I’m beginning to feel guilty for encouraging you all to watch this show. I mean, it is absolutely gut-wrenching and brilliant but bloody hell, my nerves are shot to pieces! That closing scene with Gog glaring through the letter box gave me a bad case of the shakes, and to be honest I hadn’t recovered from the ‘fraid’ rope incident. Where did Mal go to school?
So, as ever deep breaths all round, let’s chat about what was good this episode. First up, I liked the way they flashed back and forward between the night before and that morning’s rescue. What an absolute plum that bloke was to abseil down the Pinnacle (or was it Heron Tower?) to propose to his girlfriend. Who frankly didn’t deserve him, I thought she was going to chat up Billy at one point.
I’m also rather pleased that Trish and Mal’s liaison has been revealed and we can now progress to dealing with the emotional trauma. Cue Jamie Bamber quietly breaking my heart and the worst sex scene (because of how bad the sex was, not because of the acting) in TV history. I have never read 50 Shades of Grey and I never will if that’s the sort of thing it gets you into. I’m no prude but yuck! Just yuck.
Moving swiftly on, how lovely to see that Little Al is actually very good at cage fighting (another thing I don’t see myself ever getting into) and is a pretty decent fireman as well. I did laugh that his nickname in the cage is ‘The Fireman’ though, nice lack of imagination that was perfectly in keeping with the character there.
Also causing me heartbreak is ASBO, whose Mum, most recently seen in My Mad Fat Diary but known to us EastEnders fans as Phil Mitchell’s nemesis DCI Marsden, put in a sterling performance. Her horrified realisation at her son’s involvement in the Churchill Estate blaze and her swift alibi to cover him with Kev was beautifully done. I fear both she and ASBO are in real danger now they’ve shut evil Gog out and I’m not sure Kev’s the one to save them.
If I’ve any complaints with this episode it’s that it never really let up the pace. We still had our usual mix of humour with the drama but if we’re going to build on this each week I may well have a heart attack. Between this and Line of Duty (also phenomenal British telly) I’m tenser than Mal was when he thought the rope would break!
I’m also sad we didn’t get to see the Tai Chi man this week, I think he may be my favourite occasional character. Other thoughts and questions:
- Will I ever get my dream of a Ziggy episode? And can we see a bit more of Billy, his fight scenes tonight were hilarious!
- Can Trish and Kev move past her encounter with Mal? My instincts say yes, but it won’t be easy.
- Will Little Al manage to raise the cash he needs without getting further into trouble with Nasty Toothpick Chewer?
As always, tweet me @QueeniePrior if you’d like your thoughts added to the reviews.
The Smoke Continues Thursday’s at 9.00pm on Sky One