Last series the only two episodes I truly really loved were written by Mark Greig. He's a great writer. He is deft at weaving comedy and drama seamlessly. This episode reminded me of Life on Mars 1.07, which I often regard as one of the best in terms of twisting the knife. And like that episode, in some ways it seemed quite divorced from the rest of the series, whilst at its core it encapsulated it.
There are all kinds of ways in which this episode could have gone monumentally wrong. It could have been hilariously melodramatic, like other scenes in A2A have been --- but I thought it was very subtle and nuanced, for A2A. I was heartbroken for Chris, but I could see so easily how he got caught up in it all. And I feel like there should have been much larger consequences, but Gene's actions were totally in keeping with what we know of him and, in that regard, it worked. In a horrid kind of way.
I still don't really care about the grand mystery of the show and I have to admit that a whole lot of the plot sailed over my head as a consequence. I understood it insofar as we were meant to, but this whole idea of Operation ROSE and Martin Summers feel so tacked on that I am not that interested. But I did feel bad for Alex having to dump young!Martin's body.
Points have to go to the dramatic, if cliché confrontation scene:
"Tell me you didn't do it. Look me in the eyes and tell me you didn't do it and I'll believe you."
(This scene's familiar.
Gene closed his eyes, trying to blot out the world. Pain seared through him. When he spoke again, he was furtive, desperate.
“Tell me you didn’t do this, Sam. Tell me this isn’t what it looks like. I’ll believe you, I’ll believe every word." To Fall for Fixation
Should this be a \o/ for cliché, or should I be worried?)
And finally, I've been saying all along that Marshall's an amazing actor. I knew he could work with something real and he did a stunning job --- the choked up voice, the repetition, the tears. He's a champion. And I'm really, really glad Chris isn't dead.