Lip Service Episode 204 Recap: Royal Lady Mounds

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.
Tess: Why?
Ed: Because she feels really bad that I’m taking her to this film awards thing tonight instead of you.
Tess: Whaaaaat!


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.

That’s cool, baby. I mean, you know how it is … rockin’ and rollin’ and whatnot.


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.”


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.


Last week, Bostongrrl said in the comments that Lexy’s eyebrows are veering into Joan Crawford territory That’s definitely true, and it makes everything even more dramatic!

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  1. If I had to describe my love life I would say it is like the exact moment in which Tess do not want to be with Meg but then she decided that being with Meg is better than nothing.

  2. I can’t decide whether I prefer the recaps, or the show itself. Probably the recaps, just for the endless Helen/Nikki Bad Girls references and picture captions. Oh, and because you guys love Heather Peace just as much as I do!

  3. That scene when Tess was faking being sick was great, a perfect spot of lightheartedness.

    I feel so bad for Sam when she has those panic attacks, but at least Lexy was there to help. It would be brilliant if a hot doctor showed up the next time I have a panic attack.

  4. Meg was a nightmare but because of her we got arguably one of the best scenes in Lip Service history. Fiona Button is one of the best actresses this show has got and she proves it every time they give her these types of scenes.

    And am I the only one who still wishes Lou would come back and beg Tess for another chance?

  5. After Cat died I really was not sure the show would bounce back, but this episode is by far my favorite – and it confirms my love for Lexy!

  6. lauren’s boob looks like it’s made out of clay in that screencap. just imagine boobs that you can form like clay. you could form those madonna cones! (justneededtogetthatout)

    and I’m seriously regretting not applying to glasgow for uni when watching this series, but it’s prolly for the best – keeping up the illusion.

    • oh dear god, I shouldn’t be allowed near any electronic devices when I’m sleep deprived and/or drunk.

  7. PERHAPS I HAD A WICKED CHILDHOOD. That and the gif after made my night.

    This was a great episode too.

  8. i would totally watch this show if it was just sam and lexy doing stuff together….going to wine tastings, visiting sex shops, yoga, safety drills, then going home and saying dirty things to each other…..that last part just came out and i totally feel fine leaving it in.

  9. Wonderful recap as always. The Sadie as Spike thing is so true! I’m loving the show, but having Your recaps to look forward to make it all even better.

    I don’t care if it is a little soon realistically for Sam and Lexy to happen. Think about the alternative. Do you really want to wait several (or SEVENTEEN) months for them to finally get it on? And that’s only if the BBC is nice and gives us a third series. Personally I need to see this.

  10. I am really starting to like Sadie. Here’s hoping that Tess gets over her crush on Lexy and finds someone who is actually into her because she definitely deserves something real. (We’ll just pretend that Fin from the first season doesn’t exist since the script kind of did.)
    I don’t really like the Sam and Lexy thing. I don’t know. I don’t think that Sam is a very interesting character so they don’t compliment each other well. It’s an unpopular opinion but… *shrug*.

  11. I might be the only one thinking this, but the last Sam/Lexy scene made me really uncomfortable. Obviously Lexy didn’t feel assaulted or anything, but I hated how Sam refused stop until Lexy physically pushed her away.

    • I’m glad you said this- that scene made me really uncomfortable too. I kept thinking “No Sam! No!” because there really isn’t any excuse for forcing yourself on someone like that and because I love Sam and I didn’t like the way that was headed at all. I thought the rest of that scene was pretty bang-on in its portrayal of grief and anger and loneliness. Heather Peace is just breaking my heart with her acting this series.

      Other than that I really loved this episode and I’m glad the show works so well (better, even, if this episode is any indication) without the Cat/Frankie drama. Also I like how they showed off some of Glasgow’s greenery- they do make the city look pretty great, even if they generally only focus of very specific parts of it. Very nice recap, scribegrrrl. I always look forward to them :)

  12. When I heard “Jo Glass” I thought the same thing…is that George Glass’s daughter? Then I wanted to save that name in case I ran into my ex: “Oh, I’m doing great! I’m, um…dating, she is great. Jo is her name. Jo, um (takes a sip of beer), Pint, I mean Glass! Jo Glass is her name!”

  13. I love Tess, but she is such a martyr and a doormat sometimes. If you want to ask Lexy out, then do it. I thought she’d ‘man up’ after yelling at Sadie to clean the kitchen “NOW!” but she went back into turtle mode. I didn’t think mentioning the roller disco was an invitation. Lexy seems respectful enough to either decline or accept, not just blow it off for that hot blonde bob buddy. I, on the other hand, would blow Tess off for the hot blonde bob buddy, but that’s just me.

  14. Brilliant recaps as ever! I actually want to marry all of the captions.

    I know I’m in the minority here but I really don’t like the Lexy / Sam thing… I’m honestly finding Sam a real drag this season. I know she’s grieving but it’s not that, her character was most effective as a juxtaposition to Frankie, but now Frankie’s gone I just feel that she doesn’t “fit”.
    Also I think Tess and Lexy would be so cute together, I thought their chemistry in the scene with Meg was brilliant.

    Also, despite not liking Sadie at all in season 1, I really love her now. The actress is great, and I can’t wait to see where this thing with Lauren goes!

    Definitely the best Lip Service ep yet!

  15. “Rub my royal lady mound” is easily the best quote ever on Lip Service.

    Sadie, fucking the wife of the woman who finally got you a decent job is a douche move. She’s gotta back off soon if she doesn’t want to become Scumbag Sadie.

  16. Am I the only one holding out for Lexy and Tess? I think there’s still potential there that doesn’t necessarily mean writing the whole thing off. Actually though, typing this out is making me realise that it is kind of ridiculous and I’m only saying this because Tess’ attraction to Lexy mirrors almost every attraction I have for other people! Bah!

  17. If Sadie had been a better cheese enthusiast, she would have stolen harder cheeses.
    I’m a little surprised at how well this show still works with neither Cat or Frankie in it.

  18. I prefer Lexy with Tess. I cannot see Lexy’s chemistry with Sam that other people are talking about. Oh well…

    Overall, a good ep, though I find the Sadie-Lauren-Jo storyline not interesting. I love Sadie though, so I will watch anyway.

    Kinda miss Cat and Frankie.

    • I agree! Although it probably won’t happen, I would love to see Lexy with Tess. They seemed so perfect for each other when they first met! I haven’t seen the first season though, maybe that would change my perspective?

      • Watching the first season would only make you want Lexy/Tess more (and therefore make you sad) because it’s not like Tess getting hurt is something new.

        • It’s four days later and I’ve now watched the first season (what can I say, it was a slow week?). You’re absolutely right, I really hope Tess gets a break soon.

  19. best ep yet by far. soooo not bothered that cat n frankie are gone.
    can’t believe there only 2 eps left. stingy bbc

  20. Soooo the person who wrote the note in Lexy’s locker… isn’t it obvious that it’s Bea’s gf?? Lexy doesn’t have anything that even remotely resembles a secret…

    • I don’t know about Lexy not having a secret. It seems pretty implausible that a seemingly gainfully employed ER doctor would have to (or choose to) live in a flat with 2 marginally employed/unemployed gypsy-types unless she were running from something or had had some recent life-altering event occur. One could argue that she’s just moved to town, but her work relationships seem to suggest that she’s been there for a while. Something’s fishy there.

    • I was thinking that maybe Bea’s gf is actually a bf–because it was a man in “the chairs” and a man who called her.

    • Why would it be the gf though when they are said to be in an open relationship..?

      • Depends on how happy she actually is with the way her relationship is going.
        Some people agree to an open relationship because they’re afraid if they say no they will lose their partner altogether, but they’re not happy about outside relationships, and they may try to sabotage them when they come up.
        Others are absolutely fine with it as long as there is no emotional involvement with outside partners, or at least nothing beyond mild friendship, and they get jealous and paranoid if it seems their partner is starting to become attached to an outside person. Or if the outside partner is someone they feel threatens the stability of their relationship.
        If she feels her relationship with Bea is currently unstable in itself, she may resent or fear outside partners.
        Or, she may have asked Bea to cool it off with Lexy, because she feels threatened by it, but Bea may have ignored her request. Or may have said that she has stopped seeing Lexy, but then carried on.

        OR Bea might be completely lying about the relationship being open: unless Lexy has met her partner and spoken to her about it, she can’t be sure.

        • All logical points. But none of these sorts of explanations sound like TV-logic to me. If Bea’s gf is stalking Lexy, wouldn’t she notice how infrequently Lexy sees Bea and how not a big deal Bea is to Lexy? Surely this crazed gf would be looking through texts, emails.. and she would find nothing romantic from Lexy professing her love or asking Bea to leave the gf. I dunno.. it just doesn’t seem like it would be the thing the showrunners are building toward.

          Didn’t Lexy mention that she’s moved to Glasgow semi-recently? I thought she presented all shady-past when she was first introduced. I’ve just been assuming this is someone who followed her to Glasgow- an ex or something. But my memory isn’t great and I may be making this up. As a Buffy fan, one develops the ability to just invent their own answers to issues which confuse.

  21. I thought I saw Sadie on the street the other day, which I’m not sure is even possible. Obviously I just stared at her intently trying to figure out if it was her (different hair).
    I couldn’t decide if her reaction to my staring should be read as “You are a creep” or “You are a Lesbian” so I guess I’ll never know.


    Yes!! Haa this made me laugh so hard! I also loved the part where Sam was having her panic attack and they had that awkward/awesome moment where you almost kiss someone.

    I thought the Helen Stewart thing when I saw the letter was from Helen too!
    Love these recaps x

  23. Wait… I thought that it was Jo who made the joke about social something something by cheese and Sadie was all closed-mouth-laughing and nice-one-cool-stranger about it?

    Anyway, I would like to register my vote for Lexy and Sam. I found Sam to be a big wooden bore of a prop last season but Lexy actually makes Sam interesting. Their chemistry is kinda crazy.

    So I had to lose Cat to get Frankie off my screen, eh? Well, dammit.. it was worth it.

    My only complaint about this episode is the wasting of Fiona Button. I would sincerely prefer a long scene in which she is memorizing Chekhov than have to see her pitifully pining away. This is what we get of her this season? New regulars Lexy and Sadie are seen rocking professional and sexing wildly and Tess is.. sniffing moldy roller-skates? pssht.

    • I agree with you. The chemistry with Lexy and Sam is full of angst, pain, sexual frustration, confusion, passion…all of the things that work in a crazy-love relationship. Mind you, those never work out in the end, but man, those are the ones that stick with you. Ok, moving on (talk about a tornado of emotion). Tess isn’t a good fit for Lexy. I think she needs someone like Fin, but less selfish/bro-centric. They were opposites, but sometimes that works best. Two drama queens don’t work. Maybe Tess just has to get over her roomie crush and they can be great friends. Who here hasn’t had a quick fling with someone, only to have them become an awesome friend after getting to know them? Either they have to fling and move on or Tess needs to find someone more her speed. Lexy is too naughty for her (in a good way).

    • Re the “by cheese” lines: Sadie said “social annihilation by cheese” and then Jo said “unemployment by cheese.” It was sorta the same line twice, which I think meant they were totally bonding. Over cheese.

  24. So nobody else saw the ghost of Cat on the poster behind Sam during the cafe scene with Lexy?

    • My gf made me pause and go back to see that. Pretty creepy image
      until the focus sharpens and you realize it’s a poster.

  25. I’ve been reading the recaps in lieu of watching the episodes, and it just hit me that I’m seriously missing out on those gorgeous accents.

  26. When they stopped at the cafe after their (Lexy and Sam) run, I thought there was Lexy’s stalker in the background just standing there… turns out it was actually a poster. For a second, I was freaking out and thinking how this whole situation was going to turn into a Grudge type thing. *high fives if anyone actually knows what I’m talking about*

    • I thought it was Lexy’s stalker too! (No high-fives for me though – I don’t get the Grudge reference.)

  27. I feel so bad for Tess. And I slightly like sadistic Sadie, here character brings a little spice into the mix.

  28. where the hell is franie? i want my hot frankie back. sadie is gorgeous with or without makeup and i love that she does and says what she wants. sam and lexy have interesting chemistry. tess pining away for lexy is boring.

  29. Love Lexy. But I miss Frankie.

    All TV shows do it, but I feel like lesbian TV shows are really bad about picking up story arcs and then discarding them as if they were never there.

    I hate Cat and Sam, however, I am love w/ Sam and Lexy. If Cat wasn’t dead, maybe this could have solved the love triangle!

  30. When I saw the note “I know”, I instantly screamed: “I know what you did last Spring Break!”

    Gosh, I miss Popular…

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