Ed and Tess are having breakfast. Lexy is stretching. Go ahead, take a minute to form a mental picture of that last part. Or just look at this:
That image will certainly be burned on Tess’s brain for a while to come: she’s staring so hard, she might sprain something. But Ed is ruining the moment for all of us by going on about how nice it is to fall asleep in Nora’s arms. Really? Her?
Ed says Nora is helping him realize that life is still worth living. I suppose she deserves some credit for that. But Tess isn’t about to encourage this little love connection.
Ed: You’ve got Nora all wrong. She’s great. She really likes you.
Tess: What’s she like with the people she hates?
Ed: It was her idea that I bring you breakfast today.
Ed: Because she feels really bad that I’m taking her to this film awards thing tonight instead of you.
It seems Ed actually invited Tess to the film awards thing months ago. Well, that’s pretty shabby. Also, Ed, Nora is going to dump you the minute you don’t cast her in the film of your book. Not that you’ll have any control over the casting anyway — didn’t you see Mulholland Drive? Hmm. That started with a car crash too. I hope Coco the crazy landlady shows up later.
In another idyllic setting that is apparently the sort of thing Glaswegians see every day, Sam and Lexy are racing up a hill.
They take a break to catch their breath and each other’s eye. Lexy tries to appear nonchalant as she pretty much asks Sam out:
Lexy: Hey, I um, I got these tickets to this, uh, wine tasting thing tonight. One of the consultants couldn’t go, so he gave them to me.
Sam: Right …
If by “right” you mean “we all knew this was coming,” I agree, but I’m still nervous and slightly giddy about it anyway. There’s just so much chemistry between these two (though my better half thinks that’s all Heather Peace — that she has chemistry with everyone. Very possible).
Sam: I don’t know. Maybe. I’ll give you a call later.
Lexy: Yeah, no, cool, I mean, no pressure.
Sam jogs off and Lexy hurries to catch up with her. I don’t know whether I want this whole thing to happen. I mean, it’s so soon after Cat’s death, but at the same time, I kinda want to move on as a viewer. I’m so conflicted! Hold me, Heather Peace!
As Lexy arrives back at the flat, Tess is making herself presentable. Too bad Lexy can’t see that Tess is just as besotted with her as she is with Sam. And yet somehow this whole thing could never be the sort of love triangle that Sam-Cat-Frankie was. There’s just not enough angst for that.
Tess: How’s Sam?
Lexy: Oh, I dunno. She doesn’t give much away.
Tess: I’ve been meaning to call her. Ask her for a drink or something, but I just …
Sam: Got nothing at all in common with her?
Tess: Except maybe Cat. I mean, I guess not. It’s great you’re spending time with her, though.
Tess. Do you really think Lexy’s urge to spend time with Sam is magnanimous and altruistic? Try libidinous and hedonistic. Now would be a good time for Fin to come back and kick a soccer ball at your head to knock some sense into you.
Lexy gives Tess a comforting little pat as she walks by. To Tess, every little expression of affection is pretty much a proposal. I am starting to feel very concerned for her open, vulnerable heart.
Tess tries her own version of nonchalant not-asking-out:
Tess: Hey, are you doing anything later? Do you wanna go to the pub, or …?
Lexy can’t go, of course. She explains that she’s taking Sam to a wine tasting “just to get her out of the house,” and pretends to be sad that she doesn’t have more than two tickets. Tess claims she doesn’t mind because she’s got “loads of lines to learn.” Yes, but when will you learn to read between the lines?
Sadie, always on hand when you need to break some tension (or just break some shit), strolls by and half-apologizes to Lexy for borrowing her laptop “again.” Oh, no no no no: eating your flatmate’s yogurt or making a mess during condiment sex is merely annoying compared to the heinous crime of borrowing your flatmate’s laptop. Unacceptable!
But Lexy doesn’t seem to care; she just wants to know what Sadie’s up to.
Lexy: More job applications?
Sadie: No, I’ve written an article. Going to see if I can get it published. Save me from my temping nightmare.
Tess: You should’ve got Ed to read it.
Sadie: Oh, no, it’s all right; I’ve already got an in at Minus 21 magazine.
Lexy: How come?
Sadie: I fucked the editor.
There’s an implicit “duh” in the way Sadie says that. Yes, she’s immoral and narcissistic and childish, but she amuses me. And I’ll take that wherever I can get it, especially over car accidents and sudden departures.
I also think Sadie is sorta like Spike on Buffy. Can’t you imagine her saying “I don’t care what happens” — to just about anything?
At the police station, Sam is re-creating Office Space.
Sam: (to Ryder) Have you nicked my stapler again?
Ryder does indeed have the aforementioned stapler, which doesn’t appear to be a red Swingline. He also has something much more interesting: Cat’s possessions, which have been “released from the scene.” Perhaps that’s what we should say about Cat herself: she’s been released from the scene. All the scenes.
Ryder wants to know whether Sam wants Cat’s things, or whether he should give them to Cat’s parents. If it means Mrs. Hughes will come back on the show, then I vote for the latter. Also because I don’t want Sam’s heart to break all over again when she sees that incriminating bracelet.
Sam: I’ll have a think about it. Thanks.
But we’ve already had several hundred thinks about it, Sam! That bracelet has been sucking up our collective mental energy for two weeks, and we would all like to be set free.
At the hospital, Declan is spewing sheit again, teasing Lexy about her “date” with Sam. Bea overhears and wants to know whether Lexy really has a date. ‘Cause she was sorta maybe kinda hoping to get Lexy’s attention tonight. But it’s still all casual and free and easy, insists Lexy.
Declan: Right, so you’re not going on a date and she’s not in any way at all jealous.
I don’t mind when you make snarky observations, Declan. But most of your comments are more sleazy than snarky.
Lexy’s pager buzzes. She reports to a nearby duty desk and proceeds to flirt with the nurse behind it. Actually, I don’t think Lexy’s really flirting; I think she’s probably just really likeable and charming and therefore most people respond to her with warm smiles and twinkly eyes.
The nurse says there’s a patient waiting for Lexy “in chairs,” but when Lexy goes to said chairs, there’s nobody there. Nobody at all, which seems sort of weird for an ER.
Lexy goes back and asks the nurse whether somebody else took the patient.
Scottish version of Megan Cavanagh: No, he wouldn’t see anyone else. He only wanted you. He was really insistent about it.
Oooh, intrigue! This is something I love about British shows, actually: there’s often a mystery or a dark past where you least expect it.
Lexy tries to shrug it off, but I’d say there’s definitely a monkey on her back or a skeleton in her closet or a Vera Bates–ish ex waiting in a cupboard somewhere.
At the Minus 21 offices, Sadie has arrived with her latest submission. Lauren the editor says “What’re you doing here?” in a way that reminds me of when Helen Stewart asked that same question of Nikki in that one scene after Zandra went up on the roof with her baby and Nikki went to find Helen and huskily said “You’re gorgeous” and “I’m totally in love with you.” Um.
But this is not like that at all. Lauren is not happy to see Sadie and wonders if she’s “some sort of a stalker.” Sadie plays it cool and says she’s just there to deliver her article for consideration.
Sadie: Don’t flatter yourself that I’d bother stalking you. You weren’t all that.
Lauren almost shudders as Sadie saunters off. I think you just found the key to Lauren’s affections, Sadie.
Back at the police station, Ryder and Sam are leaving for the day. Ryder encourages Sam to come out for a drink.
Ryder: Look, Sam, if you don’t want to face the whole gang, we could go back to yours for a curry. I’ll even endure your Cagney and Lacey box set. Now that’s an offer you won’t get every day.
Oh, I have one of those! Actually, I guess I just have the season 1 box set, which is funny because it doesn’t actually include the first six episodes (in which Meg Foster played Cagney) and dares to call itself “The True Beginning.” Not that I disagree.
Sam shrugs and explains that she’s going to a wine tasting with her “running partner.” There’s that fake nonchalance again. But Ryder doesn’t catch it; he just mocks her for preferring a highfalutin wine tasting to “the Grampian.” I tried to figure out what “the Grampian” is and could only determine that Glasgow has a “Grampian Way” and that this pub called The Butterfly and the Pig (which I don’t think is anywhere near Grampian Way) is where I’d like to be right now.
As they go their separate ways, Sam’s phone rings. It’s Lexy. But Sam presses “ignore” or whatever the equivalent is on a BlackBerry. Wait, what? Why? Are you doing that thing where you use two possible social options against each other so you can do neither one and just go home and watch TV? I mean, not that I’ve ever done that.
Meanwhile, at rehearsal, Tess is grumbling to Hugh about the fact that Ed has chosen to take “stupid cow” to the film awards instead of her. The captions hilariously say “stupid Carol,” not “stupid cow,” which made me imagine all sorts of odd dates for Ed.
As Tess continues to lament her dwindling circle of friends, she tries on hats. Tess is cute in hats!
Tess also complains about her flatmates a little. Well, just Sadie. “Lexy’s lovely,” she says, in a way that suggests she’ll be trying on the “Unrequited Love” hat soon.
Hugh: Have you fallen for your roomie?
Tess: No! God, no. (after a pause) OK, maybe a little bit. But you know, it’s pretty hopeless. I mean, she hardly looks at me.
Hugh suggests that Tess sext Lexy, but Tess knows this would make her seem like a psycho.
Tess says she did ask Lexy to go to the pub with her, but Hugh says this doesn’t count because it’s in the “flatmate zone.” He suggests “stealth dating,” fun and friendly activities such as salsa classes. I can’t quite picture that. Maybe salsa-making classes?
Sadie is trying on a hat too. But not a fun one; this is the temp job she’s trying to rescue herself from. It appears she’s a waitress at a hotel restaurant. Which is about the last thing you’d think of as a possible job for her.
Meanwhile, over at the hospital, Bea is fighting with her girlfriend on the phone. Lexy overhears and wonders whether their “thing” is causing strain. Bea insists it’s not. Is it? Is it, though?
Bea does think Lexy could help her “let off some steam.” Lexy clumsily pats her on the shoulder and reminds her she has that wine tasting thing. Bea’s not bovvered at all.
According to Mellie in the comments last week, Alana Hood (Bea) is the second openly out actress on Lip Service, so I really should be supporting her. But Bea is interfering with the Saxy music that I very much want to hear!
Back at rehearsal, Hugh is still talking about his wife’s new boyfriend and Tess is wondering whether she could somehow get away with killing Nora. And of course Nora walks in right in the middle of that murderous thought. She offers an apology for taking Tess’s place at the film awards, and also gives Tess a nice bottle of champagne so she can enjoy a night in. It’s so confusing when soulless people are nice, right, Tess?
Sam is reading a condolence letter from a friend.
DO YOU SEE THAT? It’s signed “Love, Helen.” IT’S TOTALLY A LETTER FROM HELEN STEWART! Can we please get Simone Lahbib on this show to start a torrid May-December affair with DS Murray?
Does anyone do pensive as well as Heather Peace? And hello, Sam’s arms.
As Sam ponders the letter, Lexy calls again. This time Sam picks up and agrees to go to the wine tasting. Lexy’s reaction is mild and restrained.
But Lexy’s glee turns to glum when she goes to her locker to collect her things. Her locker is wide open, and there’s an envelope with a note in it.
There are several ways we could finish this “I KNOW” sentence. There’s the obvious “WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER,” the half-cute, half-creepy “THE MUFFIN MAN,” and the retro-cool “THE WAY TO SAN JOSE.”
And then there’s the one I want it to be: “HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT MY GIRLFRIEND, BECAUSE I AM THE GHOST OF CAT MACKENZIE AND I AM HAUNTING THIS GODDAMN HOSPITAL.”
This is a deliciously soap-operatic moment, complete with a dramatic camera push onto the note, some twitchy crescendoing violins, and Lexy’s darting who-is-this-what-is-happening eyes.