“Janet King” recap (1.5): Lesbian Sex Scandal

Quick Warning: The child abuse/porn storyline gets a lot more intense in this episode, so look out for your psyche.

Man, I was not prepared for how good this episode was. It had Feelings, compelling legal drama, a twist I didn’t see coming, and Flagrant Lesbianism. I’m starting to be preemptively sad that the network only planned to make this a single-run miniseries. (Hint: You should get in touch with ABCTV and let them you know you want more. I can’t lose this like I lost Bomb Girls.)

Previously on Janet King, the police continued to cling to the theory that Barbra Vaslich killed Steven Blakely, in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Janet started to get some real conspiracy-y vibes from the whole situation, which were inflamed by the appearance of Danny Novak, who was like, “Look back into the Alex Moreno acquittal if you want to know what’s really going on.” And Janet was like “From episode one?  You mean our writers are keeping track of this stuff and it’s all important and connected?” And Danny was like “Fuck yeah; this is a serious show.” Lina felt that the legal system could not keep pace with her personal quest for justice, so she smacked a child porn suspect right in the middle of the street.  On the home front, Ash left a big ‘ol folder on her computer labeled “TOP SECRET, JANET NO OPEN” and then asked Janet to check her e-mail.  When our dear Crown prosecutor was overcome by curiosity, she learned that Ash had been pursuing a job offer behind her back.  Into this fiery chasm of Shit Going On, we enter…EPISODE 5.

The episode opens with Lina, who, other than Janet is my favorite character.  Unlike Janet—who is basically made of adamantium and only vulnerable in her love for her family—Lina is the psychological and emotional barometer of the show. Her intellect matches her empathy, so it is with tragic self-awareness that she confesses how she felt when she attacked the child porn guy. “There was a moment, when I was watching him with the girl…just a second when I thought about letting him go; letting him do whatever he was going to do to her, just so there’d be something concrete against him.”

janetking5.1Your inability to compartmentalize only endears you to me more.

The child porn guy is pressing assault charges against Lina. Andy—who is one to talk about professionalism—is mad at her for putting her career and life in danger, so Lina pretty much spends the entire episode with a miniature raincloud pouring over her head.

On a much, much happier note, apparently Janet and Ash worked out their fight since last we saw them. And I’m a little bitter we didn’t get to see this resolution—I especially would have liked to hear Ash defend her need to have a career of her own—but it does my heart good to see them cuddling. Ash is just literally begging Janet to come have sex with her, but Janet begs for half an hour more to stare at a picture of Alex Moreno. Ash is like “honey, you’re not a cop.”

janetking5.2But we can bust out the handcuffs if it makes you feel like one. 

And whatever, continuity be damned.  You guys can touch faces forever as far I’m concerned.

Back at the DPP, Tony is grousing (does he even have another tone of voice?) about the Dianne Vaslich appeal. Apparently the appeal will be decided by a panel of three judges, all of whom think that jury trials should be done away with altogether. Their argument is that juries can be swayed by emotions, whereas judges have a better understanding of the law. The opposing view is that a single judge is a lot easier to buy than a whole jury. Speaking of corrupt judges, Janet asks Richard to take a close look Judge Renmark (the toad who acquitted Moreno) to tie him to the Blakely conspiracy.

Janet meets up with Rizzoli to ask why he thinks Moreno got off, especially since Renmark had a reputation for siding with the prosecution. He advises Janet to forget a guilty man who walked free and focus instead on keeping the innocent Vaslich in prison. At this point I hope Rizzoli isn’t the villain because it has been so obvious for so long.

The best and most disturbing scene of this episode is composed entirely of Lina’s eyes.

janetking5.3

You watch her watch the child porn and you want to protect her from it as badly as she wants to protect these children from it. For a show with a lot of storylines to juggle, Janet King excels at knowing when to slow down and trust its actors to convey a quiet moment of devastating power. The scene ends when Janet walks in and suggests that perhaps this isn’t the best job for Lina, who balks at the notion that she isn’t tough enough. A confrontation is avoid when Janet finally notices the picture of Alex Moreno’s daughter, tucked amongst the stack of images.  She and Lina take the picture to the cop who originally investigated Moreno, who informs them that the photograph was not taken in the Moreno residence.

Meanwhile, at the station, Andy and Rizzoli have the following exchange:

janetking5.4

Rizzoli: So HR is like making me go on vacay and they want you to hold my job while I’m gone.  So yay! Promotion!  Also, side note, you’ll have to step off the Blakely investigation while I’m gone.

Andy: What?  But I was so close to figuring out who bribed that guy to say he dug Blakely’s grave!

Rizzoli:  I know, right?

Back on the island of domestic bliss, Janet and Ash are giving their adorable twine a bath as part of the Global Conspiracy To Make Me Want To Have Kids.

janetking5.5STOP TUGGING ON MY OVARIES, YOU MONSTER.

The mood is slightly darkened when Ash starts to snap a photo and Janet is like, “Honey, I really don’t want that ending up online.” After the bath, Janet is like, “Case in point: check out this picture of Alex Moreno’s daughter.” And Ash is like, “Ooh I can tell you exactly where that photo was taken, because you can see the reflection of a lighthouse in the window.” And in that moment, both Janet and I fall a little bit more in love with her. (She also points out the appalling habit people have of decorating their beach houses with a beach theme, which is something we should all make fun of more.)

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