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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Cracker - The Complete Second Season
Cracker - The Complete Second Season
HBO // Unrated // February 24, 2004
List Price: $39.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by John Sinnott | posted March 25, 2004 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Highly Recommended
E - M A I L
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P R I N T
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The Movie:

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 him indispensable.

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 DVD:



Audio:

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 regular levels.

Video:

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.

The Extras:

Unfortunately there are no extras included with this set.

Final Thoughts:

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.

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