12/16

The second series of the compelling US legal drama continues. In this instalment, Stark is the target of an assassination attempt that kills his friend. The subsequent investigation leads to one of Stark’s former clients and dredges up a terrible secret from the lawyer’s past.

This week’s action sees Stark at the very centre of his own case. After having dinner at a restaurant, he and Paul Faber, the lawyer’s friend and former colleague, are shot at from a moving car. While Stark escapes the incident with scratches, Paul is killed. Evidence leads the investigators to arrest a professional hitman called Anton Robitaille who soon confesses to the crime. However, Robitaille reveals some shocking news. “Your friend was a mistake,” he tells Stark. “I was hired to kill you.”

Robitaille does not know who paid for the hit but is able to point Stark’s team in the direction of one Hank Busby, a well-known fixer who acted as a go-between in this arrangement. With Stark off the case because of his relationship to the victim, Reyes tries to track Busby down but learns that he has been strangled to death. An informant tells him that shortly before he was killed, Busby was questioned by homicide cops about a girl’s body recently found in an oil field – news which seemed to frighten the fixer.

Reyes visits the oil field in question and speaks to the police. The body found there belongs to a young woman called Sarah Belkin who went missing 12 years ago. On the day she vanished, Belkin was picked up by none other than Hank Busby and was due to go to a cocktail party at the house of one Jason Normandy – a rich oil baron. Could the deaths of Belkin and Busby be somehow linked to Stark’s attempted murder?

Meanwhile, Stark ignores orders to keep away from the case and pays a visit to Normandy, who he seems to know. Some years ago when Stark was a defence attorney, both he and Hank Busby worked for Normandy, and may have been involved in some dodgy dealings. However, Stark is now determined to bring down the killer of his friend. “No matter what it takes, the guy who bought that bullet is going down,” he says.

Stark heads to his old law firm, where Normandy is still a client, and persuades a young attorney called Jennifer Randolph (Elizabeth Lackey, ‘Heroes’, ‘Home and Away’) to hand over a privileged document. The record shows that a week before the attempted hit on Stark, Normandy transferred half a million dollars into a Swiss bank account registered to Anton Robitaille. With this new evidence, Stark joins the cops as they arrest Normandy. “You’re playing a dangerous game,” the suspect tells Stark as he is led away. “You took your shot,” replies the lawyer. “Now it’s my turn.”

Convinced that he knows more than he is letting on, Devlin visits Stark at home and demands to know the truth –why would a rich oil baron kill Busby, then try to kill Stark? It is at this point that Stark opens up and tells Devlin everything. Twelve years ago, when he was starting his law firm, Stark took on Normandy as a client. Normandy then killed Sarah Belkin and buried her body in the oil field with Busby’s help – and Stark witnessed the crime. When Belkin’s body was recovered, Normandy began to get rid of the people that could tie him to the murder. “This one’s bad Sebastian,” says an appalled Devlin. “I know,” replies Stark. “You need to get Normandy.”

When the case moves to trial, Stark’s old partner, Frank Bell (Peter Gallagher, ‘The OC’), is defending Normandy and has learned a few tricks from his former colleague. He has managed to convince Jennifer Randolph not to authenticate the document detailing the money transfer. Without this, there is no evidence linking Normandy to any of the murders, meaning that the case is sure to be thrown out of court. With no other choice, Stark puts himself forward as a witness and plans to confess his involvement in Sarah Belkin’s murder in order to put Normandy behind bars. “You could lose your licence – maybe more,” says Devlin. “Do what you need to do,” replies a resolute Stark.

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