The Body Farm – Episode 5

 

Eve Lockhart, her team of forensic pathologists and the one-man-police-force: Detective Inspector Hale, investigate the death of human rights barrister Richard Warner, who died in a fire at home…

In an odd way, the opening of Episode 5 had the feel that should have been there in episode 1. We actually see the team working on different sections of the farm. Eve and Mike are working in the bio domes, Oggy taking readings of a body in murky lake, and when a new donor body arrives, Oggy says to it “Welcome to The Body Farm”, how fitting would that have been?

But still, this week’s episode of The Body Farm had it all. DI Hale equating himself to a terrorist, Oggy realising suffocation is quite the opposite of being stabbed and Mike getting to set a body on fire for the sake of an experiment.

As far as experiments go it’s a cool one; the closest I’ve come doing an experiment like that is was back in school, armed with a Bunsen burner, magnesium ribbon and a lot of imagination.

But what The Body Farm also had was a very strong, emotionally charged ending. Something which, to be honest, I wasn’t expecting.

But let’s start from the beginning. This episode takes a different route from the rest of the series so far, in that it goes to lengths to seemingly establish that Joseph Marial, an already wrongly convicted asylum seeker, is responsible for the death of Mr Warner.

It’s plain to see he has a motive, Warner is the reason he got sent back to his country, leaving his wife and son behind. But at the same time, it would pretty foolish to believe that he would be guilty. I mean, where’s the mystery in that?

I have to confess, a part of me wanted it to be Richard Warner’s son, Nick. If only because he was such an unlikable character, maybe some time in a jail with an unscrupulous fellow named Rusty, would have done him some favours.

On the subject on unlikable characters, said barrister isn’t exactly the nicest person to begin with. It’s only after Mike does some tests on his brain that we realise that we find out that he was suffering from Grade 3 dementia.

The delivery of this very pivotal news was clunky at best. And it was only after finding out this information for ourselves that we realise Richard Warner sometimes didn’t act his self, through the use of the ever-present flash backs.

But I was willing to over look this when it came to understanding how he died. Warner planned to take the “coward’s way out” by committing suicide, but was found by his lover who was able to stop him.

It’s then we get a very heartfelt scene between Warner and his lover Sarah Haines (Pooky Quesnel – best name ever?), which managed to draw me in completely. I couldn’t fault him for wanting to die, and I also couldn’t imagine being in the position of Sarah Haines, who in her own way, thought she would be doing the right thing, by helping him do it.

It did a good job of raising the moral implications of euthanasia, to say the least. But knowing what she did, especially setting him a lit after wards, I’m sure she would have eventually cracked somewhere down the line.

So all in all, a good story backed up with a very good ending and I’d go as far to say this has been my favourite of the bunch so far.

Though if there’s one thing I could definitely do with not hearing in The Body Farm anymore are jokes from DI Hale. I’m sure one cropped up over a 70p pack of chewing gum…

Levi. St John

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