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Blue Heelers

Season 3 Episode 10

An Act of Random Violence

0
Aired Wednesday 8:30 PM Apr 02, 1996 on Seven Network
9.6
out of 10
User Rating
2 votes
1

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Episode Summary

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An Act of Random Violence
AIRED:
A violent prison escapee holds Wayne hostage, throwing the station into turmoil. But it isn't the hostage crisis that will be the most tragic event of the day...

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Violent psychopath Joe Kenny has escaped from prison, and heads to Mount Thomas determined to settle his old grudge with Wayne. One of the most shocking episodes of the series...

    9.5
    This review contains major spoilers.



    'An Act of Random Violence' is one of the most notable episodes of 'Blue Heelers', certainly from the first three seasons, in that it sees the tragic death of one of the main characters, Wayne Patterson.



    The plot sees the return of Joe Kenny, from the second season's two-part 'Paranoia', as well as several of the Kenny clan (who weren't actually seen in that story, but fit in well here anyway). After Wayne's romance with Joe's wife Kate in that story, Joe is determined to even the score.



    The hostage situation, with Joe Kenny holding Wayne prisoner in Wayne's apartment, complete with Gabe's son Ben who unwittingly comes calling, is very well done. With Wayne being kicked about and beaten by Joe, the moment when Joe guns down his naïve accomplice, Lynette Buckley, with an Uzi, it itself quite shocking, with this proving to be one of the show's far more bloody episodes.



    I would image that, when first ran in Australia, with 'Blue Heelers' being one of the most country's most popular TV programmes, it was already known that Grant Bowler would be leaving the series by the time of the broadcast of this episode. So viewers could have been forgiven for thinking that he would have been bumped off by Joe Kenny; the final ending, with him seemingly safe, only to be hit by the speeding van, must have come as a true shocker. Even when I first watched this episode back in around 1997/8ish, even without all of the coverage of the series, it really caught me off-guard.



    I was really sad to see Wayne killed off. He was one of my favourite characters (well, all of the original characters are favourites of mine, but even so…), and the character certainly made ill-judged mistakes at times, certainly as far as romantic liaisons went (maybe he was in turmoil after Roz suddenly left him), but on the whole, he was a likable, well intentioned character.



    As covered on numerous of my reviews for previous episodes, I started to become consciously "aware" of 'Blue Heelers' when it's late second season was being shown by my local ITV region on Monday afternoons. I started to really get into it around the start of the third season, and this episode is one of (if not *the*) first one that I could pretty much recall the whole plot – not just the shocking ending, but all of the lead up to it.



    As such, I knew the twist ending of Wayne's eventual demise, behind hit by a van, when I came to watch this episode last night on DVD, which took away some of the impact; it was still very shocking though. It's strange how things can get misremembered over time, though – I hadn't seen this episode in some 12+ years until last night, and could have sworn that Wayne was run down by the young racer seen in the two previous episodes, 'All Part of the Service' and 'Dog Days'.



    I've rated this episode a very strong 9.5, for its gripping story and shock ending. Possibly if I had seen it for the first time last night and didn't know what to expect, I might have pushed this to a 10; 9.5 is still a very respectable score though, and this is a very notable episode of the series.moreless
Grant Bowler

Grant Bowler

Constable Wayne Patterson

Martin Sacks

Martin Sacks

Senior Detective Patrick Joseph "PJ" Hasham

John Wood

John Wood

Senior Sergeant Tom Croydon

Julie Nihill

Julie Nihill

Christine "Chris" Reilly

Lisa McCune

Lisa McCune

Senior Constable Margaret "Maggie" Doyle

Damian Walshe-Howling

Damian Walshe-Howling

Constable Adam Cooper

Michael Veitch

Michael Veitch

Detective Sergeant Daryl Darcy

Guest Star

Trudy Hellier

Trudy Hellier

Lynette Buckley

Guest Star

David Doughty

David Doughty

Brian Kenny

Guest Star

Frances O'Connor

Frances O'Connor

Gabriele "Gabe" Greenway

Recurring Role

Chris Lyons

Chris Lyons

Ben Greenway

Recurring Role

Tess Mornane

Tess Mornane

Susannah Greenway

Recurring Role

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