Friday, April 09, 2010

My Review of Ashes To Ashes 3x02: "Episode 18"

Written by Ashley Pharoah
Directed by David Drury

Ray: “What’s the most unusual place a bloke’s ever made love to you?”
Woman: “Probably my bottom.”

And as questions go, this is definitely one not to ask on a bout of speed dating. Yes, to solve a case, Alex introduced the concept to her colleagues in a bid to catch a killer. I can’t wait to see if she gets around to introducing them to social networking sites next. Still, it obviously did do the trick in the end.

You’ve got a bunch of freshly divorced brunette women who are being killed, branded and even having body parts severed and the only thing they seemed to have in common been that they used a speed dating company that Alex and Gene both decided to investigate in the obvious of ways.

Not a case of asking simple questions but more pretending to be lonely singletons looking for love. Except both of them actually are, so there’s a bit of an irony there, wouldn’t you say? I loved the scene where they were sitting around comparing notes about the different ways in which they answered their questions.

Of course Gene would have to go for a crude-ish answer when asked about what he was looking for in a woman and Alex was never gonna be able to resist referencing post-1983 stuff in her answers either. The shipper in me would say they’re perfect for each other in that opposite attract sense of things but this wasn’t about them in that way – not by a mile.

Nope, it was about catching a woman hating scumbag named McClean and while he had all the problems in the world – wife left him for another man, he’s got terminal cancer, and he was still a vicious bastard who nearly killed Shaz upon twigging that she was posing undercover to nab him.

I was actually hoping that Shaz had killed him when she stabbed him but it made sense for the story that he lived to confess and die of cancer whilst in jail. But in its own way, the confrontation scene with McClean and Shaz was from the view point of the latter in the end and rightfully so.

Shaz went from being nervous and wanting to catch McClean out to rightful anger as he went on his sexist rant. In a way, this was a huge episode for Shaz, whose experiences with catching McClean shaped the decisions she made about her career at the end of the episode.

Throughout the entire episode she was depressed, cranky, even defeated as she came to the conclusion that she didn’t belong in the police force. Even Alex’s little pep talk did naff all to actually get Shaz to change her mind. Unlike Keats, who somewhat encouraged her to actually hand in her notice.

The only person who effectively changed Shaz’s mind was Gene, which to be fair was not exactly that surprising when you think about it. He might loathe the touchy feely stuff but he certainly knows that she’s a good, loyal cop and her dealing with McClean was enough for Gene to tempt her into staying with a promotion. It looks like he’s not as regressive as Keats would like to think after all.

Speaking of Keats, his contribution to this episode wasn’t as interesting as his previous episode. I just don’t know how or why he wants to help Alex so much. It is genuinely altruistic because the way in which he interacts the male colleagues wouldn’t suggest that to me or does he just want to stick it to Gene that badly?

He certainly had no problem in telling Alex that he believed that Gene was responsible for Sam’s death. I know Gene’s being incredibly secretive about that but I just don’t believe that he killed Sam, even if Alex did go behind his back and dig up some files and seemed to considered Jim’s hunch about Sam’s death.

I guess with so few episodes left before the entire series comes to an end, the positives also mean that things don’t get dragged out. Gene knew about Alex’s snooping and confronted her head on and asked her not to help Keats. For the time being, I hope Alex respects that because it reminds me of Sam choosing Frank Morgan over Gene and that blowing up in his face. Just trust the Gene Genie, Alex.

As for Chris in this episode, not much to do other than being worried for Shaz, avoiding copping off with twins and sniping with Ray. He also seemed unwilling to talk about Sam as much as Gene did as well, which could suggest anything really. Like maybe Chris knowing more than he was letting on, perhaps?

Also in “Episode 18”

The intro of “Uptown Girl” for this episode was absolutely brilliant. I know what I’ll be looking for on YouTube a few hours after this episode aired. And what does 6-6-20 mean?

Chris: “I don’t want a hand job.”
Ray: “What do you want?”
Chris: “Love. Look it up.”

The credits were different for this episode again, with Alex talking about time running out on her and solving the mystery. Hers or Sam’s? Both probably.

Gene: “Speak up please, Sharon!”
Shaz: “Murder! Murder!”

Gene: “When are we most vulnerable?”
Ray: “I’m never vulnerable, guv.”
Alex: “When we’re in love.”

Beth Goddard who played Elaine in this episode (the woman who ran the dating agency McClean was using to get his victims) is Philip Glenister’s wife.

Gene: “And I have told you more than once, Bolly, Nelson Mandela is a terrorist.”

Jim: “Why did you join the police force, Sharon?”
Shaz: “To make a difference.”

Alex cited her favourite movie as Thelma And Louise in contrast to Gene’s High Noon. Chris and Ray also had different opinions on The Hunger and Return Of The Jedi.

Gene (to Alex): “Well that went well. I spent the evening with a bunch of sluts and losers.”

Shaz (re undercover): “Please don’t ask me.”
Gene: “I wouldn’t ask you if I didn’t think you could do it.”
Shaz: “And then no more.”
Gene: “Then no more, I give you my word.”

Standout music: Well, definitely the use of Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl” and David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance”.

Ray: “It’s not my fault I’ve got an illness with a posh name. What is it?”
Alex: “Misogyny.”

Jim (re Gene/Sam): “You think he killed him, don’t you?”
Alex: “I think who killed him? I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Jim: “I think he did too.”

Chronology: Judging by the dates for The Hunger and Return Of The Jedi, May 1983.

Not as good as the previous episode but definitely insightful and I’m beginning to wonder how connected that scarred policeman is to all of this as well. Judging by next week though, it seems there more Gene vs. Jim to contend with as well.

Rating: 8 out of 10.


Vegjin said...

What was with the close up of Shaz at the end where it briefly played the Life On Mars music?
That was creepy and cool with Shaz's face looking really quite evil.
Do you think she killed Sam? Or is Sam alive?

Anyways, great review :)

佳芳佳芳 said...

成功等於目前,其他都是這句話的註解。 ..................................................

shawnlunn2002 said...

Thanks guys for the comments. I don't know if Sam is dead, I almost get the feeling that he's in hiding or something and there has definitely been something off with Shaz so far this season. Not sure what though.

Vegjin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vegjin said...

The 6-6-20..

But what's with the weather vane?