Friday, May 07, 2010

My Review of Ashes To Ashes 3x06: "Episode 22"

Written And Directed by Jamie Payne

Paul: “Don’t mock me. You forget, Alex. That’s what happens to you here, Alex, you forget.”

Ignoring the leaked spoiler that this episode was going to kill off a regular character, can I just say how fantastic this episode was in general? This season has been slow moving in places and now it’s really cranking up the heat in a big way.

As characters went, I assumed that it was going to be Viv. I didn’t even consider the idea that it could’ve been someone else, even Keats for that matter. It was just always Viv who I expected to die in this one and he did, afraid and regretful of his actions. And I liked Viv, even though it took this episode to give him any development whatsoever.

Viv getting involved in a prison riot on the hopes of freeing a member of his family made sense. I don’t think I could’ve bought Viv becoming corrupted, so him being driven in doing something so desperate made a lot more sense to me. It also made a lot of sense that he’d be sorry as a result.

I don’t just mean Chris figuring out that Viv gave Jason his gun to kick off the raid but more the point of Jason turning around and killing Viv in the process. Jason had a reputation to keep up with and Viv basically got caught in the crossfire when Jason had no other way out of the raid that Gene managed to outsmart with Alex’s help.

Viv might have betrayed his friends and colleagues but I did love the fact that Gene put that aside and reminded everyone of Viv’s good side. It’s a pity that he didn’t get there a minute earlier when Jim was all over Viv. What the hell was Jim trying to do? I thought he was going to snap Viv’s neck but Viv freaked out for a good bit with Jim before dying.

This raises a lot of questions about Jim. If Jim is supposed to be some kind of guardian angel, then he’s a really terrible one. Viv was more freaked out than reassured to see him and Alex was openly resentful with him constantly telling her to help unearth Gene as well. Still, there are only two episodes left and we’re nearing to answers as well.

Whatever Jim’s motives are with Gene, his general plans are beginning to work. Gene was downright reckless in this episode, especially given that he put both Chris and Ray’s lives in danger with Jason and if it hadn’t been for Alex, both Chris and Ray would’ve been electrocuted. It’s a good job that he did listen to her on that one.

But not only that, there was the issue of Paul Thordy as well. I get that Paul was supposed to be seen as a fantasist, given his insistence that he was Sam Tyler but there was also the indication that there some truth behind a lot of the bullshit that Alex had to wade through with him as well.

Gene has been keeping far too many secrets in regards to Sam and Paul was certainly able to play on that with Alex as well. He also hit something of a nerve with Alex when he mentioned that she could end up forgetting things if she didn’t know the secret. One which he didn’t really share with her besides Jason’s plans to electrocute some coppers.

With Gene’s behaviour the way that it is, Alex did really need to take some more assertive steps into getting proper answers. He won’t tell her a damn thing and the episode did end with her looking at the photo of that scarred constable, which certainly seemed to promise quite a lot for the finale as well.

Also in “Episode 22”

This is the first (and probably) only time in the series that an episode has been written and directed by the same person. And Viv was a big West Ham fan.

Jim: “Perhaps it wasn’t a wise call to take charge of the attack?”
Gene: “Are you saying it’s my fault?”

Paul Thordy was the last person Sam arrested prior to his death, something which Alex questioned when no-one relayed that to her.

Gene: “I’m negotiating.”
Alex: “What, like Hiroshima was negotiated?”

Chris (to Ray after knocking out Paul): “Well, when the sheet hits the man.”

Alex walked in on Ray and Shaz discussing seeing stars. There was a moment in this episode where it looked like Chris was about to see them too.

Jim: “You ever stare at something so long your vision goes black?”
Alex: “What?”

Paul: “I want to float amongst the stars.”
Gene: “The only thing you’ll be floating in is your own shit.”

Did anyone else think for a bit that the mystery copper Alex keeps seeing and Thordy look a little too similar to each other?

Alex: “I hope you got a heart in there.”
Gene: “I’ve got two. Mine and some toe rag’s I ate earlier.”

Alex (to scarred constable): “I don’t want to be here anymore. Please just show me; just show what I’m supposed to do.”

In Alex’s dream, both Chris and Shaz were looking at Gene’s mysterious tin box. Does that mean something else?

Jim (to Gene): “Oh look at you, lost at sea.”

Jason (to Ray): “Old Spice, fags and loneliness. I suppose you could be a journalist.”

I was expecting Ray to come out with something more than wanting Chris’s mug when he thought that he might not make it out of the prison riot alive.

Shaz (to Gene re Chris/Ray): “You sent them in there. The bastard’s right, it’s on your hands.”

Chris (to Ray): “If I don’t make it out of here, can you give Shaz a message? Can you tell her, can you tell her I love her?”

There were two trailers for next week’s episode, both of which having Alex directly ask Gene if he killed Sam Tyler and them nearing to a kiss.

Alex (to Gene): “You are far from perfect, you are rotten.”

Jim: “What are you trying to achieve?”
Gene: “Shut it.”

Standout music: The score music for this one mainly and Sam ‘died’ in 2005? Now that was a good way of proving that Thordy was a fantasist.

Well, this was definitely a riveting episode from start to finish. Prison riot episodes could’ve been a bit dull but this one forwarded some stuff and with two episodes left, it does look like we could see this show end on a great note.

Rating: 10 out of 10.

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