Review: DCI Banks (S4 E6/6), Wednesday 8th April, ITV

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Families, eh? They always cause complications. DI Banks has his own problems with his grumpy Dad, DS Morton with her husband, who’s kicked her out, and Annie with her boyfriend, who wants her to move in. They all rather pale beside the problems of rogue cop Hexton, whose son Josh has apparently been murdered by the drug dealer he’s targeting.

It’s Morton who figures out that her ex-lover, Hexton, fathered Josh when he was undercover in a radical group. Hexton is on the run with stripper Melanie, convinced that Melanie is having Josh’s child – but she’s had an abortion, and in any case says it was her boyfriend Spencer’s baby.

Banks contacts an undercover officer for the real skinny on Hexton – “You get used to crossing the line – Hexton’s been doing it so long, he doesn’t even know where the line is” he’s told. It’s like Miami Vice with pork scratchings.

Certainly student Josh had been involved in manufacturing Ecstasy, and Hexton believes he was killed by dealer Fallon – but was he? Spencer’s alibi doesn’t hold up, as Melanie was at the abortion clinic at the time he says he was at home with her; so he’s questioned again, but now claims he was at home with his father.

Banks isn’t convinced, and questions the father, but can’t hold Spencer any more. But as he’s driven home, Spencer is grabbed by the revengeful Hexton, now convinced that Spencer was the killer. He drives him to the cliff where Josh died, and forces Spencer to confess that he killed Josh accidentally in an argument over Melanie. But Helen talks him down, convincing him that he wasn’t a good enough father to Josh to have earned the right to take revenge.

Annie discovers that Melanie was raped by Spencer’s father, and Banks confronts the Fosters, who dumped Josh’s body. “We did what parents do when their children make mistakes” they say, but Banks nicks them anyway. Well, he never likes posh people.

Morton ends up going to see her kids, and Banks to see his Dad, who convinces him to propose to Annie; but as usual he’s too late. She’s accepted David’s proposal, and is wearing the most vulgar engagement ring imaginable.   

Rather late to the party, this episode tackles the theme of undercover police officers taking their role too seriously; but it’s something of an aside in this plot, which nonetheless does have something to say about family and responsibility. Ironically, the Fosters are the ones who seem to take their family responsibilities most seriously, but look where it leads them. Perhaps Banks is best off out of it.    

Chris Jenkins

For our episode one review go here

For our episode two review go here

For our episode three review go here

For our episode four review go here

For our episode five review go here

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