Parkinson .... Simon Dawkins
Roderick Smith .... Bob Harris
Simon Wilson .... James Walthew

Directed by Brian Stirner
Written by Julian Simpson
First airdate on BBC One March 17, 2005

Plot

The first episode leads us to Suffolk where a young woman has been shot. Samantha Walthew and her husband James just recently bought an estate from a bankrupt landowner called Philip Turner. The victim had plans to transform the mansion to first class hotel and restaurant. As Lynley and Havers start to investigate they soon find out that Samatha was a local girl who'd left that place years ago. Now she came back to change things in her old village. Not all locals seem to be pleased by that plan. Lynley's trying to save his own slightly rocky marriage and he is in doubt about Havers' mental stability after her assault. She's alright physically, but actually still seems to fight her inner demons and initially she not succeeding in that effort. Even more frustrating, the duo receives mysterious hints like photographs of Samantha arguing with Philip Turner or a word written on a wall in the victim's estate: "MOKITA". As they will find out, the word is a synonym for something that everybody know but no one speak of. But what was it that no one dares to speak of?

After interviewing Philip Turner Lynley and Havers are reassured that the victim had close ties to that village that somehow seem to have lead to her death. Philip as it turns out had an affair with Samantha and was with her the night she was killed. Her husband knew that she had meaningless affairs on and off. The local pub owner was her boyfriend when they were teenagers. As the investigation continues, the detective duo interferes with a dispute in the local pub where they meet a young man who doesn't seem to be very much liked in that area. His name is Billy Verger.

Things start to get difficult when it turns out that the securing of evidence failed, because the local PC simply trampled across the crime scene. Lynley becomes even more angry. When one of Samantha old friends finally starts to talk about the things of the past, it turns out that Samantha's younger sister had been raped by a know troublemaker when she was only in her early teens. Billy Verger who'd been attacked in the pub is his son. The offender himself disappeared shortly after he'd been interviewed by the police. That was the secret everybody knows but no one dares to speak of.

Lynley wants to hear more about the rape that took place years ago. PC Blackmore who led the investigation in this old case isn't very helpful. He admits that he interviewed the offender, but he just disappeared shortly after that. The young victim killed herself, probably because of shame, probably because she had been put under pressure by her own sister, who insisted on her to tell the police about the crime. Lynley decides to talk to Billy Verger again. As they enter his house they see hundreds of pictures, some with Samantha, all had been taken quite recently. The young man seems to be cool, doesn't say much. They leave. Lynley is sure that he's found the clue to the code the young man uses to tell them where to look for more hints. He thinks that he's using the divine proportion technique in his pictures. As they turn back to talk to him again, they find him with an overdose.

But the clue he gave them was right, a skeleton is being dug out from underneath a huge tree. The Billy's house is being searched and more pictures are being found on his PC. Even Samantha's murder had been photographed. Havers in her turn is trying to talk to the locals again, confronting them with the latest suicide attempt and the rape. Lynley finally recognises Samantha's killer: the local police officer. But that's too late. Havers is trapped in that pub with the killer. He's holding everyone hostage and is trying to talk "reason" to the locals. They came to him one day, asking him for justice after the suicide of Samantha's sister. It was a case of vigilante justice, Blackmore hung that man while the others stood by. Samantha had to be killed because she wanted to reveal what happened years ago. Havers is looking at the wrong end of a gun yet again. In a dramatic fight she succeeds in disarming the killer.

 

Review

This episode has a new quality to it. The pace is slow as if wanting to stress the rural calmness that's almost too good to be true. The only thing that's disturbing is the dead woman in the garden. This tranquillity is false, as well as Lynley's stoic refusal to admit his hurt feelings about his marriage that's about to end. Havers shows obvious signs of a post-traumatic stress disorder - which no one seems to notice, not even herself. To lighten things a bit, we have a resolute crime scene officer that really doesn't mind putting everybody on the test with her ways. Plus a bunch of Suffolk people that spread the local odour. The finale is quite the contrary filled with drama, tears and a touching scene between Lynley and Havers.

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