Ashes To Ashes – Series 3, Episode 3.


https://ellietreagust.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?action=edit&post=391

“They left a tag, like Banksy”, says DI Drake, referring to arson graffiti relating to this week’s crime.

“I hope you’re not suggesting that goal-keeping legend Gordon Banks goes around vandalising property?” DCI Gene Hunt is outraged at the suggestion.

The Ashes to Ashes script is back on track! The amount of one-liners in episode 3 is incredible, there are too many to write down.

Ever-popular and recurring, Crime Of The Week this week centred around various arson attacks that were happening in the run up to the 1983 election. The writers used some original footage quite effectively here, and I rather got the impression that they were drawing parallels between 1983 and 2010, with references to millions being unemployed and the Falklands War possibly masquerading as the Iraq war (“Labour would never enter such a pointless war” Shaz innocently declared, which Drake nearly argued back against). This week it was essentially Ray’s turn in the spotlight: annoying as he is one of my least favourite characters, but it was a brilliant showdown at the end, and he did save the day so I can’t hate him too much. They ushered in some excellent themes, which were so delicate they had the potential to go disastrously wrong, but the traumas the war heroes have to suffer, along with their families, were handled brilliantly. Which led to the eventual epic ending and Ray actually winning at something.

And how are relations going within the group? Well, Shaz appears to have found a new bloke, which I’m not too happy about. But then it doesn’t seem too successful anyway, so it could be ok. I think now that Shaz and Chris will not reunite but remain good friends, and this upsets me deeply. Slimy bastard DCI Keats CONTINUES to investigate the department, demoralising the team, writing off everyone’s work like it’s awful and not actually doing any himself, but I am pleased to see that DI Drake is definitely not falling for his smarmy charm anymore. He appears to be pure evil but puts a hideous facade on it. It sometimes feels the script writers are stringing out the character of Keats a little too much, and that he has some intrinsic role to play but they introduced him too early… Hunt and Keats continue to hate each other:

“Mano-a-mano, that’s Latin,” says Keats

“Oh you slimy tosspot, that’s Latin and all,” replies Hunt. Good work Hunt.

The team continues to show excellent loyalty to Gene Hunt as they are propelled further towards him due to Keats’ presence, and this continues to be represented each week: this time, by Ray diving into the fire to prove himself.

All in all, a much better episode than last week that touched on some earth-shattering subjects that are still relevant now, and it solidified the team and had some excellent lines. No real developments in the overall story though, but they should come soon.

So, we’ve had Shaz and Ray, and I think it’s Chris’ turn next week, and then hopefully we can start to answer some real questions! Such as…

What’s the significance of the number 6602?

Why do people keep drawing stars?

Who is the mysterious man with half a burnt face?

Did Gene Hunt kill Sam Tyler? And if so, why?!

Ashes to Ashes – Series 3, Episode 2.


Like last time, if you’re planning on watching this, don’t read – I am prone to give endings away.

Also, this should have been written on Saturday but I had no computer and good company – so, yeah. No writings until now!

This week’s episode I wasn’t as gripped by as last week’s, but I did have to watch it in parts and various things didn’t happen that I wanted to. Like DCI Keats didn’t die in a big ball of fire. Shaz and Chris didn’t get back together… Etc etc. It was good though, it’s still Ashes to Ashes ie. more awesome than regular television viewing.

Generally speaking there seemed to be about three storylines snaking through the episode, with the main crime they were solving this week, Shaz dithering about whether she should stay in the force, and Alex Drake musing about what REALLY happened to Sam Tyler. Tacky boy Keats made regular appearances again, although less frequent than last time, and, wonderfully, less alluringly to Drake. She appears to be swaying more to Hunt’s side of things once again, than being sucked into the smarmy world of Keats. Good stuff.

The crime solving was good stuff – it gave Shaz an actual chance to do what she really could, and she did it very well. In essence, Fenchurch East get sent a hand (of a murder victim, obviously) in the post, and that unveils a series of murders of women, all happening after they’ve been divorced and feel at their most “vulnerable”. Using a dating agency, the murderer selects his victims by meeting them, then telling him what he really though of all women. In this instance, Shaz is used as ‘bait’ to get the murderer to confess, and puts her life in serious risk, thus meaning her work will promote her to “CID by Christmas”.

This last bit is technically the most important, as Shaz is questioning throughout the entire episode whether she should leave the police force. It was all portrayed in a very unbelievable manner, I found though, as she was getting annoyed and stressed at the smallest, most pointless and odd things, and there was no explanation for it except that she didn’t feel that happy where she was. But if that was so, why did she stay in the force when Hunt says he’ll promote her? It didn’t make much sense to me, especially when she disband a mob of hooligans on her own when leaving the pub early. The script also didn’t catch me much this week, as there were minimal good one liners and slightly tenuous statements which I felt didn’t fit properly with the already well-established characters. However, the story telling was still pretty good, and I am glad Shaz is staying. It would seem a little pointless to write her out given it’s only two episodes in and the only character that’s really been written out so far was main protagonist from Life On Mars Sam Tyler.

Which leads me onto the next story line: for some reason Alex Drake has suddenly become much more interested in Mr Tyler. Why now? And why should she forget all about her daughter and her life back in 2008? She appears to have forgotten everything, and that would be fine but now why is she investigating Sam Tyler for any other reason than for a way to get back home? Gene Hunt discovers her investigations at the end of the episode, and is not best pleased, telling “Bolly” that they do things as a team, and don’t go behind each other’s backs. A fair point, but he, annoyingly, is slightly acting like he’s covering something up. Not good considering DCI Jim Keats thinks he’s “onto him” and wants to clearly expose Hunt for the death of Sam Tyler. Odd. Very odd. It also seems odd that the writers keep stretching out the story line that Keats is there to interview the members of the team – a plausible reason for his existence, but why must it continue so long? In the ‘Next Week’s Episode’ montage at the end, it appears he is just continuing his investigations further – shouldn’t he have found something by now?

There were good parts to this week’s episode however – Philip Glenister’s real-life wife plays a character that Gene Hunt initially despises (the bird running the dating agency), and ends up kissing at the end (excellent irony), Shaz had her ‘moment’, and Drake’s invention of Speed Dating amused me. But I need things to happen and move on! Nothing much seemed to happen in this episode. Keats hasn’t found anything, Shaz was going to leave then didn’t, Hunt and Bolly haven’t done anything and Shaz and Chris are not back together. They did solve crimes – kind of essential given it’s a cop show – but not much moved on as far as discovering what the world of DCI Gene Hunt is really all about.

Ashes to Ashes – Series 3, Episode 1.


This is reviewing the first episode so if you haven’t seen it and are wanting to, don’t read.

Unlike the rest of the world, I have not had to wait a year for this new series, due to having watched the entire of ‘Life On Mars’ and the first two series of ‘Ashes to Ashes’ in the last few weeks. Late to the game but doesn’t matter as I’m here now!

That doesn’t mean there was a lack of anticipation – indeed, I was just as excited about the clock striking 9:00pm on Friday as I was when the last actually exciting television programme aired. There are no examples here as I can’t remember being this excited about a television programme in a very long time.

SO WHAT HAPPENED? The last we saw, DI Alex Drake had been shot by Gene Hunt (accidentally..), who is now on the run, and that sends her into a coma in 1982. Which means she wakes up in 2009, sends her daughter to her ex-husband so she can sort things out (I feel this may be a good point? ‘Molls’ seems to be holding her back from enjoying the 80s enough), has some counselling, and then goes shopping. On this trip, she finds an excellent looking game ‘Legal Force’, with the rest of the team posing with guns on the front (I want this game to be invented), and then she sees visions of her team mates visiting her in the hospital in the 80s. LOADS of them, as the amount of screens in a technology shop is not small. (“This is why you shouldn’t go to Currys after a coma”. A fair point from my watching companion.) Finally, after a bit of dithering, Gene Hunt visits and slaps the comatose Drake to wake her up (“Wakey wakey, Drakey”), in 1983, and we’re back on track.

“Where did you go?” asks Alex of Gene.
“Abroad – the Isle of Wight.”
It’s comforting to know the script is just as good.

“Fire up the Quattro” comes in remarkable style as Gene and Drake return to CID to the sound of ‘Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This’. Awesome stuff!

Not so awesome was the devastating (yes, this word is appropriate) news that SHAZ AND CHRIS ARE NO LONGER TOGETHER. What the hell, script writers?! You have literally ruined my favourite fictional couple! I am most disappointed. However, it is pleasant to see they still have chemistry, and my small hopes now lie in that the series will culminate in their lovely wedding, which has been put on hold as they can’t string the engagement out for 8 more episodes.

The episode centres around to main ‘things’ (these could also be story lines I suppose), namely the kidnapping of a young girl, and what is happening in the Gene Hunt – Alex Drake – Raymondo – DCI Jim Keats run of things. This last name is owned by one of the most hideous, slimy, sleazy, two-faced bastards I think that has ever been written, and not only am I most upset that he even exists, I am also incredibly disappointed that Alex Drake appears to be liking him?! I mean come on! Him? Gene Hunt? Do you even have to ask?! I am beginning to question Drake’s personality. I believe, irritatingly, that this character will be relatively recurring – I was hoping someone might shoot him for just being alive – but I think he’s quite integral to the whole thing. Lame. Anyway, so that’s happening, Shaz and Chris are not together, we’ve kind of lost the tension between Hunt and Drake, possibly due to the new DCI (although it’s quite obvious Hunt despises Jim Keats as much as myself), and yet I still loved it.

The kidnapping is rounded up in the team’s usual style of intelligence and violence, and everything gets sorted (obviously). I feel this side of the story showed how well the team works now it’s back together. The trailer for next week looks excellently exciting. But if Shaz resigns from the force I may have to resign from watching… Can’t lose a favourite character as well as the relationship! Dear jesus.

Best lines from this week:

“Hopefully he’s with Christ.”
“And where can we find this ‘Christ’?”

“I couldn’t find grapes so I brought… A melon.”

“Come on Drakey, you weren’t that shot!”

“They asked all sorts of questions they already knew the answers too!”
“Rhetorical..”
“No, no it was definitely English.”

And I am SO EXCITED already about next week.