If you saw my reaction to the last episode of A2A, I am guessing you can guess what my reaction to the beginning of the latest episode was.
It was a hearty FUCK YOU. FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU!
I'm nothing if not eloquent.
I think... I think the reason this annoys me so very much, apart from the fact there are issues of TV being inherently racist (and I am too), is that I actually did think Viv was awesome, but we never saw him enough. I relatively frequently used to think 'oooh, we could have more Viv here'. But then, to kill him off to cause others Angst! And then to do the grand burial and fond rememberance scene. There is sort of nothing lazier than having your cast of characters extoll the virtues of one just gone, especially when the audience was only ever afforded mere glimmers of those virtues. And when you've shown that character no respect yourself. When they've had to die for their mistakes where others lived to tell the tale
And maybe it's meant to. I don't know. Perhaps I'm meant to be critical here. Maybe the point, if there is one at all, is that bad things happen to good people and, on the whole, people are fucking arseholes. I'm angry because I'm meant to be.
Yet I also think I'm meant to 'be on Gene's side', and you know what? I'm not, so much. Because, okay, I get that he's feeling guilt now, that he's seen he was in error, at least partly to blame. I understand that the writers aren't speaking through Ray. I get the idea that Gene was being taxed from all sides then, and people often blow each other off, and this ratchets up the dramatic tension in fiction and yadayadayada, intellectually I get it. But emotionally? 'Fuck you' seems to be my response.
Actually, ten minutes in, revise that, am I really meant to be on Gene's side here, because he's acting like a complete prick. Even more prickish than usual, and I have never been ignorant of Gene's flaws. Is this, perhaps, what Matthew and Ashley were hinting at when they said audiences may not know how to feel about Gene when all was said and done?
I really don't understand shifting from an episode where you've killed the only non-white character in your cast off in a shitty, shitty way to a very special episode all about race. I really don't. This is complete cognitive dissonance here. Hang on. Am I meant to be shaking my head at the crap actions of the characters here when, an episode before, there was some seriously questionable storytelling going on? What the everliving fuck?
ARGH. DAMN YOU, ASHLEY.
Piss me off about all of these issues and then, and then, while I'm sitting here boggling, trying to figure out how to feel, wondering if I'm over-reacting and being an idiot, have Gene reveal that Sam did, actually, fake his own death and Gene helped him. And then have a line like "I didn't wanna lose him." And then have Gene talk about respect and trust and faith. ARGH.
... yep. I remain confused.
"You're the best DCI I've ever met, and I've been proud to work under you. But I'm not gonna be your doormat any more." --- Well, yes, Chris, because you're probably going to be fired. You let a possible murderer, a potential terrorist, run free. You actually think you can do that and still be on the force? ... Apparently, he can!
I'm watching this Gene/Alex scene and shouting "AND THEN SAM KNOCKS ON ALEX'S DOOR!"
Then there's a knock on the door and I get genuinely excited.
But, of course, it's Keats.
You know what? A really large part of me wants to say this is Good Writing, because it has me feeling and thinking in equal measure. Because it's tense and dramatic and convoluted; there are no easy answers. It's not cut and dried. Because it encompasses issues and forces you to think about them and interrogate yourself. And the other part of me, that nasty little voice at the back of my mind, is saying it's a shambles. And I don't know who to listen to.