CB Strike: Why Robin Ellacott is not just an assistant but is just the practical, savvy detective you didn't know TV needed
To say, she is a ray of sunshine in Strike's life is an understatement. She's not your sexy showpiece or armcandy but a force to be reckoned with.
Finding a really great detective in a sea of pseudo-intelligent ones may be tough, but to come across a really spot on female detective on screens today is like finding a pristine blue lake in the middle of a scorching desert. Robin Ellacott from J.K Rowling's 'C.B Strike' is like that water body - soothing to sore eyes. Portrayed by Holliday Grainger (what are the odds), she plays Cormoran Strike's smart and efficient assistant. The focus of the show is obviously on Strike (Tom Burke) since he's the central character and even though she doesn't have the limelight on her, she's so good you just cannot ignore her. And that is what makes her absolutely fantastic.
The fictional story follows a one-legged war veteran Cormoran Strike (Burke) as he tries to find his footing as a private detective in London. No, this isn't the flashy Oxford street you're assuming it to be — these are the grey alleys of a city that Strike has lived in for far too long. He's short on money, sleeps in his dirty old office in Demark Street, spends the day at the local pub and is struggling to find clients. But it all changes as Robin Ellacott steps into his dingy little office and decides to stay even though he almost rips her breast off - Strike makes an instinctive effort to save her as she almost tumbles down the stairs.
To say, she is a ray of sunshine in Strike's life is an understatement. She's organized, ambitious and incredibly resourceful. At first, she's only the pretty face as she comes to work under Strike as a temp. Then we slowly see how resourceful she is. She manages to find coffee and cookies for their first client in 'The Cuckoo's Calling' John Bristow (Leo Bill) in a matter of minutes in a place that barely has a functional anything. At first glance, it looks like a menial task but the look on her face tells you that she is capable of much more. I would credit Rowling's impeccable storytelling and ability to create wonderfully deep characters. It is a subtle hint that she can do much more and it also gives away how seriously she takes her job, even if it means just getting coffee.
As we step into 'The Silkworm' episode we see that she is actually a really good investigator, has an insane appetite for off-road driving and is extremely intuitive. She slowly and steadily becomes his partner - Strike starts letting her go off snooping around on her own and trusts that she would get the job done. After the first season, they might as well have renamed the show "Robin Strikes".
Robin is engaged to a sad excuse of a fiance named Matthew and he thinks that she's in love with Strike. But the truth is, she loves her job and she's damn good at it. She's very much in charge of what she does, which we see in the way she sneaks off to the bathroom in Fancourt's house or the way she handles Owen Quine's daughter Orlando - she's confident and sure of what she wants to get out of the situation. All good detectives have one thing in common - they never falter when asking questions.
She's extremely professional - be it issues with Matthew, or a limb being sent to work, Robin handles everything like a pro and we know from her backstory that she doesn't have any brushes with detective work until now. Robin and Strike are like two peas in a pod. They are so different yet fit in perfectly into the plot. The show is an adaptation of the Cormoran Strike books, so don't expect it to match it to the tee. Nevertheless, the screenplay is amazing. The chemistry between the two is more than your average main hero and sidekick - they are partners.
Robin's character is a breath of fresh air in the crime drama world. She's the bright-eyed, soft-spoken and all around lovable. A contrast to our main hero Strike, she's a woman without a heavy tragic backstory so far. While this is pretty unconventional in terms of what a hero is, we will have to wait and see what 'Career in Evil ' brings. We are talking about the same author who brought Harry back to life, after all. As of now, the character of Robin is pretty drama-free and shows a young woman independent in her choices with a curiosity of a cat. But so far, it hasn't landed her in too much trouble.
Her character is proof that you do not need to have a certain degree and yet be incredibly feminine and can still do kickass things. She's got this quiet presence about her that you just cannot help but love and admire. In conclusion, Robin isn't a sexy showpiece who is there to inspire sweat and wagging tongues — she's a silent force to be reckoned with.