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DI Fiona Knight: You two really are a double act, aren't you!
The Inspector Lynley Mysteries, "Natural Causes"

Barbara Havers: No. You resign, I resign.

Tommy Lynley: But that's absurd! Why, for heaven's sake?

Barbara: Well... no one else will work with me.

Lynley: This is you being nice to me, isn't it.

Barbara: Yeah. Shall we hit the pub?
The Inspector Lynley Mysteries, "Payment In Blood"

The Inspector Lynley Mysteries was a BBC television series that ran from 2001--2007, centered around the aristocratic Detective Inspector Thomas "Tommy" Lynley, 8th Earl of Asherton (Nathaniel Parker), and his working-class partner, Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers (Sharon Small), both of Scotland Yard. The first eleven episodes were based on novels by the American author Elizabeth George, though the author's plots and characters were often significantly altered. Most, if not all, fans consider the show to take place in an Alternate Continuity from the books.

Elizabeth George is one of only two American writers[1] whose novels have been adapted for PBS' MYSTERY!

The intrigue of the show came almost entirely from watching the lead characters navigate the inevitable clashes of personality, gender, class, and opinion that arose from their radically differing backgrounds. Lynley and Havers gradually discovered that their differences -- and unexpected similarities, namely a mutual devotion to justice -- complemented each other more thoroughly than either of them could have expected. While they remained two very different people, the bond that developed between them changed them both for the better and created a partnership more enduring and effective than anyone ever predicted.

Episode List Edit

Pilot Edit

  • A Great Deliverance[2]

Series 1 Edit

  • Well Schooled in Murder
  • Payment in Blood
  • For the Sake of Elena
  • Missing Joseph

Series 2 Edit

  • Playing for the Ashes
  • In the Presence of the Enemy
  • A Suitable Vengeance
  • Deception on His Mind

Series 3 Edit

  • In Pursuit of the Proper Sinner
  • A Traitor to Memory
  • A Cry for Justice
  • If Wishes Were Horses

Series 4 Edit

  • In Divine Proportion
  • In the Guise of Death
  • The Seed of Cunning
  • Word of God

Series 5 Edit

  • Natural Causes
  • One Guilty Deed
  • Chinese Walls
  • In the Blink of an Eye

Series 6 Edit

  • Limbo
  • Know Thine Enemy

This show provided examples of:

  • Ability Over Appearance: Sharon Small was supposedly too pretty to play the plain Barbara Havers, but absolutely nailed the character in the pilot and won author Elizabeth George completely over. Her performance is to this day lauded as one of the best aspects of the series.
  • Action Girl: Havers is quite capable of handling herself, thank you.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: In the novel series, Barbara Havers is described as short, ugly, overweight and poorly dressed. Sharon Small, who plays Havers, is short.
    • Reverse direction for Lynley: The books regularly refer to him as a 'Greek god' type, which usually means Apollon/Adonis, when Nathaniel Parker probably only could get away as Hephaistos (if he fakes a limp). Ruggedly handsome, yes, but an Adonis he is not.
  • Adaptation Dye Job: Lynley went from blond in the novels to being played by brunet Nathaniel Parker.
  • Affectionate Spitfire: Barbara Havers.
  • Always Murder
  • And the Adventure Continues...
  • Artistic License: When Barbara is busted down a rank in the series 3 premiere, she is issued a uniform but is consistently referred to as DC Havers. This is incorrect, as DC means Detective Constable. Detectives - attached to CID or Special Branch - wear plainclothes. If she was issued a uniform, it would mean she was kicked out of CID, yet the prefix "Detective" indicates that she was not - especially since she went back to plainclothes when she was reinstated in the third episode of that series. The likely explanation for this is that being busted back into a uniform packs more of an emotional punch.
  • Badass Adorable: Havers can take care of herself, thank you very much - including taking down a man fully four inches taller than she is. She could also probably qualify for the Miss Adorable contest.
  • Berserk Button: The one surefire way to make sure Thomas Lynley will hate you forever is to injure or threaten Barbara Havers. (His wife is also a pretty reasonable bet.) Barbara, meanwhile, tends to lose her shit if anyone goes after Lynley - or kids.
  • Big Fancy House: Howenstowe, the seat of the Earls of Asherton. It's located in Cornwall. Shameless advantage is taken of this.
  • Break the Cutie: Barbara Havers starts out as a Broken Bird, so she's not exactly sweet and adorable any more in the pilot. And yet somehow, the show proceeds to break her even further. [3] Ouch, show. Ouch. (This looks light compared to what her partner goes through, until you remember that in her case, a lot of the breaking was done before she even met Thomas Lynley.)
  • Break the Haughty: Although he's not without his own angst, Barbara has quite a bit more angst in her past than Lynley does. The storyline proceeds to make up for this rather thoroughly. [4] ...ouch.
  • British Accents: Lynley is of course R.P., while Havers speaks what appears to be Estuary English with an East London twist (which fits, as one of the centerpieces of her character is that she is solidly working-class).
  • British Brevity
  • Broken Bird: Barbara Havers pretty much had any semblance of optimism ground out of her with extreme prejudice after her little brother's death from cancer tore her family apart and her parents succumbed to mental illness and lung disease right before her eyes. When combined with the fact that she has No Social Skills (which have left her alone and misunderstood her entire life), a Hair-Trigger Temper (ditto), and massive class resentment issues, it's no wonder the poor thing was on the verge of being kicked off the force, Bunny Ears Detective or not, before she teamed up with Thomas Lynley. Although the show proceeds to further Break the Cutie (and also the haughty - her partner isn't spared), she softens and blossoms when paired with the one man who refuses to give up on her no matter how much she tries to drive him away. The result is a far more likable - but still snarky - Havers, in a rare case of a show helping put the bird back together again. Sort of.
  • Bunny Ears Lawyer: Havers should have been kicked off the force years ago - she was, in fact, on the verge of being sacked when she met Thomas Lynley, and was even demoted once - because she has No Social Skills and a Hair-Trigger Temper. She's still around because she is, in fact, a frighteningly competent detective, and also the only officer on the force who can manage to survive as Thomas Lynley's partner for more than a month.
  • Busman's Holiday: Both times Lynley (and Barbara) go to visit his family in Cornwall, they get caught up in a local mystery, largely because Lynley cannot keep his nose out of anything and Barbara will follow him wherever he goes (albeit with plenty of snarking along the way).
  • Character Development: Through his partnership with Barbara, Lynley becomes less snobbish and elitist, not to mention less likely to fly off the handle. Through her partnership with Lynley, Barbara begins to let her softer side show more often and learns that the world isn't out to get her and that it's okay to trust people and let them in.[5] In the end, they are not only more effective detectives due to their partnership, they are, quite simply, better people. And it is beautiful.
  • The Consigliere: Barbara is this to Lynley, despite her own fiery temper - in many ways she is his common sense and voice of reason, and she is the one who brings him back when he loses himself in his quest for justice. Seen repeatedly over the series is Havers laying a calming hand on Lynley's arm and saying, "Sir? Sir!" when he is about to lose his temper, which serves to snap him out of it. She is so far the only person on the show to be able to do this with any sort of regular success.
  • Cool Car: Lynley drives a Bristol 410, which oozes not only class but exclusivity in that much fewer than a hundred of them were ever built. (You will never see a dealer for these cars; you go straight to the builder, or you go without.)
  • Cute and Psycho: Carly in "One Guilty Deed" went a little unhinged after she killed Martin.
  • Cry Into Chest: Textbook straight when Barbara falls apart after being held hostage at gunpoint and suffers a Flashback Echo. See also Inelegant Blubbering and Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
  • Dead Little Brother: Barbara. His death gave her much of her renowned cynicism; she's really quite a romantic at heart.
  • Deadpan Snarker/The Snark Knight: Havers. Oh, Havers. That poor, dear girl.
  • Defective Detective: Oh my God. Lynley and Havers, both of them. One is a workaholic with a personal life worthy of a soap opera; the other is a Broken Bird who has raised antisociality and self-protection via jerkassery to an art form. Somehow, they become incredibly close friends anyway, which spawns an absolutely glorious amount of Character Development for both of them. And it is beautiful.
  • Distressed Damsel: Barbara seems to end up trapped with Ax Crazy murderers far more often than Lynley. Being Barbara, however, she usually beats the crap out of them before Lynley can get there - or at least takes a piece out of them first.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Say it with me now... oh, Barbara.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: This is how Lynley "copes" with Helen's death until Barbara, after six months of trying, finally snaps him out of it in "Limbo".
  • Epiphany Therapy: Lynley goes through this in "Natural Causes," realizing he wants to make it work with Helen. He does it while "undercover" at a center that's an X Meets Y between a rehab clinic and a Church of Happyology. It turns out the head of the center is behind a real estate land-grab, not the murders.
  • Fair Cop: Lynley certainly has the ruggedly-handsome thing going on, and Barbara Havers is adorableness incarnate.
  • Fake Nationality: The very Scottish Sharon Small as the very working-class English Barbara Havers. Her accent is quite convincing.
  • Fan Service Pack/ProgressivelyPrettier: During the pilot and the first four series, Barbara has short hair and goes around in baggy sweaters and coats. In series five and six, her hair has lengthened dramatically and she's wearing clothes that are much more form-fitting. The end result is this.
  • Fiery Redhead: Barbara Havers. So very much.
  • Finishing Each Other's Sentences: In "Natural Causes", Lynley and Havers go back and forth like this when they solve the Mystery of the Week, upon which DI Fiona Knight, temporarily partnered with Havers, remarks, "You really are a double act, aren't you!"
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Barbara and Lynley Do Not Like each other when they're originally assigned together. Their superior officers were counting on this, hoping they would do something outrageous enough to get themselves fired when forced to work together. By the end of the pilot episode, their plan backfired quite spectacularly... and Barbara and Lynley only get closer from there.
  • Flashback Echo/Trigger: In "In Divine Proportion" when Barbara is held hostage at gunpoint. Her flashback is to the previous series' finale, in which she was shot in the abdomen; she shows obvious signs of PTSD throughout the episode and goes a little nuts at the end. It takes - who else? - Lynley literally pulling her off the guy and administering a Cooldown Hug to bring her back to normal. (No actual flashback occurs; because the triggering event happens in the previous episode, however, the audience is quite clearly supposed to draw the parallel.)
  • Friend to All Children: Barbara Havers may be difficult to work with, but she has a real gift for getting children to talk to her.
  • Friendship Moment: Many between Lynley and Havers. Actually, pretty much any time Lynley and Havers are together and not yelling at/arguing with each other is one of these when it's not a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
  • Forbidden Friendship: Part of the reason Barbara is so hostile to Lynley in early episodes is because she is absolutely convinced this trope is in play. It is made fairly clear, however, that she is a great deal more concerned by the class differences between them than he is. She gets better over the course of the show.
  • Gentleman Detective: Lynley, naturally.
  • Gentleman Snarker: Lynley, oh so very much, which makes him an excellent match for the equally snarky Barbara.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Barbara Havers has a quite earthy[6] sense of humour, and some of her quips can make viewers wonder how this ever got aired before the watershed. For instance, during the episode "Well Schooled in Murder" after one of their suspects has, er, exposed himself:

 Havers: How shall I phrase that in my notes, sir? Would "hung" and "donkey" cover it?

  • Good Is Not Nice: Barbara Havers is undoubtedly a truly good character, but, especially early on, she is not a particularly nice one.
  • Gut Feeling: If Barbara Havers feels uneasy around someone, that person is either shady or an outright villain (or aristocratic, which in Barbara's mind is pretty much the same thing). The only times this fails, the characters involved are working-class, like Barbara, and being kicked down by society, also like Barbara, which blinds her to their true natures.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Havers. In spades.

 Lynley: The woman is a minefield!

  • Held Gaze: Lynley and Havers give Mulder and Scully a run for their money in terms of just how charged these moments could get. These looks between them spoke volumes about the depths of their relationship. In fact, during many of the most critical moments of their relationship, the words coming out of their mouths were completely incidental to the conversation they were having with their eyes.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Pairing Havers and Lynley was originally done in order to keep Barbara's mouth shut about not getting any good cases (and, if they were lucky, get her tossed out of the force for disrespect and/or violence). Yeah, that worked out well...
  • Honest Advisor: Barbara to Lynley again; she can get away with saying things no one else could, because she has earned his trust a thousand times over. He might bark at her for whatever she says, but he always listens.
  • Hypocritical Heartwarming: In the pilot episode, Barbara goes on a long diatribe about everything she thinks is wrong with Thomas Lynley as a man and as a detective. When Lynley's old partner shows up and levels a number of those very same accusations at him just hours later, she immediately jumps to his defense, completely ignoring her earlier complaints. This sets up the entire precedent of their relationship: Barbara can call Lynley out just as much as she pleases, but if anyone else tries the same thing, it had better be when Barbara is locked in a soundproof box at the other end of the galaxy, because otherwise, the 'anyone else' in question is going to get a dressing-down the likes of which s/he will never forget. Although it's not seen as much, this works in reverse as well - Lynley has no problems calling Barbara out, but will immediately and fiercely defend her from anyone else who dares to try the same thing.
  • I Have Your Partner: A couple of perps try and pull this on Lynley with Havers. This is a universally bad move.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Or rather, "D'you fancy a drink?" - frequently said by one partner to the other after a particularly hard case.
  • Inelegant Blubbering: What happens once Lynley manages to administer the above-mentioned Cooldown Hug, although we don't see the evidence as her face is buried against his shirt.
  • In Love with Love: Lynley believes his feelings for Helen were this.
  • The Inspector: But of course.
  • Instant Death Stab: Averted in Payment in Blood, where a single stab through the throat is enough to kill the victim, but only because it impales her to a mattress, allowing a bleed-out.
  • It Got Worse: Poor Lynley. In the final episode of series 3, his wife is involved in a car accident that results in her miscarriage, a hospital stay, and their separation. As if that's not bad enough, days later his partner is shot in the line of duty, resulting in yet another hospital stay, months of recovery time and PTSD. Wow.
  • Jerkass Facade: Barbara. Yes, she is and always will be a blunt, outspoken, cranky, Deadpan Snarker Sarcastic Devotee, but by and large, her harsh personality is a defense mechanism against a lifetime of torment and ridicule. Arguably the most critical moment of her first case with Lynley is his catching on to the fact that it is a facade and telling her she doesn't have to do it any more; he knows she's a good person, and in fact he genuinely cares about her. This freaks Barbara the hell out, but she gets used to it. Eventually.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Seems to be the killer's motive in the episode "In Divine Proportion." The killer is a police officer. Years ago, he murdered a rapist after the rapist's victim committed suicide. In the episode, he kills the victim's sister, and at the end of the episode is ready to kill everyone who helped him kill the rapist.
  • Killed Off for Real: Helen, at the end of series 5. Which renders Die for Our Ship unnecessary, as it clears the way for Lynley/Havers in just about the most convenient manner possible.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Barbara, whose nigh-impenetrable wall of cynicism hides a woman who absolutely wants to believe the best of everyone but has been betrayed far too many times.
  • Last-Name Basis: Lynley and Havers are this, with a couple of exceptions. The first one, noted lower down, is You Called Me "X" - It Must Be Serious; the other is when Havers is staying with him at the family estate in Cornwall. This is lampshaded in "In the Guise of Death," when Lynley wants her help on a local murder investigation; he wakes her up at an ungodly hour of the morning, briskly saying, "Come on, Havers! Follow me!" Havers snarks:

 Barbara: Oh, see? Now you want my help, it's bye-bye 'Barbara' and hello 'Havers'!

  • Like an Old Married Couple: Once they get on even footing with each other, their bickering takes on a hefty shading of this. It really becomes apparent after the events of "In Divine Proportion"; the next episode in particular ("In The Guise of Death") is especially notable for this vibe.
  • Limited Social Circle: Our Heroes do spend time with people other than each other, but none of them seem to last more than a few episodes[7], or at most a single series[8]. The only characters to not fall victim to this, aside from their police superiors, are Helen[9], their coworker DC Winston Nkata[10], and the Medical Examiner Stuart Lafferty[11]. And even they aren't seen hanging out with the main duo outside of work to any great extent. And finally, they can't be apart for any great length of time. Lynley goes to Cornwall for vacation? Havers goes along. Havers gets demoted? Lynley calls her in on every case he can. Etc, etc, etc. Let's face it; at the end of the day, they just keep coming back to each other.
  • Most Important Person: As has been demonstrated time and time again, no one will ever be as important to Thomas Lynley or Barbara Havers as they are to each other.
  • Must Have Caffeine: British or not, they're still cops. It's not uncommon to see one or the other of them with two paper coffee cups in hand - one for their partner, and one for them. Whether the substance inside is coffee or tea, however, is anybody's guess. (When not on the job, they tend to drink alcohol. And they need it, poor things.)
  • Never One Murder
  • Non-Idle Rich: Lynley works at Scotland Yard though he's both rich and the eighth Earl of Asherton.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Havers has a knack for pulling the "I'm just an uneducated working-class bumpkin" or the "I'm just a silly little girl" front when she needs to trick suspects into confiding in her. Behind this is a sharp-as-a-tack police officer with street smarts and common sense that make Lynley look stupid.
  • Odd Couple: Whose bright idea was it to pair an Eton-and-Oxford-schooled hereditary Lord with a cranky, sarcastic working-class sergeant? A genius, of course. They were, and remained, very different people, but this only seemed to strengthen the bond between them.
  • Oh Crap: Multiple times, considering the nature of their work. One of the most notable comes when Lynley realises that Barbara is trapped inside a pub at gunpoint and that this is going to trigger her like nothing else. The only thing that stops him from going in on the spot is an armed assault team holding him back.
  • One Head Taller: Lynley and Havers.
  • Opposites Attract: Cranky, has-class-issues working-class Sergeant paired with an Oxford-educated Inspector who happens to be a hereditary Lord? Violence waiting to happen, right? Not so much.
  • Overtook the Series: Done after the first two series.
  • Oxbridge: Lynley is an Oxford alum, and this plays a plot-important role in several episodes.

 Havers: One tug on the old school tie and you come running.

  • Passive-Aggressive Kombat: Lynley. This makes for some interesting confrontations with Barbara, as their fights usually consisted of her yelling and him using sarcasm to lethal effect.
  • The Power of Trust: The hard-earned building of this is entire foundation of the show, and what makes watching worthwhile.
  • Protectorate: There is nothing Barbara Havers will not do to protect children - probably because of her Dead Little Brother. She'll also stop at nothing to rescue her partner. Meanwhile, Lynley is protective of quite a few things - mostly children and his wife. But there is no single faster way to make Thomas Lynley lose his cool than putting Barbara Havers in danger - any semblance of reason usually goes out the window when she's threatened. Notably, it takes an armed assault team to keep him from bursting into the pub where Barbara is being held hostage at gunpoint in "In Divine Proportion."
  • Puppy Dog Eyes: Barbara, whose large, expressive sage green eyes are more than capable of this, and clue the audience in to her vulnerability when she's covering it up with a scathing remark. It is, in fact, largely because of her eyes that Barbara is such a sympathetic character; if her eyes didn't provide a window into just what a good reason she has to be defensive and prickly, she would come off as a complete bitch in early episodes.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Havers is red, Lynley is blue.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Lynley and Helen start as friends. Matters progress over the course of the show.
  • Rules Lawyer: Lynley takes on this characteristic at times.
  • Sarcastic Devotee: Barbara Havers snarks up, down, and all around at Lynley and is the first to tell him when she thinks he's about to do something stupid. There is also no force in the universe strong enough to break her loyalty to him or to keep her from moving heaven and earth to get back to him. And God forbid anyone else say anything remotely unpleasant about him!
  • Scenery Porn: Whenever the main characters solve cases outside of London.
  • Screwed by the Network: In this case, the network was the BBC.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: ...yet.
  • Shipper on Deck: Barbara appears to be this for Lynley and Helen. Whether she a) genuinely wants them to get together, b) genuinely wants them to get together and doesn't realize she's in love with Lynley, c) genuinely wants them to get together but is in unrequited love with Lynley anyway, or d) is in unrequited love with Lynley and is encouraging him in order to hide her own feelings is a matter for endless debate.
    • Meta-wise, Nathaniel Parker said in an interview that he would have ended the series with Lynley and Barbara holding hands and walking into the sunset...
  • Ship Sinking: Meta example. In the PBS airing of "Missing Joseph", host Diana Rigg notes that "it might appear that Sergeant Havers has a thing for her partner" but hastily goes on to mention that "she gives him nothing but grief" (while apparently missing and/or ignoring the fact that the subtext in the first season alone could crush your average linebacker). She then goes on to note that Lynley is already in love with Helen Clyde - who dies at the end of series 5. Considering that shippers have looked past blood relationships, death, little-to-no interaction, and not even being from the same universe, this is hardly proof positive that nothing will ever happen, and in fact they are given an open ending with all romantic competition out of the way and seven years of added depth to their relationship. In light of all this, the denial is not particularly convincing.
  • Snark to Snark Combat: Lynley and Havers. Lots of it.
  • Subordinate Excuse: When Barbara is demoted at the beginning of series 2, Lynley plays this trope to the hilt to keep her with him, and calls her in on every case he possibly can even though she's not technically under his supervision any more. When forced to justify this to his supervisor, he tells said supervisor that he's calling her in because she's proven that she can work with him effectively. This is absolutely true, and has absolutely nothing to do with why he wants her around.
  • Survivor Guilt: Implied to be the main cause of Lynley's Heroic BSOD following Helen's death, as she was shot right in front of him because of a case he was working.
  • The Other Darrin: Lynley's wife Helen was played by three separate actresses: Emma Fielding in the pilot, Lesley Vickerage in series one through three (up until she separated from Lynley), and Catherine Russell in series five.
  • They Fight Crime: He's a Lord with a title and a complicated personal life. She's a cranky, foul-mouthed working-class junk food addict with massive class resentment issues.
  • True Companions: It doesn't seem to matter how badly they're fighting this week - any outside attempt to turn them against each other will fail, and probably end whatever fight they're having to boot.
  • Ultimate Job Security: Averted. Both of the main characters are at serious risk of being fired at least once during the series' run.
  • Undying Loyalty: It must be seen to be believed. There's nothing these two would not do for each other.

 Lynley: No, see, that's the thing I think you've got wrong. I think he's counting on my loyalty to you.

  • Unequal Pairing: Lynley/Havers has this in spades, in both class disparity and in rank. This is somewhat mitigated in that by the end of the series their interactions are much, much more those of police partners as opposed to superior/subordinate, but there are still massive, massive issues to overcome. The entire fandom ships them anyway.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Many episodes can be seen as this. Special mention goes to "One Guilty Deed" and "If Wishes Were Horses", which both involve Lynley running to Havers' aid after she gets hit with a rock and shot, respectively. Very special mention to the latter, where Lynley calls her "Barbara" and not "Havers." And let's not forget the last two scenes of "In Divine Proportion," in which Barbara is held hostage at gunpoint on her first case back from getting shot. The way he holds her close and soothes her is... a bit more than friendly. Especially that kiss he presses to the top of her head... Special mention also goes to the "shower scene" in "One Guilty Deed," when they dance around each other in tight quarters while she's in pyjamas and he's in - a towel. And "Word of God" where he breaks off a date, shows up at Barbara's flat in the middle of the night and questions whether or not he ever truly loved Helen. Immediately after this, they admit that they are each others' reason to get up in the morning - I'm sorry, was this supposed to be subtext??
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: ...say it with me, folks - Lynley and Havers.
  • Wham! Episode: Most of the series finales. Series 2 had the events in the North Sea that led to Barbara's demotion, Series 3 had Helen's miscarriage and Barbara being shot, Series 4 had Lynley's suspension, and Series 5 had Helen's death. Series 6 didn't follow this pattern, but that was because the show was cancelled before the third and fourth episodes of the series could be completed.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Hadiyyah and Azhar vanish without explanation after the events of "Deception on His Mind", incidentally removing the only viable romantic interest not named Thomas Lynley Barbara ever has on the show.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Part of the reason Lynley and Havers are such an effective team is not simply because they're willing to call each other out, both personally and professionally, but because they listen to each other when their partner is directing one of these at them.
  • With Due Respect: Any variant of this phrase out of Barbara's mouth is code for, "I'm about to tell you I think you're an idiot." She's usually right. Its sister phrase, "Yes, sir," is code for, "I think you're an idiot, but I'm following your orders because I have to."
  • Working Class Hero: Barbara fits this more than she doesn't, as she's much better than Lynley when it comes to street smarts and, frequently, reading people's interactions, particularly those of the working class - Lynley tends to get a bit clueless about these things when he's not among the powerful or well-educated. This is, of course, why they are perfect partners for each other.
  • You Called Me "X" - It Must Be Serious: Suffice it to say that when Lynley calls Havers "Barbara," it's either a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming or a massive, massive Tear Jerker - like when Havers gets shot, at which point Lynley loses it quite spectacularly and can only say, "Barbara? Barbara??"

Notes

  1. the other is Tony Hillerman
  2. two-part episode
  3. First her father dies and she has to put her mentally ill mother in a nursing home (where she most likely dies during the early seasons). Then she's demoted (and almost sacked) for doing the right thing, after which she's shot in the line of duty and then held hostage at gunpoint on her first case back after said shooting, whereupon she has a panic attack as a result of said hostage-taking. Then her partner's suspended for excessive violence. Once he's back she's hit over the head with a rock by a psycho and would have died on a deserted moor if her partner hadn't found her. Then her partner's wife is killed right in front of them (who she couldn't save despite her attempts at CPR), after which he then goes on a drinking binge and takes all his anger and bitterness out on her despite her only trying to help.
  4. To wit: he almost loses his wife to a deliberate car accident perpetrated by someone angry with his work on a case, which also causes his wife to miscarry their baby and break up with him. Then his devoted partner is shot in the line of duty right in front of him. Then he and his wife become even more estranged, with him eventually thinking she's going to ask him for a divorce. Then he's suspended for allegedly using excessive violence on a suspect. Then, just as he and his wife are starting to reconcile, she is shot and killed right in front of him by someone connected to a case he's working. As soon as he comes back on the job after that, he becomes the chief suspect in a murder investigation, with the victim in question being probably the first romantic contact he's had since his wife's death.
  5. This doesn't even begin to cover what these two do for each other over the course of the series, but it's a start.
  6. read: perverted
  7. Christine Wood, Lynley's Love Interest in series 5, whom he winds up ditching for Barbara
  8. Azhar and Haddiyah, Barbara's sort-of Love Interest and his daughter, in series 2, who regrettably vanish after that series' finale
  9. who is Killed Off for Real at the end of series 5, and their reconciliation likely wouldn't have lasted anyway
  10. who first shows up in series 5
  11. ditto

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