Let’s be honest: Underbelly has never really produced a consistently good season of television. But its bright spots – that gold dust I spoke of – have made it fitfully rewarding viewing. More often than not, the show’s strongest moments come from its approach to violence, mixing in real pathos to elevate its usual bloodshed-as-entertainment.
Squizzy has no sense of pathos. One of the most chilling moments in the series is the unexpected gut punch of a gang rape in The Golden Mile; the equivalent event in this season is so forgettable the show itself pays it little attention. Notice in the opening scene how the apparently brutally-bashed Dolly (Camille Keenan, with a stunning lack of screen presence) lacks a single blemish or bruise.
The insipid, ill-considered take on violence extends beyond a lack of real consequence. “Squizzy Takes Charge” contains as much gunfire as any first person shooter, but it’s all insubstantial – and poorly directed. When Albert (Luke Ford) storms a rival’s house and opens fire, half of the scene has to be explained by Caroline Craig’s inescapable narration (she might as well be reading Squizzy’s Wikipedia page). It’s as though filming the whole scene was too much effort. Flimsy stuff.