Whoever said that Ashes to Ashes was a light-hearted genre police show/sci-fi drama (erm.. that might have been me) really was off the mark this week ,as things get a lot darker when Gene and Co investigate the seedy back streets of London and ‘executive parties’.
This week’s show was dark, in fact it’s a lot darker than we have seen before as things get a lot nastier with the show really pushing the boundaries of its scope. Gone are the car chases, memorable 80s tunes, smashing through boxes, and even though there is a bit of obligatory fisty-cuffs, things really do take a turn for the worst.
Plot-wise we have Gene and Alex being asked by Jackie, an old flame of Gene’s, to help track down her missing niece who has come down to London to seek her fortune. However, the reunion is full of surprises as Jackie, (who was last seen in Life On Mars) seems to be pregnant with Gene’s baby, and while the caustic Glaswegian reporter is having a lot of fun making Gene squirm, there are a lot more serious matters as it seems her niece has been caught up in a scandal involving adult photography, seedy business parties and even murder.
While she manages to get away, another girl is not so lucky and even with a vast amount of evidence it seems that Gene cannot get a conviction, as Supermac pulls strings to get rid of any evidence or connotations that his Masonic brother has done anything wrong. He even goes as go as far as to plant evidence in Alex’s flat, suspending her in the process.
Even with the suspension and the continual creepy phone calls, corrupt policeman, evidence disappearing and dodgy bank accounts, both Alex and Gene keep digging, bringing in Ray and Chris to their inner circle, stating that there is a lot more to Mac than meets the eye.
With the disbelief at first, Chris and Ray soon assist Gene as they raid a business party where the businessmen are making more than just deals. Finding proof of Mac’s money laundering and association with the darker side of London, the tension doesn’t stop there as Mac takes matters into his own hands, killing off his associate as well as inadvertently taking his own life.
However, it seems that’s not the end; his mysterious message of ‘Operation Rose’ has chilling connotations for Alex, whose stalker seems to be linked with this as his ‘calling card’ is indeed a red rose.
So, with the corruption running a lot deeper than first expected, this show’s darker turn and a more ‘realistic’ approach over the past few weeks climaxes well with the death of Mac. And while this story, it seems, has stopped. The plot widens as corruption, the specific inherent story bubbling under through the entire series, goes even deeper. Gene has opened a can of worms undermining the Masons from within, putting both himself and his team in a lot more danger.
As gripping as any American crime drama, the writers of this series of Ashes To Ashes have really outdone themselves combining a great mix of dark humour, chilling plots and compelling characters, rounding Gene, Ray and Chris out a lot more than just the stereotypical coppers. And with the corruption plotlines still to explore even further, not to mention the fact Alex is being contacted even more by the ‘real’ world, and the fact that Jackie mentions that Gene was put on this world for ‘better things’, there is still a lot more to the show than meets the eye. Roll on next week…
Check out our review of episode 3 here.