Sunday, November 18, 2012

James Callis on DCI Banks, part 2: Whew. And Drool.

SPOILERS. I tried to avoid them in the Midsomer Murders episode, but in the end, do people really care whodunit in a British cop show?

Linkage: There's an interesting article here about typecasting and James' role here. As usual, I feel the need to mention that Gaius Baltar was more than just a villain, more than just a traitor, more than just... Well, he was more than any other character I've seen, and James has said before that he did so many things in that role, he may never get a similar chance again. So whatever he does from now on, it could be said to be typecasting in some way. It's inevitable. As such, I don't see this role as typecasting, even if he does some Gaius-like facial expressions. But it's an interesting read, and gives a better recap of the episode than I feel I have.

If I'd done my research last week, I would have known that Innocent Graves, part 2 aired the day after the first part. But I was too shocked by part 1 and probably wouldn't have watched it last week anyway.

The second part is a great relief for me, as it turns out Owen Pierce is... innocent. He's being set up, he's not a molester or a rapist either. There are some shocking, rough scenes, and for a moment there I was worried I'd have to watch James kill himself in character. That would have been horrible. But his character turns out OK and in psychiatric care. I'm so glad of how this ended. The murderer, as it happens, is neither Pierce nor the creepy boy who was the other suspect. Well played.

We begin on a sad note, as Pierce reports the vandalism on his house and gets the cops in - seven hours late. There's lots of tension between him and Banks, who says he will knock Owen's door first, no matter what crime is committed in Yorkshire. Great acting moment here. James' eyes look almost yellow in this light, transparent. His sadness and lonely desperation burn me.

Speaking of burning - Owen shows them what happened to him in prison: scalded with sugar water ."Sugar intensifies the burn. You did this to me."

Maybe I'm a horrible person or maybe it's a coping mechanism, because I can't stand to think of James scalded, I just can't. But look! He gets to show his belly a bit! I get so many "James Callis shirtless" searches, and here it is - James Callis at least partially shirtless. It's.. drool... gush... OMG... He's so beautiful. I just... Wow.

I mean, after all, the burn is not real. It looks bad but it's just makeup. We can just look past it and focus on all the sexiness going on. I do wish he got to be shirtless in a more positive (and longer) shot, but this still made me very happy.

Maddy, one of his students who was just telling the cops he likes rough sex, has been writing love letters to prison. She acts like they're going to be together after this. But I think us viewers know what she really wants: a scandal. My heart breaks again here, because all he wants is for someone to trust him, to love him. He's so desperate and she betrays her.

In the meantime, someone kills Ellie's best friend Becca, and the police find a destitute Owen in his home. Oh James, don't cry! We love you, we do. All is well. (Edit: Blogger went nuts because of my heart icons, so I'll just rewrite this bit. HEART HEART HEART.)

I can apparently tell James and the character apart, but only when it comes to overwhelming fetishes like his body, or how tiny he looks in a hoodie. But when he's crying like this, and all alone in the world, I just feel it's James there and my heart breaks for him. (Of course, they didn't show him being scalded - gah, now I thought of him being scalded in prison. This show is a mindfield. Um, minefield. A minefield for the mind? Nevermind.)

Luckily someone saw Owen with Maddy around the time Becca died. But then he sees the paper. Maddy has sold his love letters as "sick letters to Ellie".

And his world comes tumbling down. I can't even really think about how he must be feeling.

This scene was perhaps the hardest yet. Owen goes off the deep end and kidnaps Maddy, but the police find him in time.

He asks what it matters now, everyone thinks he did it, he might as well do this to Maddy. Banks tells him he'll have to live with a murder on his conscience. Also, Banks is so sorry for his doubts, and they caught the real killer now. In the end, Owen is able to drop the knife. James does some stellar work here. He does desperate, and pained, and even murderous.He blows me away here.

I thought he would do it. The suicide would have been even worse, but him spending life in prison, and me having to watch James kill someone in character - I'm so glad it didn't come to that.

In the end, Owen Pierce gets psychiatric help. We no longer see him, but he know he'll be OK, or at least better than he was. Not alone.

It strikes me that James may have spoken with his Yorkshire/Aerilon accent all through this. It's a show set in Yorkshire, after all. I didn't really notice, so maybe that means it was a really good, natural Yorkshire accent? I'm not a good judge of that.

Either way, amazing performance. This was a hard watch, but for the ending, and the shirtless bit, I feel like it was worth watching. Caution is still adviced to those of sensitive persuasion. 

1 comment:

Loki-Lou said...

Thank you for referencing my blogpost! :D I agree that the second part was more heartwrenching to watch than the first, it was pretty horrible to see his character falling apart and the attitudes of the police.

Great drama series with brilliant acting!