Sunday, November 16, 2014

Hypocrisy - Review:- 13.11.2014

Oh, what a tangled web we weave ...

Actually, for a filler episode, that one was quite good - beset with complexity of characterisation, the usual secrets and lies and surprise turnabouts with minor characters. This was old EastEnders with a 21st Century tagline.

Hypocrisy Much? I don't blame Martin. I wouldn't pay any attention to Sonia either, especially since she's been doing nothing but trash-mouthing him since she returned to the Square. Martin's been slagged off in a direct conversation by a female cretin whom he doesn't know, Sonia's been drunk in public on more occasion, she's cheated on Martin during this period in the Square, and she never seems to be at home. Or at work. In this episode, she's having her evening tea at Carol's, and who's caring for and cooking for Rebecca? Right. Martin. That same Martin who didn't look at Sonia's simpering photo, who stared more at Whitney and Lauren.

Martin married Sonia. That should be evidence enough that he isn't a shallow twit. More than that, he took her back, reconciled with her and left his home and family to be with her, after she'd treated him like shit - ridiculing him in front of her arty-farty friends, telling him he disgusted her, dumping him and the daughter who, by any law in the land, she would never have been able to get back after the adoption procedure, to live with Gnomi in a lesbian relationship before she realised that - oh, wait - she wasn't a lesbian, after all. After all that shit, Martin took her back, and now as much as she can say derogatorily about him, she does, and - more to the point - Martin probably knows that she does. She must be a real pip to live with, considering the way she emotionally manipulated her child into believing that she was the sole reason her parents were staying together. I hope Rebecca has told Martin everything that happened between her and Sonia.

Look, I realise the storyline has shifted with Sonia from the BRCA drama to a problem with her image. The gene and the possible infection of Sonia's amazing tits (WhatamIgonnadowivoutVESE?declaimed with a dramatic grabbing of the boobs has to be one of the worst lines ever in the history of the show, uttered by one of the worst actresses to appear) vanished into dust with the departure of Patsy Palmer. Carol has even grown tits again, herself - a pre-Christmas miracle - seriously, pile on all the baggy clothes the wardrobe department can give her, it won't disguise the fact that Carol still has bumps on her chest.

We're supposed to feel sorry for Sonia, but I don't. This is a variation of "Arthur Steals the Christmas Club Money to Pay for Michelle's Wedding", except it's "Sonia Steals the Charity Money for Whatever Makeover/Spa Etc She's Planning on Dolling Herself Up With". Somehow, a desperate, unemployed man's last grasp to give his daughter a fairytale wedding during Thatcher's 80s is a lot more sympathetic than a self-centred woman stealing charity money to give herself a makeover because she thinks her husband, whom she never loses an opportunity to trash-talk, doesn't love her. At the end of the day, Martin will still burp at the table, and that offends Sonia's delicate sensibilities.

Arthur went to prison for nicking the charity money. I hope Sonia does as well.

The background interplay in this storyline was good, seeing characters who normally don't interact, having a chat together - Sharon, Carol and Cora having a natter at one of the tables - Carol and Sharon go way back.

The other aspect was watching Linda try to act normally, and Sharon sussing, yet again, that all isn't well with her, but the highlight of Linda's vignette on the show was the advice she gave Sonia in the loo that reflected the height of hypocrisy.

According to Linda, Sonia needs to talk to Martin. After all, Martin is her husband. Sound advice, but Linda's inclined to pat herself too much on the back with the next line.

Mick is my best friend. We got no secrets from each other.

Really, Linda? Well, I can think of two humongous secrets you're keeping from Mick right now. Yet when Mick kept that secret about Ian from her, she left him.

Linda's agony is getting old, speaking of which ...

Stan the Man. OK, we know the score. Stan is dying, although what could have been a poignant storyline - most of which was played off-screen, was spoiled by Babe careening off in her Reliant Robin in hot pursuit of the cab taking Stan to his oncology appointment. That Reliant Robin has been a getaway vehicle and now it's a pursuit machine.

Actually, she stank up what could have been a decent vignette, and maybe it would have worked more, had the interplay been between Stan and Cora, who has issues with terminal illness, having lost her husband to cancer. Again, are we supposed to see Babe in a new light because she cried, ostensibly, because Stan is dying? Because, again, I don't.

Another death on the Square. Another cancer.

Still, Timothy West gave a masterclass and landed the line of the night:-

Babe: Where are you off to today?
Stan: To see some mates in Canning Town.
Babe: You ain't got no mates.
Stan: I did have mates. Now I have family.

True, Stan. Very true. I wish Danny Dyer and the writers would cut the overuse of rhyming slang.

Bye Bye Birdie. Now this I found interesting, even though it encapsulated more secrets and lies. It does sound as though they've assigned Dummerhayes to desk duty whilst they investigate her for gross misconduct, which means she's still in danger of getting the sack.

She doesn't do a very convincing drunk, but she's good in scenes of compassion, and the talk she had with Pam was the highlight of the episode. Pam lies, of course. It's implied that she euthanised her terminally ill son, and her colleagues in Social Services suspected something. For some reason, there was an investigation, but she was cleared - although Dummerhayes believes Lawrie killed himself and Billy knows better. (Cue Billy's big gob in the future).

Paul Coker gets another mention, with even more cryptic information about him - that he knows what his grandmother did and he's apparently not forgiven them. The character is looming on the horizon, but I'm asking questions. Paul is Lawrie's son, but where is Paul's mother? Is she dead too, or is she yet another one of EastEnders' staple abandoning mother tribe? Yet another chance to expand the Coker clique if the characters prove popular?

But more intriguingly, this storyline, ending with Dummerhayes having a meal with Max (and more booze) and telling him that people trust her now on the Square, and possibly someone will trust her enough to tell her what happened with Lucy.

It's not Pam, but as I said earlier, I think Dummerhayes is going inadvertantly going to stumble (literally) upon Lucy's killer, just in time for the 30th, and it ain't Max or a Branning either.

Paper Moon. The most painful storyline to watch suddenly became interesting. It became interesting because Donna stopped being the snarky girl in the wheelchair and reached out to help a colleague. 

She wasn't being bitchy when she said what she said to Kat, that maybe people would stare at Kat enough that they would stop staring at her for a bit. That puts Kat's scars into perspective.

The real clinch of this storyline came in Kat's defence of Alfie to Stacey. Stacey may have been right, but Kat was "righter." Stacey has killed someone, and no matter what Alfie's done, he hasn't taken anyone's life. Kat's tecnically right when she said the fire wasn't his fault - Alfie wanted a small blaze, but Mo's dodgy hairspray containers blew the place up. When that happened, Alfie risked life and limb to get to Kat. And it isn't Alfie's fault that the insurance wouldn't pay out - again, that's down to Mo's flamables, and someone needs to point this out. And - as Kat said - what does Stacey mean when she says that Kat could do better? Alfie's struggled to find a home, in what was a ridiculously unrealistic storyline, but he's been there every step of the way with Kat, even helping out working on the stall - and I hope it's found out how Tamwar and Aleks stitched him up and out of a stall.

Besides, Stacey says Kat's with a chancer and a loser ... well, Stacey is now officially with a rapist.

Good episode.

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