Series 2 of The A Word ends as it started, with Joe on the roof, but so much happens before we get to that bit.
Maurice [Christopher Eccleston] opens the final episode with his daily run however we soon realise he is changing his routine to avoid Louise [Pooky Quesnel]. He feels awkward around her after his proposal was rejected. Family intervention and one dramatic trip to the hospital later their true feelings for each other are emerging. Maurice also has a new perspective on life and decides to retire, handing the brewery over to Eddie. It’s been so good seeing Christopher Eccleston play someone you’re not actually scared of but someone warm hearted and funny instead.
Eddie [Greg McHugh] clearly aspires to be like his dad but perhaps doesn’t recognise how alike they already are and why they probably clash so much. He has been on a journey – and not just to Manchester and back – developing into a man who knows what he wants; to go back to the Lakes, his daughter and the brewery but not to Nicola [Vinette Robinson] preferring to stay friends.
Alison and Paul [Morven Christie and Lee Ingleby] are still struggling. While Alison is planning on taking courses and training, Paul is planning on running away. He feels like he is failing. Looking after baby Emily [Emelia Rae Levy], Paul can see all the possibilities she will have growing up whereas he only sees difficulties and challenges with Joe [Max Vento]. Alison is more optimistic, seeing what Joe can potentially overcome. Despite a visit from Mark [Travis Smith], who also has autism and is able to talk about going to college and becoming more independent, Paul is still not reassured.
Rebecca [Molly Wright] puts on a year end school show with help from friend Tom [Matt Greenwood] which brings her whole family together, including Joe. Being a sibling closer in age, she doesn’t see the limitations that parents might so naturally included him and he was able to recite a poem on stage. The rest of the show had some delightful turns from the other children but my favourite was Ramesh [Ibrahim Ismail] explaining how his magic trick worked.
Peter Bowker has created a funny and touching drama full of interesting characters while also incorporating the subject of autism; making it a part of the central family’s life rather than just in a token character along the way.
The episode and series ends with Joe on the roof of Rebecca’s campervan, this time alongside his mum and sister. Paul comes along but stops short of joining them, still undecided whether to stay. We get one last gorgeous shot of the scenery and cross our fingers for a third series!
Contributed by Cecilia