For the penultimate episode of the current series of Not Going Out, the show transported us to fireworks night. As usual, that’s just the basis for something a little more complex, as thrown into the mix is an old lady who walks into Lucy and Lee’s flat, hunting for her son. And, after initially chucking her out, Lucy soon sets Lee the task of retrieving her, and making sure she gets home safely. Easier said than done.
Further ingredients? Well, her babblings include thinking that she’s had sex with Lee, that her son is very rich, and that she’s happy to tell stories of both. That, then, is combined with Lee’s cunning plan, to put on a fireworks display and thus impress Lucy. What could possibly go wrong there?
What this foundation allowed was for the four main cast members to share the screen time. This was something that really picked up last week and continued this time around. It’s a smashing ensemble, and I really enjoy it when the show focuses down to the four of them. The lines sizzle between them, and even though there weren’t quite so many outright verbal guffaws this week (although the repetition of certain lines worked a treat), it was still good fun, and the episode, as usual, was not bereft of chuckles.
There was room for some physical gags, too, primarily in the montage where Lee and Tim traipse the streets looking for anyone who knows who the old woman happens to be. The photocopied wanted posters were genius, too.
And the episode built up to a climax and a half, as Lee finally got his kiss off Lucy, and a mightily impressive fireworks display kicked off in the background. Not Lee’s fireworks, of course, which barely spluttered. I love, too, how the show builds up to its big dramatic finale, only to suddenly switch emphasis to an old woman smacking Lee around the head with a stick.
It’s a cracking little show, this. I know I keep coming back to this point, but for anyone who believes there’s no room on television for a tight sitcom that eschews gimmicks in favour of good writing and regular laughs, then Not Going Out should be top of their to-watch list.
Fireworks wasn’t the best episode of this run (I still prefer the opening two), but it was a very good half hour of entertainment.
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