Episode 2.03 of Ashes to Ashes was really good. Really! I feel like they're suddenly doing everything I ever wanted from the show. Alex is kind of wonderful (and believe me, I never thought I would say that. Ever.) Gene is just the other edge of dark and dangerous, but still Gene. Chris is absolutely gorgeous, as is Shaz. Ray showed his more tender side this time around, for the win. And it seems like they know what they're doing over the series --- we have threads running through each episode, binding them together into a cohesive whole.
The writing is at least nine times better than last series. And then, so is the direction. And I don't know why I sound so surprised, but I am.