'Episodes' (2011) 'Episode 5'
SYNOPSIS: "Comedy. After Matt invites him to a charity benefit Sean realises that his attraction to lovely actress Morning Randolph may be mutual, leaving him with a difficult choice to make." (bbc.co.uk)
'Episodes' this week attempts to take a turn for a serious, with Sean (Stephen Mangan) being gravely tempted by Morning (Mircea Monroe) after Matt LeBlanc contrives to push them together at a benefit gala for a rape prevention charity. Despite Matt's best efforts of manipulation, Sean does manage to resist her charms, but apparently not her sex tape, which Matt had happened to mention to him at the gala.
Before all that, Bev (not invited to the gala) bonds with Carol (Kathleen Perkins) over a joint back at the 'Pucks' set, leading to the revelation that Sean was married to someone else at the time he and Bev met, and that Merc (John Pankow) was all set to leave his wife for Carol before she went blind. Though the attempt at making Carol more three-dimensional was much appreciated, having two women sit around complaining and worrying about the men in their lives is not exactly a groundbreaking piece of television.
The hasty amping up of the plot in this episode did feel rather contrived, as if the writers suddenly realised they only had three episodes left and thought “right, this has been trundling along nicely for a while now – let’s add some ANGST”. There were still a few funny moments, however, mostly from LeBlanc and Merc being inappropriate at the charity gala.
It’s unfortunate that a series that started out with the real potential to offer a wry look at Anglo-American relations seems to have gone for the generic “is the husband a cheating bastard?” storyline as the main arc, with the increasingly ridiculous modifications to the American version of the show seemingly taking a backseat.
Next week we apparently come full circle and revisit the opening sequence from the first episode of Bev crashing into LeBlanc’s car after storming out on Sean – it doesn’t seem like the show really has a whole lot further to go from here but with one final episode after that, who knows?
Watch 'Episode 5' until 22:29, Monday 28 Feb 2011. UK users only. 'Episodes' airs Mondays at 10pm on BBC2.