Prime Suspect 7: The Final Act

Prime Suspect 7: The Final Act

Prime Suspect 7: The Final Act

directed by Philip Martin

starring Helen Mirren, Frank Finlay, Tom Bell

BBC / Acorn Media

On its surface, Prime Suspect 7 is another British police drama/mystery about finding the murderer of a pregnant 14-year-old girl. It plays that part well, with all of the requisite clues, misdirection, tense action scenes, and satisfying conclusions you would expect. Taken as an independent teleplay, you will, most likely, leave satisfied, or maybe even impressed.

But where Prime Suspect 7 really shines is in its continuity. This is the final chapter in the lives of all of these characters, especially Detective Superintendent Jane Tennison, and viewing this case through that lens lifts this far above your average crime drama. Even if you have not been watching the Prime Suspect series prior to The Final Act, you will get a feel for how much of a milestone this is — the first female homicide Detective Inspector in New Scotland Yard history is nearing retirement, she is battling alcoholism, and her father is battling cancer. Deeply emotional stuff to carry you through the mystery.

Fans who have been with Tennison since 1991, however, are treated to an even greater level of emotional pathos. These viewers have seen this progression, from take-charge woman-in-a-man’s-world into an almost broken, lonely yet successful police superintendent (much like the classic stereotype of the rugged male cop who shuns/loses all of his relationships to the job). The audience agonizes as she faces her demons, both inner and in the real world, but hope springs eternal. The filmmakers give us rewarding glimpses into the show’s history. The return of a character from the early days comes off as organic and not in any way a stunt for the final episode. Likewise, a flashback scene from the end of the first story evokes a smile when viewed in context.

The excellent DVD presentation is backed up by a 50-minute behind-the-scenes documentary, which does a fine job of recapping the show and its history. Also included are filmographies and a photo gallery.

Unlike your average American drama, everything is not wrapped up nice and tidy in a bow at the end of The Final Act. But there is hope, and that, paired with an effective mystery, results in a satisfying bookend for this character’s journey. Prime Suspect 7: The Final Act is a must see for Prime Suspect fans, and highly recommended for fans of well-made crime dramas.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Jacqueline Kerrod
    Jacqueline Kerrod

    17 Days in December (Orenda Records). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Pokey Lafarge
    Pokey Lafarge

    In The Blossom Of Their Shade (New West Records). Review by Jeremy Glazier.

  • Best of Film 2021
    Best of Film 2021

    Lily and Generoso select and review their ten favorite features, seven supplemental films, and two prized repertory releases of 2021.

  • I Saw A Dozen Faces…
    I Saw A Dozen Faces…

    From The Windbreakers to Bark, Tim Lee is a trooper in the rock and roll trenches…and he’s lived to tell it all in his new memoir.

  • The Lyons
    The Lyons

    A man on his deathbed is surrounded by bickering family members, many of which you would strangle him given the chance. In other words: a brilliant comedy!

  • The Reading Room
    The Reading Room

    Today’s episode features author Anna-Marie O’Brien talking about her book Adventures of a Metalhead Librarian: A Rock N’ Roll Memoir with Ink 19’s Rose Petralia.

  • Bush Tetras
    Bush Tetras

    Rhythm and Paranoia (Wharf Cat). Review by Scott Adams.

  • Tom Tom Club
    Tom Tom Club

    The Good The Bad and the Funky (Nacional). Review by Julius C. Lacking.

  • Barnes & Barnes
    Barnes & Barnes

    Pancake Dream (Demented Punk Records). Review by Carl F. Gauze.

  • Jeremiah Lockwood
    Jeremiah Lockwood

    A Great Miracle: Jeremiah Lockwood’s Guitar Soli Chanukah Album (Reboot). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

From the Archives