Series 5 of Wire in the Blood really does see the show running out of steam
“Did you really tell him I’m an embarrassing weirdo?”
The shift in dynamic following Hermione Norris’ DCI Jordan departure from Wire in the Blood really did the show no favours at all. Where they were equal partners more or less, the insertion of Simone Lahbib’s DI Fielding at a secondary level (even her name comes after the title whereas his precedes it in the credits) elevates Robson Green’s Tony Hill to an even more savant-like status which uncomfortably centres him at the heart of every story.
It is epitomised entirely in the final episode which ships him off to Texas for a standalone special without anyone else from the main cast, which comes off as too much of an ego puff to even come close to working. And the writing of Fielding as junior to Hill means that he gets to get away with a bracing amount of misogynistic dismissive treatment of her, in a way which we would have never seen in earlier seasons. I just don’t like it.
As we skip from child abductions (featuring the marvellous Adjoa Andoh) to cringeworthy curses to pan-European crime replications to creepy colleagues from the past (Michael Maloney proving great value for money), the storytelling is largely decent enough and avoids too much gratuitous shock value. But something feels wrong in the balance of the show throughout a whole series that is too much in thrall to its leading man and character.