Other posters have already done a magnificent job of commenting on the Lads and the plot and all. I just wanted to talk about something WJ-related because it's a very curious episode. So I thought I'd take a slightly jaundiced look at the other characters…
Yes, the character was over-written, with dialogue a crocodile would find hard to swallow. And yes, the psychobabble annoys. Yet…
I'm so on her team *g*. I remember the 70's, and the whole damned-if-you-did, damned-if-you-didn't hypocrisy around female behaviour, particularly the behaviour of "high achievers" (oh, yes, I know it's still an issue, but believe me, it was far worse then). So she's working with a bunch of mostly youngish, randy blokes and she's an extremely attractive woman (over-parenthesising I know, but I find Sarah Douglas hot). Hmmm. Well, how do you earn their respect and maintain a proper distance at the same time?
Honestly, I think she genuinely likes the Lads, for all she bosses them around and slaps them down. She smiles at them when they're not watching, when she's listening to Bodie's voice on the tape with Cowley - and some of that word-play is a little too arch to be strictly professional - "pretty curls" indeed!
Her line: "…sexual demarcations. Wouldn't you agree, Bodie?" gets to me every time. And when it's the basis for brilliant fic like Wonderful Tonight, my squeefulness knows no bounds.
If she has a flaw, it's that she relies a little too heavily on her test scores, her hard data. In that she's the opposite of the men in this episode. Deliberate? I think so.
What are the "more important things" Ms Black has to worry about? She looks like a Lady who Lunches, who doesn't have to worry about where her next pair of shoes or flying duck brooch is coming from. She seems to know a bit about CI5 and Bodie's role in that organisation - even if Cowley does most of the talking on that subject - does that mean Daddy is somebody and not "just" an MP? Or does she have a cushy-but-confidential PA job which somehow allows her to swan off to Windsor for long lunches? I know she could be on hols, or she could be somebody herself, but I don't think so (yup, I have biases). And her relationship with Bodie seems a little shopworn somehow. He's quite snarky to her in the pub when she finds the 'ambience' underwhelming *g*. And she sees him just "a fair amount", which could mean anything. More friends than lovers, or "on-again, off-again" bed-partners? Whatever it is, I don't think she'll be too keen to see him again, unless it's to hand him the panelbeating bill (well it could have been her car y'know - she was waiting by it when he met her).
When and where did Doyle find her? He certainly didn't tell her much about himself or Bodie... yet she's quite happy to let Bodie drape himself around her shoulders during the race & even manages a bit of it herself. Maybe she met Doyle at their local the night before and she mentioned that she had a set of guaranteed-to-stun yellow overalls? Maybe byslantedlight is right and Bodie and Doyle took her home? Whatever the context, she's entirely inoffensive, sensible (if a little averse to dirty kisses), caring (helps Kate with Cheryl at the end of the episode) and ultimately gone.
Wow - what gorgeous, gorgeous flaming red hair she has. Nice choice to play the tragic girlfriend, she really does seem sad and beaten down by life. In fact I can never listen to the DCI's description of Keith Williams as a 'violent man" without the passing thought that maybe he wasn't just violent to punks in gang colours. Yuck. Because if that were true, Bodie's decision to traumatise her further when he goes after Billy would be wrong, wrong, wrong (although maybe he wouldn't know - I remember one of the first books about domestic violence was titled "Scream Quietly or the Neighbours will hear you", which was all about how DV was hidden) - sorry, I love historical context too much sometimes, that's quite enough about that.
People like him were the real reason the Brits only won 5 gold medals at the 1980 Olympics, despite the US no-show. He talks the talk, but when it comes down to it he relies far more on hunches and "experience" than actual science. And he belittles Kate Ross too, grrrrr....
Having said that, I don't mind Jack as a character and think we should have seen more of both him and Kate.
Another annoying, chauvinistic type, this time a pompous old duffer. Always makes me want to commit GBH - if I could just get my hands through the front of the darned TV. Ah, those were the days, when you could do an in-depth physical examination with only a stethoscope and a sphygmomanometer. And in this case, a spirometer as well - clearly they spared no expense for CI5 assessments.
He's the man, isn't he. He provides Bodie with the advice that leads him to his epiphany at the Chequered Flag, and he warns Cowley that Bodie is sick. I always thought the "oriental philosophy" was laid on a little thick, but it does make the storyline make sense. Once you actually listen to it, of course *headdesk*. After reading some thoughts on this episode (there are some great comments on the 'Wild Justice' thread over at the tv_lounge - check out the ones from around April 2007) I realised that the explanation for Bodie's behaviour was all there, hidden in plain view.
He's quite a good villain, I suppose, and well played by the actor, but he doesn't really interest me. He doesn't have the smarts of a Logan Blake or the charisma of a van Neikerk. He and his mates are louts who beat a bloke up so badly that he died from his injuries. They don't seem like 'outlaw' bikies at all, just banal thugs with pretensions.