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Strike – Career of Evil | TV Series Season 3

Continuing our journey of watching British television drama Strike, we watched season 3 lately. As the fans of Robert Glabraith / J K Rowling would know, this season is based on the third book called “Career of Evil“.

You can read our reviews of the previous two seasons below:

TV Serial : Strike
aka C. B. Strike
(Season 3)
Genre : Crime drama, Detective fiction, Action
Based On : The characters by Robert Galbraith (i.e. J. K. Rowling)
Written by :
Executive producer(s) : J. K. Rowling, Neil Blair, Ruth Kenley-Letts, Elizabeth Kilgarriff
Producer(s) : Jackie Larkin
Editor(s) : Gareth C. Scales, Sam Williams, Stephen Haren
Cinematography : Hubert Taczanowski
Aired on : 25 February 2018
Starring : Main Cast:
Tom Burke (Cormoran Strike), Holliday Grainger (Robin Ellacott)

Recurring Cast:
Kerr Logan (Matthew Cunliffe), Ben Crompton (Shanker), Natasha O’Keeffe (Charlotte Campbell), Killian Scott (D.I. Eric Wardle), Sargon Yelda (D.I. Richard Anstis)

Guest Cast:
Andrew Brooke (Niall Brockbank), Emmanuella Cole (Alyssa), Jessica Gunning (Holly Brockbank), Matt King (Jeff Whittaker), Neil Maskell (Donald Laing), Kierston Wareing (Leda Strike), and others…

External Links: : Official Website
Wikipedia page
Purchase links: : N/A
The Plot:

Like season 2, this season also has only 02 episodes to keep the drama fast-paced. Let’s take a look at the episodes:

Episode 1:

We see a young girl getting ready to go somewhere special, and then there are mixed shots of her travel to this place, ride through the elevator and her entry into a dark apartment, interspersed with Strike walking through streets of London and going to a very similar place. Like the previous two seasons, this one also starts with the murder. At the same time, Robin and Matthew are meeting their friends over drinks and of course, Robin’s low paying job is the topic of discussion…

TV Serial : Strike
aka C. B. Strike
(Season 3)
Episode Title :
Episode 1
Episode Director : Charles Sturridge
Episode Writer :
Aired on : 25 February 2018

The credits roll with “I’ll walk beside you…

we can see it is some time after their last case and Robin and Strike are on comfortable footing as they start the day. It is just another day at work until Robin opens the mail package containing the severed leg. Strike calls the police. Robin remarks that Strike recognised something about the leg and he confirms that he once knew a young victim called Bryony who had similar scarring on her leg. Once Strike starts sharing the cases he saw when he was with SIB, Robin understands the Strike has confronted evil in this world.

The leg has a note with the Blue Oyster Cult lyrics on it, the same song that Strikes’s mother had a tattoo of… It is very clear to everyone involved that the murderer has a personal vendetta against Strike. But Strike is also aware that the killer is targeting Robin to hurt Strike.

For Robin though, this is bringing on the old nightmarish part of her life that she thought she had left behind. Matthew is hardly supportive at home and in an argument, she finds out that he cheated on her while she was at home from university a few years back. She leaves him, ends up getting drunk, until Strike finds her. She finally tells him about how she was a victim of rape and attempted murder that led her to leave her education unfinished. Strike of all people, understands the strength and fire that is inside her.

Robin spends the night in a hotel and the next day they drive the ancient land rover to go and meet Holly Brockbank, Bryony’s aunt. They discover that Brockbank is in London. They also chase another suspect David Laing, whom Strike put in jail for inhuman and cruel assaulting of his wife. And the last suspect Strike is looking for is Jeff Whitaker who was Leda Strike’s boyfriend when she died. Strike has always suspected that Jeff murdered her.

Meanwhile, police have found the young girl’s hacked up body and it appears she was going to meet Strike!!! He is called in for questioning. The reporters are always on the office doors and clients are running away from Strike thanks to all the negative publicity.

The killer’s strategy to harm Strike is working perfectly…

Episode 2:

Starts with the song and titles…

TV Serial : Strike
aka C. B. Strike
(Season 3)
Episode Title :
Episode 2
Episode Director : Charles Sturridge
Episode Writer :
Aired on : 4 March 2018

Strike is being questioned by the police and he is annoyed that the tabloids are working overtime to paint him as the killer of Kelsey Firth. In spite of Strike’s reluctance, Robin continues to work and tail suspects until she finds a location for Donald Laing. She meets her mother in a restaurant for dinner. Her mother is aware of the conflict between her and Matthew and offers her 500 pounds. It is upto Robin whether she will use it for a deposit on a flat for herself or on a pair of wedding shoes. Doing neither, Robin invest this money to keep the business going – she gives the money to Strike.

She goes home and Matthew asks for another chance and they make up. So Robin goes to Yorkshire for wedding preparations, while Strike finds Donald Laing. Laing appears to be crippled and so Strike takes him off the list of suspects.

Meanwhile, the killer leaves another piece of a human body in Robin and Matthew’s kitchen. Although Strike is upset by this, he refuses to stop Robin from working, when Matthew complaints.

Strike goes to see Kelsey’s sister and takes photos of various items in the house. Robin follows the lead Strike found in a strip club that Noel Brockbank is living with a stripper called Alyssa, and finds out an address for him. She also confronts Jeff Whitaker about hitting his current girlfriend.

In spite of the precautions, the killer finds the opportunity to attack Robin and she ends up in a hospital with a knife wound in her hand. Strike forbids her to do anything further about Alyssa, but Robin can’t ignore the little girls in that house and so she takes Shanker’s help and visits Alyssa’s flat to warn her about Brockbank. but the timings goes wrong and it appears they have lost Brockbank on the run. Furious by this turn of events, Strike fires Robin. And once Matthew blocks Strike on Robin’s hone, it appears to be the end of their partnership.

While bringing flowers to his mother’s grave, Strike notices sea holly…and suddenly the jigsaw puzzle fits and the picture forms.

He knows who the maniac is now, but his final confrontation can go so wrong…

Views And Reviews

Since we were aware of how complex the book is and how gruesome its content was when it came to cold blooded murderers and other equally hineous criminals, we approached this series with a mental note to be prepared for violence. However, the series has been dramatised very cleverly and manages to limit such content without too much blood and gore. Even the scenes showing chopped body parts are done such that they don’t fall into the horror category instead of suspense thriller.

While the book was incredibly complex with stories and backgrounds involving multiple characters from Strike’s past, the TV series has them as only cursory threads which are followed and discarded pretty quickly. Strike’s contemporary personal life is pretty much absent and Robin’s past is finally revealed in a few scenes to make sense of her character and how it has developed in the last two seasons.

Once again, both Tom Burke and Holliday Grainger do an excellent job of bringing to life these complex characters created by J K Rowling which have such a fan following of their own now. The dialogues are faithful to the book, with just enough modern day twist to make them contemporary and I loved how not only London, but also the English countryside makes a backdrop of these stories.

You may have come across various series like Midsomer Murders, Doc Martin or Broadchurch which are set completely in English countryside and show an entirely different side of idyllic village life that is rife with crimes. Although Strike and Robin operate in London, while following Brockbank and Donald Laing, they also see this side of English country life in this season.

But most importantly, it is also the bond between Strike and Robin, that is tested in this season – as they both reveal parts of their past that they would rather not have happened. They also have their first serious breach in this season when they don’t see eye-to-eye on a case and part ways. But as Strike finally arrives at the wedding, we know they will patch up again.

While as a reader, we enjoy the complexity of these books, we think the series has done a fantastic job of not over-complicating the background by eliminating a lot of side characters in each season and trying to instead create a TV drama, that all fans can enjoy. It follows the classic television rules and does not disappoint in creating the spooky atmosphere of the chase. There is a healthy amount of fear and hair-raising thrill present throughout the episodes, but some scenes deserve a special mention – e.g., when Robin is attacked on the street or when Strike enters the murderer’s hidden den.

Summary:

All in all another excellent installment in the Strike TV universe and worth a watch if you enjoy good suspense thrillers and murder mysteries.

ThinkerViews Rating:

Around 8 out of 10 out of 10

Trivia:

In October 2018, BBC announced that Lethal White will be adapted as a four-part drama with Burke returning as Cormoran Strike and Grainger as Robin Ellacott, and Tom Edge writing the screenplay.
We can’t wait for this to be available to viewers…..

Over To You:

Did you watch this TV Series or any of its episodes? What do you think of it? We welcome you to share your reviews with all other readers. And yes, don’t forget to share it with your friends who share the same choices with you.

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