Jack Irish: Black Tide

3 out of 5

Directed by: Jeffrey Walker

Good news: one solid do-good case hasn’t turned once-lawyer, now-debt-collector Jack Irish into a new man.  He’s still at the pub; he’s still unshaven; he’s still trying to fix horse bets with his gambling mates.  The first Jack Irish had to somewhat justify its lead’s need to “get involved” with a case by tying it to past deeds; this time, while sorting out the will for an old mate of his father obviously has the familial tie, since we’re past all the background stuff, it’s easier for us – and the script – to stumble in to, once again, deeper dealings, with Jack really just trying to track down some money that could play into the will.

Black Tide benefits from the already established cast, allowing the writing to be more emotionally rich, and it had the engaging Aussie-ness of it already going for it, which is back in full.  The case mirrors the first in that it’s a lot of names and hand waving and clue-stumbling, but there are some admittedly terrific action moments, in which Jack’s m.o. is to run away and we’re so caught up in the sudden confluence of events and escalation that we’re fully on board with that decision.

Kate Atkinson shows up for some research assist for Jack, and she’s a hoot; a nice addition to the slowly growing world of Mr. Irish, which I look forward to revisiting.  At my own pace, of course, as befits the casual nature of the series…