ZEN “Cabal” Review

Zen Series 1 Episode 2

ZEN “Cabal” Series 1 Episode 2 – Let’s be honest: Zen is Columbo, but better-looking and set in Italy. He gets flirted with, he pops his head back through doors for ‘one last question’, but unlike Columbo, he also gets to snog a gorgeous woman.

This week Aurelio tries to solve the murder of a rich young man, Umberto Ruspanti, who was involved with the shady ‘Cabal’, a group not unlike the television staple ‘the Illuminati’. Apparently Ruspanti (or ‘Rasputin’ as I’m tempted to type) was going to sell information on the group to an ex-Cabal member, which, of course, didn’t go down well with the group. In the course of his investigation, Aurelio is kidnapped (again!) leading to a short but tedious “left, right, left” drive through Rome, and then has to zip and unzip dresses for a ‘lady of the night’, doling out fashion advice when he could really have just been reading a newspaper or something (sorry, but I find a fully dressed Tania more appealing).

Speaking of Tania, she’s ready to leave her husband and find a place to live in the city. Meanwhile, Aurelio’s wife turns up to ask for a divorce. We learn that she slept with his friend, possibly friends plural, and he might just be a little bit bitter.

Rome is much more of a character in this episode, looking less like a tourism film and more like a very pretty den of iniquity, and a nice accompaniment would be a few more Italian actors. While I understand the usage of British actors, wouldn’t it have been more cost effective to use Italians for some of the smaller roles? It would have been a great showcase for international talent, too, like the recent The Sinking of the Laconia‘s mixed European casting.

Nevertheless, this was a solid installment of a great light watch. I love Aurelio’s dry wit, the scenery is gorgeous (as always) and, while the corruption aspect is a little heavy handed, only having 3 episodes per series will keep things fresher for longer. Role on next week’s episode!

What did you think of ‘Cabal’? Let us know in the comments below!

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