Second in a series of three DVD releases of the popular PBS Mystery series; including 9 hours of programming. Robbie Coltrane's outstanding creation of 'Fitz', in the PBS series Cracker 1 continues his journey as a criminal psychologist in three more episodes: To be a Somebody, The Big Crunch, and Men Should Weep. 'Fitz' combats personal crises and professional challenges when racism, religion, and murder get in his way.
Cracker: Series 1
was fine--a terrific premiere and two interesting sequels introduced freelance police psychologist Eddie "Fitz" Fitzgerald (Robbie Coltrane) and his family and colleaguesbut series 2 is unexpectedly and vastly superior. The three miniseries included on these discs are exemplary thrillers (even better than the first trio), but the real leap forward is in the stories' deepening complexity and fascinating intertwining of Fitz's strained relationships and work.
"To Be a Somebody" begins where series 1 left off. Fitz and his wife, Judith (Barbara Flynn), and two kids are living together again, but the rotund profiler--still juggling multiple addictions to booze, gambling, nicotine, and overall self-destructiveness--is on a new, downward spiral. His name is also mud with Detective Chief Inspector Bilborough (Christopher Eccleston) and would-be lover and police detective Jane "Panhandle" Penhaligon (Geraldine Somerville). But a series of class-anger killings by a psychotic welder-turned-skinhead pulls Fitz into a case so disastrous that every major and minor character is profoundly affected. Portraying the murderer, Robert Carlyle (Trainspotting) is brilliant, as terrifying and sympathetic as Taxi Driver's Travis Bickle.
The emotional and dramatic fallout of "To Be Somebody" carries over to "The Big Crunch," in which Fitz's relationship with Jane intensifies while he pursues a religious cult that may be responsible for a girl's abduction. The final story, "Men Should Weep," concerns an investigation into an unnerving string of rapes by a masked, mutilated cab driver. More startling is a link between these crimes and eruptive events in the lives of Fitz, Judith, Jane, and thickheaded, thorn-in-the-side copper Jimmy Beck (Lorcan Cranitch). A breathtaking climax and shocking, cliffhanger ending make "Men Should Weep" a must-see for thriller fans. --Tom Keogh