Ye Gods, I am totally knackered! That was about the most intense hour of television I think I’ve ever watched - LOM 2.08 included.
Where to start? Paul Thordy? Whether he truly believed he was Sam Tyler or not, I actually started to believe it after a while. That actor did an awesome job of mirroring Sam’s intensity, expressions and general air. Plus, he’d obviously been chosen because he was the right size and build. How the hell could I see Sam in him so creepily when he has blue eyes ffs?
In fact, all the way through this episode I was writing things like “Fuck, this is so creepy.”
So, going back to the beginning:
The football souvenir reminded me of Sam.
Keats is winding Gene up to do the wrong thing, just the same as he did with Ray: “Shame you can’t get out there [and lead the charge yourself]”. And Gene falls for it. Or does he recognise the ploy but he has to go ahead anyway, because that’s who he is? The leader who truly leads. From the front, first into danger.
Ah, bless. “I am negotiating.” He learnt that from Sam - pity he didn’t learn to do it right!
Funnily enough, when Ray said to Chris “If she finds out who he is she’ll go nuts,” my first thought was that “Paul Thordy” was really Sam. And then we find out that - maybe, sort of - he is!
Can’t remember who Keats was talking to when he said “...tell me. Make it real.” There were a number of references to “all this” not being real. Paul Thordy said something along those lines later as well.
I lol’d when Alex said to Gene, “I hope you’ve got a heart in there” and Gene said “I’ve got two - mine and some other bastard’s I just ate.” Am I the only one who - just for a moment - thought in all seriousness, “Fuck, Gene’s a Time Lord!” ?
I thought last week and again in this episode, that the corridor (at 19 minutes) looks exactly like the corridor in Manchester, where they go out of CID, walk round the corner and look into CID through another window.
Ghost!Copper is getting so close to Alex now, I was totally creeped out by him this week. But she seems to have worked out that he doesn’t mean her any harm, but he wants her to do something.
I’ve made a note at about 22 minutes that Paul Thordy has a definite look of blond Simm!Master about him. I was totally and utterly creeped out by that whole scene where he tells Alex that he’s really Sam, and none of this is real. I really believed that he could be Sam; just extraordinary!
“You forget, Alex - that’s what happens to you here!” He had pretty much the same accent as Sam too. Not in every single word, but the general “feel” of it was very similar. But why did we get shown a series of little fractions of his face?
Moving on to the prison, and the journalists going in, we had more gay references, this time specifically in relation to Chris and Ray.
To Ray: “Old Spice. Fags. And loneliness.” And he’s practically caressing Ray there.
To Chris: “Something. Something else. And spunk. Did you and your bum chum have a little fun on the way here?”
I really thought Ray was actually going to say something like “I love you,“ to Chris, when he ended up saying “If you don’t make it out - can I have your mug?”
When Chris was getting all pale and terrified, he was again looking so much like Ghost!Copper. And Ghostie looks like Chris too imo.
And the death references are building up again: Ray says to Viv, “You’re dead to me. Go to hell.”
When Chris and Ray were wired up, I thought for a moment that Chris was going to get his “stars” moment, from the way he was looking at something beyond the camera (over our shoulders, which again was dead creepy!)
And wow, Keats in this episode? Very creepy indeed. Not an ounce of anything likeable about him this week. I’m seeing him as the Devil again now - and what on earth was he singing, when he was looming over Viv? He was shushing him, just like he did with Louise last week. Of course, Viv has got to this point by doing something very wrong, just like Louise did, but Gene is always and forever ready to forgive and make people feel good about themselves in their dying moments, whereas Keats doesn’t.
I thought Keats was going to hold Viv as he passed over, but he actually made him pass over, I think. My heart leapt when Gene arrived, and sure enough Gene did the holding thing, but he was too late.
Oh, that final reveal, in Gene’s desk! Is that the twin to the tin box that was in Paul Thordy’s possessions? And OMG a picture of Ghost!Copper while he was alive! In Gene’s desk!
OK, leaving aside the fact that Alex is finally and very slowly working out the 6620 business - for the benefit of the average viewer, presumably - this episode is just WOW from start to finish. Score eleven out of ten for tension and twisty-turny-ness.