He is strung up tighter than an un­plucked mandolin

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Weekly Preview -

BRACE your­self for this ex­plo­sive first episode of the third se­ries of the home-grown SBS po­lice drama. In fact, arm your­self, im­me­di­ately, with a white flag.

Be­cause there are mo­ments when you may feel like ris­ing from the couch and wav­ing it in a bid, prob­a­bly fu­tilely, to es­cape be­ing re­duced to a bloody pulp in the deadly cross­fire.

So in­tense is the ac­tion, so high the body count, so drain­ing the ten­sion that you may, in­deed, need to seek mild se­da­tion. I know I did. And that was be­fore the first com­mer­cial break.

There is some­thing hugely im­pres­sive about East West 101 and, as you are dragged in­ex­orably into the ac­tion, you may find your­self re­gret­ting that this is the fi­nal se­ries.

Be­cause it is like a streetlevel, Syd­ney ver­sion of Spooks on steroids. And Spooks in which cen­tral char­ac­ters meet vi­o­lent and colour­ful ends as of­ten as par­rots fly­ing through wind farms. It al­ways feels as if it could run for­ever.

De­tec­tive Zane Ma­lik ( Don Hany) is back, nat­u­rally, and faces life chal­lenges, per­sonal tragedy and a few faith-re­lated com­pli­ca­tions; he is strung up tighter than an un­plucked mandolin most of the time.

The es­timable Supt Pa­tri­cia Wright (Susie Porter) is also here, al­lo­cat­ing sis­terly hugs but run­ning a tight ship, de­spite the ten­sions de­vel­op­ing be­tween the hot-headed Ma­lik and the new bloke — bat­tle­hard­ened ex-ser­vice­man de­tec­tive Neil Travis (Matt Nable), who is in­clined to East West 101 SBS One, Wed­nes­day, 8.30pm shoot first and ob­serve the in­ves­tiga­tive niceties later.

The drain­ing first episode opens with a se­quence based on Ma­lik’s dark imag­in­ings, but quickly morphs into the real world with a ruth­lessly ex­e­cuted raid on an ar­moured ve­hi­cle that, as luck would have it, con­tains $36 mil­lion in used notes.

Racial ten­sions are never far be­low the sur­face, whether through Ma­lik’s dig­ni­fied ob­ser­vance or Travis’s deep sus­pi­cions— a legacy of a tour of duty in Afghanistan, or pos­si­bly Iraq.

An armed rob­ber ends up dead and is iden­ti­fied as Fakhri Khalid (David El-Badawi) — a sus­pected for­mer ter­ror­ist with an Aus­tralian wife who is an of­fi­cer in the Aus­tralian army, now on ac­tive duty in Afghanistan.

So. Why is he be­hav­ing like Ron­nie Biggs?

And is it wise or, ap­pro­pri­ate, all things con­sid­ered, for Travis to in­vite his Mus­lim col­league Ma­lik out for a beer af­ter work?

Dark imag­in­ings: Don Hany as de­tec­tive Zane Ma­lik in

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.