Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Mummy and the Cow - Review:- 12.12.2014

Here's a song for Jane:-

There's only one thing that kept me from giving this episode a full nine ...

That, coupled with the fact that, once again, a parent is viewed through the eyes of an entitled, recalcitrant child, and made to apologise for being a parent.

I Am the Resurrection and the Light. John Altman's the hero of the piece, and his latest incarnation as Nick is one of the many things that has set the show afire this autumn. His last appearance back in 2010, with the insipid Dottie/Kirsty storyline was a damp squib, and I thought Nick a tired caricature of a character, but Altman's tour de force this time has been a hoot and filled to the brim with suitably black humour.

Line of the night from Nick to Ian:-

Whaddya gonna do? Kill me? I'm already dead. But Ma, she prayed so hard for a miracle, I got sent back.

I can't remember when I've genuinely laughed at EastEnders, but thanks to John Altman, I am now, although I had a hard time believing that Nick would have forgotten Pete Beale's name - after all, Pete was the one whom Dot called to nail an addicted Nick into his room all those years ago. 

The banter with Ian was genuinely good conversation, especially how the reminiscence of Pete brought on the apt father and son analogy, with a heavy, but subtle foreshadowing on Ian's part ...

Nick: Like father like son.
Ian:: Is that like it is with you and your son? Is he a thieving, murdering low-life as well?

(Oh, Ian, you know not what you've said! Just remember how subtle DTC is with his foreshadowing and his clues - just sayin').

That whole scene was just redolent of foreshadowing entertwined with the most incongruous normality. Example? Yvonne telling Ian that Dot and the rest of them were dealing with Nick's non-death "as a family" and then popping off to put the kettle on.

Totally surreal, as much as the conversation between Dot and Ian was poignant and true to the continuity of history that exists between the Beales and Dot.

The Beale, Fowler and Watts families always patronised poor Dot and the unfortunate turn of events that gave her Nick as a son, and Ian continued that patronising, albeit patronising out of love and concern. Yes, Nick had always hurt her, always let her down, and she couldn't trust him. Ian urged her to do something he should have done and didn't - go to the police about Nick's non-death, even after Dot explained the cock-and-bull story about gangsters being after Nick and Charlie thinking that Nick pretending to be dead would solve the problem. If Dot were afraid to go to the Old Bill, Ian would go, and it was when Ian said this, that Dot dropped her moral bombshell.

Ian had lost a child, and Dot thought she had also lost a child, but had discovered that she really hadn't, and whilst she knew full well what Nick had done all her life and how it affected her, but she couldn't express the joy at having her son sat on the sofa in the front room rather than in some coffin. Then Dot hit home by reminding Ian that she knew he would do anything for his own children, which gave Ian pause for thought.

Left alone with the macabre remnants of her family, Nick suggests that they all make ready for Christmas - after all, Dot always wanted a full house for Christmas.

Dot should be careful what she wishes for. I think she now realises that.

The Co-Dependent Beales. The last time DTC was around, we had Max attempting to discipline Lauren for stealing his credit card and buying a camcorder online. He wanted her grounded for three months, but Tanya, playing the good cop parent, undermined him and in the end, he ended up apologising to Lauren.

Guess what?

Yep, Ian ends up apologising to Peter, stumbling tearfully up to Peter the Prick's martyr face on the stall and whimpering I'm sorry.

Really? Really, Ian? And if that isn't enough, we had the ubiquitous bonding scene of Ian and pricky Peter sitting at the Beale table with Ian tearfully explaining in a schmaltzy way all this bunkum about how from the moment they were minutes old, the twins were two and now there was only Peter ...


And that's supposed to make Boy Wonder feel better? I'll tell you what did make him feel better - Ian admitting from the getgo that he always gets it wrong, and Peter's response?

I know.

That's right. Peter agrees with Ian that Ian always gets everything wrong, and Peter grants him his blessing, forgives him and comforts him in his arms. (Ian's big on comfort).

Then we finish the whole schmaltz thing off with the cobbled-together Beale family - Ian the weak paterfamilias, Peter the Prick, the godawful Cindy, who has no right to be there and who can't even bear to have her infant daughter by her side during the day as she sits on her lazy skanky arse and flips through teen magazines, Leave-It-to-Beaver-Bobby and the Patron Saint of Interference, Undermining and Smugness ...

... who'd just returned from her Ava mission of trolling the streets of Walford, and comforting and feeding confused, old ladies. All gather as Bobby the Beaver ceremoniously chooses the first decoration to go upon the Beale Christmas tree, which just happens to be Lucy the Dead's special favourite.

Pass the bucket, please ...

Even Ian's latest secret is hidden behind yet more spoiling of his appalling children. Bobby-the-Beaver demands mince pies, and Ian trudges off to make Bobby's wish, his command, leaving behind Jane smiling smugly at the thought that she has been proven right, again. I want someone to smack the shit out of this awful, awful woman. Nick peering suspiciously out his window spurs Ian to run to the one person to whom he must spill the secret of Nick's resurrection ... Sharon and Phil, who are about to act out the words to the song Santa Baby, complete with Sharon's lipstick smudged all over Phil's gob.

(Sharon and Phil seriously buy Christmas presents from the market?)

Well, let's take a head count. Who now knows Nick is alive?

Dot, Yvonne, Carol and now Ian, Phil and Sharon. Well, that's pretty much all of Old Walford. Wait ... Ronnie and Charlie.

The Blisters. Where Aleks and Roxy were once mildly interesting, now they are pretty much filler stuff, which borders on the truly bizarre. Charlie presuming to lecture Aleks on his behaviour is pretty rich, considering the scams Charlie's been dealing, himself. He may or may not have been involved in a big robbery. He certainly faked a death, and that's fraud. He's imitated a policeman. He may or may not have killed someone - that remains to be seen.

Aleks convinces him to be the go-between and broker a meeting with Roxy, whom he misses. I've no doubt Aleks misses Roxy. I've no doubt he'd miss Marta too, if Roxy had scarpered and Marta were refusing to see him, within an arm's length. Aleks loves the one he's with, and if Marta had ordered him home to the marital bed, he'd have chosen her over Roxy. After all, Marta is the mother of his child and his wife, and he was no more ready to divorce her than he was to give up Roxy, as long as one didn't find out about the other.

Now, he's missing Roxy, who's nearby and accessible, but he needs to explain himself.

Now, here's the other brazen bit about this storyline - Roxy's planning a baby shower for Ronnie. Seriously. These women utterly have no shame. You'd think with everything that's gone before with Ronnie, especially the babyswap debacle, she'd want a quiet birth with little celebration. Who'd attend her shower anyway? Sharon, of course. Lola? She'd be creeped into going. Stacey? Don't think so. The Carters? I mean, Shirley at a baby shower?

Of course, the road to true love is long and winding, like The Beatles song, and Roxy shows up at the Market Office looking like an ageing, spoiled brat only to find Aleks not there. Later, he explains to her that he was called away because Ineta got into a fight at school, that someone had called her a dirty gypsy, and he had to start being a real dad. Once again, Aleks is leaving Walford, and once again, we know that Roxy will stop him. 

Well, Marta abandoned Ineta to be educated in England by her father, and she may just find that Roxy, within the next five years or so, will have turned her into the next potential Queen of Ibiza ... or in other words, a slapper.

Mum's the Word. OK, I am not the biggest Linda Henry fan, but she nailed the show tonight. This is a storyline I find intriguing. Hand up, how many sussed that Sylvie was suffering from dementia (Alzheimers, actually) and was being concealed and cared for by Babe?

It wasn't difficult to note that Babe was hiding something in her house/flat/coven. There was, of course, the fluttering curtain seen from an upstairs window months back. Then there was Babe's extra half of stout offered to an unseen guest, and finally, a cryptic phonecall to a neighbour, explaining that someone got confused near bedtime.

The reunion scenes between Mick, Shirley and Sylvie were poignant and very moving, especially if anyone has ever had to deal with a relative suffering from Alzheimers. It's been referenced that Sylvie physically abused Shirley, but one of the very early signs of onset Alzheimers is erratic behaviour and often violent behaviour at that. It may have also been a sign of early onset when Sylvie abandoned the family.

Quite clever, as well, of the writers to use Alzheimers as a mask to hide the fact that Sylvie not only doesn't remember Mick as her son, she knows he isn't her son. Alzheimers victims have moments of lucidity and near-perfect long-term memories which are clear about some things, but not others. Simply put, Sylvie would know and assert correctly and adamantly that she had no son, and she wouldn't be expected to know Mick, having left when he was a baby. She may not remember, however, the circumstances surrounding Mick's birth - i.e., that he was Shirley's child and she presented him to Stan as their son. She certainly remembered Tina, with a jolting remark that totally unnerved Shirley - How's the baby? (Long pause) Little Tina? Because, of course, Tina would have been Sylvie's baby.

But Sylvie's insistence that Mick isn't her son, that she doesn't remember him and her confusing him with a beau could all be masked by the Alzheimers as well. Sometimes Alzheimers sufferers remember certain people and not others or their existence. Her insistence to Mick that she had no son could easily be explained away by both Babe and Shirley. Especially poignant was Shirley's fruitless efforts to manipulate Sylvie into "remembering" her "three" children - Shirley, Tina and Mick - and Sylvie insisting that she only had two kids.

Another facet of Alzheimers which the divine Daran Little got correct is the sufferer's propensity to make inappropriate remarks. About Stan:-

'Ere, he never was up to much in bed. Climbing atop of yer and stinking of fish. I've had better.

On Shirley:-

Never much of a looker. Still, it wasn't your looks the boys were after.

Sylvie set the cat amongst the pigeons, and just when I was beginning to imagine a Carter overkill, suddenly, they are interesting again in a different way - Shirley, desperate, lest Sylvie spew the truth about who she really is in relation to Mick; Mick, desperate to get to know the woman he thinks is his mother. Mick's lacked a mother's affection all his life and now he thinks to make this up by bringing this shell of a woman into a house full of strangers, which will only cause torment and disruption, not only to her, but to Stan also. The brilliant scene of Sylvie, alone and lost, in the market square perfectly captured the fear and confusion of many an Alzheimers victim.

And then there's Babe with a backstory which may or may not be true - that Sylvie was diagnosed with Alzheimers five years ago, and that she's been with Babe for two of those five years, and that Babe, as she warned Shirley, was only looking out for Sylvie in order to protect Shirley - or rather, her secret about Mick. That makes me believe that Sylvie has been with Babe for more than five years, and that she's been manipulated into staying away from the family. Because Babe is always so truthful. Not.

The highlight of this storyline was Linda Henry's evocative reminiscence of thinking she'd seen Sylvie in a nightclub some years ago, thinking she'd even heard her voice, and then relating hos Shirley had gone into the loos to vomit.

This is going to be an interesting relationship, and it's mete that the character of Sylvie will only be recurring. Alzheimers eventually leads to death, and the subject hasn't been broached since Frank Butcher's mother, Mo, was diagnosed with hit back in the early nineties. The actress is well cast and resembles Linda Henry, and it's now evident that there's a family history of female abandonment and rejection - and violence and alcoholism - that should be explored.

The only thing that spoiled this was the fact that Sylvie was taken under the wing of Walford's latest Avenging Angel

Good episode. Well written.

The Neighborhood Bullies - Review:- 11.12.2014

I gave that episode 8 out of 10, chiefly because of Daran Little's script and the brilliant discovery scene between Ian and Nick Cotton. Who says EastEnders can't do comedy? Listen, Little cut his teeth on Corrie, and that one scene at the end between Nick and Ian reeked of a Corrie Norris Cole moment, but it worked.

Sorry, add to that the Lauren moment. Now that she's getting ready to depart, the character is being brought to another level. I just hope they don't reunite her with Peter.

Still, even though I found the episode good and well worth the watch, I still found myself getting angrier and angrier about certain characters about whom I can't invest and whom I couldn't like in a million years and whom I feel are somewhat forced upon us or who are presented in such a way as to make the viewer think they should invest sympathy in them. I'm sorry, I don't apportion my sympathy to the entitled, the enablers and the bullies.

Ah, yes ... that was the theme of Thursday's episode.

The Neighbourhood Bully: Tina and Tosh - Let's Get Physical. Yes, I know. Tosh is a violent control freak. And jealous. And insecure. And, yes, most probably her problems lay with her parents and their treatment of her. The way a person is raised says a lot about them.

No one should suffer at the receiving end of domestic violence, and The Court Jester is right to bow out of the relationship, but there were some powerful home truths exchanged between Tina and Tosh tonight. First of all, their very existence as a couple was doomed from the start. Tosh was accurate in saying that Tina pushed the right buttons which provoked a violent reaction on Tosh's part. She was also right in accusing Tina of cheating on her with Sonia, because that's exactly what Tina did and proceeded to lie about it. Even now, she's denying cheating on her, but she did. Not once, but twice. And the reaction from Tina to Bianca's veiled threat echoing Sonia's lesbian past led the viewer to have every belief that Tina thought she was in with a chance of winning Sonia. Add to that the fact that Tina also surreptitiously manipulated Sonia into further disparaging Martin, even going so far,when Martin arrived back in Walford, of interposing herself into the couple's dynamic as if she felt Martin some kind of threat. Both women admitted to having hit each other at times, and that isn't the cornerstone of a healthy relationship.

Nor is having a child, for the reason Tosh wants to do so. Tosh's family have essentially disowned her because of her lifestyle. She wants a child because she feels a child would be the sort to give her unconditional love, but from the brief glimpse we got of Tosh babysitting Amy, that would be a recipe for disaster. Tosh would love her child, but her controlling nature would take over, and even though she said she would never strike a child tonight, her fuse is short, and once the child started exhibiting individualism or not adhering to Tosh's rigid code of behaviour, the fists would fly.

It was also true what Tosh said about the Carters encouraging Tina's inane childlike behaviour. Tina was a feckless mother who ignored her child. Where were the Carters to pick up the pieces of Zsa Zsa? Instead, they thought of Tina's puerile behaviour as eccentric and cute.

Let me be clear, in case I haven't been so before: I don't like either Tina or Tosh, but I was impressed with Tina's reaction to events tonight. She was beaten to a pulp, she was sore, and she was physically and emotionally hurting, yet she dealt with Tosh in a far more understanding, compassionate and non-judgemental way than her putrid family ever thought to have done. The Carter answer to dealing with Tosh - at least as far as Mr Passive-Aggressive, the Queen of Mean and Shirley Queen of Scrotes were concerned - is to deal her a taste of her own medicine - in short, beat her up.

Yeah, like meeting violence with violence is OK. Not. Magic Mick was too much of a gentleman to hit a woman, but he wasn't above letting Shirley do the honours, and whilst this unfettered response might have made them feel good, it really didn't make them any better than Tosh, herself. They lowered themselves to her level and without the psychological trauma behind the reason Tosh lashes out.

Mind you, that doesn't excuse Tosh's behaviour, but at least Tina was - surprisingly - mature enough to confront her and urge her to seek help, correctly analysing, in a pop psychology way, that Tosh's behavioural problems lay in her parents' treatment of her. It was surprisingly deft that Tina suggested she seek out her parents and clear the air with them, then seek help for her emotional and psychological situation. Then Tina removed herself from the equation, but not before she emphasised to Tosh how much she loved and cared about her, which is why she was doing what she did - out of concern for Tosh and self-preservation for herself.

Like Lauren this week, Tina moved onto another level, and in doing so, she made her family look peevish, chavvy, common and small. Of course, she could have gone to the police, even, ironically, as Babe the Queen of Mean reminded them that lashing out and beating Tosh might bring the police into the situation as well.

Tosh is a bully, but the way the Carters reacted - and en masse - was typical of the worst sort of bullies.

The only stinker part of this storyline was the ever present Sonia, whose emotional range ran the gamut from open-mouthed, bewildered concern to that awful pose she assumes when she wants to appear to be the noble hero - the chin tilted upwards and out, the eyes gazing tragically into the distance, as she cradled Tina and kissed her forehead tenderly.

Puke. Puke. Puke, Pukity. Puke. Puke. Puke.

I could almost have liked Tina tonight, had it not been for Sonia being part of the equation.

Do yer fink I should go wiv yer to see her?

No, Sonia, but as the educated professional you're supposed to be, I think you should seriously think about evening classes in grammar and elocution.

Tina stood out in that storyline, far above the emotionally-insecure bully who is Tosh and the out and outright bullies who make up the Carter Conundrum.

The Neighbourhood Bully: Mr Passive-Aggressive and His Minions. The Carter group hug was cringeworthy.

Now that Tina has left Tosh, why are she and Shirley even living in the home that should be Mick's and Linda's? This couple have retained their child-like and childish attitudes because they've never lived as adults, rulers of their own domestic domain, in all of their lives. Mick went, a child-father, himself, from Stan's domain to live with Linda and her mother, where - make no mistake - Elaine ruled the roost. Now, they've got a home and business of their own, and Shirley Queen of Scrotes and The Court Jester Auntie have to take up residence.

There's no need for either Shirley or Tina to live there. They could rent a flat together. Now, there's the situation of Tina on the couch and Nancy sharing a room with Shirley. 

Eeeeeuuuuuuw! Can you imagine being Nancy trying to sleep of a night when Shirl's been heavy on the booze - the stench of alcohol, vomit, and farting?

I was having a nice cup of tea when I was watching the initial scene between Mick and Tina on the couch. I almost spewed my brew when Mick started calling Tosh a controlling bully, waxing lyrical about how bullies got off on control ... Enter Linda, on the tail end of that conversation - abso-bloody-lutely brilliant timing and writing of that scene on the part of Daran Little.

There are seven different shades of bullies. Tosh is one sort. Shirley is another, and Magic Mick is the third and worst type - a passive-aggressive, emotional blackmailer. And he is very into control. Based on the spoilers released today about his Peggy-and-the-baseball-bat moment coming up Christmas, I'd say Johnny was right when he was euphemistic when he assured Mick that Mick didn't force them to do things, they just "didn't want to let him down."

Well, there's another reason for it.

My heart went out to Linda tonight. She has her reasons for keeping schtum about the rape, and that's wrong. Once again, this is an incident which should have been reported immediately it happened to the police, and they should have been allowed to deal with this, family member or not. The vigilante justice and wanton destruction that's about to ensue as a result of this serves no purpose except sensationalism, and after the fact, there will always be a grain of doubt in Magic Mick's mind that Linda's baby isn't his.

Linda had made her mind up, and I thought she was right to attend the clinic on her own. In fact, when she arrived, her reticent reason for the termination, in the scene with the counsellor, was beautifully and tragically eloquent.

Something happened, and I just want rid of it. I can't have it. I want it out of me and over!

It was Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire who, in her madness, ultimately had to depend on the kindness of strangers, and this is as close as Linda came to admitting, to a stranger, that she was raped. The "something happened" euphemism wasn't lost on the counsellor. She knew exactly what Linda meant, and she didn't judge; and Linda was adamant, and truthful, forcefully so, about why she could not have this baby.

Then Mr Passive-Aggressive showed up.

I just wanna be'ere wiv ya.

Yep. Just sit there and say nothing, Mick. Just hold her hand, toy with your phony wedding ring and look at her sadly, just enough to well the guilt up as she walks into the room for the termination. Give the girl something to think about as what you think is your baby and may very well not be is being suctioned from her insides. And just think of the godalmighty guilt trip - the silent shunning, the poked-out lower lip, the tear-filled eyes - that you'd lay on her, had she gone through with this procedure - not to mention your ultimate confession to your sibling-mother about this.

Linda got rid of our bay-beee, Shirl. She didn't want it. (Cue sobs and enough ammunition to give a woman who systematically abandoned all of her children, including a disabled child, to take the moral high groound, and the next thing you'd see was Shirley grinding Linda's head against the bar of the Vic.)

Because that's what the Carters do, innit?

But Mr Passive-Aggressive achieved mission accomplished. No sooner than Linda had gone into the room than she came out, pregnancy intact. Mick got what he wanted, and his final pronouncement of the situation was creepily foreshadowing.

The next 18 years are going to be great.

Which means it's going to be anything but, especially if Sprog Carter turns out to be Dean's boy or girl. Why am I suddenly reminded of a classic Bette Davis moment?

Of course, the brilliance of DTC, aided by Daran Little, was also achieved by a prop as tiny and insignificant as Sonia's misplaced watch. Tosh's final scene had her shove the offending article into Tina's palm and advise her to give Sonia's watch back to her. (Gee, you'd think Sonia would have missed her watch by now, but she's been too busy feeling sorry for herself and blaming Martin). Shirley Queen of Scrotes remembers Babe the Queen of Mean telling Tosh that this wasn't Sonia's watch, but Tosh actually manages to convince Shirley that she didn't, which then makes Detective Shirl realise that Babe had actually set Tina up to get the shit beaten out of her by Tosh.

In a New York minute, Shirley and Mick are off down the Yellow Brick Road - well, probably the Old Kent one - desperate to confront the now-hidden Babe. Entering Babe's house, which once was a flat until it grew, they hear some weird old-fashioned music that suddenly stops. 

Well, you know who they find.


Another Carter. Another Carter duff-duff. Three generations of bullies in that scene.

The Neighbourhood Bully: Old Nick. John Altman and Pauline McLynn were a comic diversion tonight in an otherwise angering and disturbing EastEnders. It was a hoot of a farce. 

Of course, Nick Cotton is theoriginal bullyboi of the show. Fed up with being held prisoner, Nick escapes his house arrest, followed desperately by Yvonne. John Altman's treating this stint as a realtour de force. He's loving it, and I'll bet the viewers are as well, especially those of us who've known Nick from the getgo.

The dialogue between him and Yvonne was hilarious, although I have a hard time believing that Nick and Yvonne were seeing each other in the late Seventies when Grease was the rage or that they had known each other that long before they married and had Charlie. Her lines were as good as his - My mother told me never to trust a boy on a bike - double entendre much?

Their slink through the market - lucky for Nick that there aren't too many people about now who'd recognise him - including their brief encounter with Masood was a treat, especially Nick "nicking" the phony string of pearls for Yvonne. 

'Ere, I gotcher somefink.
You STOLE it!

The obvious ploy of this storyline was Ian Beale spotting Nick, in one of the funniest scenes to date. Ian has problems enough of his own, and he steps outside for a brief moment to spy a familiar figure legging it to Dot's and wearing a leather coat. Ian jogging and juggling after a sprinting Nick right up to Dot's doorstep was great, especially when he called out ~Cotton!~ and Nick turned to pull him inside.

This was a real Norris Cole moment and excellent light relief.

The Neighbourhood Bully: The Bullies Beale. Please, can either Carol or Sharon smack the living shit out of Jane? The way she makes a living out of parading around the Beale dynamic, looking self-satisfied and appointing herself the arbiter of judging Ian's behaviour is wrong, wrong, wrong.

She has her head so far up her arse that she's even more insufferable than normal. What the feck does she actually do? I mean, how does she sustain herself financially? We've seen her swanning about the Square, dispensing unsolicited wisdom and even presuming to take a turn on the Beale veg stall.

God, I wanted to punch the screen when she returned to the Beale home and started shouting the odds to Ian. Both she and that insignificant, rude and totally despicable little bitch Cindy should just slither off and leave well enough alone. Is Jane so smug and supercilious that she cannot see Ian is hurting? Ian's not a perfect man, but his world has been turned upside down by his daughter's death and the knowledge that his son, her twin, enabled her drug addiction. Disappointment and insecurity are what Ian's feeling at the moment, and despair. And he's striving to do all he can to prevent slipping down the slope into mental illness again - struggling to fit in with what's normal and what he should be doing.

It's Christmas so he wants a tree. There's a child in the house again, Bobby, and he wants what's normal at this time of year for him; but there's Jane, not only bringing Bobby into the difficulties that exist between Peter and Ian - something a child cannot understand or fathom - but harping on and on at Ian as if he's the villain of the piece. Talk to Peter, talk to Peter ... I wanted him to scream at her and run her from the house.

Jane may not realise it, but sometimes the people you love can disappoint you to such an extent that you need time away from confronting them in order to accept and cope with the awful truth. At the moment, Ian doesn't want to speak to Peter. He doesn't even want to see him. He's that angry, that emotional and that insecure with the situation. The Queen of Bovine can't know, because she was away pursuing her high-flying career, that the one thing that triggered Ian's last mental breakdown was finding out that Ben had killed Heather and being sworn to secrecy over this. Now he's found out that, not only was his daughter an addict, rather than dabbling in the occasional hit of cocaine, her twin brother was providing her with the drug, in a misguided attempt to "control" her addiction, and now Ian wonders if he may have been indirectly responsible for Lucy's death, as well as blaming himself for the way his children have turned out.

Jane had some bloody nerve tonight, and Peter needs to grow a pair, grow up and take responsibility for his actions. He's throwing a massive pity party for himself, and he's another one who's painting himself as a victim. He spoke to Ian like a piece of shit, and now he's whining and wondering if Ian doesn't love him anymore? Pay the piper and dance to the music, sunshine. After that performance, he's still wondering why Ian didn't show up to his widdle birfday party.

Jane's not-so-sound piece of advice? Oh, Ian still loved Peter, but everybody knows that Ian is always wrong. Besides, it didn't matter so much that Ian wasn't there. Peter's friends were there. Really? Johnny Carter, who's barely spoken to him? Tamwar? Abi and Ben? With friends like that, who needs enemies?

Then Jane strides back into the Beale home and starts shouting the odds to Ian about how bad he is, how Peter's on drugs and how Ian - Ian! is breaking that family apart. 

Bravo, Ian! He handed her her arse. Jane can swan off to wherever, but only decides to start calling the Beales her family when it's on the point of imploding. One niggling criticism - I'd have had Ian remind the bitch that his family ceased to have anything to do with her when she signed the divorce papers and left Walford calling herself Jane Clark. Besides, the teenaged mother, who so sullenly had to go tend to the child she clearly cannot abide, is also nothing to do with Ian. Lucy was a cokehead, and Peter was not only her enabler, he had to sample the ware, himself. Is it any wonder that Ian is worried how Bobby will turn out? Where the feck was Jane when Lucy was holding the fort for Bobby when Ian went walkabout? Not in Walford, and this is the same Jane who smugly told Peter not to bother her with Ian's problems anymore, bother Denise instead ... and that went down so well, didn't it? She walked away and came back to undermine, interfere and maliciously intrude.

And bravo Lauren! Peter is so obtuse that he doesn't understand either that what he's done is not only wrong, but stupid, and why Lauren wants nothing to do with him. Peter's stupidity and self-pity are stuff of the arrogant and entitled.

Good Daran Little episode. 

When Doves Cry - Review:- 09.12.2014

All. Over. The. Place.

It's been a long time, I'll admit, that I looked at the clock and wondered how long before an episode ended, but tonight I did just that. If anything, I'd dub this The Sick Episode, because a lot of what happened during the 30 minutes went from cruel and unusual to just, plain sick.

The Sick Beales. It's been noted that Ian and Peter both have hidden behind their grief in a way that enabled them to behave inappropriately. This is true, and it's despicable, and neither of them are likeable characters. In fact, the whole Beale abode is infested with disgusting people, two of whom deserve to be smacked around the head. The most likeable one is Leave-It-To-Beaver-Bobby, whose smarm ability is equal only to NuBobby's continuous smirk.

However, a word in defence of Ian. The people around him are either unaware of or have conveniently forgotten that he suffered a mental breakdown just two years ago. Since then, he's started a new business from scratch, after having been treated absolutely abysmally by the dead, little beeyatch everyone seems to have elevated to premature sainthood; he's been extorted and blackmailed by Carl White; he's entered into a new relationship with Denise, and he's had to deal with Lucy's death. All of that, and more, can be described as stressful to the extreme, something which cannot help but intrude on Ian's already fragile mental state.

Various viewers have already noticed Ian's mannerisms mirroring those he manifested during his breakdown - the constant scratching of his arm, the shuffling gait. Learning that his son was providing his cocaine-addicted daughter with the drug can hardly have come as anything less than a shock to him. If he didn't know Lucy, he knew Peter even less, and then he had this prick of a son shout the odds at him about the perceived way he treated his children - this is Ian, who put his children before himself on every occasion and spoiled them rotten - even to the point of grabbing him in the face.

Ian has every right to be angry with Peter. He enabled Lucy's addiction and may even have been indirectly responsible for her death. He bought drugs into the Beale household and had drug dealers there, in a house where a small child lived. He betrayed Ian's trust as much as and even more than Ian betrayed Peter's trust by kerb-crawling with Rainie Cross. Ian was stupid. Peter was even more stupid for thinking that he could "control" an addict's intake.

It's the twins' birthday, and don't think Ian isn't feeling this. His daughter is dead, and his son is a prick, who is entitled enough to think that Ian owes him an apology, a fact encouraged and supported by his bovine ex-wife, who for some inane reason thinks - hey, ya know, Peter did a bad thing, but he had his reasons. In the words of Dan Ackroyd ...

Shut up!

Ian was dealing with the day the best way he knew how, in the vain hope of maintaining control - there's that word again - of his mental faculties; but there sat the Queen of Bovine and the Crown Princess of Mouth harping on and on and on and on at him, telling him how wrong he is, especially Cindy, the most abject mouth-pouting brat the show has ever ever seen, carping and insisting that Ian had to make an appearance at the twins' birthday party, they were celebrating Lucy as well as Peter yadda yadda, getting more and more aggressive, even slamming Ian's laptop shut.

Just who the feck does this asshole think she is? I wanted Ian to stand up and order her sorry, lazy arse out of a household where she has no right to be. Neither one of these dumbasses even realised Ian had gone through a breakdown or even stopped to think that he might be dealing with remembering the events of the day in his own way, a way which best suits his frame of mind, something which neither of these big-mouthed, small-brained people seem willing or able to accept.

Ian is mourning Lucy, and he's angry with Peter. Give him space. That's what he's saying. He's removing himself from the memory and trying to concentrate on something else until he's able to cope with this in his own right, but in Cindy's scummy, little nature and the pea in Jane's head she calls a brain, they see him as the big bad wolf in this instance.

The absolute highlight of this vignette was Carol noticing Ian throughout choir practice, realising it was Lucy's birthday and reaching out - Carol, who's also lost a child in tragic circumstances and who reacted through grief in inappropriate behaviour, knows exactly what Ian's feeling right now. I was willing Ian to go for that drink with her, and I hope he reaches out.

As for Peter the self-pitying prick, now he abuses Masood's hospitality by bringing cocaine into the house. The party was nothing more than a poor excuse for Peter the Posh Prick to indulge in self-pity, whilst contemplating snorting a line in memory of a stranger whom he described and whom the viewers barely knew.

Peter and Lucy were a lot of things, but even as twins, I wouldn't call them close -and that includes that bum-clinchingly embarrassing scene during the Range-Rover-in-the-Lake episode where Lucy took time off from laughing at Bobby demolishing Tanya's salon to get a psychic message from her twin. As you do. In their latest incarnations, they gave little indication of being so close that they planned their 21st birthdays, their 30ths and so on. Peter went his way, and Lucy went hers. Peter was the nice guy, and Lucy was the snide little bitch. So all those shaggy dog tales Peter was telling for his own benefit and to the great discomfort of the others at the party were for nowt. It was an exercise in narcissism. Quite succinctly, no one knew where to look. Johnny Carter, who was hardly a mate, showed up with his scooter -sorry, as Mick would put it a moped - badge of honour, Abi was tactless in a way she can only be. (She wants to go away for her 21st - I want her to go away now).

Not only was Cindy the Greek trying to manhandle Ian into this party fiasco, she was also trying to do the same when the mob ran into Lauren in the Square. Lauren made it abundantly clear to Peter that they were over, and why they were over. Yet he uses his pithy, unpleasant sister as a means of trying to manipulate Lauren into attending the party. As much as this lot do not understand Ian's mental dilemma, they don't understand that Lauren has ended everything with Peter because she is an addict and he is an enabler. Even worse, Peter is so up his own arsehole, he doesn't realise this.

Instead, he takes a whiff of cocaine. Wow, that must have been some line he snorted, to send him up the Sewanee the way he was carrying on.

They say in vino veritas, but the same can be said of this drug-induced instance. Peter thinks Ian is a coward. Well true that may be, but he really needs to leave his own ego at the door and look at himself. And both he and the Queen of Bovine need to understand that Ian's mental health is now very fragile. This last scene deserved the duff-duff.

Co-Dependency CarterTime. Crikey, Mick almost had an epiphany tonight ...

Johnny, do I -er - sometimes make you do fings you don't want?

(Euphemism for: Johnny, do you think - sorry, fink - I'm a bully?)

To wit Johnny replied, diplomatically: Nah, Dad, it's just we don't wanna let you down.

(Euphemism for: Nah, Dad, you're not a full-on bully, just a passive-aggressive one.)

This comes from a real epiphany from Linda. She doesn't want the child she's carrying, and with good reason, for which she doesn't tell Mick, yet again. Not good, but her reasons for not wanting a baby were sound - the kids were "all over the place" (ok, they're pretty much grown, but I get your drift), and she feels she doesn't want another child; they're short on money, they haven't got the business up and running yet. In a normal frame of things, these are valid reasons for not wanting to have a child.

She even admits before that she only wanted to have a baby because she was afraid Mick would leave her; now she's sure he wouldn't. Mick promises he wouldn't leave her, but then tries another bit of emotional blackmail by asking her if she doesn't want to feel another baby in her mind. In the end, he accepts her decision, but does he, really? I wonder? And does she really get rid of the baby? Why do I think she doesn't?

And, please ... Johnny has a scooter, not a moped. A moped - and aren't they extinct - is a bike which has a small motor, but which can also be pedalled. Johnny has a Lambretta, a classic Italian scooter, and the scooter, itself, is a foreshadow of things to come.

The Psychopath, the Paranoid, the Eternal Victim and the Court Jester. Sonia is moping about the Butcher-Jackson abode as if dead lice were dropping from her. They probably are. She's feeling awfully sorry for herself. Obviously, she's made Carol believe that this was all down to big bad Martin. Sonia has her biggest fan to milk her sympathy. 

Martin's got Rebecca. (Shut up, you gave Rebecca away ... again ... to Martin. Let's see, this is the third time you've done this. You should have told the Court Jester, that would be no big deal for her, considering that her own child brought herself up).

Rebecca will probably hate me. (Oh, she'll come around, says Court Jester, once she realises you were unhappy.)

I don't like Tosh, but her assessment of Sonia was right - she's a liar and a thief - just like Tina.

I know we're supposed to feel sorry for sorry Tina ... (Spot the Tina) ...

... but that's a difficult thing to ask, considering the amount of times she's lied and been unfaithful to Tosh. Tosh is a piece, herself, a welter of loneliness, paranoia, insecurity and control. In all honesty, she has a right to be suspicious of Tina's friendship with Sonia, considering she's been unfaithful to her with Sonia.

As for Babe, she's a malicious old trout of a psychopath. Credit to Shirley, she knew exactly what Tosh was about to do the moment Babe revealed that the watch didn't belong to her; and she should have stopped Tosh as she promised to do. Instead, she stalks her outside their flat and sits calmly reading a paper to the sounds of Tina being beaten up in the background ... before belatedly coming to her rescue and appearing the hero. Control freak, much?

I really wish Tina and Tosh were leaving - and not for Croydon, but for Canada.