“Janet King” recap (1.4): Truth and Consequences


Previously on Janet King, our intrepid heroine had doubts that Dianne Vaslich and her son were Steven Blakely’s murderers, but the crybabies at the police department forced her to prosecute them anyway.  Approximately five minutes after they were convicted, though, Blakely’s body was discovered deep in the outback, which meant that the Vasliches couldn’t have buried it.  Naturally, all blame for this fiasco has fallen on the shoulders of the one person who tried to prevent it: Janet.

This week’s episode picks up with Janet returning to work the morning after Blakely’s body was found, and immediately we can tell that she is shouldering a massive boulder of guilt (we can tell this because Marta Dusseldorp manages to convey a world of emotions with one brief furrow of her brow.) Janet’s Inner Monologue: It is all my fault that these innocent people are in prison.  If I weren’t such a remarkably gifted prosecutor, I never could have persuaded that jury that they were guilty.  I should just take a vow of silence so I never accidentally lie again.

Not willing to go quietly into good judgment is Detective Rizzoli, who maintains that the Vasliches probably Apparated Blakely’s body to the bush.  Or they had a secret helicopter.  Or wait, wait, they HIRED someone to bury it because they are CRIMINAL GENIUSES.  Janet demands they find the mysterious shovel-wielder (did this show just become Pretty Little Liars?) so Andy goes off to the coroner’s and Rizzoli goes off on Mysterious Business. At the coroner’s, Andy learns that Blakely was attacked from behind (kinda like he let a trusted friend into his house who he didn’t worry about turning his back to, huh?).  He also finds that Blakely was mortally wounded, but still not dead when he was buried alive, which further inflames Andy’s emotions and suppresses his rationality.  Finally, he discovers that Blakely was buried with the murder weapon, a cricket bat.

janetking4.2Cricket bats don’t kill people. People covering up years of police corruption kill people.

Next, Andy returns to the Bikie Pub, figuring that if Vaslich tried to hire a man to kill Blakely there, it stands to reason that she would find a man to bury him there as well.  The bartender is like “Oh yeah, crazy Dianne!  She comes here all the time, like it’s her daughter’s grave or something.  Sometimes she brings flowers, sometimes just stares into space and screams ‘ARIANAAAAA.’ Bit tragic really.” He then merrily resumes polishing glasses in a moment of such profound Australian-ness I am overcome by the giggles. Andy requests a copy of the surveillance footage from the night of Blakely’s murder, only to find that it has Mysteriously Disappeared.

And now it’s time for another episode of Lina’s Slow Descent Into Madness. Her work on the child porn case has begun to dominate her every waking thought, as she reveals to Erin. The problem is that Lina is a person of such deep compassion and empathy, that opening her heart to these acts of horror is wounding her as profoundly as if she were the victim. More on that later.

janetking4.3I request that Lina be transferred to the Victimless Crimes division.

Back to the Blakely murder, a young cop discovers that the shop next door to the Bikie Pub had a camera in the parking lot, and recorded footage of Blakely having a heated argument with a man named Danny Novak. janetking4.4

Okay, so we need to do a little backstory here for everyone who hasn’t seen Crownies: from what I can gather, Novak is the father of Tatum (Richard’s ex who looks like she is 12) and a well-known criminal that no one has yet managed to convict. Blakely actually mentioned him in the first episode as one of the few men that he tried and failed to put in prison. Novak’s meeting with Blakely is particularly interesting in the light of new information that Blakely wanted to pull the file of Ariansa Vaslich, the murdered girl who once worked as a prostitute in Novak’s employ. So, faced with this new person with a motive for murder that competes with the Dianne Vaslich theory, Andy does what my dog does when given two toys and tries to hold them both in his mouth at once.

When Richard hears that his ex-girlfriend’s dad is under investigation, he warns her that she should distance herself from him. She responds by cleaving to him even more strongly. And when her dad is without an alibi for the night of Blakely’s death, she makes up an elaborate story about how they spent the whole night watching soccer and braiding each other’s hair. Let me restate that: she lies to the police about a murder investigation. Richard confronts her about this, since it directly contradicts her earlier statement to him.


Richard: WTF Tatum, you already told me the intense specifics of your gym routine that you did that night.
Tatum: Um clearly you are confused about what night that was.
Richard: No, I write down all of our conversation verbatim in my Feelings Journal so I think I ought to know.
Tatum: Well um…joke’s on you because I was lying to you about going to the gym.  I’m hardly the first woman in history to do that.  Also you should never have warned me that my dad was under investigation, so if you blab I will ruin your career.

Can someone who watched Crownies give me a reason that I should like this Tatum girl because so far she is just someone who covers up for her criminal dad and broke poor Richard’s heart.


Hey there, Lina. Whatcha doin’? Stalking the child porn guy illegally? That’s probably not so good of an idea.  She takes down his license number and asks Owen to run a trace on it. Now that he is involved it is definitely in bad idea territory. Sensing that Lina is slipping, Case Allocator Tracy Samuels—one of my favorite people on this show—schedules her a psych evaluation.

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