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Ashes to Ashes 2.08 - Some Undigested Thoughts - Spoilers Ahead! - dorsetgirl
June 8th, 2009
10:38 pm
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Ashes to Ashes 2.08 - Some Undigested Thoughts - Spoilers Ahead!
Just some early thoughts - I can't get on TRA atm, the server was overloaded by the time I got there, ten seconds after the ep ended.

Scenefiller at TRA said "I knew she wasn't home as soon as "Molly mole face" walked in, without the mole"

WHAAATTT????? I didn't notice!

~ ~ ~

And some fairly undigested thoughts on the episode (I’m very glad we knew beforehand that there was to be another series!):

Interesting that she’s only said one word whilst she’s been in the coma - “Gene”.

I’m sure I heard Gene say near the beginning “It’s just gotten worse.” Did anyone else hear that? 1973/1982 Gene would never say that, and even if he’s real in 2008 he wouldn’t say it either.

Loved the bit with the todger - someone had a lot of fun shaping that deep-fried sausage. I’m glad I’d finished my tea by the time Ray bit into it.

They do like their scenes in the gents’, don’t they. But what is it with all the French stuff? (“Time’s running out for Moi” “What is this, France?”)

As I said in the one comment I did manage to post, I sporfled at the fanservice of Jeannette saying “I love your hands . . . your pretty eyes.” Never forget Matt and Ash read at TRA, folks!

When he went all silent and thoughtful after she told him the truth, that she was from the future “like Sam Tyler”, I thought he was processing and re-thinking his ideas about Sam and about her. I was really shocked when he said “I ask for the truth and you piss in my face.” Sam gave himself away much more about being from the future, with his constant talk about how things were going to be - it seems really odd that Gene doesn’t think about that at all when Alex claims the same thing.

This series has been much better than the first one in its handling of humour: such a brilliant, understated little moment between Alex and Shaz - “He wouldn’t do anything stupid, would he?” and they just look at each other and don’t say a word.

I was shocked again at Gene saying “First Sam Tyler, now you - why do I always attract the weirdos and the liars?” WHAT??? We’ve been told that Sam had another seven years with Gene (I wish) and the team - more than enough time to redeem himself totally from the LOM 2.08 business. So why is that how he remembers Sam? That’s really quite upsetting.

Ian Wylie said there was a heartbreaking moment - he probably didn’t mean where Gene was walking alone around the office just before SHE came in, but I thought it was so sad. And we finally get to see Gene kiss someone - and they cut immediately!

Finally - if she’s really back in 2008, why has she still got blue mascara on?

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Date:June 9th, 2009 05:19 am (UTC)
My impression of Gene's reaction to Alex claiming to be from the future like Sam was a bit more flattering to Sam (I've got strong defense mechanisms, I do!), in that I thought Gene's reaction was that Alex is hiding something from him, has been caught out, and her story about being 'like Sam' is a desperate lie and worse, an exploitive abuse of what she might know about Sam's Issues if that's still a delicate point with Gene (and judging by his reaction, I'd say that's the case). I might not be explaining my interpretation well... hm, kinda like he's disgusted that Alex using her knowledge of Sam to fake the same condition to cover her ass?

Probably doesn't matter, because I really was shocked by the weirdos and liars remark, no explaining that one. And really, I'm roiling with disappointment over the ep as a whole. It just seems really badly structured, Jeanette made no bloody sense, and the ending was rushed and left me really not-caring in a surprising sorta way. I really had hopes for this series, it started out well, but... gah.
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Date:June 9th, 2009 06:42 am (UTC)
It just seems really badly structured,

Oh? I really don't see all that clever literary stuff, so I don't get tripped up by it; I simply watch for the story and the Gene!hotness and the tension. I don't see the faults others tend to find until someone else points it out.

I haven't had a chance to watch again, or think of the episode as a whole. It wasn't until I'd been writing for quite a while that I realised that each paragraph or scene has a job to do, and I haven't yet learned to analyse what I see on screen in those terms, because it takes me a lot of concentration to keep up with the plot. I see details, not overview (I get good value out of reading whodunnits, because I can never remember who did do it when I read next time. But I remember the details of what was happening in the detective's home life during the story.)

I'd say to a certain extent Jeanette was fan-service, and I really don't have a problem with that. I liked Matt's awareness of some of the things we like about Phil (it's a very good job he doesn't have access to what we call the naughty corner at TRA!)

She also gave us a rather heart-breaking insight into Gene's loneliness and his view of himself - "beautiful women don't do that with me". And I haven't seen much of Phil in other roles - William Bell didn't get any snogging iirc - so I was very happy to see the kiss, just to see what he looks like kissing!

kinda like he's disgusted that Alex is using her knowledge of Sam to fake the same condition to cover her ass?

Oh, could be - I never thought of that. I'll have a look next time.

I thought the ending was good in concept, but poorly written and directed. The whole business of Gene needing her to wake up from her 1982 coma could have been handled so much more poignantly. I'm not at all for the Galex for its own sake, but they could have used that in the final scene just a bit more, to give more depth to Gene's feelings. He should have been desperate and lonely and frightened for the future, not just angry. They could have given him a totally heartbreaking speech there and they missed an opportunity.

Edited at 2009-06-09 06:44 (UTC)
Date:June 9th, 2009 01:27 pm (UTC)
When I say it's badly structured, I rather mean it in the same way you say that the ending was poorly executed - if all the crap that had happened earlier had been better organized, that ending could, perhaps, have lasted more than the two minutes we got and hopefully been a bit less ham-handed as a result. And it doesn't seem as though it should have taken much effort to clean up the investigative plot since it was more character-driven in the first place - it does bother me that it's been a while since Ashes has been able to make a crime story dovetail with the character plot the same way LoM always did. I didn't feel personally invested in the crime story so like you, I was watching scene to scene, detail to detail without getting much in the way of resolution at the end.

That's probably why Jeanette didn't work for me either, because at this stage of the game, a character with such mysterious motives and behaviours felt like she should have been more significant than she was. I love that she allowed us to see a side of Gene that wouldn't have otherwise come out (yes, I too wibbled at 'beautiful women don't do that with me') but she got a great deal more screen time than she ended up warranting. In a show like Ashes I keep looking for significance in stand-out moments like Jeanette (remember Alex's little thesis statement in 1.01) and I spent a lot of time squinting at the screen wondering if she really has History with Gene, if she's a time traveler, if that black leather jacket is meant to be reminding Gene and the viewer of Sam (I stuck with that last one, lol), and in the end she seemed kinda pointless, and it disappointed me, emotionally and intellectually.

Like you say about the last scene, lots of missed opportunities given what they had to work with. If these are the same people who gave us LoM, I just think they could have done so much better.

Edited at 2009-06-09 13:28 (UTC)
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Date:June 9th, 2009 08:26 pm (UTC)
totally noticed the blue mascara as well! really looking forward to series three!
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Date:June 9th, 2009 09:01 pm (UTC)
Yes, they made sure we noticed it, didn't they! I'm going to try to forget it for now, and just go back to writing Sam/Gene fic, which is where my heart really lies. Otherwise I might go mad by next year!

I'm enjoying the Spanish version of LOM very much at the moment - it's well worth a look.
Date:June 13th, 2009 06:22 pm (UTC)

They DO ??!! I’d better be careful what I write in the Gene Hunt section then. I’ve a damn good ending idea too.
1min I luv A2A, 1min I think I wouldn’t even bother watching without Gene.

In those Point Horror books I read as a child, you only found out who was leaving the flowers, notes, etc. at the end, not half way through the books! Summers was a great character but what’s the point of finding out he was behind it so soon ??
The ending really frightened me – my family were going “it’s fiction …..” I know, but it’s so good you forget sometimes.

I just really hope whoever the “angry man” is it’s not Gene …….
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Date:June 19th, 2009 08:27 am (UTC)
They DO ??

Oh yes! Not very often - in fact they make a point of NOT reading during the writing and pre-production and production periods, but Matthew posted his thoughts on the ending of US!LOM, and Ashley thanked us for our enthusiastic reaction to ep 2.01

Their screen names are Matthew Graham (he is NOT Matt G!) and Ashley is The WordBoy.

I just really hope whoever the “angry man” is it’s not Gene …….

My bottom line is that I want Gene to be real, not just Sam's and Alex's coma imaginings. Because I love him so much, I do have difficulty contemplating the fact that being real in 1973 would make him about 79 years old now, so to a certain extent I want him to be as he is in LOM and Ashes, in 2010.

(Sorry it's taken so long to reply to this - I deleted a bunch of notifications by mistake.)
Date:June 19th, 2009 04:47 pm (UTC)

The main reason I don't want him to be real is you can't kill off somebody who isn't real in the 1st place.
Him being real & dead/dying would upset me & put me off LoM. The ending to this series of A2A frightened me out of my wits. I thought I'd be happy to see my Gene everywhere. Clearly not. Still luv him though. I always preferred him in LoM anyway.

I never had the same feeling of dread watching LoM, even though I'd guessed some of what was going to happen before it did.

& I hope he gets his camel coat & vest back out soon .... mmmmm ......
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