Words: Gabriella Shimeld-Fenn
'Episodes' (2011) 'Episode 4'
SYNOPSIS: "Comedy. Sean (Stephen Mangan) and Beverly (Tamsin Greig) are on an all-night road trip when they retrieve Matt from a seedy bar so that the paparazzo won't see him driving home drunk." (bbc.co.uk)
Having bonded in last week’s episode, 'Episode 4' has Matt LeBlanc phoning up Sean to come and pick him up as he’s in a drunken stupor in a bar after losing custody of his kids. Bev decides to come along too so you know there will be plenty of incidences of them sniping at each other with Sean in the middle trying to ineffectually keep the peace.
Sean has already put his foot in it with Bev over the issue of whether he finds Morning (the blonde bimbo actress hired to play the librarian character in their show) more attractive than her, especially after finding out that she is actually slightly older than Bev. Even though Morning (Mircea Monroe) only looks about 28.
There is a hilariously awkward driving sequence with LeBlanc drunkenly rolling around in the back seat and arguing with Bev while the broken satnav occasionally interjects with useless directions. Yet there are also some genuinely touching moments like when LeBlanc admits how empty his life is without his kids around and Bev offers a small olive branch in the form of a bed at their place for the night. This is ruined moments later when LeBlanc's body succumbs to his inebriation, but it’s nice to see that they are at least attempting to make his character more rounded.
The America vs. Britain comparisons continue, of course, with Sean and Bev’s matching looks of incomprehension over what Jamba Juice can possibly be, and an obligatory joke about tea, providing some amusement. Most of the time, though, these jibes seem to be at the expense of the British, but then we always have been better at laughing at ourselves.
Next week, Sean attends an awards show with Matt and finds Morning more and more of a temptation....no surprises about how this is going to end?
'Episodes' airs on Mondays at 10pm on BBC2. Watch 'Episode 4' until 22:59 Monday 28 Feb 2011. UK users only.