Bloody Nikki! She’s supposed to be at home or in a cosy lab, but no, today she was up to her new haircut in danger (surprise surprise), being held hostage by the young man she helped free from prison. I must stress that she didn’t help him escape from prison, Wentworth Miller-style, but rather give evidence in court which then overturned his previous sentence for murder. But everyone got pretty pissed off at her because releasing the guy unlocked an ocean of bad luck, with bodies dropping like flies and panicky situations with firearms. Anyone would think she had broken into his cell, helped him abseil to safety and then launched a campaign to get him on I’m a Celebrity.
The hostage situation got sorted out pretty quickly. After that, the police grumbled their way through more interviews, interrogating the afforementioned young man for the umpteenth time. It would get tedious if it weren’t for This is England actor Michael Socha and, as his character’s lawyer, the reliably excellent Tobias Menzis (who has been in everything from Spooks to Game of Thrones).
In the end, the Police got tired of everyone moaning at them. They decided Nikki is the person responsible for everything bad in the world (a tempting conclusion) and put pressure on her and her employees to take the blame. She wasn’t impressed with this. Like the last time she was accused of being unprofessional, and the time before that, and the time before that, and the time before that, she dealt with this by moping about her place of work like a hormonal teenager who has been told that no they certainly can’t go to that Paramore concert.
She started to get happier when she realises the killer took his victims to the brink of death again and again then masterbated over them, spraying them with semen. Well, who wouldn’t be jumping for joy after hearing that? To be fair on her, this was one of those scientific breakthroughs that proves she is super clever, so she was more happy about that than the sexual bits. We hope.
Because everyone got cross with her when she had her pathologist’s hat on, Nikki abandoned her cutting-equipment for the latter part of the episode and decides to play at being a criminal profiler. Well, she plays at being a dectective, laywer and social services worker the rest of the time, so what’s one more unofficial career, eh? She got quite good at it and used the word ‘sexual’ a lot, so I’m sure she can expect an invitation from CBS to join the Criminal Minds team any day now.
The big reveal, where the Police (a.k.a. Nikki) unmasked the killer, was disappointingly predictable. There is a rule in crime drama where whenever someone gets romantically involved with a detective (a.k.a. Nikki) they must turn out to be the guilty party. Because of this, the bad-apple was plain to spot from the start.
In the end, it’s easy to make fun of Silent Witness and forget how good it actually is. Sure, it’s preposterous and takes many liberties, but few crime dramas can last for seventeen years and make sure people return to watch each time in their millions. Last week, the show got 6.2 million viewers. Celebrity Big Brother got 3.3 million. It seems viewers are making their choice.
Silent Witness: Coup de Grace is available to watch for a limited time on BBC iPlayer. Image: BBC iPlayer.