|Gilbert helps Annie find out her Unfinished Business.|
In an attempt to help Annie cheer up, Mitchell introduces Annie to 80s Guru Gilbert, who's been a ghost for 20 years. For a while his old-fashioned and alternative attitudes simply bore Annie, but he soon helps her to realise that she has unfinished business to resolve. She interprets this as trying to do the things for Owen, her fiancee, that she was unable to do due to her death - notably, being his wife. She helps out around his house but he doesn't notice, and is visibly shocked when Annie leaves him a message on a mirror. Following Owen on his private visit to the flat, she watches as Owen retreives a thong stuck in the piping system - and suddenly Annie remembers why she fell down the stairs. Owen had found the thong and accused Annie of adultery; he pushes her in a fit of jealous rage. After Annie discovers this she goes into a quiet depression. Gilbert comforts her and reveals that he now knows that his unfinished business was having never loved, and now he has fallen in love with Annie. He notices his Door to the afterlife, and moves on.
Gilbert (Alex Price, who has made appearances on Doctor Who and narrates Doctor Who Confidential) is an interesting character to witness on screen; a sort-of satirical parody of 80s music snobs; notably scoffing at a DJ on an 80s night for playing something released in 1990. His character, and its subtle complexity (albeit not a subtle parody) are a demonstration of how seriously the series takes character at this point. By the end, I cared for Gilbert, and was glad that he passed in peace. Yes, he's probably just a plot device to introduce the concept of the Door, but that just further illustrates my point.
|Nina and George share a kiss.|
The other main plot was George's ongoing relationship with Nina. He invites her back to his flat and they have a tense date before moving upstairs, where George feels unable to "perform" for fear of hurting her with his pre-werewolf agression; something she interprets as a different problem. The day after, on the actual full moon, he avoids Nina. When she corners him, on his way to transform, and starts discussing ways to get around what she perceives as his "problem," he takes her and they have sex before he runs out to transform.
Aside from a few snarks from Annie and Mitchell, this subplot provided most of the episode's comedy; George at this point designated the series' comic relief character, mainly because of Russell Tovey's passion for melodrama. The main jokes in this episode were based on jokes about comparing werewolf-based-fear to premature ejaculation; the humour may have just worn off over time, but I didn't find it that funny when I viewed it yesterday; it seemed a bit juvenile.
Once again left on the back foot, Mitchell's plotline saw him try to help Lauren. He confronts her about the tape, confessing that he liked it a bit, and after a blood-filled sex party he talks her through trying to give up blood; vampires require the life from the blood, so blood from other vampires, and from hospitals, won't work. After feeling rejected, Lauren runs into Seth and goes back to Herrick. Annabel Scholey's performances are consistantly zany and interesting, but the subplot on the whole wasn't as active as the others. It did, however, flow into the others in a cohesive and funny way.
|Gilbert sees something nice through the Door.|
1.3 is a showcase for the series' complex characters, and portrayed a somewhat chilling portrayl of an abusive relationship being held from public view. On the other hand, its subplots were extravagent and over-the-top in an attempt to keep the series to a comedy focus, something that I think is unnecessary. A good episode, all in all, but don't hurt yourself on the sharp edges.