Remarkably, we’re up to the fourth season of this complex and fast-paced Polish legal thriller. And according to IMDB, there’s a fifth season out there, too. So clearly this is a popular series in its native Poland (where it’s simply known as Chyłka).
If you want to avoid all spoilers, stop reading this article now.
It’s worth stating from the off that season four kicks starts where season three ended; and without knowing the backstories, you will come into this a bit lost and bewildered (not least because the script is so fast paced, the subtitles often fly by before you’ve barely had a chance to read them). But if feisty, female-led legal thrillers are your thing, I suggest you go back and binge the earlier seasons first.
Joanna Chyłka (played by the impressive Magdalena Cielecka) is back from her near-death experience in the last series, and she’s sober for once – something that’s been lacking from previous seasons. She’s now a partner in the law firm, albeit an incredibly unpopular one. But she’s not one to rest on her laurels; not least because her former client and nemesis – Piotr Langer Jr – has pressured the firm into forcing Joanna to defend her own father, a man who she despises for what he did to her when she was a child. That pressure from Langer manifests itself in thinly veiled threats towards the welfare of Chyłka’s niece.
We also witness a young man alone in his flat, seemingly manufacturing some sort of incendiary device. Outside, the police are monitoring his movements from an unmarked van. When the time to pounce arrives, they usher his neighbours out of the building, break in and arrest him. His adopted parents turn up a few days later at the law firm saying that their son is innocent and ask that the firm defend him. Joanna is convinced to take on the case, not least because of the publicity that she believes it will bring her personally. But she’s also keen to go up against the renowned prosecutor, Paderborn, to test her own skills. However, the case is complicated – not least because the boy says that the couple are not his parents, and he doesn’t want her to defend him.
Kordian ‘Zordon’ Orynski still works for Joanna, and he is the reliable rock to her chaos. He’s there with a handkerchief when she throws up, and he’s been there for her during her darkest times. She continues to treat him like something left on her shoe, but deep down she knows how important he is to her well-being. Their relationship is the most interesting thing about this series, in my opinion. Joanna herself is hard to like – she’s rude, arrogant and conceited. Whereas Kordian is perfect son-in-law material. They are the quintessential odd couple.
If you’ve seen the previous seasons, you will know what to expect. It’s basically more of the same, with ballsy Joanna taking on the various men in her life who are trying to quash her. But Joanna isn’t going down without a fight – despite the bombshell delivered at the end of the opening episode.
Walter Presents: ‘The Defence’ Season 4 is available as a full boxset on C4 Streaming now.