Storyline: This is an average Inspector Morse case, with numerous twists and turns. Cryer, a convict in an experimental low security prison is murdered. The immediate suspects are the victim's former partners, Bailey and Thornton, who were sentenced with him for fraud. It's possible they managed to hide some of their fraud money away from the police. The investigation soon widens and new suspects include Cryer's wife and her lover (Thorton's son), and victims of the fraud. But the focus of the investigation soon changes when Bailey is poisoned and rushed to hospital.
Acting/dialogue: The caliber of the performances are up to the usual Morse standard. Sean Bean has a fairly small role as Alex Bailey, but a pivotal one. The rest of the cast put in good strong performances too, especially Richard Wilson (better known as Victor Mulgrew from One Foot in the Grave) as the born again Christian, Thornton. Bean is delightful as the smug Bailey and delivers the best line of the episode, in a typical (and wonderful) snide and cynical way, "You're struggling Morse. There is no money, can't you believe that.......Why am I working my balls off? So when I come out I'm ready, ready to make another fortune."
Believability: As with most Morse episodes this requires some degree of suspension of disbelief. But the story is well told and like a true mystery does keep you guessing "whodunnit" until the last 15 minutes or so. Morse is his usual morose self, with a still eager beaver Lewis in tow.
Turn Ons: Sean Bean looks wonderful with long blond hair and an earring. The best scene is when he is playing indoor soccer. I also enjoyed the wonderful scenery, especially the village that Morse had his obligatory pint in.
Turn Offs: The only major problem with Absolute Conviction was that there was not enough Sean., but is there ever? The only other trouble I had with the episode is that is suffers from what most mysteries suffer from in that it strings the audience along for 1.5 hours, and then through good fortune or stroke of fate, the detective solves the case in the last 15 minutes.
Source: Sean Bean- many-paths.net