Directed by Shawn Seet
Written by Kris Wyld and Kym Goldsworthy
SCREEN AUSTRALIA SUPPORTED
In this powerful series from Australia, DS Tori Lustigman (Yael Stone) has returned to her hometown of Bondi to join the police just in time to catch the brutal murder of a young man who happens to be gay. Her new boss is eager to put the murder down to the act of a spurned lover, but Tori believes the truth goes deeper, connecting it to a string of gay bashings stretching back to the 80s. The problem is that no one wants her to take it further, no matter what the evidence tells her. Her own partner wants the case puts to bed, but Tori is a force of nature in her own contained way. Too contained, perhaps. The anger and frustration she holds in is bound to come out in uncontrollable bursts. Being new to the Bondi police force she hasn’t had a chance to be intimidated by the criminal element and the power brokers who may have held an “unhealthy influence” over lawful enforcement over the years. Where no other officers have been able to solve what may in fact be a long series of murders, she may be the only one crazy enough to push forward through all obstacles thrown up in front of her and her reluctant partner.
Yael Stone is excellent as a detective just barely under control, a loving mother, daughter, friend, and grieving sibling. Daniel Spielman is chilllingly repulsive as a Nazi-tattooed suspect. Viewers’ sympathies have to go out to Noah Taylor as Tori’s long-suffering partner Nick, resisting having her back at every turn. One of the most memorable members of the cast is one who gets perhaps the least screen time — Otis Pavlovic conveys a sweetness as Tori’s son with none of the snarkiness of the modern teenager, even when she appears to overreact to circumstances. The performance is natural and easy, with the connection between the mother and son feeling real. The cast is full of too many talented actors to continue to single them out, but there’s nary a wooden boy or scene chewer in the bunch.
So, overall? In the current environment the matter was all too relevant, NOT a lesson in political correctness as some viewers insisted. Political profiling, police shootings, hate crimes, racism, and bigotry explode in the news every day since the election; this story could not be more timely. Put it all together and it made for fascinating watching. It pulled me in so much that I was disappointed to find that there were only four episodes and no word if this was a one-off, or if it would return.
Well, here’s hoping.