That was not good.
I really don't think Matt has any idea what type of show he wanted Ashes to Ashes to be, and he certainly didn't discuss it with any of the other writers.
There are all of these conflicting elements, inconsistencies and characterisation anomalies.
I don't know anymore. I just don't know.
Maybe Matthew was never that good a writer and I was hypnotised by Glenister and Simm in tandem. Or maybe it's to do with effort --- before, he really needed to write Life on Mars and was blindsided and enthused by its success. He doesn't need to write Ashes to Ashes, so he settles. Or perhaps he's growing as a writer, and in a direction that doesn't mesh with my tastes.
I don't get it.
I will say, however, that I also hated the direction in this episode.