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STREET LEGAL: THE PILOT   a.k.a 'HIT AND RUN'

When rookie lawyer Tim O'Connor zooms into town on his classic motorbike he literally rides straight into a demonstration at the courthouse.  Mistaken for an agitator, he finds himself arrested and taken to Police HQ, leaving his beloved bike to the mercy of a local thief.  While pleading his innocence he is introduced to David Silesi, a criminal lawyer at the firm Tim is to start work for that day.  David asks Tim to defend a traffic case for him while he attends the funeral of a hit-and-run victim.  Given no choice and completely unprepared, Tim defends the case - or more correctly the Judge, sensing his total lack of experience, defends the case for him.  Tim wins but accuses David of setting him up. David is unrepentant declaring "this isn't law school, this is real life".

The victim of the hit-and-run was a little girl who ran out on to the road while her father was at work and her mother had fallen asleep, exhausted from working two jobs to try and pay the second mortgage on their house. The couple are family friends of David's, so he takes great interest when he sees the young driver's wealthy father pass money to the parents at the funeral.  David sees an opportunity to help ease the grieving family's financial worries.  His only problem is that there seems to be no negligence on part of the driver.

Determined that some good should come out of the situation, he enlists the help of television tabloid journalist Louise Jarvis.  He hopes that by putting the media spotlight on the driver's family he can force an out-of-court settlement.  His plan backfires badly when his colleagues, including his girlfriend Joni, are appalled by his gutter tactics.  Feeling unappreciated he turns to Louise for comfort.  Physical comfort.  Unfortunately, in the throes of passion he manages to stand on his mobile phone, speed-dialing Joni's number.  Unbeknownst to him, she hears the whole sordid affair.  He returns home to find his clothes strewn across the driveway and Joni moving out.

Trying to salvage something out of the situation, David continues to pressure the driver's family but is devastated to learn that no criminal charges will be laid.  It looks like all is lost until Tim reveals he overheard a conversation at a bar between the driver and a friend.  The driver admitted to speeding and there was also a witness - the driver's friend.  David takes this information to the driver's family and offers to do a deal: he won't tell the police if they pay the victims family $25 000.

The victim's family is grateful for David's efforts but refuse to accept the 'blood-money', saying it won't honour their daughter's memory.  And to make matters worse the young driver, feeling overwhelming guilt about the death of the little girl, commits suicide by driving off the end of a wharf. 

Neither David nor Tim can believe the way things have turned out.  The law is a hard mistress and they've just been taught a tough lesson.

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EPISODE 1: ELLIS'S RESTAURANT
 

David is called upon to defend an ex-junkie, clean for the past five years, on a drug possession charge.  The client, Lachie, swears he's innocent and David promises to do his best to get the him off but, with no witnesses, he doesn't hold out much hope.  He devises a strategy whereby he hopes to get the arresting detective, his old rival Kees Van Dam, to bring up his client's previous drug history.  This would result in a mistrial.  His plan goes badly wrong and the Judge threatens to report him to the Law Society.  To cap off a bad day, David discovers his Ute is missing.  His brother Samson offers to help him find it and they visit a shady associate of Samson's called Ellis, who bought the Ute's tailgate off a supplier.  David loses his cool and only Samson's quick intervention saves him from a beating.  After some more fast talking, Ellis agrees to get details of the supplier to Samson. 

Meanwhile, in an attempt to keep David under control,  Peter asks rookie lawyer Tim to assist David on the case.  If they don't win, their client will lose custody of his children and, seeing as their mother is still a heavy drug-user, that's out of the question.  Joni tries to offer sympathy but all David can think about is his missing Ute.  He realises too late he's just missed his one chance to make up with her.

Samson has found an address for Ellis's supplier so he and David go on a raid, breaking into the supplier's yard.  He discovers his Ute is in pieces and the supplier is a friend of Lachie's named Deed.  He also happens to be sleeping with Lachie's ex-wife. The next day at the courthouse, Deed gives Tim an envelope to pass to David, saying it's to make amends for the theft of the Ute.

In court, David's trying to shake the testimony of a dodgy witness who claims Lachie confessed his crime to him.  Convinced the witness is lying, David uses Tim's suggestion that they bluff - and it works.  Lachie's name is cleared and Deed is exposed as the man who planted the drugs and coerced the witness to lie.  The case is dismissed but there isn't enough evidence to convict Deed.  Not until David opens the envelope Tim was holding for him and discovers it contains drugs.  He enlists Samson's help breaking into Deed's car, plants the drugs and suggests to Kees that he search the vehicle.

A good result all around and David's day is made even better when Samson presents him with the keys to his new set of wheels - a 1944 Ford Jailbar.  If only he still had Joni, life would be perfect...

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EPISODE 2: HEROIN CHIC
 

David is called upon to defend a country boy new to the big city and up on drug theft charges.  Believing him to be good at heart, David goes to bat for him and tells the judge he has found him both a place to stay and a job.  This is news to David's brother Samson who discovers he is to provide both.  The young man proves to be a good worker and Samson rewards him with an advance on his wages.

Unfortunately the police catch him using his advance to fund a drug buy.  He swears he is not a junkie and David finally gets the bottom of the story: his sister is a top model chained to her agent by a serious heroin addiction.  David enlists Melanie's help in tracking the model down as he is 'way too old' to get into the hip clubs where the models hang out.  Melanie is appalled to see the young girl being carried out of the club, victim of a near-fatal overdose.

Upon further investigation, David discovers she is not the first young model managed by a certain agent to suffer this fate.  They meet a grief-stricken mother whose daughter died of such an overdose.  She was modelling for the same agent at the time.

David asks Joni to help him convince the police to move in on the agent as his relationship with Snr Sgt Kees Van Dam is far from a good one.  Joni fails in her attempt but wins both the respect and the admiration of Kees.  A turn of events David is definitely not happy about.

Meanwhile Melanie, frustrated with the lack of progress, decides to take matters into her own hands.  She turns up at the agent's office saying she would like a modelling career and he agrees to do some test shots late that night in a secluded warehouse.

Unable to reach Melanie and desperately concerned for her safety, David and Joni head to the warehouse where they find both Melanie and the doped-up model.  Now that they have some evidence to go on, the police swoop and arrest the agent. 

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EPISODE 3: WHO LIVES BY THE SWORD
 

Samson witnesses a gang robbery that goes horribly wrong and ends in the death of a security guard.  Another witness steps forward to help the police - a young mother. She clearly identifies the culprit who, in the meantime, has had David assigned as his defense lawyer.  Unfortunately she identifies him on television so the gang knows exactly who she is.

David is worried when his client - Rat - shows neither guilt nor remorse at the killing and is even more concerned when Rat hints that the witness will soon be silenced.  Tragically the woman and her baby are shot down in the doorway of her home and the police can't convict Rat without her testimony.

So begins the hunt to find the other witness (who we already know is Samson).  If the gang find him, he too will be silenced.  If the police find him first, he will be pressured into testifying - again exposing him to danger.  Unwilling to put his family at risk, Samson stays silent.

David uses his television contact, Louise Jarvis, to access the footage filmed on the day of the robbery and discovers Samson was at the scene.  He tries to get Samson to testify against his client.  For obvious reasons Samson is not willing to get involved.  Finally David manages to swing a deal with the police whereby Samson will get police protection in return for his evidence.  David withdraws from the case due to the obvious conflict of interest.

David attends Rat's bail hearing but to everyone's shock - and right in front of David - rat is gunned down by Dean Stirling, the husband of the slain witness.  With Rat dead, Samson and his family are off the hook.  But as a shaken Dean sobs in his prison cell, Kees gets a call from David.  If Dean doesn't have a lawyer, David would like to defend him ....

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EPISODE 4: IN THE NAME OF THE SON
 

When a child is desperately ill some people put their trust in medical science. David’s client Lachie – whom David defended in Episode 1 - puts his faith in God, and leaves David at odds with his colleagues, the medical fraternity and an odious social worker.

Lachie’s son Michael has leukemia. Unable to face yet another round of chemotherapy, and against drugs of all kind, Lachie has sought alternative treatment, which appears to be working. The authorities don’t believe it’s in the best interest of the child, and are threatening to take Michael from Lachie’s custody. Michael’s doctor, Stu, a drag-racing mate of David’s, wants David to help, and David readily agrees.

 However, the authorities aren’t the only people protesting Michael’s alternative treatment. Lachie’s junkie ex-wife, Sandra, complicates things by turning up at his house with a bunch of thugs and attempting to take Michael by force. David arrives just in time to scare them off.

Back at the office, David has a run in with Simon Harrison, the social worker assigned to the case by the Health Authority. Simon is very much on the side of conventional medicine, and he and David are unable to reach any resolution. Having taken an instant dislike to the officious Simon, David goes to Joni for help with the case - she’s the expert in family law, and while tearing a child away from his parent may be a moral crime, it doesn’t exactly qualify as a criminal law case. To his surprise, Joni refuses to get involved, telling David he’s in way over his head and that if anything, she agrees with the Health Authority.

 David’s alerted when Simon shows up on Lachie’s doorstep with the police and a court order – the Health Authority has been granted wardship of Michael so they can legally give him conventional medical treatment. David convinces Simon to wait 24 hours, to give the boy and his father time to talk and say goodbye. But before the 24 hours are up, Lachie and his son disappear.

A furious Simon goes to the media and pleads for anyone aware of Lachie and Michael’s whereabouts to turn them in. Simon then has search warrants issued for David’s home, and for anyone connected with him – meaning that the police bust Peter’s client do at the office, interrupt Joni’s romantic moment with Kees, and see Tim evicted from his flat.

David tracks Michael and his father down to Lachie’s mother’s house and finds them a safer hideout while he tries to get the court order overturned. He investigates the alternative treatment further and finds out that Heather, the therapist treating the child, has had a 0% success rate with terminal patients.  When it’s revealed that Heather is sleeping with Stu, Michael’s doctor, David feels suspicious about the advice he’s been receiving. Heather insists that she has never promised a cure, that if anything, her job is to make death more bearable, but David feels his allegiances shifting.

David voices his doubts to Joni and she wisely tells him to ignore all the interested parties and think about what’s best for the child. In court, David argues eloquently for Lachie’s right to determine what’s best for his son, and he wins – the court order is overturned. However, David is now very worried about Michael’s treatment, especially as a viable bone marrow donor has been found. David goes to Lachie and asks him to consider the bone marrow transplant. When Lachie insists on trusting in God, David tells the story of man drowning in a flood, who asked for God to save him. A helicopter arrived and attempted to winch the man to safety, but the man refused, insisting that God would save him. The man was sucked under the water and drowned. Upon his arrival in heaven the man asked God why he didn’t help him. God replied, "I sent you a helicopter. What more could you want?"

Lachie heeds David’s words and Michael goes to hospital. A relieved David thinks he’ll leave the family law to Joni, but she’s impressed by his compassion.                                                                                         

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EPISODE 5: E IS FOR EXIT
 

Sandy, a friend of Melanie’s, collapses on the dance floor at an all night party. Kees gets heavy, starts asking both Mel and her mate Freddo about the incident – amphetamine was found in Sandy’s blood, and Kees wants to know how it got there. Melanie seeks legal advice from Tim, who is shocked to hear Mel and Freddo admit they were both on Ecstasy that night. But they insist that Sandy wasn’t – she wouldn’t go near drugs, was a fitness freak.

As no one is actually charged with anything yet, Tim agrees to keep it from Peter - but things get complicated when Freddo is hauled down to the station by Kees, and needs independent counsel. David steps into the fray. Kees warns that Freddo is close to being charged with trafficking – a surveillance tape shows Freddo selling what looks like Ecstasy.

Meanwhile, out for a powerwalk, Joni confides in Adie about Kees. While she’s enjoying seeing him socially, she worries that he takes their burgeoning relationship too seriously. He wants Joni to come away with him for the weekend, and Joni’s not sure she’s ready for this. After David, she really just wants to have fun. Adie raises her eyebrows as Joni eyes up their good looking gym instructor Mark.

Back at the office, Freddo tells David and Tim he was selling – but only vitamins, trying to make a quick buck by passing them off as E. David warns that without proof, the cops will laugh at this story.

Meanwhile, Kees and the cops try to track down any of Freddo’s leftovers, but the club kids aren’t talking. Noel, one of Freddo’s biggest customers on the night, is furious with Freddo for putting the heat on him. When Melanie reveals that she knows Noel has leftovers of Freddo’s stuff, David suggests she dob Noel in – police seizure of what Freddo sold Noel could confirm the story that the substance wasn’t E.

Tim is furious when Mel does just that, leading to the cops busting Noel. Tim and David hope like hell that Freddo has been telling the truth about the vitamins. Noel, meanwhile, is out for Freddo’s blood, and Freddo is on the run. Things get worse when Sandy dies, and Melanie mourns the loss of her friend.

 Joni, armed with new knowledge from her personal trainer Mark, queries Sandy’s fitness regime – the dehydration which led to her collapse could also be the result of diuretic use. But how would she obtain illegal diuretics? David, Tim and Joni work together, and discover a link to Sandy’s personal trainer Kev. Joni becomes one of Kev’s clients, getting closer to the truth: that he can get not only illegal diuretics, but a cocktail of other drugs. When Tim spots Kev on the dance club surveillance tape, David makes the link to an old crime committed by Kev, and realises that Joni may be Kev’s next victim.

David and Tim rush to save Joni from peril – but almost ruin a bust organised by Kees. Kev admits to both supplying Sandy with illegal diuretics, and slipping her E at the party, and Freddo and Melanie are off the hook when tests reveal that Noel’s ‘E’ was indeed only vitamins.

Melanie, relieved that the case is over, comes to a decision. Upset by the bickering between her parents over who is a fitter role model, Melanie announces to Peter and Adie that she’s moving out of Peter’s house – and in with Freddo.

And Joni, back at her old gym, admits to Mark the gym instructor that the whole experience has made her question how controlled her life is. Mark tells her he can help her lose control. They head for Joni’s place, and for passion…

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EPISODE 6: PROVOCATION
 

David prepares to defend Dean Stirling on his murder charge, assisted by Tim. In episode 3, Dean shot gang member Rat at his bail hearing, in retaliation for the gang’s murder of Dean’s wife Jude and their baby.

Dean isn’t making things easy, is uncommunicative – after escaping an attempted attack by gang members in prison, he is put back in solitary confinement, which only serves to magnify his depression. Tim and David grasp at provocation as a defence, enlisting the expertise of psychiatrist Dr Margaret Stemford.

However, Margaret isn’t prepared to concede that Dean acted as the result of a kind of post-traumatic stress disorder – not unless she knows what his symptoms were between the time of his family’s death, and the day he shot Rat. David gets a call from prison: Dean’s back in hospital after a suicide attempt.

A desperate David realises he must use reporter Louise Jarvis to help get him close to People Against Gangs, the protest group that Dean was allied with, in an effort to dig up relevant evidence about Dean’s state of mind before the shooting. With Louise’s help, David meets Dean’s neighbour Molly Riordan, who can attest to the strain he was under before he shot Rat. David’s relieved, and Margaret agrees to testify to the possibility that Dean was suffering post-traumatic stress disorder – therefore giving rise to the defence of provocation.

However, the gang have now become very interested in Molly and her potential testimony. They pursue Louise and Molly by car, and David must intervene, risking himself and the Jailbar as he manages to run the gang car off the road. David becomes a target himself, and fends off a backstreet attack by two gang members.

Joni, meanwhile, continues her fling with Mark the personal trainer. Adie clocks the sexual frisson, and finds it amusing – but is supportive. When Kees joins the gym, and Joni suspects that it’s really to keep an eye on her, and she starts to feel guilty. Adie points out that Joni’s allowed to date several people – after all, she’s not in serious relationship with either Kees or Mark. But Joni decides to come clean with Kees – she’s seeing someone else. When Kees finds out that it’s Mark, he’s hurt.

As Dean’s trial continues, David wins a few key points, but Adie suggests that David needs to get Dean on the stand. David agrees, but an intense Dean undoes his entire defence by clearly stating that he knew what he was doing, that he planned the murder. After this outburst Adie has no choice but to direct the jury to find Dean guilty of murder, rather than manslaughter – she claims that provocation is not a defence available to him.

But David’s closing argument is eloquent, arguing that Dean is still in the grips of a stress disorder, is not aware of what he is saying, and that sending Dean back to prison is a death sentence for him. In a controversial final move, David has Dean raise his hands, showing the bandages, seeping blood, around his wrists. The court is in an uproar over this ploy, but the jury is deeply moved. They return a controversial finding: Dean is guilty, but only of manslaughter. Crown Prosecutor Anna Kerepu is disbelieving, but Adie decides to let the ruling stand.

Outside the court, congratulations all round. David’s pleased for Dean, but his happiness turns to trepidation when Dean hints that because the gang took two lives close to him, his job is only half done. Another one must die. Dean wanders away, leaving David and Tim swallowing hard – have they done the right thing?

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EPISODE 7: THE BOXER
 

David represents a young Tongan, Sunny, who is about to be deported for overstaying. Sunny is a boxer who has caught the eye of Wallace Culhane, a wealthy patron who is determined to turn Sunny pro and take him to the top. Sunny, however, doesn’t want this – he wants to be a sculptor, takes David to a local park to show him the kind of sculpture he dreams of making. David, entirely sympathetic to Sunny’s plight, has trouble finding grounds on which to argue an appeal against Sunny’s deportation.

David and Tim manage to buy Sunny some time when they discover that all the flights to Tonga are fully booked – the court can neither deport nor hold Sunny. However, Sunny’s engagement to his New Zealand Samoan girlfriend Nicola is causing ructions with Nicola’s furious father, who won’t have his daughter marrying some fresh-off-the-boat arrival. David must navigate family tensions and Culhane’s game-playing – which extends to having Sunny dropped from his under-the-table job.

Melanie, meanwhile, finds herself out on the street when Freddo fails to pay rent at their flat. Tim bails her out with money, but Melanie puts it towards her rent arrears instead of a new place. Melanie pleads with Tim to let her move into his pristine flat, and Tim relents. However, Tim’s not pleased when Freddo moves in as well, and insists that Mel get rid of him.

Joni has problems of her own. On a dinner out with Adie and Judge Springer, Joni runs into Mark with an older woman. Joni discovers that Mark has been working a nice sideline – as an escort. Adie can’t help but be amused, but Joni gives Mark the flick.

Adie has also confided in Joni that she’s made an official complaint to the Law Society about David’s behaviour in the Dean Stirling trial. Joni sits on the news. Peter isn’t happy, however, when notification of the complaint arrives, and David doesn’t treat it seriously.

All hell breaks loose when Sunny and Nicola go missing – David and Samson try to track them down, worried that if Sunny misses his reporting time, he will surely face deportation. David finally finds Sunny at the sculpture studio. But Nicola’s father isn’t far behind David, and a furious argument breaks out. However, Nicola has news that changes everything: she is pregnant. This not only gives Sunny a good shot at residency, but it gradually brings Nicola’s father Manuele around.

Nicola and Sunny arrange a hasty wedding, and the office scrambles to organise partners for it. Joni makes a move towards reconciling with Kees when she invites him to the ceremony. David shows up with Louise, and while Joni tries to be cool about it, she’s upset. But it’s a happy ending for Nicola and Sunny, as Nicola’s father Manuele finally accepts Sunny – and his unborn child - into the family.

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EPISODE 8: DANGEROUS WATERS
 

Joni and Tim are caught up in waterfront intrigue when they attempt to unravel a property rights case.  Barry Bond, a wealthy boatyard owner, has been left in a coma after a yachting accident, and his fiancee Lily is battling his chief employee, Muzz, for control of the company. 

The accusations are flying – Muzz thinks that Lily has been cooking the books, Lily accuses Muzz of being an alcoholic with an anger management problem.  Joni’s sympathies lie with Lily, but Tim is inclined to believe Muzz.  That is, until the company books go missing, and Muzz is arrested for assaulting Lily. 

Muzz makes some last ditch attempts to discredit Lily.  He insists that Barry was having an affair, that Lily knew, and was responsible for the accident that hospitalised him, that Muzz is privy to secret information about the company… Tim has to acknowledge that Muzz has some deep-seated problems, paranoia not the least of them.  However, with the accusations over the financial discrepancies hanging over their heads, Joni decides in favour of the Public Trust to manage Barry’s affairs.  

Still, further digging into the financial records alerts Joni to some problems – could Muzz have been right?  Joni goes to confront Lily, while Tim breaks the news to Muzz.  A frantic Muzz is forced to reveal what he has been trying to keep secret:  Barry was having an affair – with him.  Muzz warns that Lily is a dangerous woman, and if Joni pushes her the wrong way…

Realising Joni is in danger, Tim tries to contact her.  But Joni is being held on a furious Lily’s yacht, as Lily attempts to revisit her attempted murder of Barry on Joni.  Tim and Kees engineer a daring water rescue to save Joni from the fury of a woman scorned.

Meanwhile, Adie’s written complaint about David’s courtroom behaviour during the Dean Stirling trial (episode 6) reaches the Law Society.  Peter tries to talk Adie into withdrawing her complaint, but she refuses, insisting Peter put his foot down with David.  When David won’t apologise, Peter gets tough.  He tells David that he won’t be welcome back in the office until he does so. 

A stubborn David walks out of his job.  At a loose end, he goes to Samson’s for sympathy – but Samson suggests that David help him out at the panel shop, do some work.  David quickly finds that it’s not exactly his cup of tea. 

Louise cheers David by showing him a booklet that ranks criminal lawyers – and puts David at number three.  David suggests to Peter they use the booklet as a defence against the complaint, and Peter is flabbergasted.  Joni tries to smooth the waters, but David turns the tables on her, suggesting that Adie is especially hard on him because of her friendship with Joni.  Peter grows increasingly concerned about David appearing before the Disciplinary Committee, asks Joni to try and help however she can.  Joni talks to Adie, who accuses Joni of using their friendship to try and keep David out of harm’s way. 

Meanwhile, a reflective David decides he has been overly stubborn, and he asks Peter to defend him.  Peter’s defence to the Disciplinary Committee is passionate, heartfelt – and cut short when the Committee reveals that Adie has already spoken to them, and decided that a simple apology to her will suffice.  David meets Adie on neutral territory, says he is sorry.  And a contrite Adie meets Joni, and makes her own apology for the things she has said.

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EPISODE 9: POSSESSION IS TEN TENTHS OF THE LAW
 

Adie is called down to the police station by her old society friend Pru.  Pru has been found sleeping in an unwarranted, unregistered BMW, and has given a false name.  Adie tries to smooth things over, but on confirming Pru’s identity, Kees charges her with burglary: a valuable vase has been stolen from her ex-husband’s home, and all the evidence points to her. 

David acts as Pru’s lawyer, gets bail for her, helps to organise her car repairs at Samson’s panel shop – but he’s taken aback by the vitriol of Pru’s ex-husband Steve. Adie admits to Joni that Pru lost out big time in a matrimonial property settlement, in which Adie represented her.  Adie’s always felt guilty about the outcome.

Meanwhile, David’s Jailbar is being repeatedly attacked – spraypainted, tyres slashed.  David is sure that Ellis, the previous owner, is to blame, that the ownership papers aren’t in order.  Ellis denies this, but suggests that installing his special car alarm will help David find the culprit.

When Adie goes to pick Pru up from the hotel she has been staying at, she finds herself saddled with the unpaid hotel bill – and no Pru.  David begins to suspect that Pru is guilty of the burglary, as she’s obviously in need of cash.  He becomes more suspicious when he gets a call from Samson – there’s something in this lady’s car you should see.  David finds a neatly packed suitcase in the boot, and worries that Pru is about to do a runner – with the vase she denies taking. 

David returns the car, but takes Tim with him to do some covert surveillance of Pru.  What they find shocks them: Pru is sleeping in the car, living out of her little suitcase, washing in public toilets.  When Adie discovers this, she is mortified - she helps Pru out financially and has her agree to reopen her matrimonial property settlement.  Pru finally admits to Adie that she did break into Steve’s house and steal something – a picture of her son.  She swears she didn’t touch the vase, and suggests that Steve has it himself, is trying to punish her.  Adie pushes Joni to redress Pru’s settlement wrongs.  Joni doesn’t need the pressure, but finally finds a loophole to reopen the settlement.  When Steve’s lawyer, Samantha, indicates that mediation is out of the question, Joni plans to use Pru and Steve’s son, Rowan, as leverage against his father.

Joni and David lie to get Rowan to Auckland.  But Rowan is unmoved by news of his mother’s plight, until David is able to show Rowan that Pru’s reduced to working in a soup kitchen.  Rowan tries to shame his father into backing down, but Steve gets even nastier.  That is, until David uses Kees to force Steve’s hand.  When Kees implies that the police will search his property for the vase, Steve panics.  Tim and David catch him, on video, trying to get rid of the vase, proving that his claim was fraudulent.  Backed into a corner, Steve gives Pru an equitable settlement.  Pru is delighted – but is just as happy to be reconciled with Rowan.

And thanks to Ellis’s special car alarm, David catches the vandal who is wrecking his truck: Squirt, a previous owner who lost the car when he failed to meet his payments, despite pouring his heart and soul into restoring it.  David, who feels he’s learned a thing or two from Pru’s case, smoothes things over when he offers Squirt a custody agreement for the car, with supervised visitation…

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EPISODE 10: REST IN PEACE
 

David’s surprised to see Carol, the wife of his old friend Mike Gower, in for a meeting with Joni.  When he presses Joni about the visit, she is cagey – but David gets the feeling that something’s up with his old friend.  Later that night, David’s thrown when he gets a call from a tearful Mike, who is down at the police station: on suspicion of murdering Carol. 

Carol was found dead by her sister Frances, with injuries consistent with a major blow to the head.  David takes on Mike’s case, to Joni’s disgust, and prepares to defend him on the murder charge.  Joni reveals that Carol had come to see her about having a protection order taken out against the violent Mike.  David finds this hard to believe – Mike’s a nice guy. However, Mike has no alibi.  He explains that he and Carol had argued over her relationship with a man called Ben.  Carol had revealed that she and Ben had been having an affair – but that she had decided to stay with her husband.  An enraged Mike had stormed out, and gone for a long drive up the coast road.  David does manage to establish that Mike stopped for petrol, and clutches at this as a possible alibi.

But David’s case takes a turn for the worse when he finds that Kees has evidence of past incidents where Carol was assaulted by Mike, but had withdrawn the charges.  David confronts Mike, who insists the incidents were isolated events.  A worried  David sends Tim out to find corroboration of Mike’s petrol station alibi. 

The trial begins, but David’s hope that the case will be thrown out for lack of evidence is under threat from the word go – Ben comes up with a rock solid alibi, and Frances testifies that Carol had been repeatedly assaulted by Mike, and produces evidence of the beatings.  A furious David has it out with Mike – how dare he treat anyone this way!  Especially the woman he claimed to have loved! 

Mike breaks down – he did it.  He killed Carol.  He wants to change his plea to guilty.  A shaken David tries to absorb this, buy more time for his client, as Tim races towards court with breaking news – he has surveillance video from a petrol station which places Mike out of town when Carol was killed.  Tim arrives in the nick of time, and David gets a brief adjournment to examine the new evidence.  It clearly exonerates Mike, which leaves the question: who did kill Carol?  With Joni’s help, David lights upon an interesting point – Carol’s blood came back clear in the pathology report, yet both Ben and Mike had mentioned that Carol was drinking on the day of her death. 

David puts the clues together, realises what happened.  At court the next day, David recalls Frances to the stand.  In a gruelling questioning session, David touches on Frances’s job at the hospital, implying that she was in a position to have falsified her sister’s blood results.  When David brings up his intention to have Carol’s body exhumed for further testing, Frances is cornered into admitting the truth.  She confesses that Carol committed suicide.  Carol had taken an overdose, collapsed and hit her head.  When Frances found her, she realised she could finally pay Mike back for all the pain he had caused her sister by removing the pill bottle and suicide note.  The admission means that Mike is free.  David warns him that his freedom is at a price – he must come to terms with his anger, find ways to redeem himself.  Mike agrees, but David is left feeling betrayed by his old friend.

Back at the office, David finds himself deeply affected by his case.  He opens up to Joni about his past, about the real reason why he doesn’t drink – he’s seen his own dark side, works hard at suppressing his own temper.  David breaks down, and Joni moves in to comfort him.  And after the emotional exhaustion of David’s trial, they suddenly find themselves kissing… 

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EPISODE 11: BROTHER'S KEEPER
 

Samson is the victim of a deliberate hit and run and is saved by an emergency tracheotomy performed by one of his youth-at-risk employees, Kimble. Samson lies comatose in hospital, while an obsessed David tries to track down the car he saw leaving the scene.  Kees finds the car, torched, and with no clues as to why Samson was the victim… until the police find hot car parts in Samson’s shop.  Kees tells a stunned David that when Samson recovers, he’ll be charged with receiving. 

David embarks on a mission to clear Samson, sure that one of Samson’s employees is to blame.  With Tim’s help, David breaks into the sequestered panel shop, gets the employee records.  Kimble’s record reveals that he is a failed med student – explaining his tracheotomy skills.  Samson was wearing Kimble’s beanie on the day he was hit - this, combined with Kimble’s prior convictions, points to Kimble as the intended hit and run victim, and the key to clearing Samson’s name.

Meanwhile, David and Joni are both confused about their kiss.  Joni confides in Adie, who suggests that Joni not overreact – after all, she’s got a good thing going with Kees.  Joni admits that she and Kees haven’t slept together yet.  David confides in Samson, who is scornful – isn’t David seeing Louise?  Joni eventually lies to David that their kiss didn’t mean anything.  He’s hurt.

David goes to Kees, who admits that the cops are also looking at Kimble, but not in relation to the car parts.  David presses, but Kees won’t say more, insisting that as much as David doesn’t want to believe it, Samson is the culprit. When David lights on Kimble’s graffiti ‘tag’, he has an idea. 

David gets help from Freddo, using Kimble’s tag to track him down.  Tim and David find Kimble squatting in an abandoned house, and confront him.  Kimble admits that he stole the car parts.  He’s terrified, hints at a bigger crime for which he is being hunted down.

In the meantime, a guilty Joni, on the brink of consummating her relationship with Kees, admits the kiss with David.

David convinces Kimble to confess, and clear Samson, but Kimble wants to be sure the cops will do a deal to protect him.  Before David and Tim can get Kimble to a safe place, he is kidnapped by the guys who are after him.  As Kees and the police arrive, David and Tim find some Internet formulas in Kimble’s hideout.  When Tim translates Greek lettering at the bottom of the page – a warehouse address - everything falls into place.  David tries to convince Kees of their theory – that Kimble has been manufacturing drugs at the warehouse but wants out, and the big boys are trying to eliminate him. 

Kees agrees – it tallies with what the police already know - and moves police into position at the warehouse.  When Kees refuses to bust it, a frantic David points out that Kimble may be inside, his life in jeopardy, but Kees is staunch.  When David hears a shot from inside, he rushes the warehouse – and is confronted by a heavy with a gun.  To rescue David, Kees and cops are forced to go ahead with their bust – and the heavy is shot.  The crims are arrested, and David finds Kimble, too late – he’s dead. 

David’s furious that Kees didn’t act quickly enough to save Kimble, and Kees is furious that his men have been forced to open fire.  However, Kees tells David that the charges against Samson won’t be pursued – as long as David leaves Joni alone.  David agrees.  Samson regains consciousness, and David is delighted.

However, his happiness is short-lived.  When Joni comes to him, confesses that she lied, that the kiss did mean something, and she wants to resume their relationship, David is forced to be cold.  He’s not interested.  Joni is devastated, and David is trapped.

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EPISODE 12: OFFSIDE
 

David defends ex-rugby star Buzz Hamer on serious breaking and entering charges.  It becomes obvious that Buzz has a problem with alcohol – he was drunk when he broke into what he thought was his ex-partner’s house, hit the guy who came at him because he was confused… David gets bail and name suppression for Buzz, but insists that he clean up his act. 

Kees, mindful of his threat to David in the previous episode, is at loggerheads with him over the Buzz case.  The Prosecuting Sergeant, Sid, can’t help but notice the level of animosity between the two men, and urges Kees to sort it out.  Kees is cagey, but is finding the guilt over his behaviour is impacting other parts of his life – like his relationship with Joni.  He’s further sidetracked by the gruesome murder of a gang member, and worries he’s looking at a burgeoning gang war.

David takes his aggression out on the rugby field, where he is readying the Wyeth and Associates team for the local sevens tournament.  When he discovers that the cops – and therefore Kees – are the first team they will play, David urges his struggling side to train harder.  After practice, Samson questions why the receiving charges are still hanging over him (from episode 11), and David evades the question. 

David’s defence case for Buzz hits a snag when Buzz crashes his Cortina, drunk at the wheel.  Buzz breaks down, admits that he has a problem and wants help, but despite David’s best efforts, the name suppression against Buzz is lifted, making his problem and rehabilitation public knowledge.  David gets help for Buzz – and paves the way for Buzz to reunite with his ex-partner Liz and their child.  David also sees an opportunity for mutual benefit as the rugby team continues to struggle, and he has Buzz train with them. 

Buzz enjoys the training, but misses the booze.  David convinces him to play on their team against the cops.  However, as the game looms, Buzz is tempted to drink again. 

Meanwhile, Joni, unaware that now Kees has something to feel guilty about, is puzzled by his reluctance to push their relationship to the next level.  In discussion with Adie – and perhaps feeling a bit self-righteous after having come clean with Kees – Joni points out that Adie has been dragging things out with Judge Springer for way too long.  Adie has to agree – and gives him the flick.  She admits to Joni that she feels an overhaul of her life is needed, and Joni has the perfect antidote: a navel ring.  When Melanie finds out what her mother has got, she’s horrified.

Kees goes to Samson and interviews him about the stolen car parts, culminating in the charges being dropped – and in Kees apologising to David.  However, things are still tense between the two men.  At the rugby game, Buzz is a late show, but not because he has fallen off the wagon: because he has gone to his first AA meeting. 

David and Kees clash on the field, the ref  (who happens to be Judge Springer) forgets to blow the whistle to stop play, and Peter scores a try.  However, the game is abandoned when the cops must all attend a murder callout – another gang killing.  David decides that this counts as a forfeit, and Wyeth and Associates have won.

After the celebrations, David decides that he needs to talk to Joni.  However, he shows up at her house in time to see Joni and Kees stumbling in the front door, heading for passion.  A resigned David leaves.

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SERIES FINALE: RETRIBUTION
 

The rash of gang murders (which began in episode 12) continues with another killing, bringing the total to three.  David becomes concerned after a strange encounter with Dean Stirling. When a series of cleaning fluid bottles are left as ‘gifts’ for David, he begins to put the pieces together.  Dean is trying to tell him something – but what? 

Joni, meanwhile, struggles with a custody case, in which she is trying to represent the interests of two children: Cain and Bradley.  The boys’ mother, Karen, is a junkie, and the father, Tank, is a violent gang member.  Joni’s situation becomes complicated when Tank becomes the fourth gang murder victim. 

Louise contacts David with inside information on the gang murders.  She, like David, suspects Dean’s involvement – three of the victims had their eyes gouged out, enacting Dean’s final words (in episode 6): an eye for an eye.  At Dean’s house, David discovers a box of cleaning fluid which matches the bottles being left for him. 

David confers with Peter over the ethical dilemma of narcing on Dean to the cops, and Peter urges him to involve them.  However, Kees finds David’s theory about Dean full of holes – but both he and David are unaware that Dean has found his latest victims: he has kidnapped Joni, Cain and Bradley.  

As Joni drives Dean’s truck, at gunpoint, out of the city, he reveals to her that he plans to kill one of the children as retribution for the loss of his own child.  Joni is horrified.  David and Louise, meanwhile, theorise that Dean may have killed again.  They find what they’re looking for – another body with its eyes gouged out.  The police are called, and Kees reports that the victim is Karen Riley – the mother of the children that Joni was representing.  David realises that Joni may be in danger. 

He and Louise rush to the Riley house, then to Dean’s.  Dean’s neighbour points them towards Dean’s bach, and David lights on the idea of taking Dean’s dog with him.  Meanwhile, Kees gets a cellphone call from Joni – she has managed to speed-dial him, and cleverly gives away their location: Nelson’s Beach.  Kees and the AOS speed towards Nelson’s, and find Dean’s abandoned truck – and David’s Jailbar.  He’s got there first. 

Meanwhile, unaware of the drama unfolding in the bush, Melanie has conspired with Yalena to throw Peter a surprise birthday party.  However, the party falls flat as Mel, Tim and Yalena wait for Peter to turn up.  It doesn’t help that David and Joni are both missing as well.  Adie shows, and she and Mel argue – leading to Yalena and Melanie giving up and leaving.  Which puts Tim and Adie in the office together, to discover an interesting mutual attraction…

At the bach, Joni is trying to convince Dean not to harm the children.  When he gives her some time alone with them, Cain discovers a rotten board in the floor.  Joni prepares to help Cain and Bradley escape through the hole, as David arrives at the bach.  Dean’s dog gets off its leash, and is blown up as it runs towards its owner – Dean has trip-wired the ground around the bach. 

Alerted by the blast, Kees and the AOS arrive, but David’s still one step ahead of them – he’s used the cover of the explosion to dive under the bach.  The children safe, David bursts up through the floor as Dean is threatening Joni.  David pleads for Joni’s life, revealing his own feelings for her in an empassioned speech. 

Finally Dean gives himself up.  He, David, Joni and the children emerge from the bach.  Everyone makes it to safety except Dean, who, with one last look to David, deliberately stands on a trip wire and kills himself.

The shattered Joni accepts a ride home with David as Kees stays with the police team at the scene.  Confused by what she has heard him confess, Joni comes to a decision.  She tells David to stop the Jailbar.  And as we pull out, the Jailbar headlights switch off and Joni & David are kissing ... 


 

 

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