A bit of a placeholder, this one, as we await the trial of Erich Blunt: after a meeting between David Hertzberg and the Mayor, the judge in Blunt’s case “suddenly finds” that he has a “conflict of interest” and withdraws. (As yet unexplained, although I think we can guess.) Judge number 2 bails Erich again and he sets to work repairing the damage to his relationship with Warren Daniels, who as a condition of acting for Blunt stipulates that he, Blunt, will need to undergo a polygraph test. Of course, after years of watching American procedurals I kind of feel that I could administer one myself (other areas of learned expertise include hostage negotiations, use of the phrases “Copy that!” and “Cover me”, getting your partner’s back, and development and maintenance of a Conspiracy Wall), but in fairness Daniels’s expert has an unusual approach which I wasn’t anticipating. And nor was Erich, although it doesn’t stop him chasing Hildy towards the end of the episode.
For potential suspects Wilkerson and Mark a problematic week: Wilkerson is served with divorce papers by his wife, who has footage of him doing the deed with Cindy. And Mark’s alibi is blown out of the water by a surveillance tape which shows him leaving, then returning to, a bar, round about the time of Cindy’s death. Fortunately the splendidly-named Dr Smoot is able to confirm his story about what he was up to. Terry and Hildy, meantime, are dancing around each other: my view on a possible hookup remains undetermined, but their awkwardness with each other this week was endearing. I also really like their rapport in a professional setting: I look forward to scenes in which they’ll be conducting an interview, as the writing and the acting provide a convincing portrayal of a couple who have an intuitive connection.
Sometimes I criticise shows for not moving quickly enough. It depends what suits the pulse of the particular show, though, and I think Murder in the First gets things just about right: it’s hardly racing forward, but that means that scenes such as Hertzberg’s fumbling application for bail, and Molk and Terry at the karaoke bar, can stretch out and breathe. Which means that, even when there isn’t too much happening, Murder in the First remains a pleasure to watch.