Eternal Law: The Difficult Second Episode

Yes, it’s Difficult Second Episode week. Viewers who have stuck with you past your the first episode will be looking to be entertained enough to stay with you to the end (in a good way, not a “Bloody hell, might as well see where this ends now I’ve wasted three weeks on it” way).

I’m enjoying the quiet quirkiness and warm heart of Eternal Law. Sam West is a joy to watch as Zak, and he’s been gifted some lovely dialogue by Matthew Graham and Ashley Pharoah. And yet, gentle reader, I worry for Eternal Law.

Casting around t’internet, there are people who think it’s too silly or too dull. I can’t agree with the ‘silly’ people – I’m willing to buy into angels covertly helping humans. That’s no sillier than a dead policeman conjuring up his own personal limbo for other dead coppers…

So, is it dull? That’s not the adjective I’d choose, but I can see why you  might reach for it when both EL’s cases of the week have been so predictable.

It was clear from the beginning that the only villain in this piece was Richard (Tobias Menzies doing his creepy vulpine thing). That’s not to say that there aren’t divorcing parents out there who won’t benefit from a reminder that they should be going to court for what’s best for their child, not to punish their ex. And I enjoyed the judge’s King Solomon moment as he made his final decision – though I don’t suppose Social Services appreciate being used as a stand-in for the whole ‘chop the baby in half’ solution.

I could do with a bit more of the supernatural too. I appreciate that it can’t be all wings and heavenly CGI, and I like the extra pressure on Zak not to be tempted by Hannah (one more angel leaving Heaven and Mr Mountjoy may give up on the human race completely – though why we should get the blame for the angels I’m not quite sure…), but I’m not feeling the threat of armageddon yet.

Until I start caring about anyone other than Zak, there’s no real jeopardy (or long-term interest). I’m not giving up on Eternal Law yet though. I stand by my statement that it shouldn’t be judged too fast or against Those Other Shows. For now Sam West’s luminous performance is enough to bring me back next week – but if Eternal Law wants a longer run than six episodes it will need more than one stellar actor.

Posted by Jo the Hat

3 Comments

Filed under Drama

3 responses to “Eternal Law: The Difficult Second Episode

  1. marzillk

    I second your love for the excellent Samuel West, but agree with you that Eternal Law needs to up its game soon if it wants to retain the viewers. The cases are too minor. It’s hard to imagine that earthbound angels couldn’t find something more important to work on.

    I think it’s too soon to bring in the Armageddon plot line. To quote Douglas Adams, “don’t blow up the world in Chapter 1 – you may need it later.” If you start with Armageddon, where can you go from there?

    Maybe I’ve been spoiled by Supernatural’s angels (“douchebag angels” mostly, as Dean would say). They’re righteous but cold as ice, the mythology is strongly drawn, and the wing effects frankly knock the socks off EL’s.

    Having said all that, York is a beautiful setting, Tobias Menzies is a suitably hissable villain, Orla Brady is stunning and moving when talking about her lost love, Tom is rather sweet, and of course there’s Sam West as Zak, tortured by his love for the oblivious Hannah. I rather like the premise of legal angels, so I’ll keep watching but I think many viewers may switch off if ep 3 doesn’t put its foot on the accelerator.

    • DL

      Something more important? I think the point is that all these cases, while they do seem rather trivial in the grand scheme of things, are actually very important.

  2. Tangentman...

    I only watch for the lovely Orla Brady.

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