Oh, no. You know you’re in for some drama when this is the first thing you see in the episode:
A photo of Cat and Sam! The bracelet Frankie gave Cat! And Cat’s notebook and her lipstick and her whatever other stuff and … her grieving partner.
Sam furrows her brow and thinks and tries to be her usual stoic self. But then she glances at a photo of The Gang: Jay, Frankie, Cat, Tess, and Ed (and let me just point out that more than half of them are no longer on the show). Surely she’s comparing this photo to the couple photo in the opening shot, and surely that way madness lies.
The phone rings. It’s Lexy, because she is a psychic doctor who knows Sam needs rescuing from her own terrible thoughts. Actually, she’s just waiting for Sam to join her for their usual morning run.
Lexy: (on the phone) Hey, just wondering if you’re still on for our run; I’m just on the bridge. (sighing) Uh… look, about the other night. We can get back from it, can’t we? (pauses) You know what? I’m hanging up. You’re probably already on your way.
Sam doesn’t answer the phone. Which I think is pretty much an answer to that last question.
At the TriSexA flat, Sadie is yawning and scratching like a kitten. Yeah, maybe I have a teeny crush. Actually, it’s not a crush at all: it’s a sincere, profound appreciation for the much-needed comic relief she brings week after week.
Tess is surprised to see Sadie so bright and early in the morning.
Tess: Whoa! I thought you melted in daylight.
We’ve all been making the vampire joke for weeks now, Tess! But it made me chuckle anyway.
But Sadie has a good reason for being so bushy-tailed: Lauren is due back from a business trip.
Tess: Oh. Cue rampant sex-fest.
Sadie: You’ve got the makeup artist.
Tess: Um, I didn’t sleep with her, thankyouverymuch.
Sadie: Oh yeah. How is the old bacterial hydritis?
I heart the funny banter and the fond nostalgia for what may turn out to be the best scene ever on this show. Stand and deliver!
Tess is on her laptop during all this; it seems Lady-Mound Meg is all over her wall (as in Facebook or something similar). I put that parenthetical in there for the two people who have been living under a Luddite rock and yet somehow are still reading this recap.
Tess wants to know when she can meet Sadie’s sugar mama.
Sadie: If you come to see me at work, you’ll get to meet her wife.
Tess: She’s with someone?!
Tess: I don’t… I don’t reckon I could be in a love triangle. Be always, like, wondering what was going on in the other corners.
Sadie: Yeah, well, I’m not. Lauren’s really into me, so…
On this show, saying someone’s really into you is the equivalent of being Wile E. Coyote and ordering some TNT from ACME.
There’s a knock. It’s Sam and her pain. I’m not sure they’ll be able to fit through the door.
Sam makes sure Lexy’s not home, then stomps in like Bad Bart stomping into a saloon with his spurs jangling.
Sam gives Sadie a glare and doesn’t respond when Tess offers tea or coffee. She attacks Tess:
Sam: I know about Cat and Frankie. You knew too, didn’t you? That’s why you’ve been avoiding me. How long? (Tess looks at Sadie) Don’t look at her. Look at me. So when did it start?
Tess: Honestly, I don’t know.
Sadie: Don’t reckon it ever really stopped. You know what those two were like.
Sam: Are you all right with that?
Sadie: Didn’t have much of a choice, did I?
Tess insists that she “only found out the day Cat died” and has been feeling very guilty. (I still find it difficult to type “Cat died” and suchlike.)
Sam tells Tess to “grow up” — whuh? — and Sadie does her Sadie-rific thing:
Sadie: What was she supposed to do? Make an announcement at the funeral?
Sam: (to Tess) You should’ve been straight with me.
Sadie: Oh, yeah, ’cause that would’ve made losing Cat a lot easier.
Sam: It would’ve made me feel less of a foolish idiot.
Eeek! Sam is very scary in this scene. I know I didn’t say much about how pushy/assaulty she was with Lexy last week, but that’s because I was in denial. Now it’s pretty hard to deny.
Lexy arrives to save the day. That seems to be kind of her thing; maybe she’s really a Powerpuff Girl? She tells Sam to back off because this has nothing to do with Tess. Sam can’t stop lashing out; she asks Lexy whether she knew too but doesn’t even give her a chance to answer. Sam storms out. Lexy calls after her, but it’s no use.
Lexy, Tess, and Sadie embody a range of reactions to Sam’s knife-edge state of mind. Lexy looks half-scared, half-angry as she plops onto the couch and falls silent. Tess fidgets and shifts on her feet, stunned, and wonders whether Sam is going to be OK. And Sadie, relaxed, one knee tucked under, takes it all in with her droll gimlet eye:
Sadie: Look, I feel sorry for her and everything, but there’s only two people to blame for this mess. And, well, neither of them are here anymore, so…
I’ll forgive you the grammar mistake, because that was simple truth. Preach!
Tess wants to go after Sam, but Lexy urges her to “leave it.” We don’t have this “leave it” expression in America, except with respect to dogs. Pity.
Tess goes off to get dressed instead. Sadie teases Lexy and tells her she’s “even more of a hero now” to Tess. Lexy resists the idea.
Sadie: Oh, come on. She’s like a little puppy around you.
Lexy: No, she’s not.
Sadie: Trust me, one of these mornings, you’ll wake up and she’ll be there, licking your face. Or something a bit further down.
The term “lovable scamp” was probably invented for Sadie.
An indeterminate number of hours later, Lexy and Tess are at a diner (I guess it’s called a cafe in the UK). They try to call Sam, but she’s not answering. Tess wants to leave a message, but Lexy knows Sam needs some space.
Speaking of space and not getting it, Nora and Ed waltz in. Nora wants to know how Tess is feeling, what with the bacterial hyrditis and all.
Tess: Oh, I think um… I think I’ve managed to shake it off.
But you haven’t managed to shake Nora off, have you, Tess? She wants to know when you’re going to see Meg again. Tess says she plans to focus on Chekhov for the time being. I wonder if I can use that as an excuse for other things in life? “Sorry, I can’t come to the baby shower; I’m focusing on Chekhov.”
Nora won’t be deterred.
Nora: If there’s one thing the years in this business we call show has taught me, is that there’s nothing — NOTHING — improves a performance more than great sex.
What is this, the anti-grammar episode? Years have. It’s child’s play. But I give Sinead Keenan props for the way she delivered the line “this business we call show.” Very alternate-universe Megan Hilty again.
Nora gets up to get coffees. Ed, apparently a purveyor of the aforementioned “great sex” (ew), sits down and questions the bacterial hydritis thing. Lexy jokes that it’s great for “getting rid of unwanted houseguests.” Ed’s not amused, so Lexy gets up to pay. Sit down, stand up; this scene is like whack-a-mole.
Tess asks Ed not to mention Meg again.
Tess: It was a blind date gone bad. End of.
End of! Why don’t I use these excellent British phrases more often?
Lexy comes back briefly to talk about an invite from Ed: it’s a book signing at a sci-fi shop, for one of Ed’s agent’s other clients. Tess mocks it at first, but when Lexy express interest in going, Tess has a change of heart. Lexy notices this about-face and looks a bit concerned, but she doesn’t get to think about it for long because Ed is wondering whether Sam might want to go too. No, Ed: do not invite the Hulk. Did you see The Avengers? Hulk always want to SMASH.
Cut to Lexy, on her way to work. Smiling. Strolling. Being followed by a tall, angry-looking ginger-haired man. HE KNOWS!
At The Space, aka Jo Glass’s gallery, aka the workplace of the wife of Sadie’s corner of the love triangle, there’s some new work to price. This is reminding me a little of the gallery stuff in Kissing Jessica Stein. That is a very good movie if you don’t watch the whole thing.
Anyway, Jo is cute.
Sadie pretends be impressed by the new stuff. Jo tells Sadie that it’s Monica McCarthy, which only makes me think of a weird mix of Melissa McCarthy and Monica from Friends.
Sadie asks Jo about the art on the wall at her place. Odd question, but Jo rolls with it. She says they have a few things, but Lauren’s mostly into pop art. Sadie tries to sow some seeds of discontent.
Sadie: Artistic differences?
Jo: Not really.
Sorta like sticking your hand into weepy cheese, eh Sadie?
Jo hands Sadie a price list and leaves her to it. Sadie marvels at the exorbitant prices (£20,000 or more).
I think I’d happily pay £20 for a print of Sadie’s gape-mouthed disbelief, because it’s rare for her to lose her vampire veneer.
At the hospital, Bea greets Lexy. But Lexy just wants to mope about Sam.
Lexy: Remind me next time I fall for someone that there’s no such thing as a perfect woman.
Bea: I have heard those ones you inflate are quite low-maintenance.
Lexy: (laughing) You’re a little puddle of sanity in the ocean of dysfunction that is my life right now.
Aaaand you’ve just doomed yourself to whatever is worse than an ocean of dysfunction. A tsunami, I guess? Hurricane Bea?
They kiss. And then again. They lock the door.
Back at the gallery, Sadie is hanging squares of red and blue and wondering how they can fetch such high prices. Enter Lauren, who also knows how to fetch high prices but is much less square.
Sadie: Are you ignoring me?
Lauren: No more than I would any random receptionist.
Sadie reminds Lauren that she was recently unemployed and this “decent job” is no small thing to her. She’s not going to screw it up by telling the boss she’s “fucking her wife.” Lauren says that’s “fucked,” past tense. I’m not sure your grammar skills are strong enough to quell your libido, Lauren.
Jo and Lauren leave; as they’re walking out, Sadie texts Lauren: “I want to touch u.” Lauren gets the text and glares back at Sadie, not very encouragingly. Sadie, when you text an editor, you should spell out “you.”
At the hospital, Lexy is trying to figure out why Sam is ignoring her calls. Declan figures it’s because Lexy “knocked Sam back” the other night. Oh, you mean when Sam was out of her mind with despair and kept pushing herself on Lexy? Is that rejection or self-defense?
Lexy: I don’t want to be a rebound fuck.
Declan: Hey, a fuck’s a fuck’s a fuck.
And a Declan’s an ass’s ass. Gertrude Stein is turning in her grave.
Lexy has other opportunities for fucking anyway:
Lexy: Apparently my flatmate fancies me.
Declan: Oh. Is she hot?
Lexy: I don’t know. Never thought about it. (thinks) Yeah, I guess she is.
She said that the way someone says “Yeah, I guess I should get the oil changed on my car.”
Lexy sighs and says she really liked Sam, but Declan thinks she really just wanted to save Sam. Maybe. But I don’t ever like to give him credit for any sort of insight. It’s always more like in-sheit.
Back at the gallery, Lauren is still not answering Sadie’s texts. And Sadie is bored; she’s spinning and rolling in her chair. A bored Sadie is a very dangerous thing!
Yep, that didn’t take long: She suddenly knocks over her coffee, right onto one of those pricey paintings. A white one. All white. A field of pristine, clean white, now sullied by java. She tries to wipe off the coffee, which of course makes an even bigger mess. Sadie! Yet another sticky wicket.
Back at the hospital, the frowny-faced ginger guy is still following Lexy. This should be frightening, but it’s not. Tip for would-be menaces: don’t wear a checked shirt. This guy’s look is more Home Depot than homicidal.
Tess is getting a costume fitting. She’s excited to get to wear a costume that “isn’t made of foam rubber and doesn’t have eyeholes.” Awww, remember that whole thing, with Ed and Tess dressed as fizzy drinks and Tess flirting with Lou? Seems like a different show. Probably because it was.
Hugh and Tess talk about Lexy. Tess wishes Lexy hadn’t met Meg, because she might think that’s the “type of women” Tess goes for. What type is that again? Is there a Princess Ladymound section of the personals?
Nora brings Tess some lunch, on the house. Tess and Hugh are mystified by this friendly gesture. But they don’t talk about it for long because Hugh is also mesmerized by the costumer’s “spectacular jugs.” Hugh is one of those sad-sack guys you can’t help but root for, even though he just wouldn’t be Hugh if he were to suddenly have a free and easy life.
At the hospital, Lexy is learning something about the consequences of being free and easy. Angry ginger guy finally catches up with her.
Lexy: I don’t know you.
Ginger Man: But I know you. Your name is Lexy Price and you’ve been working here for 18 months.
Lexy: It’s you, isn’t it?
Ginger Man: Stay away from my wife.
Ginger man has one of Lexy’s shirts. “You gave it to her,” he says. Lexy thinks and thinks — it’s taking her a bit too long, but I guess that’s supposed to build suspense or something — and realizes this guy is Bea’s husband. And then a kid shows up, maybe 7 years old or so. Lexy, you’ve just met the husband and daughter of the “puddle of sanity in your life.” What are you going to do next?
Lexy is quite shaken up, understandably. She goes right to Bea and confronts her. She says “What the actual fuck?” which is another phrase I want to adopt.
Lexy: You told me you were in an open relationship. You told me you were gay.
Bea: Please don’t be mad.
Please don’t be mad? That’s what you came up with? That’s more like something your kid would say. I guess that says something about your maturity level.
Bea: I can’t leave them. Evie’s too young. She’s not going to understand.
Lexy: What? Understand what? That her mum’s a lesbian? No one needs to know as long as good old Lexy’s on tap whenever you fancy a change from some cock.
Bea: It’s not like that.
Lexy: Yeah? It sure as fuck seems like it!
It sure as fuck does. Anna Skellern is doing a great job in this scene; she’s furious, but somehow also very clear-headed. Lexy’s a woman who knows her own mind.
I’m glad this stalker storyline is over. It was never as scary or as suspenseful as it should have been. I guess because it was never really about Lexy; she just got caught up in someone else’s drama.
At the police station, a drug dealer has been brought in. Sam wants to let him sit for a while: “He’s a junkie. He’ll agree to anything when he’s been without his stash for a couple of hours.” Her cop-partner looks concerned about the cruel, cold look on Sam’s face.
And it only gets colder when Sam’s phone rings. It’s Lexy calling again, probably seeking some comfort this time, as well as offering it. Sam just picks up the phone, says “stop calling me,” and slams it back down. Mean Sam is making me sad.
Cut back to the hospital, where Declan is giving a random guy a hand job. I was going to skip this scene entirely, because it annoys me to no end that shows about gay ladies always seem to give screen time to penises (not that there’s an actual full-monty shot or anything). I realized I couldn’t express that annoyance without actually mentioning the scene. Consider it expressed.
At the gallery, Sadie has a customer. She pretends to know what she’s talking about. Just when it looks like she’s losing the guy, she mentions a new piece that’s not for everyone but might appeal to “the canny investor.” Yes, it’s the coffee-stained square!
The guy actually buys it. I think Sadie could sell the proverbial bridge.
At this point I got a little peckish, so I took a break for some paprika crisps. I got them at the London Candy Company, which is a delightful place. Turns out paprika crisps are pretty tasty, although my better half insists they’re really just barbecue flavor. But I don’t like barbecue chips, so that can’t be right. Where’s Tess when I need to discuss crisp flavors?
In the hospital cafeteria, Lexy is talking about the Bea shituation, but Declan’s not really listening. Surprise. And he makes yet another offensive remark:
Declan: How could you not tell? Wasn’t her fanny, like… (spreading his hands wide)
Lexy: Ah, jeez, Declan. You’re a great mate, you know that?
She leaves. Can we leave him for good, Lexy? Please?
Back at the police station, DS Murray and DS Ryder are questioning the suspect. Sam shows the kid an evidence bag containing cocaine, heroin, and amphetamines. She tries to get him to talk some “warehouse deal” and some other dealers, but this isn’t The Wire so I’m not paying too much attention to the details.
And then she loses her cool and calls the suspect a piece of shit and pushes him to the floor.
I guess I can’t say “Hold me, Heather Peace” when Sam herself is the one who’s making me need a hug.
Ryder pulls Sam off the guy and escorts her out. She doesn’t apologize.
Sam: I was under the impression he’s a piece of junkie scum.
Junkie scum? That’s almost comical. You could at least call him a shitbird or something.
Ryder points out that “junkie scum” aren’t the only ones feeling Sam’s wrath lately.
Ryder: You’re going off at everyone these days.
Sam: Well, if they’ve got a problem, they can say it to my face.
Ryder: They can’t. Because you’ve lost it.
Ryder tells Sam that he found the CCTV footage of Cat. He took care of it, but he can’t be there every time she screws up.
Ryder: You need to take some time off. Go home.
Sam: To what?
Fair point. Sadness!
Tess is checking her email. Let’s have a look, shall we?
The From column is blurry, but if you look at the subject line of the fourth message, you can see that we’re talking about gaydargirls.com, which apparently is a real thing. And then Tess has quite a few messages from people want to go out or go to the cinema or get drunk. As she would.
But the subject line that really interests me is “Fiona loves Fubu,” near the bottom. Is this Fiona Button’s personal email, at least partly? And I bet there’s no deal with gaydargirls.com either — if this were an American show, there would be 18 contracts in place just for a single mention of a website. I much prefer it this way, even if Fiona has just inadvertently shown us her digital knickers. (Apparently she’s not too tech-savvy.)
Erm. Moving on! The point is that Meg keeps trying to contact Tess.
Tess: Is there a medical condition that makes you unable to take a hint?
Lexy’s not really in the mood for playful banter. Tess notices this — ’cause she’s good like that — and ask what’s wrong. Lexy tells her about Bea.
Lexy: I think it’s safe to say I’m feeling pretty stupid right now. Why didn’t I suss?
Tess: (closing her laptop decisively) OK, we need pizza.
Lexy tries to beg off and go hide in her room, but Tess won’t let her be on her own: “Only refined carbohydrates is gonna fix this.” Lexy considers, then confesses that she’s kind of starving. Yay! Girls’ night with potential to be a girl-on-girl night!
At the gallery, Jo is working while Sadie stands around and mopes about her lack of text messages from Lauren. Jo tells her she can “get off” now.
Sadie: Fat chance.
I have no jokes left to make because Sadie is making them all!
Back at the flat, the carbohydrate party is commencing. Lexy is still calling herself “dumb,” but Tess says she’s just trusting, which is a good thing. Is it? Well, I guess it’s a good thing for an actress who has to submit to trust-fall exercises. Not so much for an ER doc who needs to keep her wits about her.
Lexy: You know the irony? Out of everyone I’ve ever been with, I thought Bea was the most sorted. Turns out she’s right up there with the rest of the users. And given my back catalog, that’s quite an achievement.
Tess is looking at her as if she wants to say, “I’d love to be the next page of your catalog. Maybe in a swimsuit or something, if that’ll help you notice me.”
Luckily, despite her generally bumbling nature, Tess doesn’t usually babble. She usually comes up with an adorably funny comment instead:
Lexy: Do you think it’s this complicated when you’re straight?
Tess: Yeah. But the sex is crap.
Lexy: See? That’s why I like you.
They clink bottles. Hey, it’s a step in the right direction. I mean, in terms of touching things to other things.
Wha! I think I’ve just switched from Team Sam to Team Tess, where Lexy is concerned. Except what is their couple name? Texy? Less? Gah.
Sadie is up to no good again. She’s at Jo and Lauren’s house, which is quite swanky. She rings the doorbell, and a startled Lauren answers the door.
Sadie: Nice place! Well, invite me in, before the neighbors see.
You have to invite her in! Because she’s a vampire, get it?
And Lauren does, or she at least stands aside to let Sadie pass. Sadie strolls in and tosses her bag on the couch as if she owns the place. But Lauren’s not happy to see her. Sadie seems to think she’s well within her rights to drop by, because Lauren has been ignoring her.
Lauren: So, what: I don’t text you for a couple of hours and you come round my house? I’m trying to work here.
Sadie: Have you always been like this?
Lauren: It’s called being a grownup.
Sadie: Fuck that.
And she does.
Let me back up a sec: before they got to that point, Sadie told Lauren to meet her tomorrow afternoon; just make up an excuse about the dentist or something. Of course Lauren said no. That appears to be the only thing she’s saying no to right now though.
Just as things are starting to get good, Jo arrives home. Lauren points Sadie toward a loo. SADIE! YOUR BAG IS ON THE COUCH!
Lauren greets Jo in an alacritous everything’s-fine way and gives her a kiss. Lauren asks Jo how her day was.
Jo: Great. It helped that Sadie flogged a Monica McCarthy. Can you believe it? On her first day! She’s such a star.
Jo notices the bag on the couch and asks whether they’ve got company. Right on cue, Sadie emerges with a nonchalant “Hi,” as if it’s the most natural thing in the world for her to be hanging out at her boss’s home on her first day at work. I half-expect Lauren to puke.
Jo naturally inquires as to Sadie’s reason for being there. Sadie offers up an almost believable explanation: that she “short-changed the till” when she took cash out for coffee, and she didn’t want Jo thinking she was helping herself.
Lauren, you are cracking me up!
Jo: Thanks, Sadie, but, um, there was no need. It woulda kept until morning.
Sadie shows herself out. She gives Lauren a look, and Lauren almost seems amused, if it’s possible to be entertained and panicked at the same time.
That was fun! I love these little caper-ific sexcapades. More!
Back at the pizza party, Lexy and Tess are listing the things they do not want in a partner.
I love that no. 3 originally said “Isn’t a bloke” and then became “Isn’t with a bloke.” Check and double-check.
Here’s the list:
- No issues with (their) sexuality
- Not a control freak
- Isn’t (with) a bloke
- Not at war with family (And isn’t too close to family)
- Is open to sexual experimentation
- Doesn’t listen to Coldplay 24/7
- Not so uncomplicated they’re boring
Is “wears cute socks” there anywhere? Because Lexy is totally meeting that requirement.
Lexy: Where do you even start to find someone like that?
Turn to the right, Lexy!
She does! They have a moment, a very brief one, in which their eyes lock and they’re smiling and it looks like it wouldn’t be so difficult to lean in and seal the deal. After all, they’re both perfect on paper.
But Sadie clomps in and ruins it. Poor Tess! How many times am I going to have to type that?
Lexy takes herself off to bed and Tess is left to watch TV with Sadie and ponder her fate.
Before we leave that scene, I want to clarify the “boring” thing. I agree that it’s nice to have a few complications, but let’s not judge people for staying home on a Saturday night. Some of us recap and eat paprika crisps, while others watch reruns of Titanic.
The next day at rehearsal, Tess is giddy with potential. But she doesn’t know whether Lexy was just being friendly. I don’t know either! But I know I’m not really enjoying watching Hugh trim his nose hair.
Tess invites Hugh to the book launch thing she’s going to with Ed. But Hugh has an extra fitting with the buxom costumer.
At the Minus 21 offices, Lauren doesn’t have any text messages. Doesn’t feel good, does it, Lauren? She silences a rambling staffer, dismisses a robotic assistant, and cancels everything on her schedule. She’s says she’s off to the dentist, just as Sadie instructed her to.
Meanwhile, Ed is visiting Sam. He’s trying to reach out and be supportive.
Sam: Hey, now that’s nice. I’m fine. You can go.
OK, now you’re just beating up defenseless Eeyores, and I won’t have it.
Sam tells Ed to go find Frankie and comfort her, “’cause she was the one that Cat was fucking the day she died.” Oh, no no no. That is not worth it. I’m pretty sure Ed would prefer a boot in the face to that little divulgence. I don’t understand why Sam has become downright sadistic. Maybe her parents need to come back do an intervention. Let’s invite Cat’s mother too, and the entire cast of Downton Abbey!
On a much happier note, Lauren and Sadie are meeting for an afternoon delight.
Lauren: If anyone I know sees us, you’re my niece, or something like that. OK?
Sadie: That’s weirdly hot.
They are holding hands! Why does this make me happy? This show needs a happy-go-lucky relationship, stat. Dr. Lexy, are you on call?
Oh, there’s Dr. Lexy now. Declan is apologizing for being a “superficial prick.” He gives Lexy a hug. Lexy’s face doesn’t show any kind of comfort or reassurance. She might be thinking about where she can actually get those things, with a side of carbs.
Back to Lauren and Sadie: they’re at a sex shop! Sadie doesn’t think anything’s “proper pervy” anymore. She and Lauren soon correct that.
What is Lauren wearing? Some sort of Little Bo Peep thing? Sadie is in classic leather cop/daddy gear.
Sadie: Take it, bitch. Or your arse gets the fairy wand.
OMG YES! Er, isn’t that enjoyable? We all need more laughy sexy times in sex-shop dressing rooms.
Ed and Nora are at a cafe. Ed is, understandably, having a hard time with the new information about Cat’s infidelity. Nora dispenses some flat platitudes about Cat being a grownup or something, and then gets back to her own troubles: she’s forgotten to pick up her dress for the book signing. She asks Ed to pick it up for her; he tries to resist, but Nora doesn’t take no for an answer.
Meanwhile, Sadie and Lauren are having lunch or tea at a different restaurant.
Sadie: This morning, why did you call me?
Lauren: Because I fancied being fingered in a changing room.
Sadie looks more and more smitten. Lauren tries to pay the bill, but Sadie takes over. Lauren doesn’t think she can afford it. Sadie hands the waiter a card, then leans forward conspiratorially.
Sadie: There’s a huge limit on that library card. After you: walk, don’t run.
Ah, the old dine-and-dash! Forget Sadie as Spike: she’s more like Sadie as this girl I knew in junior high who was always stealing things and smoking cigarettes and slicking back her hair and shooting craps in Sunday school. Sadie is a juvenile delinquent — call Officer Krupke! Better yet, call the governor of G-Wing.
It’s time for the sci-fi book signing thing. Nora says, “Remember, teeth and tits, all right?” as she and Ed and Tess enter the room. That’s kind of great in a Chorus Line way.
Tess asks Ed whether everything’s all right with him and Nora; he lies and says yes. He changes the subject to Sam and Cat and Frankie. Tess tries to apologize for keeping the secret, but that’s not what concerns Ed.
Ed: That’s fine. I totally get why you didn’t tell me. I just… I hope she was happy.
Tess: Me too.
Aw, great. Now I have to think about all the ways in which Cat was happy or not happy and out of her mind and just not a coherent character. No! I won’t do it!
A fan interrupts. That’s right, a fan: it seems Ed has many of them already. It’s very sweet to watch him sign autographs and smile as Tess looks on.
Lexy arrives and flashes the Vulcan “live long and prosper” sign. Ah, now the eyebrows make so much more sense!
Lexy has brought Declan along with her. Great. But never mind; he goes off to get drinks. Lexy suddenly says “Klingon on the starboard bow!” because she’s spotted Meg. She sends Tess off to somewhere, wherever, and says hello to Meg.
How much more awesome is Lexy now that we know she has at least a passing familiarity with Star Trek?
Tess finds herself up on the roof. And Lexy soon joins her. She has brought along a cutout of some sort of amphibian that I’m sure I should be able to identify — as well as a pitcher of “Cheeky Vulcan” cocktails.
Tess talks about how ridiculous it is that she has a “stalker” after one date. She immediately feels terrible for using that term, but Lexy’s not bothered.
Lexy: Oh, no no. It’s … you’ve been fantastic. And last night was great. Totally took my mind off it. It was, um… great.
I’ll forgive the limited vocabulary. Meaningful gazes everywhere you look!
Tess says “Umm… listen…” but before we can listen — and I really really want to listen to it, whatever it is — her phone rings. Hugh is outside and needs rescuing. Dammit, Jim!
Tess: Look, um, two minutes. Don’t move.
Don’t go, Tess! You were totally about to lock onto her with your tractor beam.
But Tess goes. A drunken Hugh is waiting for her; he’s on a mission of some sort. She tries to say no — “I’m on a balcony with Lexy and loads of booze!” — but a Shakespearean fool is difficult to resist. She reluctantly agrees to drive him to his ex-wife’s house (not quite yet “ex,” I guess?), which he swears is extremely close by.
It turns out Hugh really wants to drop off a birthday present for his dog Ronald. This would actually make it a more defensible mission for me, not less, if it weren’t for the fact that Lexy seemed very very amenable just before Tess left. Tess must be thinking the same thing; she texts Lexy: “Dog wars back in ten. Don’t move!”
The locks have been changed, so Hugh tries the back door. But of course that lock has been changed too, so Hugh grabs a shovel and prepares to break in. Oh, look: the police have arrived. (But not Sam, which would be sorta funny. Or entirely terrifying. One of those.)
The police reveal that Hugh has an ASBO, which sounds like a growth or something but is an “antisocial behavior order.” It seems to be about the same as a restraining order. Tess doesn’t believe this at first, but Hugh admits he “posted some sausages through the letterbox.” For Ronald, of course.
Hugh’s wife Maggie is quite lovely, and of course her new man is dashing. Maggie tells it like it is.
Maggie: I cannot tell you what a relief it is to live with a man who doesn’t throw pizza at the television every time Colin Firth comes on.
Hugh: I had Darcy in the bag!
Snicker. I wish I were enjoying this more, because it’s pretty entertaining. But it’s just that I know Lexy is waiting up on that balcony/roof!
And then more truth comes spilling out: it seems Hugh has been doing a little more than throwing pizza at the TV. He’s been throwing himself at understudies and stage managers. Tess, you totally backed the wrong horse on this particular evening.
So did Ed: at the book signing, Nora is stealing his thunder. She gets all the attention by claiming she once worked with Peter Jackson. I think Ed’s finally beginning to see her as she really is. It’s like he’s putting on the magic glasses in that movie They Live.
Sam is spending her evening with a bottle of scotch. The label says “Glen Sheil,” which is either an intentional move to avoid a product placement, or a bit of misspelling on the part of the props department. (I assume it’s supposed to be Glen Shiel, but my knowledge of single-malts is the equivalent of a single-cell amoeba’s.) She looks at her phone and appears to think about calling Ed, but then goes back to the bottle. Ugh.
She looks at that group photo again. And then she takes the evidence bag full of drugs out of her pocket and stares at it. Wait, what? You brought the drugs home? And you’re thinking about using some of them? Who are you and what have you done with Sam?
Back at the scene of the almost-crime, Hugh is admitting defeat. He tells Tess not to turn out like him.
Hugh: Grab happiness where you can and cling onto it.
Tess: Well, that was the plan.
Yeah, Hugh: you messed up the plan! And for what? It’s all over now; the charges will be dropped and everyone’s free to go. Oh, except they can’t drive away because the tax disc on Hugh’s car has expired. Of course. What’s next? A road closure? Maybe Hurricane Bea is about to hit and Lexy and Tess will be stranded just across a wave from each other. Bah.
Back at the book event, Ed and Nora are coming apart. Lexy, slightly sozzled, is leaving, cardboard amphibian tucked under her arm.
Ed: You gonna be all right?
Lexy: Yeah. (nodding to the cutout) I’ve pulled! 15 fingers — what’s not to like?
Hee! Lexy almost reminded me of Zoe on Nurse Jackie for a minute there — just in the way she delivered that line, I mean. And I mean that as a huge compliment.
Nora and Ed talk about the Peter Jackson incident.
Ed: That was a lie, wasn’t it? You haven’t met him at all.
Nora: Who cares? Give ’em what they want, that’s what I say. I never really got that whole Lord of the Flies thing anyway. Gnomes in tights.
Ed: Um, it’s Lord of the Rings.
Ed: (stridently) It’s Lord of the Rings!
This is just about the worst mistake you could make with Ed, Nora. He’s about to blow a gasket, or whatever the elf equivalent of that is. But Nora doesn’t even care.
Speaking of terrible mistakes, Sam is about to snort some coke. Right off the photo of Cat. Like, the line of coke is right on Cat’s face.
That is super dark.
But wait. Hold up. This is how DS Murray goes off the rails? Really? I know very well that grief can make you do things that are completely out of character, but this is so far out of character, it’s a different encoding scheme. (Geek joke!)
Here are some believable ways for Sam to express her rage and misery: (1) go to the gym and wail on a heavy bag until she breaks her own hand or punches a wall instead; (2) go to the shooting range and perforate a ream of paper targets; (3) drive way too fast on a dark, foggy highway. These are all aggressive and violent and (at least the last one) slightly self-destructive, but they’re also all about grasping at some kind of control, of muscles, machines, mind. It just doesn’t make sense to me that someone who values discipline and strength and structure would willingly toss those things aside. Not yet. After doing all that other stuff, sure, but not right away. I guess this is the 6-episode acceleration effect?
Tess has finally made her way back to the bookstore, but it’s closed and everyone’s gone home, except for Ed and Nora, who are fighting outside. Tess slips out of sight and eavesdrops.
Ed decides he and Nora are done.
Ed: Tess was right about you. You’re a self-centered bitch.
Nora makes one last lame attempt to keep Ed; she figures he’s just upset about Cat. Ed says, “Cat would’ve hated you.” Eeek. Nora gets the hint and walks away. Tess can only wince and wonder what happened to the evening.
You know what else Cat would’ve hated? The fact that Sam is at a club right now. She’s super hot and super scary and it’s all so messed up.
Before we can watch that spin out of control, we see Sadie and Lauren on a boat, a holiday rental. Sadie used to “do a bit of cleaning for the company.” I suspect Sadie has been fired by half the employers in town by now.
They talk about strings and commitment and the past.
Lauren: I wasn’t always this flash.
Sadie: Get with Jo for her money, did you?
Lauren: No. I made that long, long before I met her. She never knew me back in the bad old days. I guess that means, in a way, she still doesn’t.
They’re both being open and sweet and downright romantic.
Maybe this doesn’t have to end terribly? Maybe, instead of getting her heart broken, Sadie can become the third in a polyamorous arrangement? Yeah, that’s crazy talk. I’d just settle for a ménage à trois at this point — some glimmer of happiness before it all falls apart.
At the club, Sam zeroes in on her target. The woman looks maybe a teeny bit like Lexy, crossed with Dana Fairbanks, crossed with … nope, she looks nothing like Cat, actually. Which is a relief.
They go back to Sam’s place. The sex is really uncomfortable. Sam’s fully clothed and the club girl is fully naked and I think she’s sitting on Cat’s dressing table, which is seriously fucked up. Sam ends up covering the woman’s mouth so she doesn’t have to hear the voice that isn’t Cat’s.
Could you also cover my eyes, please? This is all too brutal.
Tess arrives home. Lexy is asleep on the couch and Sadie is there to offer some sympathy — some genuine kindness — that the evening didn’t quite go as planned.
Tess: How was your night with Lauren?
Sadie: Yeah, really good.
These two are becoming friends, which is very nice. Sadie even says, “Night, babes.”
And the opposite of that sweetness is Sam and her conquest. The hapless victim is trying to make small talk, but Sam just says, “You need to go.”
Hapless victim: What did I do?
Sam: You’re just wrong.
All of this is just wrong.
Tess finds a blanket and tucks Lexy in. Lexy wakes up just long enough to grab Tess’s hands and sleepily say, “You’re lovely.”
Kiss her, dammit! But no, that’s clearly more of a season finale thing. Tess goes off to bed, carried on a cloud.
This show is back to its maddening, wonderful ways: romances begun and thwarted, friendships tested and strengthened, hearts worn on sleeves and crushed by circumstances, and all of it stirred up in a carefully crafted concoction of sex and laughs and better-than-it-needs-to-be acting and cardboard cutouts of 15-fingered amphibian aliens. I love it!