White Collar Blue: articles

A taste for lead

THE season finale of White Collar Blue begins with a montage of all things Nicole Brown.

We see Nicole in bed with Joe (Peter O'Brien, right, with Brooke Satchwell), Nicole flirting with Theo and Nicole involved in a random lottery of mundane tasks.

Why not just slap a target on her and invite her to to play murder in the dark at Chopper's house?

Really, producers may as well have shown her balancing on stilettos while attempting to walk down a steep set of stairs as ominous music plays.

Nothing, bar actual bone-crunching sound effects, could more thoroughly indicate that she or someone she holds dear is about to suffer a horrible fate, and I'm not simply talking about a Everybody Loves Raymond marathon.

So it's not all that surprising when Nicole follows her cocktail with a swift hit of "lead to the head", as her ex-partner Joe describes it.

Nicole is shot by a dodgy hit man with unfortunate taste in bumper stickers right after having a drink and flirt with one of Joe's fellow detectives, the ever-randy Theo.

And while she survives, albeit with a bullet in her brain and a high chance of future melodrama, her friendly detectives look worse for wear.

They have held their first pacing-around-hospital-corridors-with-crinkled-brows montage and it has been followed by a unhealthy helping of antagonism.

Imagine for a moment you are their superior, the detective senior sergeant.

Do you say to yourself, "let's leave these war-torn blokes at the hospital where they can duke it out and use up some sick leave in the process?".

Or does your gut say "let's get them on the case?". Who better to run an investigation than the victim's ex and current partners (one of whom is a witness) ? men who are currently the most obvious suspects?

It's a tough call, but the boys in White Collar Blue aim for the latter.

The two defective detectives go banging on doors and interrogating a couple of worthy subjects, while the female detectives of the squad investigate a seemingly unrelated death, which of course is deeply related.

These fake detectives have the investigation process down pat and some nifty scriptwriting manages to maintain interest as they piece the puzzle together.

That's not to say this show is without flaws. Every second suspect treats their interrogation as a kind of counselling session and no one has ever heard of hiring a lawyer.

The double episode also drags a bit towards the end, and it would have been better if played over two nights.

But the acting is solid, the cast is decent, it has less sheen than Young Lions and it's not a terrible way to pass time.

It's not The Bill but it's a passable attempt at police drama.

Meanwhile, things are getting messy at Sun Hill. Race tensions are high and crates of petrol bombs have begun to spring up about town.

On the soapy side of things, Poll's popping pills, Des and Reg have money problems and Kate is fast becoming repulsed by her lover and leader Supt Chandler.

Everything comes to a dramatic head in the last 15 minutes and no self-respecting Bill fan can afford to miss the episode.

The Bill, ABC, Saturday, 8.30pm

White Collar Blue, Ten, Monday, 8.30pm

By Jennifer Dudley
November 21, 2002
The Courier Mail