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Thursday, 27 February 2014

Sky's The Smoke continues to surprise.


I’d read a couple of previews for this episode that said the pace slowed down a bit. Now I’ve never had to rescue a pensioner with a mangled leg, from a burning building, across a pile of scrapped cars, but I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t be a slow day. So we’ll put that down as being another cracking glimpse into firefighting, a profession it’s safe to say I would never have the guts to join.

Of course, this episode wasn’t really so much about guts and glory as it was about Trish, Kev and third wheel Mal. The latter’s attempts to show his sensitive side by complaining about a girl committing suicide in front of him and then seducing his best mate’s girlfriend didn’t really work. I don’t dislike Mal, it’s clear that he and Trish had formed a solid friendship while Kev was in hospital and I don’t think him helping her through her sexual frustrations was unrealistic, just a bit awkward. Though not as awkward as Ziggy’s (who needs more screentime, pronto) ‘I know and you know I know but I’m not going to say I know’ confrontation of guilty Trish in the toilets.

I’m in danger of spending every review banging on about how great an actress Jodie Whitaker is, but seriously, anyone who can simulate masturbation on TV and make it into a sensitive scene, not a trashy one has to be seriously good at acting. I also absolutely believe that she and Kev have been together for years and love each other madly. I hope they find a way through and get married, but it looks like Mal won’t be the only spanner in that particular works.

Am I right in thinking that was a baby’s birth tag that Trish hid under the pillow. So I’m guessing ‘Mr Socks and Sandals’ is from the adoption agency and Trish is going to try and find her missing baby. That is presumably a total secret from everyone apart from Trish’s sister. Well I’m sure that’s not going to cause any problems for our newly engaged pair.

Honourable mentions this week go to the overweight bloke doing Tai Chi (not yoga, as the crew suggested). Also to the adorable little girl stuck up the tree who didn’t want to be in Slytherin. It’s the tiny moments in The Smoke that make it so watchable and we had some real treats this episode. I loved Jimmy’s rambling Tramadol induced monologue. The writing on this is superb, which is only to be expected from Lucy Kirkwood but still, I’m going to keep mentioning the deft way she goes from tragedy to comedy and back again without pause.

Finally, tensions are beginning to emerge for ASBO as he juggles life as a heroic firefighter with Kev, and his old life as Gog’s wingman. I thought when he took Kev to the Churchill Estate that he was going to reveal his true identity, it looks like instead this storyline is going to play out across the series, and I’m pretty sure the reveal will be explosive. There’s a real chance Gog will get his comeuppance, but not at the hands of the law.

 Questions for next week:

  •  Will Kev find out about Mal and Trish?
  • Will Ziggy get a full storyline?
  • Will Little Al manage to be the hero?
  • Can smug Nick get the smirk wiped off his face, or at least have his poncey espresso machine stolen?

As ever, if you’d like to add your thoughts to these reviews, leave a comment below or tweet @QueeniePrior

The Smoke Continues Thursday's at 9.00pm on Sky One.


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