Ashes To Ashes series 2 episode 5 review

Gene Hunt and Co have to deal with another face from the past, and things are not all they seem. Spoilers ahead...

With the impending arrival of Operation Rose and the continual calls and letters from her mysterious stalker, we kick off this week with a weary-looking Alex once again crashed out on the sofa. She’s interrupted from her slumber by a green chubby face from the past: Keith Harris and Orville flick through the white noise of her TV, telling her she has arrived in hospital in the ‘real world’.

Alex is not the only one on edge, as Gene is beginning to see his empire crashing down around him, as the newspapers and police superiors are hounding him for a ‘result’ after last week’s climactic confrontation with ‘Supermac’ and the dire headlines of corruption it bought. This general feeing of unease has also spread though other parts of the department too as Ray is in a dilemma as to whether to quit the force and join the Army, and Chris is trying to give up smoking, taking to binge eating crisps instead. Things, it seems, are not looking good as the team kick off this week’s investigation by attending a burglary scene and assault that just happens to have happened to the Drake family, Alex’s future in-laws.

This burglary leads Alex to confront not only her in-laws, but also her future partner and dad to her daughter, Molly. And while it’s hard for Alex to bite her tongue as to how badly she is to be treated by the kitten-holding teen, she still manages to get a few digs in, explaining that really the fourteen-year-old should treat his future partners with a little more respect, explaining what women want (bags, shoes and chocolates, apparently), and that holidays in France are a bad idea.

And speaking of women trouble, there is a lot more to the Drake’s friend/home beauty service than meets the eye. Not only have Alex’s future in-laws been attacked but a considerable amount of money has gone missing and the only suspect from fingerprints that have been taken are from a dead gangster by the name of George Staines. So why then are all the leads pointing to the busty blonde that has caught Ray’s eye? Trying not to spoil a very humorous finale, let’s just say that ‘Gloria’ is a lot less woman that she should be and that the money stolen is intended to be used to ‘snip’ off what remains of her dodgy past.

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It’s not just the bad guys and girls this week that have things ‘hidden’, as Alex finally confronts her stalker, the enigmatic Martin Summers who it seems comes from the ‘real world’ as well. Explaining that he is in the same position as Alex, he offers her a ‘deal’ in which she can go home, recover and see her daughter again on the condition that is gets ‘corrupted’ during Operation Rose. While at first terrified, as Martin confronts her late at night in the office, bombarding her with information, her next meeting is on her own terms and we see the return of the cool, collected and clinical Alex who weighs up the pros and cons, turning down Martin and an ‘easy’ way out of getting home.

Once again, this was a solid, well developed and gritty piece of drama that shows that the notion of a retro police show can be a whole lot more than a few running gags about how bad the 80s were. And even though there are a few chuckles raised about Gloria’s situation and Elton John not liking the ladies the whole show, as has been the case for most of this series, it’s dark, brooding and utterly engrossing.  

Check out our review of episode 4 here.