‘Eternal Law’: Episode 3 review

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With Eternal Law’s third episode, the script writers are getting into exploring the idea of what it means to be an angel on earth and playfully tackling such earthy subjects as angelic sex drive and sexual performance (we’re talking Tom here; Zac’s issue with Hannah is more about wanting to be with her than just sleep with her).

After Tom sleeps with law graduate Jude (Stephanie Leonidas) – literally, they’re both too drunk and exhausted after a night of clubbing to get round to sex – Zac says, ‘It’s a good thing you didn’t sleep with her, you’d have blown her head off.’ Angels are dynamite in bed apparently.

Let’s hope he can behave himself in future episodes or Mr Mountjoy’s Armageddon clock, which made an ominous reappearance this week to remind viewers that humanity’s future is at stake, might well start ticking.

As with the previous episode‘s custody battle, this week’s courtroom storyline evolves into something a bit more complex than a case of good guy versus bad guy.

The victim in the case, Keith Cedric (Adam Kotz), the owner of a residential home that he wants to sell with consequent disruption to its residents’ lives, looks on paper like the kind of cold-hearted business man that TV mystery drama script-writers love to demonise.

But the writers aren’t slow to dangle the possibility that elderly defendant Mack Steen (David Bradley), on the surface a community activist type for his soon-to-be-homeless fellow residents who took his campaign a bit far, might be a bit of a tyrant himself – when they have a dementia-suffering fellow resident Joe (James Ellis) talking about polishing Mack’s shoes.

Luckily, with a bit of probing the angels, who have a clear grasp of human psychology aided by a telepathic ability to hear particularly ‘loud’ human thoughts, are able to get to the bottom of both men’s psyches – and discover that though far from flawless, neither man is given over to evil.

Once again our angelic duo show that remorse and redemption are available for everyone, however damaged they might be and however far along the path of vengeance they might have gone. It seems Mr. Mountjoy’s idea of a victory is having his angels bring out the best in people rather than simply winning in court.

This is an episode about the pain of being corporeal, as well as the pleasure. The view of Mrs. Sheringham’s back gives us (and Tom) a shocking insight into what it cost her to give up her wings.

It’s also about the loneliness of being an angel – and a little bit about loneliness in general. Zak continues to pine after Hannah while rebuffing her shy overtures of friendship – and risking driving her further into fallen angel Richard Pembroke’s sphere of influence – she admits he’s her only friend in York.

And let’s not forget the man himself, who this week demonstrates his monumental pettiness by using his mind-control powers to terrify a resident in a wheelchair who is protesting the closure of his home.

Aired at 9pm on Thursday 19th January 2012 on ITV1.

> Buy the Series 1 DVD on Amazon.

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