Season 3 Episode 2

The Quality of Mercy

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Mar 29, 2009 on ITV
out of 10
User Rating
22 votes

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Episode Summary

A preview performance of a student production of The Merchant of Venice is cut short when the actor playing Shylock is stabbed to death with a prop knife. Lewis and Hathaway are working their way through a lengthy list of suspects when a second actor is killed.moreless

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  • The Merchant of Venice turns to a discovery for Lewis, a test of Lewis and Hathaway's relationship and a couple of murders as the icing on the cake. *spoilers within*

    A brilliant episode. My second or third favourite. Still doesn't beat 'Life born of Fire' but pretty damn good. Ok, the murder itself wasn't too great... the story was strong with the murder up until the end, i still dont quite understand why the professor did it!

    Phil Beaumont was a believable character as the 'ordinary man' of Oxford, though he scraed me because he played Adam in Torchwood... His first appearance provoked a strangled squeak of fear from me. Also, did i spot Idris Hopper from Doctor Who as the receptionist at the hotel?

    Anyway, with the murder victim (i'm terrible with names) when they said he borrowed money from the men and seduced the women i thought to myself 'are you sure he didn't seduce the men too?' and i was right later with Joe Meyers! lol!

    When Munkford's sister mentioned that he'd run someone over, I knew immediately that it'd been Lweis's wife. I loved the struggle that Hathaway had trying to tell him that Munkford killed his wife. His conversation with the boss woman was so touching and totally summarized their odd relationship. And another fight between them! It's so brilliant when they fight! But in the end Lewis sees that Hathaway is trying to help and lets him, even thanking him for going to the trial with him. But my favourite part of the entire ep was when Hathaway was on the phone to the RCMP - 'we always get our man. unless it's a woman. and the occasional transsexual." LOLOLOL! i was laughing for ages! genius!

    The amount of ambition and showbiz is putting me off ever visiting Oxford. Especially if no one cries when you die.moreless
Maureen Beattie

Maureen Beattie

Professor Denise Gregson

Guest Star

Geoff Breton

Geoff Breton

Joe Myers

Guest Star

Bryan Dick

Bryan Dick

Phil Beaumont

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • In this episode, Hathaway contacts The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) about Simon Monkford's time in Toronto. The RCMP do not have jurisdiction in Toronto: it should have been the Toronto Police Service.

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Innocent: There's only one reliable way to find out about any relationship: test it to destruction.

    • Lewis: What is that?
      Hathaway: Tonic water on the rocks with a slice of lemon.
      Lewis [ astounded ]: Tonic water?
      Hathaway: Mm. I'm detoxing, and tonic water on the rocks is one of the preferred drinks of recovering alcoholics. Plus, it gives one a sort of spurious glamour.
      Lewis: I'll bear that in mind, in case I ever need any spurious glamour.

    • (Professor Gregson apologizes to Emma for attending the preview.)
      Denise Gregson: This is my only window. I'm singing madrigals tonight, and I can't be at your first night proper because I'm chairing a debate on Molière. The punishment for some sin I have no recollection of committing.

  • NOTES (0)


    • Lewis: We've got a double murder on our hands; you're messing about with some two-bit con man.
      Hathaway: Yeah, but I feel there's something more. "By the pricking of my thumbs… "
      Lewis: Don't tell me, Shakespeare.
      Hathaway: Bravo.
      Lewis: I'm getting sick of bloody Shakespeare!
      Hathaway quotes the Second Witch in Shakespeare's Macbeth, Act IV, Scene I, whose premonition — "Something wicked this way comes" — heralds Macbeth's arrival to demand a second prophecy.

    • Hathaway [ to the RMCP ]: No, no we never sleep and we always get our man, except when it's a woman or even an occasional transsexual.
      Hathaway is having a bit of fun at the Canadians' expense. One of the mounties' well-known slogans is 'We always get our man.'

    • Isabel Dawson [ as Portia ]: " …The quality of mercy is not strain'd, it droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath: 'tis twice bless'd; it blesseth him that gives and him that takes: 'tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes the throned… "
      The lines that open this episode, and from whence its title is derived, are from Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice, Act IV, Scene I, in which Portia as Balthazar argues for a cash settlement of Antonio's debt rather than Shylock's preferred pound of flesh.

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