I recently managed to get my hands on some of the more recent Trial and Retribution episodes. The stories are still solid, but somehow the Trial aspect of the series was removed. I always thought the trial elements heightened the tension as they made even the viewer question what went before in the story.
For part of this second set of Trial and Retribution, the balance between the law enforcement and the law is still present. Sandwiched in nicely between all this is the personal drama between the main characters of the series, DCS Michael Walker (David Hayman) and DI Pat North (Kate Buffery). Buffery would leave the series after the sixth Trial and Retribution story and her character replaced that with DCI Roisin Connor (Victoria Smurfit) who is a friend of Pat North’s character and not too fond of DCS Walker.
The roller-coaster romance between Buffery and Hayman’s characters also comes to a close. As an American, after watching the fifth and sixth episodes which concluded their story arc, I wanted their ending to be somewhat bittersweet. But life doesn’t work like that and neither does the series. Obviously I won’t reveal how their romance concludes since that would give away the twist to the sixth Trial and Retribution story.
When they initially started I believe a lot of what attracted North to Walker was his aggressiveness. He was determined to rise to the top of his profession no matter what. North was more of a reserved person, although she could be equally as assertive as Walker. Later on, especially in these final two episodes of the romance arc, it became a matter of North tolerating a lot of Walker’s issues without North dealing with her own – especially when it came to how she saw herself in the relationship.
DCI Connor is a living and breathing reminder of his failure to have a personal life with Pat North and his scary tendency to be all about justice. She wants Walker brought down and has the leverage (possibly) from some previous cases to do it when she pleases. It's safe to say when you finish the final scenes of the last story in this set that his problems are far from over.
No entry from this series is a clunker. I take issue however with Kate Buffery's final story being given a rather cartoonish title sequence. The previous title sequences were fine for being extreme low-key and frightening. This one made me think T&R had turned into a camp series.