The season starts off with Lovejoy (Ian McShane) having to put the group back together. First, he must convince Lady Jane (Phyllis Logan) that they can get back into business together, next he gets Eric (Chris Jury) to quit his job as a security guard, and finally he finds Tinker (Dudley Sutton) in a monastery of all places. It really doesn't take much effort to put them all together again, and it isn't long before Jane approaches the others with an unusual job. It seems Jane's friend, Victoria Cavero (Joanna Lumley, Absolutely Fabulous), is in some trouble regarding her late husband's political views. In the hopes of raising some quick cash in order to get away from her husband's enemies, she needs an Incan ring sold. What results is a kidnapping with the ring as the ransom and, surprisingly enough, Lovejoy falling for Victoria.
Lovejoy's romance with Victoria actually spans several episodes. While Lady Jane is still married and fully committed to her husband, it's obvious that Lovejoy and Victoria's budding relationship is starting to get under her skin. In "Out to Lunch," it looks like Lovejoy's lack of focus on his work might be putting both his reputation and those of his clients at risk. Lovejoy identifies some drawings by a famous contemporary, but when the artist appears and claims they aren't his, it looks like Lovejoy's divvy talents might be a bit clouded with Victoria's presence.
While seeing Lovejoy in a relationship for more than a single episode is amusing, I did find Victoria a bit of an odd fit for the show and her character started to get annoying. Unfortunately for Lovejoy's heart, she doesn't stay in the picture too long, but it seems something else is brewing as Jane's and Alexander's marriage starts to have some problems. At first, little fights over his constant absence or her purchases seem like trivial matters, but as the season progresses, they get to be a bit more dramatic until they reach a conclusion that might result in the sexual tension between the two main characters finally coming to an end.
Lovejoy: Series 3 had some really great episodes. In one, "Eric of Arabia," Eric decides to specialize his antique knowledge in something that is near and dear to his heart, motorcycles. After a deal falls through involving a German collector, Eric ends up agreeing to sell another motorcycle that is similar to a Brough Superior SS100, the famous motorcycle that Lawrence of Arabia drove and eventually died on. Eric embarks on a crazy scheme that leaves his companions, as well as the bike's current owner, in a bit of a stupor, but if his gamble pays off, it could mean a big win for Lovejoy & Associates.
In another episode, Lovejoy's daughter, Vicky (Amelia Shankley), finds an old Scottish sword in her new flat. When she and Lovejoy work to sell the sword, they find that a lot of people are interested in it, and they are ready to do some dastardly deeds to get their hands on the sword.
Vicky returns in a later episode when she pairs up with an older man. In this same episode, Lovejoy starts investigating an art gallery that is selling clever fakes. The big hurdle in this attempt to get fakes off the street is that the gallery's owner is the son of a cabinet minister with a lot of political pull.
One of my favorite episodes this time around has Lovejoy being hired by a Japanese businessman who is trying to buy his way into a golf club. While spending some time at the club, thanks to Lady Jane's membership, Lovejoy is asked to look at several supposed antiques. It appears that the club isn't doing all that good financially. As is typically the case when Lovejoy is asked to help someone out, he tells his clients that their would-be valuable antique is actually a fake and he starts trying to track down who has the real thing.
Like the past two releases, Lovejoy: Series 3 ends in a two-part episode. This time, Lady Jane flies Lovejoy out to an old friend's estate in Scotland to, you guessed it, identify and sell some antiques to help pad the estate's empty books. This particular estate is in such dire straights that they are renting out rooms to guests who pay for pictures with the Lady of the house and are treated to "traditional Scottish dinners." As usual, one of the family's prized antiques turns out to be a fake, but Lovejoy's investigations lead him to a much bigger potential treasure. Unfortunately, a land-deal in the works to sell off some of the estate's property might endanger the priceless art.
Lovejoy: Series 3 is another delightful collection of episodes that put the roguish character in some truly interesting situations. One of the aspects I've always like about this show is that, even though it is a mystery series, it rarely features death and murder. As another bonus, besides some distinctly antiquated looking technology, the series holds up marvelously, even after 22 years. I feel like Lovejoy in general is a show that can be enjoyed by most, and this particular series is no exception.