Eddie "Fitz" Fitzgerald (Robbie Coltrane) is a brilliant psychologist.
He is able to read people with ease, discovering their motivations, fears,
and weaknesses. He can analyze and diagnose a person almost instantly.
He can do this to everyone but himself. Fitz is a deeply troubled
person, whose personal life is spiraling downward out of control.
Anyone can see what is wrong except himself. He is addicted to alcohol
and tobacco. He gambles heavily, and lords his great intelligence
over everyone. That causes him to have few friends, and a very strained
relationship with his family.
Fitz' psychological skills make him very useful to the police though.
He has an exceptional eye for detail, and is able to examine a crime scene
and recreate what happened with an uncanny ability. While his personality
pushes away many on the police force, his ability to get the job done makes
The second season of Cracker presents three more cases to challenge
Fitz and the police:
To be a Somebody: A Pakistani grocer is killed for no apparent
reason. The police think the murder was racially motivated, but Fitz
isn't so sure. The police spurn Fitz for another psychiatrist who
gives a standard profile that Eddie thinks is a bunch of hogwash.
But when the new profiler turns up dead in his office, the police have
no choice but to turn to Fitz.
The Big Crunch: A young girl is missing, and parents are
acting very strangely, so Detective Penhalligon asks Fitz to talk to them.
When the girl eventually turns up naked with odd mystic symbols drawn all
over her body members of her church come under suspicion. With the
small sect feeling persecuted, everyone keeps their mouths shut.
Can Fitz find out what's behind their silence and make them open up?
Men Should Weep: A serial rapist is lose on the streets
and everyone is feeling scared. Fitz appears on a radio talk show,
which the rapist hears. But what he hears convinces him to escalate
his attacks. Can Fitz 'crack' this personality before someone close
to him is hurt?
Cracker is an all around excellent show. Not your typical
detective show, the main character is almost an anti-hero. It's the
fact that Fitz is so imperfect that makes him such an interesting 'detective.'
His personal troubles, that permeate the show, ironically illustrate how
the only content time in his life is when he's working on a case.
This season is just about as good as the first. The stories in
this set just have a little less tension and urgency than those in the
premier season, but they are still very engrossing. There were parts
of "The Big Crunch" that I thought were a little far fetched, especially
the ending, but the other two stories made up for that arc's weakness.
I also had problems with Fitz and Penhalligon's relationship.
It seemed a little bit unbelievable to me. She can obviously see
his many flaws, and her attraction to him was never explained to my satisfaction.
One of the great things about the show is that it is unpredictable.
In this season mistakes are made, big mistakes, which have lasting consequences.
Major characters are effected in adverse ways, which is very realistic,
but surprising for a TV show. This also leads to the uncertainly
which increases the suspense. If one major character can be hurt,
why cant others?
Robbie Coltrane, who is best known for Hagrid in the Harry Potter movies,
is an excellent actor, and plays the part to perfection. His character
has many moods and he plays them all very well. Coltrane is able
to fold all of Fitz' diametrically opposed personality traits into one
believably real person. A splendid job.
I can't wait for the thrid season.
The audio is presented in Dolby surround sound. The rear channels
are not used very effectively. Mainly for music and occasionally
background noise that is also present in the front speakers. The
sound was fairly clean, though there was some background hiss noticeable
at very high levels. This should not bother anyone viewing it at
Presented in full frame (what I assume to be its original aspect ratio,)
this image quality is similar the first season's. The picture is
slightly blurry and indistinct, and the lines are not sharp. The
colors are slightly muted also. There are a few flecks and spots
throughout the three discs, but not many. The dark scenes tend to
be a little grainy, and a little on the dark side. Some details are
lost in dark corners. Not a horrible looking set, just not stellar.
Unfortunately there are no extras included with this set.
Cracker is a great show. I didn't think this season was as strong
as the first, but only by a little. The crimes and Fitz analysis
is still very interesting, and the supporting characters are still very
appealing. If you enjoyed the first season, be sure to check this
one out too. Highly Recommended.