Minder S06E01, Give Us This Day Arthur Daley’s Bread is another instance where Chisholm is absolutely correct in his suspicions, but the Fates and an albatross in a trilby conspire to deny him justice.
Give Us This Day Arthur Daley’s Bread: Overview
Charitable Rev. Redwood (Norman Eshley), much to the chagrin of some parishioners, provides social activities and work for ex-convicts. However, unknown to Redwood, they aren’t ex-criminals.
Seeing a chance for cheap labor, Daley (George Cole) recruits them to build a pool and rockery for his client, the kind Mrs. Hurst (Sylvia Kay), who has purchased one of his dodgy motors. After much cajoling, he gets Terry (Dennis Waterman) to oversee the job. Of course, none of them knows the first thing about landscaping, and the ex-cons quickly learn which neighbors are on vacation and rob them blind.
Pin Your Ears Back!
Chisholm and Jones (Meic Povey) stroll into Arthur’s lock-up as he is persuading Terry to try his hand as overseer.
Chisholm: “…pin your ears back and maintain an attentive silence because I’m about to do you a big favor.”
Terry: “What? Early retirement, is it?”
Chisholm: “Tell them Jones, before I jump on his head.”
Sadly, there is no jumping on heads today. 🙁 There have been several unsolved break-ins, and Mr. Chisholm has been getting a lot of stick. Oh, Jones! There is no need to share that. Chisholm warns Daley to be “dead cautious” about any bargains coming in the way of household electronics.
His speech is interrupted by a honking horn. Because of his copper’s instinct he goes outside to see what it is. “Good grief!” (I love it when he channels Charlie Brown, and you can never blame him.) It’s Daley’s gaggle of ex-cons so good grief, indeed.
Once a Villain, Always a Villain. A. Chisholm.
Chisholm has been doing some digging and realizes that several ex-cons, known for breaking and entering, have been associating with Rev. Redwood. He and Jones go to warn the nice vicar. Redwood knows the officers, and it seems Jones is a regular churchgoer.
I have to say, Jones is being frustratingly out-of-character in this episode. He tells the Rev. that Chisholm “has been trying to put Daley in the frame for years, without success.” Plus he interrupts his guvnor and makes Christian themed jokes to amuse the vicar. It takes a couple of warning glances to shut him up.
Chisholm shares his suspicions concerning Daley and is told “he that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much. Luke: 16” Awwwww, that’s nice.
Chisholm: “Once a villain, always a villain. A. Chisholm, yet to be proved wrong.” Such a cynic.
When they step out of the church, Chisholm (rightfully so) lambasts his D.C. “Jones, two things, do not tell me how to do my job and two, do not interject feeble Welsh jokes when I’m trying to interview a member of the Cloth.”
Aside from Jones being uncharacteristically antagonistic, it is a really good scene. Chisholm is barking up the right tree, but no one supports him. Mr. Malahide displays Chisholm’s brittle tension perfectly.
Blue Eyes Blazing
Another day, another break-in. Jones, trying to be helpful, tells Chisholm they don’t want to be wasting time on Daley. Oh, Jones, how wrong you are.
Chisholm looks a bit crazy explaining how the head “ex-con”, Godfrey (James Booth) has served time for housebreaking. But, Jones remains defiantly sarcastic and earns a suspicious side-eye from Chisholm. I think he’s feeling paranoid again.
Chisholm’s intense blue eyes really stand out in this scene. Honestly, he looks a bit scary. Stupid Jones! You, Daley and his church-going burglars are driving Chisholm mad. No one does intense quite like Patrick Malahide.
He Won’t Give Up
Chisholm and Jones go to Mrs. Hurst to warn her about Daley, his workers, and Terry. Daley plays on her sympathetic nature by portraying the “gardeners” as hard done by men who are simply looking for honest work. She buys it hook, line, and sinker. Chisholm looks so incredulous and disgusted, but really he should be used to this by now. He gamely tries pleading with her, but she won’t listen and tells him to leave.
RFodchuk says that in this scene Chisholm looks very much like an annoyed cat. It is true; he really does. It’s the angles and intensity, I think. Rowrrrr! 😉
Chisholm and Jones leave, but they don’t get far before Chisholm has Jones stop the car. According to his calculations the houses they stop at are across from Mrs. Hurst’s. Chisholm instructs Jones, who is still being awkward, to find a suitable location for surveillance. “Surveillance?” “Do you want me to spell it out for you?” Chisholm then leaves to investigate another break-in. Jones at least shouts at him to do up his safety belt. That was a nice touch.
Jones finds a house owned by a sweet old dear who provides him with a nice lunch and ale. Smart guy. She also has a swing set that he climbs up for his surveillance mission. Of course, when the crims are busy making off with the neighbor’s electronics, he is sitting down reading the paper. Ugh!
Chisholm shows up to see how it is all going and is unimpressed with Jones’ comfy set-up. It is funny when Chisholm gets on the swing, though and has a hard time controlling the swinging motions.
To make matters worse, Terry rings the police about suspicious characters messing about in the yard across. As a result, Chisholm and Jones are arrested. Chisholm puts up a pretty good struggle, while Jones takes it in stride.
Building Community Relations
Of course, they aren’t under arrest for long. After being let out, Chisholm meets up with a couple of the parishioners, Mrs. Bickerton-Jones (Avril Elgar) and Mr. Howlett (Ellis Dale), who disapprove of the motley crew. Alas, their disapproval stems from pure snobbery, but I have to take what little I can get when it comes to Chisholm support on this show.
They have seen the crims handling some electronic equipment and tell Chisholm about it. They give him the keys to the church so he can have a look see. And is he ever delighted with their help. He looks so happy that someone is finally assisting him. Poor Mr. Chisholm.
Jones ruins his happiness by refusing to search a church. “One of these days you’re going to have to make up your mind up Jones, whether you’re a Welsh man or a police man.”
In the church Chisholm sees Redwood crawling about on his hands and knees. He dropped his bicycle clip. Chisholm gets down too and finds it for him. He is a helpful soul. He tells the vicar he’d like to have a chat about “ahem…community relations.” That pleases the vicar who invites him in the back for a cup of tea. Chisholm isn’t usually big on the whole community relations thing, which is a pity. I think any community would benefit from some of Chisholm’s advice.
At Dave’s bar, we see that Albert and Terry now know all about the robberies. Their solution is to just have the goods returned to their rightful owners and tell the thieves to stop stealing. They also get some guy to misdirect Chisholm and Jones.
As they are awaiting their misdirection, Chisholm and Jones are back in their car. Jones thinks it is hilarious they got arrested and were able to experience it from the other side. “You’ll experience my fist in your happy Welsh face if you don’t shut it!”
Anyway, after he realizes he’d been tricked Chisholm returns to the church to find Redwood, Daley, Terry and the “gardeners” handling legit items which have been donated for a church Inner City Harvest Festival. He takes them all to the precinct, and is made a fool of. Booooo!
Back at Dave’s, everyone is having a good time. Chisholm shows up threatening anyone who laughs with arrest. At least this time he has something he can truly pin on them: A stolen rockery. However, he doesn’t make any arrests because Mrs. Hurst persuaded her neighbor, from whom it was stolen, not to press charges providing the rockery is put back in order.
Before Chisholm leaves, Redwood arrives and happily says that Mr. Chisholm has agreed to give some talks on community relations. Is that anything like community policing? Oh, and Arthur will pay for the church’s heating fund. So, it is kind of happy ending.
It is a pretty good episode, especially as far as Chisholm is concerned. He is a bit more aggressive than usual, what with threats of head jumping and face punching, but it sort of makes sense since everyone is working against him. Plus, Mr. Malahide really nails the whole sense of frustration and anger anyone would feel if they were in Chisholm’s position.
But, there are some elements I didn’t like. For one thing, I think the ex-cons were intended to be cute and funny, but they mostly are neither. Godfrey is particularly vexing with his “blah, blah, blah, blah” catchphrase. Seriously, he repeats it over and over. I did like Marion (a big, cheery guy who actually works in the garden, if given adequate direction), Paper and Glue (a couple of old geezers who stick together), but otherwise they were pretty tedious.
Also, I don’t really like seeing Jones fall out of character. He was being too antagonistic towards Chisholm, and it didn’t make any sense. I mean Chisholm was clearly on a good lead. A group of known housebreakers working around areas with several housebreaks? Well, you don’t exactly have to be Inspector Alleyn to figure it out. 😉
Finally, I have to mention Terry’s glasses. 🙂 RFodchuk and I both noticed them, and were equally amused by them. Maybe he borrowed them off Jackie O. I guess (hope?) they were trendy in the 1980s, but they don’t look so trendy now. Especially on such a middle-aged guy. Oh, Terry. 🙂
Gallery, Courtesy of RFodchuk