He writes both sides of Gene - shows them and tells them. I love that. It's really hard to do in a short space of time, but he does it in very clever, unobtrusive ways. Obvious, but not sledgehammer. I like seeing that deeper side to Gene amongst the one liners and insults. It's what makes him human and not just a caricature. In the S2 LoM Companion, Mark said he didn't really like writing Gene - that he probably wouldn't like Gene at all in real life. Unlike Matt or Ash, who revel in Gene, Mark can be more objective. He doesn't quite glorify him to the extent they do. Funny, that. Also - Mark has a fixation on a) Gene stripping, b) Gene running, and c) Gene with sunglasses. And that --- that I adore. He has his own personal canon. ♥
He's not afraid to get people thinking. I really like that he's dealt with issues of gender and sexuality.
He writes Alex really well. Actually, I think, under his hand, she's mostly just like Sam, but she is, at least, nowhere near as unbearable as she has been. Case in point, she does exactly what Sam does with Leonard to get Marcus on board. She negotiates with Gene like Sam does. She uses Chris like Sam does.
One of the fascinating things, I thought, was Neary not knowing who Gene was. In Manchester, every crim knew the name Gene Hunt. They quivered. They quaked. But Neary didn't give a flying fuck. He had command. It was insightful --- the type of thing I'd hoped we'd get more of - that we were told we'd get more of. (Along with Chris' increased technical knowhow - which went where exactly?)
This episode had a great set-up, but just went into OH FUCK YES category the second Alex was raving on about Bears, Ray turned up, and Chris gave a widening grin of comprehension. I literally jumped around in my seat. And Marshall. Marshall is just SUCH A FUCKING GOD. I love him to pieces. His portrayal of Chris is one of the best things I have ever, ever seen. And Dean. Dean. I have never been so happy with character development than I have been with Ray and how much they've allowed Dean to bring to the role. He was really going for it until the major freakout. Love.
But Russell Tovey wins the acting award for this episode. He really is so very good. Uhh... "wish me luck as you wave me goodbye"... I know it's a well known song, but really that has to be a reference to The History Boys? I think I may actually like Marcus as much as I like Leonard. Which is saying something, since my love for Leonard is massive, huge, bastard big.
All in all, I liked it a lot. It was a solid episode of television once again.
Next week, there's Phil Davis \o/, Gene saying "no one but me drives my car" \o/, and it's written by two writers, so that should be interesting (Mick Ford, who I'm pretty much unfamiliar with, and Ash, which could either be GREAT, or really worrying.)
Have I yet mentioned that I am really, really glad A2A has turned into a show I do, actually, look forward to? It doesn't quite get me as excited as, say, LoM S2 did, or Dexter did, or Pushing Daisies. But I do think, "oh good, A2A tonight". I can lock away my inner critic, I can. No, I'm still not judging it on its own merits, but I never could.