Silk, Series 2 Finale, BBC One | TV reviews, news & interviews
Silk, Series 2 Finale, BBC One
Shock, trauma and tragedy in concluding episode of Peter Moffat's drama
And so we came to episode six, where all the plotlines that have been hovering like vultures since the opener came screaming down to beat the closing deadline. Would Clive Reader's career be terminated by the Bar Standards Board? How would Martha Costello cope with being manoeuvred into defending the evil Jody Farr? Could Shoe Lane Chambers ever prise themselves loose from the malign tentacles of solicitor Micky Joy?
All this and more was duly resolved, in an episode that gripped ferociously from the opening seconds and hauled us over some scorching dramatic coals. Silk is almost unfailingly watchable, though whether its careering plot twists and outrageous behaviour by scions of our august legal system bear much resemblance to reality I wouldn't know. Do barristers really drink and smoke even more than the cast of Mad Men? Whatever, this episode punched hard and hit where it hurts, and plumbed some harrowing personal and professional depths.
Apart from anything else, the degree of cynicism about the law and law enforcement expressed through Peter Moffat's script was frequently breathtaking. "Every police officer's born bent," snarled Micky Joy (possibly the greatest milestone yet in Phil Davis's career of evil). "It's always personal." And so it proved as the action developed, with the cops squarely in the frame for fitting up the despicable Farr (Finbar Lynch). Then again, if there was ever anyone who deserved fitting up... (Phil Davis, pictured right).
But it's not as if police corruption is entirely new on TV. A legal profession rotten to the core with gross moral turpitude, on the other hand, is not quite so routine. As Silk has progressed, Clive Reader (Rupert Penry-Jones) has proved to be a bit of a choirboy - albeit one with a borderline sex addiction - with an Old Harrovian's commitment to playing up and playing the game, when in series one Moffat seemed to be lining him up as an absolute rotter with the morals of a spin doctor. Maxine Peake's Martha Costello is unswerving in her dedication to defending her clients to the bitter end.
Subscribe to theartsdesk.com
Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £2.95 per month or £25 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.
To take an annual subscription now simply click here.
And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?
Superb drama from another age reaches its chilling endgame
Picasso's women and the role they played in his work
Lord Bragg explores an actor's life
Tension runs high in Israeli original of television drama we know already
Belated arrival of the story they tried to ban
Dr Janina Ramirez throws light on the Dark Ages
Immigration story told from the inside - comedy unexpected
A restrained but chillingly plausible cautionary tale
JK Rowling's adult fiction debut becomes a Sunday-night treat with a social conscience
The writing's on the wall for the Raj, but will we ever make sense of all these characters?
Clever political satire inspired by Julian Assange
Eagerly-awaited 'Breaking Bad' spinoff makes assured debut