A few thoughts before watching:
Looks like we’re going to get some serious Galex in this episode. According to TRA on Twitter, they’ve set up a separate Galex post-ep reaction thread! Given that the forum has already gone down through overload (at 7pm), it’s possibly quite academic what threads they have available. Still, at least it means we can discuss the rest of the plot, assuming there is one, without being attacked every other post for not caring about the Galex! ’Cos I sometimes think that if I get told one more time that Sam shouldn’t come back because this is Alex’s story now, and if Sam comes back that will allow all the LOM fans who hate Ashes (yeah, because we really do, that’s why we keep watching it, duh) to say that it doesn’t work without Sam I may break something. What can I say - it worked, OK, once they got their new lead character sorted out. Just I would have preferred it with Sam.
And now blogging the ep:
Wow, that was so great! Overall I don’t think this week’s ep had quite the same dramatic tension as last week, but still plenty going on. It’s no secret that all I really want is for Sam to come back - surely now that must happen?
Dear God, My heart was beating so hard when Gene started answering about Sam at last - and the very answer I was hoping for! I just cannot wait until next week now! All I want to do now is go back and watch the scene again where Gene tells Alex about Sam wanting to fake his death. Because that has just overflowed my little fangirl heart so much I want to cry.
I liked the little snippet of Gene singing at the crematorium. Hasn’t Phil always said that he can’t sing? Sounded all right to me! Gene’s words afterwards were interesting: “When we were evicted from Paradise...” Previously we’ve been told that he chose to come to London, haven’t we? Or did he just allow Alex to believe that because it sounded better?
Keats has come right out into the open with Alex now - this is no longer about ridding the force of an old-fashioned copper who gives modern policing a bad name. This is personal. Like with Morgan in LOM 2.07 and 2.08.
Gene is totally out of control at the moment; he’s never called anyone a prick before, I think? I’m finding it quite uncomfortable for some reason - probably because Gene himself is being a complete prick and he doesn’t really do that very often.
The bit where Alex was talking to Oliver about him “creating a conversational vacuum ... that I will fill with pointless chatter” was a bit too meta, I feel. Just a bit too knowing. I think if she’d acknowledged that was what she was doing it might have worked better.
That room where they’re interviewing the girl - Sissy? - looks so much like Manchester Lost and Found. They didn’t have a room like that in Fenchurch in series one or two.
That line sounds familiar - “In case you hadn’t noticed, we’re fighting for our lives.” I think I used that recently in a fic!
Bless Gene for knowing exactly what form is needed - an APR13. So sweet! And then he tells Alex there’s no such form. So why doesn’t Keats know that? Or if he does, why doesn’t he say so?
I’ve written down “Take that final step”, but I can’t remember who said it and to whom.
Hah! At 27 minutes, I literally gasped when we cut to Gene getting ready for their date. So hot!!!
Why has Keats written Ray, Chris, Shaz on the tapes? Is that a tape for each of them, or about each?.
Oh my God, what is Alex wearing? She looks totally terrible in that coat. Really trashy and not even attractive or sexy to go with it. The dress underneath is quite classy though. And Gene’s hair looks more blond than we’ve ever seen it, as he goes to sit down opposite Alex.
“Better a dead lion than a live rat.” OK, it was said to Chris, but is it a creed Gene is going to live by? Or die by?
OMG OMG OMFG Sam did not die in the river!!!! Sam did not die in the river!!!!
Jesus, that whole scene there I was on the edge of my seat, wishing to God I was on my own to watch this. I couldn’t stop a little tear of relief sliding down my face. When I’ve typed up these notes I’m going to watch again on the iPlayer and record that bit. Gene says such beautiful things about Sam there - “I learned more from Sam than from anybody else in my whole life” (I think that’s what he said, I was too overcome to write it down.)
At 42 minutes I’ve written down “Jesus, Phil is good!” but now I can’t remember exactly what about. I think it was when Chris admitted to having let Oliver go.
What is it with Chris and whistling? Have I missed something?
Aw, Gene - “If I can’t look after my own, then I’m nothing.” That is truly what he lives for, I think. On the surface it’s all about keeping the city clean for decent people, etc, but deep in his heart it’s about looking after the people close to him.
Fuck, that was well creepy when Oliver disappeared when Chris was talking to him! Chris didn’t look too worried, though, just a bit surprised. I thought the next bit was slightly unrealistic; I couldn’t quite believe in Chris’s transformation into hard man - I thought it was slightly overplayed, and Gene actually hugging him was totally OOC in my opinion. Hell, even Alex thought so!
Chris got a rather modified Bowie!flash, didn’t he? I didn’t hear Life on Mars play, but I did hear Nelson for the first time. I didn’t hear him when Shaz and Ray had their LOM moments.
It’s interesting that they’ve written Luigi a way back home; the writers seem to be actively dismantling the world now. Clunky info!dump alert: “that black bloke who used to run the Railway Arms”. Yeah, OK, there are people watching this who never saw Life on Mars but for fuck’s sake, wasn’t there some other way they could have explained who Nelson was? A little snippet comparing Luigi to Nelson in a few episodes? A picture of them all at their leaving do, pointing out Nelson behind the bar? Come on, guys, I can do better seeding and foreshadowing than that!
I am such an anti-Galexer! Not that I object to Gene getting his leg over per se, and I’d be happy enough for him to get it on with Alex, but I’ve never wanted the story to be swamped by it, and in general (apart from bits of series one) the writers seem to have had the same balance in mind. But I did start to get bored during the slow dance, it has to be said.
“Wait in the bedroom”. Can’t get much more of an open invitation than that!
It’s Keats. Well, it would be, wouldn’t it. No-one else would be able to keep Alex away from Gene at this point, she would send them away. But she has to listen to Keats. Just thought - how do we know that those photos were really the ones from the film in Gene’s desk? And whose handwriting was that on the back of one of the photos? “I think we’ve found our grave.”
Someone pointed out that in that scene where Chris, Shaz and Ray were sitting round a table in a field, Ray’s chair was actually on top of a raised bit in the grass that could have been a grave. Rather a small one, I think, but still rather odd.
And was there a picture of Sam in there? I need to rewatch and see if that was a new picture!
And wooh, collective star moment. I'm a bit worried about this, though; as they were all looking around them I thought it teetered on the very edge of being quite cheesy. Don't know how they're going to get out of that without ending up on a space mission to Mars!
Overall, apart from Gene looking totally scorching, and - best of all - Sam asking Gene to fake his death (Thank you, Ashley! Thank you so much!), this episode wasn’t quite as good as last week’s for me. But I was still on the edge of my seat the whole time and best of all Sam DIDN’T DIE IN THE RIVER!!!! That has just made my year, seriously.