Thursday, May 14, 2009

My Review of Ashes To Ashes 2x04: "Episode 12"

Written by Ashley Pharaoh
Directed by Ben Bolt

Gene: “We did it, Alex. We stood tall and stared them down.”
Alex: “Yeah we did.”

In that case – all hail Team Quattro. Since the second episode of this season, the writers have established that Alex and Gene would make their own team to take out corruption but given the way, they have been around each other, it’s natural that others would suspect something else.

Ray himself wasn’t shy at suggesting the idea that Alex and Gene were actually sleeping with each other. The reality however had more to do with them planting bugs in Mackintosh’s office and going through flip charts. That being said, bit risky sleeping in the office when you’re out to oust your boss, isn’t it?

Luckily for Alex and Gene, being suspected of shagging around is more of an advantage than anyone knowing what they were really up to. Alex wanted to bring Ray and Chris in on everything but Gene didn’t. Did he simply mistrust them or was he protecting them in his own way? Both are plausible but the latter would be something that viewers were more comfortable with.

Gene had plenty of other things to worry about as well. Earlier on when spoilers were circulating that a Life On Mars character was going to show up on the show, I was naturally hoping for either Sam or Annie but it seems that Jackie from the hostage episode in the first season was the character in question.

First off all, she’s kind enough to return Gene’s coat from Life On Mars and then she’s happy to tell him that he’s the father of her unborn child. Smutty jokes aside from Ray; it’s amazing how things quickly got heated between Jackie and Alex.

Alex went to town criticising Jackie on her chain smoking and she even snarked to Gene that he could’ve done better. The bitchiness between both Alex and Jackie did lead to some excellent one-liners but fortunately there was more to Jackie than being a thorn in Gene and Alex’s sides.

For starters, her motives for coming up to London are more to do with finding her missing niece Rachel and less to do with annoying Gene. It gives Jackie a more sympathetic edge, especially when after a proposal from Gene; she’s forced into admitting that the baby isn’t his or that they didn’t have sex either. More smutty jokes from Ray please.

It’s also around this time that Alex seems to warm to Jackie a bit more as well. Could it have been jealousy on Alex’s part that made her initially less than warm to Jackie? It’s nice that the writers didn’t descend into childish hysterics with the pair. Alex possibly has feelings for Gene but Jackie certainly doesn’t.

Both ladies bonding over the issue of motherhood brought home some pointers. Jackie went from trying to baby her niece Rachel to telling Gene that Rachel could stand up for herself as well as coming to grips with imminent motherhood herself. Alex on the other hand had to focus more on her quest to get back to Molly.

In fact when the ladies weren’t discussing that and Alex wasn’t trying to get any insight into what happened to Sam up until his death, Jackie did make a point of asking Alex about her feelings for Gene – something to delight the shippers. The Sam references however were the bigger made of win.

The main plot of the week however involved missing teens from the North who ended up dead upon arriving in London. We had the gang save Debbie at first from a pervy photographer, only for her to later wind up dead and even Jackie’s niece Rachel wanted to try and help the gang catch chief suspect Ralph Jarvis.

When Alex and the gang first made an arrest on Jarvis, we learned more about the scheming so and so’s violent history with young girls. More importantly came the clanger about Jarvis and Mackintosh being in cahoots. Hardly a shocker but Alex and Gene did see it as more reason to get ride of Mackintosh once and for all.

Mackintosh wasn’t stupid though. He could definitely tell that Gene and Alex were up to something and he certainly did his best to try and get Alex out of the way, around the same time that she and Gene finally convinced themselves to let Chris and Ray in on their scheming only for Mackintosh to try and get Alex out of the way.

Planting evidence to make it look like Alex was taking backhanders and having access to secret bank accounts was a bit late for Mackintosh. Alex and Gene (thanks to Jackie’s encouragement) still managed to arrest Jarvis and connect the dots that he laundered money for Mackintosh in exchange for his freedom.

What no-one had banked on was that when it looked Jarvis was going to get away with things, Mackintosh opened fire on him and then turned the gun on himself. I actually found Mackintosh’s death to be quite satisfying, though a part of me did wonder for a minute if he might have shot Alex.

Instead he just told that he knew about the roses that she was getting and that Operation Rose was in order. What is Operation Rose and who is that guy stalking Alex? This week he pestered her about them being a team towards the end of the episode, coincidently enough when Mackintosh died. Even Gene is beginning to ask questions and Alex would do well to let him in on what’s been happening to her over the last few weeks.

Also in “Episode 12”

The opening scene with the other coppers singing to taunt Ray and Chris into a food fight was inspired.

Viv: “Sounds like you’re in for a promise.”
Chris (re Shaz): “Not really. She’s got me watching tapes of Brideshead Revisited.”

Shaz’s support of gay culture continues. Now all we need is gay character that she can be best mates with.

Alex (re exposing Mackintosh): “It’s a big step.”
Gene: “Between you and me, Bolls, I’ve been wanting to do this for weeks.”
Alex: “Yeah, me too. I just didn’t know you felt the same way.”

Gene: “That’s my coat. I was looking for that.”
Jackie: “You left it in my flat but come to think of it, that’s not all you left behind.”

Jackie told Alex that Sam and Annie had married but had no kids, that Sam had surrendered to being in 1973 and that she wrote his obituary. She seemed to like Sam.

Gene (re Jackie): “What’s wrong with her?”
Alex: “Well apart from the fact that she’s a journalist and she’s from Glasgow?”
Gene: “Blimey, you’re beginning to sound like me, Bolly.”

Jackie: “Where’s the father of my child?”
Ray: “He’s in there with DI Drake but I wouldn’t.”

Halfway through the episode, Shaz went undercover as a runaway trying to get information out of the girls about Jarvis’s parties.

Chris: “Shirt up.”
Shaz: “Bet you say that to all the girls.”
Ray: “Women in the police force, it’s just not right.”

Ray: “Is this a private conversation or can anyone join in?”
Alex: “No, it’s private.”

I have to give Ray points this week for telling Gene that he’d do anything for him as well as Chris for his hilarious response to it.

Alex: “That’s the difference. I have to get back. Somebody needs me.”
Jackie: “You’re quite a strange person, aren’t you? Have you and Hunt got something going on?” Alex: “God, no. Why do you ask?”

Dr Death: “When are you going to learn? What you do in this place has consequences.”
Alex: “What consequences?”
Dr Death: “You’ll find out.”

We saw a painting of Mackintosh and his daughter and Gene shot a dog to Shaz’s disgust when she found out. Plus Roland Rat and those nightmares with Molly and Jarvis.

Mackintosh (to Alex): “Drake, hanging around gents toilets. You’ll get a reputation.”

Alex: “This is an outrage.”
Mackintosh: “I made it quite clear, DI Drake – either with me or against me.”

Standout music: “Everybody’s Gotta Learn Sometime” by The Korgis stood out for me the most.

Ralph: “Nothing to worry about.”
Jackie: “Well you should be worried. You’re surrounded by armed bastards.”
Gene (to Alex): “Oh that bloody woman.”

Dr Death: “You might be right, Alex. Maybe we can help each other, you and me.”
Alex: “Who is this? What do you want?”
Dr Death: “Not Hunt, not Mackintosh. Just you and me.”

Chronology: A few days after where the previous episode left off.

By far, my favourite episode of the season. The continuity references were brilliant, Jackie worked well, loved learning more about Operation Rose and the shipper vibes between Gene and Alex definitely appealed.

Rating: 10 out of 10.

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