22 May 2011 | macilrae
Not quite up to the usual standard
It's hard to do justice to Jesse Stone watching it on commercial TV: so far I have held out for the DVDs but the ending of the excellent last episode was so suspenseful, I couldn't wait. The greatest strength of this series has always been the subtle characterizations - of course Jesse himself, but also Suitcase, Rose, Dix, Healy, Hasty, Hanson, D'Angelo and Doc Perkins - all brilliantly drawn and acted, without any need to go overboard. Yet, this time, I felt there was a bit too much dependence on past character development and a rehashing of a lot of their old lines (Hasty, for example, must always say "I'm very fond of you, Jesse"): I didn't find any of the new appearances were particularly engaging; with the possible exception of the wonderfully odious new Chief (sorry I didn't get his name), they seemed rather a grey lot - and the issue here is direction and screenplay, not acting.
The end was a bit too sudden for me and, yet again, we must wait for the next episode before a number of loose ends get resolved (including the main plot-line). Actually, my channel concluded so abruptly that there were no end credits and I didn't realize it was over. Robert Harmon builds atmosphere brilliantly, the screenplay is witty and taut (but rather less so this time) and some clever in-jokes with Jesse using Dr. Dix's "what do you think of that?" At times it teeters on the edge of sentimentality with Jesse almost weeping and Gino Fish becoming almost affectionate – on the edge, I say, but certainly not over it.
It's not the best episode but I hugely look forward to seeing it on DVD and may then be obliged to revise some of my first impressions.
The synopsis here is incorrect, by the way, when is says that Jesse is reinstated.