TV Review: Lewis – Series 9 Episode 4: ‘Magnum Opus’ Part Two

A surprisingly poor episode of Lewis fails to live up to the quality promised by its title, says

★★☆☆☆

Image: Robert Day / ITV

Image: Robert Day / ITV

The world of alchemy returned to Lewis this week as with two members of the mysterious “Companions” dead it seemed that only half of the deed had been committed. Would Lewis, Hathaway and Maddox catch the killer in time?

Hathaway’s mood hardly seemed to have improved this week, as his relationship with his father continued to cause him no end of problems. We watched him deliberately miss a meeting with Nell and Dad in last week’s episode and the situation has failed to improve. The whole relationship between Hathaway and his father is reaching a point of no return as far as this viewer is concerned. If we don’t find out its exact nature in the last two-parter it will likely remain a mystery forever. Here’s hoping that ‘What Lies Tangled’ provides us with the final clues.

The story itself was confused and tried to throw us off from the real killer until the last moment; however, unlike ‘One for Sorrow’ it didn’t really work. The red herrings were rather obvious and the sudden emergence of two of the characters as being in a relationship minutes from the end was an unnecessary indulgence. The episode felt rather “bitty” for want of a more sophisticated phrase; even top billing actors like Honeysuckle Weeks were surprisingly poor.

As for the murderer himself, this viewer found herself rather disappointed with the whole conclusion. Lewis has been here before, many times. Unfortunately I had made the mistake of re-watching part of series one a few days before watching this episode and anyone who is familiar with the plot of ‘Whom the Gods Would Destroy’ would realise what I found. A very secretive society? Yes. A group of four who have committed an atrocity? Yes. Does the murderer turn out to be the group’s victim’s child? Yes. Oh dear me Lewis writers, it’s time you kept up to date with your own show’s history.

However, the murderer in ‘Whom the Gods Would Destroy’ was a lot more convincing than Bobby Lockwood – of Wolfblood fame – was. I understand that people kill for many reasons but when his character came out with the line “I missed my Dad” as justification for killing people in the way he did, I could have turned off there and then. It was utterly ridiculous.

I am glad, however, that I didn’t turn off as the gold rush of cute Lewis and Hathaway moments continued this week with a beautifully timed call for “Pint?” as Maddox and her neighbour headed out for a girly night on the town.

All in all ‘Magnum Opus’ failed to live up to be the greatest episode of Lewis ever, as its title leads us to presume. Rather, it proved to be an episode that fans will be quick to forget. It is with a rather strong sense of déjà vu that we head into next week’s episode “What Lies Tangled” knowing that it is the beginning of the end. Or is it?

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