“Janet King” recap (2.5): Wounded Warriors

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Okay, imagine you’re me, and it’s your job to write a recap of Janet King. Where do you begin? With the 15 storylines running simultaneously, the hundreds of tiny plot developments in the central mystery, or in Janet’s excruciatingly slow developments with Peta and Bianca? It’s hard to tease out, because while this show is rich in talent, intelligence, and ambition, what it often lacks is the ability to prioritize its most compelling elements.

This episode gave the same amount of time to a civic meeting on netball courts as it did to the fate of the refrigerator guns. And while the gun trade, PTSD, and gay rights in the legal system are all issues worthy of attention, not even the most ADHD riddled mind (by which I mean mine) is capable of dividing its focus between all these issues at once.

So let’s take this piece by piece. First up, there is the matter of the guns found in the refrigerators. It falls to Richard to oversee the cataloging of these instruments of death, making sure their firing pins are removed before they are sent out into the world.

But who exactly ordered the guns in the first place? Was it Simon Hamilton working with the Nobar family? Or was it Todd, using Simon’s identity? The team expects to find out when they allow customs to release the guns, but while Emil (Todd’s brother in law) happily impersonates Major Hamilton, the news that the guns are ready doesn’t exactly throw anyone into a frenzy of activity. Then again, why should it? Isn’t the fact that Emil knows about the shipping container enough to arrest him? While the team waits for someone to make a move, Brett Bonner, Todd’s friend, does s by for a barbecue, as his first stop in his tour of Everyone Else’s Storyline.

Concerned that someone in the customs office may have tipped the family off that the guns have been found, Janet sends Heather to ask the state corruption commission if there is any cause for concern. What follows is one of my favorite scenes in the history of the series, in which the customs dicks accuse Janet of being a ballbusting bitch and Heather replies that Janet is an asset to the human race, and neither their misogyny nor their attempt to play one woman against another is going to work on her. You so rarely get to see one woman professionally standing up for another one on television, and the fact that it was Heather (who actually has more critical distance from Janet than the rest of the team) warmed my heart particularly.

Unfortunately, the customs guys aren’t the only patriarchal buffoons standing in Janet’s way. There’s also the Attorney General, who appointed Janet to the Royal Commission in the first place, though it seems he at least partly did it with the hope that she would fail.  This week, he demands that Janet draft a report about the commission’s progress that he can submit to Parliament to prove that their tax dollars are being well-spent.

janet6.1DAMMIT, MARTA DUSSELDORP, NO ONE PERSON CAN BE ON EVERY TELEVISION SHOW SIMULTANEOUSLY.

janet6.2

Janet tells the AG that she’ll make Parliament a priority when they make gay marriage a priority, and until then she has no plans to jeopardize her investigation by publishing details about it. The A.G. responds to Janet’s refusal by literally threatening to destroy her, which doesn’t frighten her, but does cause Owen’s mole to twitch nervously.

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