After further review, Judge Joel Pearce says this British forensics show is still better than any of the multitude of CSI shows out there.
Our reviews of Wire In The Blood: The Complete First Season (published October 19th, 2005), Wire In The Blood: The Complete Third Season (published April 26th, 2006), Wire In The Blood: The Complete Sixth Season (published August 7th, 2009), and Wire In The Blood: Prayer Of The Bone (published August 21st, 2008) are also available.
Enter the mind of a serial killer.
Not only does this second season of Wire in the Blood carry on the excellent tradition that was begun in the first season, but it manages to resolve a few of my minor gripes. This series is a must-see for thriller fans.
Facts of the Case
The second season contains four 80 minute episodes:
• "Still She Cries"
• "The Darkness of Light"
• "Right to Silence"
• "Sharp Compassion"
A number of factors contribute to the continuing success of Wire in the Blood. The greatest of these is its writers' and producers' unwillingness to tread over the same material too often. Although each of the episodes deals with a different murder investigation, the issues raised by these investigations are always completely different, and always fascinating and thought-provoking. Tony Hill's personal situations, from the examination of his professionalism in the first episode to the near loss of his career in the final episode, hold the series together nicely. Questions of police ethics carry on as well, particularly in the third, as we wonder whether it wouldn't be such a bad thing for the gang boss to take the fall even if he isn't guilty.
Although the ideas explored by Wire in the Blood are always fascinating, it isn't overly cerebral. In fact, this set of episodes may be even more suspenseful and riveting than the first series. In each, the identity of the murderer is kept secret until towards the end, and while I was surprised each time, the identity of the killer always makes sense. The only exception to this is "The Darkness of Light," which has been the one weak link in the series thus far. The suggestion that the murders could be supernatural flies in the face of everything that we have seen in the rest of the series, and starts to strain credibility in a hurry. Although even this episode wraps up in a satisfactory way, it is a big step down from the others.
Also key to the series' success is the relationship between Tony and Carol. Apparently Hermione Norris has turned down the fourth season of Wire in the Blood, which means that we will only get one more season with their dynamic. I don't know if the series will be any good once she leaves, which shows just how important both characters are. Both are entirely unique, only ever hinting at the usual stereotypes of female cops and eccentric psychiatrists. Carol relies completely, as a police detective, on tangible evidence. This clashes frequently with Tony's complete trust in the science/art of criminal profiling, which allows him to construct a psychological picture of the perpetrator with only a few shreds of physical evidence. This difference is what makes them a great team, as well as what keeps them from getting along too well.
After reviewing the first season, I have a few (very) minor complaints. There were only three episodes last time, and I didn't like the break in the middle. This time around, there are four episodes instead. Also, each one is shown without any breaks. This makes it very easy to forget that Wire in the Blood is television at all. There are some cheap looking special effects this time around, but no worse than many series. The episodes are connected enough that they should be watched in order, but I'm sure this season could be enjoyed without having seen the first. Aside from this, there are few real changes in these episodes. Since the first season was nearly flawless, I don't have a problem with that.
The transfers in the second series are just as strong as the first. The video is still excellent, properly converted from the original PAL for a jitter-free viewing experience. The sound is just stereo, but it has clear dialogue and well-mixed music. There aren't many extras this time either, but what's here is excellent. There are extensive interviews with the cast and crew, including excellent interviews with Robson Green and Hermione Norris. They entire cast and crew has great respect for the source material and series, and that's what makes a production succeed so well. There is some production footage as well, mostly of the cast and crew giggling on set. This is accompanied by a smattering of filmographies and biographies.
If you enjoyed the first season of Wire in the Blood, go pick up the second immediately. If you haven't seen either, check them both out. You won't be disappointed.
Not guilty, although if Hermione Norris leaves after season three, she will be held in contempt.
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