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6 Degrees Entertainment

[JUNE 22] Halifax: Retribution [2-Disc]

(Rebecca Gibney, Anthony LaPaglia, Claudia Karvan, Mavournee Hazel, Rick Donald, et al / 2-Disc DVD / NR / 2021 / PBS)

Overview: With a sniper terrorizing the city, Commander Tom Saracen asks Jane Halifax to help find the killer.

A professor of forensic psychiatry, Jane must return to the world she tried so hard to leave: uncovering the truth behind the most diabolical criminal minds.

DVD Verdict: Currently a professor of forensic psychiatry, it has been almost 20 years since Jane worked with the police.

As a celebrated academic in a long-term relationship with Ben Sailor, a gifted musician, her life now seems complete, along with his daughter, Zoe.

Does Jane really want to change all that now? Ben is opposed to the change, but Jane is tempted to return to the profiling life at which she excelled.

But after an horrific murder, Jane must confront a terrible possibility: that after 20 years, the worst of the criminals she helped put in prison are finally being released.

As Jane is forced to go back into the files and nightmares of her past, will the murder be linked to the sniper, or to secrets from her past?

Halifax: Retribution brings Jane Halifax back to the world she has never been able to leave: sleuthing her way to the truth behind the most diabolical criminal minds and most certainly offers her (Gibney) the opportunity to hand in yet another strong performance.

It is a by the numbers crime drama that works well enough and offers up decent doses of excitement, intrigue and a somewhat predictable twist, that should keep the viewer coming back for more.

What I was not so impressed by was the pro-establishment boot polishing, sadly. Painting those who opposed the Five Eyes and surveillance state, as unstable and murderous.

I mean, most activists are peaceful and the Five Eyes alliance is, not unreasonably, the subject of very legitimate criticism. As is any surveillance state, in general, I guess.

Regardless, for me this show (and yes, I am talking about the Halifax F.P. series that starred Gibney back in 1994-2002) has always been comfort food. Sure, the characterization is cliched, the emotions are forced, the script comes straight from a true crime tabloid formula (that, perhaps, tries to sensationalize the story), but my goodness you cannot beat sitting down with Halifax for these 8 episodes and really burying yourself down within them, trust me.

In summary, competently done with a strong cast, although I have seen Anthony LaPaglia do much better in much worse, Halifax: Retribution is thoroughly entertaining and if you do not mind the occasional political message or social engineering that makes its way into the mix, you will also find the show a hit! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

Official PBS Purchase Link