In the Flesh: Review: Series 2 Episode 4

ITF 4Philip’s visits to the PDS brothel start to cause him real problems, as Kieren makes a decision and unwittingly makes a revelation…

Again, overseen rather than written by Dominic Mitchell, this episode doesn’t just focus on Kieren, although he has a major strand throughout, building on the kiss he shared with Simon at the end of the previous episode. That has ramifications for both men’s relationships with Amy, and leads her to make an interesting choice at the end of the episode – which does at least fulfil one person’s dreams.

The majority of the episode, though, keys around Steven Thompson’s Philip, as his trips to the brothel come to light, and are used against him. There are a number of nicely underplayed moments – his mother’s discovery of the videotape in the rubbish bin, and everything that isn’t said at that point in particular – all of which lead to him making a stand and throwing everything that he thought he believed in up to show that underneath it all, he is the person that most people in the town – barring Maxine – expected him to be.

There are two gory sections – the attack on the doctor’s assistant hopefully will have some repercussions next week, as otherwise it did feel rather as if it was there because the blood count needed raising; the other was more verbal over the dinner table at the Walkers’ house as first Gary and then Kieren relay their experiences during the Rising. Harriet Cains and Emmett Scanlan deserve credit for their restrained reactions during these scenes – the camera isn’t on them for much of the time, but we are aware of what their characters are thinking (and that’s not necessarily what the person seated next to them is expecting).

Maxine is rapidly becoming as manipulative and devious as Jacqueline Pearce’s Servalan from Blake’s 7, although without quite as much of the camp glamour. We still don’t know her full agenda but everyone else’s graveyard visits this season have been highly personal. And just who was Simon talking to on the telephone? (That’s how you can tell this is a fantasy series: there’s a working phone box with its light still operational for him to get to easily!)

Verdict: With some satirical jibes thrown in (the scene with the mother in law from hell in particular) this again shows that In the Flesh is expanding its horizons well. 8/10

Paul Simpson

Click here for our review of episode 3


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