In all honesty, I could've done with a handy recap at the beginning of the first episode of this three-part series. The first series aired in the summer of 2011 (reviewed here) and I was a bit confused about how things ended between Jackson Brodie (Jason Issacs) and police officer Louise Monroe (Amanda Abbington) and it took me quite a while to reacclimatise to their relationship. Instead of three two-hour arcs, this series had three hour-and-a-half episodes. I still can't decide whether this was a good decision or not - occasionally things felt a little packed but, yes, there was still enough brooding shots of Brodie so it probably worked out.
The three individual episodes worked individually and continuity was usually good (though what happened to the dog?!). It'll be no surprise to readers of this blog that my favourite episode turned out to be the first one, guest starring Victoria Wood as an ex-police officer who basically abducts a girl whose mother treats her like rubbish. It's a typical Brodie scenario - he knows that doing the legal thing is not necessarily doing the right thing.
The second episode focuses on Brodie's investigation into a man whose fiancé believes is acting strangely and leads accidentally to a murder investigation. Brodie's daughter, Marlee, also comes to live with him for a little bit, adding a new dimension to both the case he's undertaken and his complex relationships with women.
Finally, the third episode focuses on Brodie's investigation on behalf of the son of a woman who was dragged from the river years ago along with his return to a despised business associate who calls in a favour to find his daughter. The two cases, along with the complexities of his personal life, occasionally made this one a little disjointed and the ending certainly came too soon.
Overall, I enjoyed this series immensely. Good use of the Edinburgh landscape and it wasn't all as grim as the nature of his cases suggests - just watch him trying to deliver a baby. I do wonder, however, where they're planning on going next with Jackson and Louise - while I realise it's impossible for Brodie to be given a happy ending, I think that where they are now closes doors rather than opens them. If another series is made I'll be interested to see how that develops. And, yes, I want another series. Jackson Brodie is the latest in a long line of flawed heroes with inner demons and is arguably one of the best.