This week’s Silk episode dealt with the highly sensitive subject of assisted suicide.
A mother was accused of murdering her severely disabled daughter in a case that pitted friends/lovers Martha and Clive against each other.
Despite the tragic case, there was the sense that this was more about Martha and Clive’s rivalry than anything else. The pair traded Shakespearean banter one minute then traded irritated glances in the courtroom. Their differences aside, they are so clearly meant for each other you kind of want them to hurry up and embrace as passionately as they did in episode one.
Part of what makes Silk so great is the strength of the guest appearances each week. Outnumbered’s Claire Skinner displayed some serious dramatic acting chops with a quietly powerful turn as Sarah. It more than stood up to Maxine Peake’s usual stellar performance. Meera Syal’s bright and brusque Aisha Wiseman was a welcome addition, and thank goodness we’ll be seeing more of her now that Caroline has thrown her wig into the ring for the Head of Chambers position.
Forgoing arch, serial killer cases for ones grounded in reality challenges us to put ourselves in the position of Martha’s clients. What would we have done in Sarah’s place? Or even in the place of her young son Frasier, who tragically turned out to be the guilty party?
Elsewhere we saw a nasty side to Billy as he propositioned fresh face Amy and cast aside the hapless Jake. Is his newfound aggression stemming from his personal problems, or is it just good old-fashioned clerking?
Whatever it is it’s an interesting side, and a welcome one amid all the flowery earnest. His ‘I’m dying’ confession to Martha was all the more poignant for it. His line ‘Everyone should have control over the manner of their departure’ tied his story, Sarah’s and Jake’s (who resigned at the end of the episode) together oh-so nicely.
Aired at 9pm on Monday 10 March 2014 on BBC One.
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