SUSPECTS Review: Jack Is Back with Sass and Sensitivity in Series 4 premiere
The first episode of the new series was intense and gripping from beginning to end, and delivered a fast-paced, ‘blink and you miss it’ yet subtle and poignant story.
Damien DS Jack Weston, Fay Ripley (DI Martha Bellamy) and Clare-Hope Ashitey (DC Charlie Steele) were back to tackle a challenging case involving the disappearance of PTSD sufferer army Lance Corporal Pete Baxter.
In an investigation full of twists and turns, the team uncovered a trail of evidence involving Pete’s army colleagues, the case getting more complex when one of them becomes the victim of a hit and run.
The compelling, cleverly woven storyline did not stray from the entirely case focussed, self-contained format that sets Suspects apart from other crime dramas, and as always, made for refreshing viewing. In the new episode we are again reminded that this formula works because of the quality of the (scripted) story and (unscripted) improv and performances.
But as with previous episodes, the premiere was not without its subtle and suggestive ‘moments’ within CID team 1, adding depth and intrigue to the team dynamics. Ultimately though, the underlying team support still shines through, as the three detectives, with their individual strengths, work together to solve the case.
Jack Weston was back and on form, with plenty of delightful to watch ‘Jack sass’ – most apparent in his provocative approach in the interview room. Indeed, it is his interview scenes where the Suspects improv element comes into its own, as the actors react ‘live’ to each other. The resulting ultra-realistic and naturalistic spontaneity is tangibly felt – this is TV at its most absorbing.
But Damien also appeared in the most moving scenes of the episode, bringing even greater range to the already multi-dimensional Jack, as the detective supporting Pete’s father, Ken Baxter (Rupert Proctor). His understated, yet powerful, performance and Jack’s natural sensitivity brings heart to a bleak outcome.
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Watch Suspects Series 4 Episode 1 on Demand 5
Suspects Series 4 episode 2 airs 10 pm Wednesday 2 December on Channel 5.
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