Psychoville episode 2 review

The BBC continues its skirting of comedy with horror, and killer clowns abound...

Not normal.

The episode opens with Joy, carrying Freddie, on a bus requesting that a young lady vacates the priority seat that she’s occupying. Joy sits down and sings The Wheels On The Bus to Freddie – seemingly no one on the bus seems concerned at a lady singing to a doll. It’s been a while since I’ve travelled on a bus in a while so not sure how often you see this kind of behaviour. Whilst this is happening, The Black-gloved Man removes her newspaper from her bag and writes, “You Killed Her” in the crossword.

At the hospital Joy is walking along, seemingly happy, with one of her colleagues. All is well until the colleague makes the comment that Freddie should be in the bin and Joy punches her in the face. Later, Joy enters the hospital blood bank and empties some blood in Freddie’s ‘bocci’ and replaces it with juice. As Joy leaves she’s being watched by the colleague she punched. Joy returns home after work and George discovers the crossword and is clearly concerned. Joy snatches the paper away and puts it back in her bag.

Michael returns to Lomax’s stately home and enters a room to find boxes disguised as Lomax in a chair. Lomax jumps out on Michael and takes him to be acquainted with his ‘Holy of Holies’. Lomax shows off his vast collection and says that they’re all in pristine condition and asks if Michael is pristine, to which Michael responds by saying that it’s none of his business. Lomax reacts by shouting, “TIS MY BUSINESS! TIS MY BUSINESS!” and goes on to explain that if he’s to be around the ‘Holy of Holies’ there will be “No girls, no smoking and no meat pies!” Not even pasties, which is entirely reasonable.

There’s one commodity missing from the collection and there’s only one in existence. Later Michael is helping Lomax find the missing commodity – Snappy the Dragon. Lomax explains that he went to the other side of the world to find Snappy but ‘they’ beat him to it. ‘They’ are the Crabtree sisters – the witches of eBay.

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Lomax goes on to tell Michael that he paid for Snappy with his eyes and removes his glasses to reveal two black holes where his eyes used to be. Michael and Lomax are watching the auction for Snappy and it cuts to the Crabtree sisters busy working to increase their wealth, who also notice that Snappy is up for sale. A bidding war ensues and increases in intensity as the auction draws to a close. The owners of the item notice how much the item is going for and pull the listing at the last second with the bid at £9,001.

The Black-gloved Man is leaving a message for David on the answering machine and Maureen picks up the phone half way through. As the figure starts to speak, she picks up a pen and begins to take a message until the pen stops working and she leaves to get another. The Black-gloved Man hangs up clearly annoyed. Maureen tells David, who’s under his covers reading about Jack the Ripper, and he thinks that it’s Graham (the man who fired him from the murder mystery evening). Following their conversation, Maureen discovers the ‘I know what you did’ letter. Later Maureen visits Graham, assuming that David’s murder occurred at the murder mystery evening and begs Graham not to call the police as she doesn’t want David returning to ‘that place’. Graham says that it won’t be necessary to get the police involved, why would it be? They wouldn’t be interested in him taking things too far at the murder mystery.

Maureen hands Graham the letter and he thinks she is trying to blackmail him for an incident involving a young girl and some “egg salad” some years ago. He goes to call the police and David removes the phone cable and stands menacingly in the doorway. With Graham tied up, Maureen and David are discussing serial killers and their methods, to decide on an appropriate method to deal with Graham. After considering, and dismissing, numerous options, they decide to go with drowning him in a bathtub. Maureen orders David to run a bath and asks Graham if he has any ‘matey’. David calls Maureen upstairs and Graham escapes but is hit by a car, which solves David and Maureen’s problem. Maureen notices that Graham does have some matey and wonders aloud why he would lie.

Mr. Jelly turns up to a school only to find that, his rival, Mr. Jolly is there already. Jelly heckles Jolly, during a Punch and Judy routine, from the back of the hall. Turns out that Jelly usually does the entertaining at the school. Jolly mentions a restraining order preventing Jelly from being within 100 meters of him. Jolly brings out a puppet of a policeman called PC World (one of Jelly’s jokes, apparently), with camcorder in hand, which causes Jelly to react violently and punch Jolly repeatedly. The room falls silent and two police officers are standing at the back of the room. They escort Jelly from the premises and tell him that the incident was his last chance and Jelly goes to drive away. Before leaving, The Black-gloved Man writes “You Killed Her” in the dirt on the back of his van.

Christopher Biggins is organising the rehearsal of Snow White and asks the dwarves to make their entrance, and for Robert to stop suddenly and everyone else to walk into the back of him and fall over. Once this is done, Brin makes a comment about ‘Dirk Diggler’ being on his back again and the cast and crew have a laugh about Robert’s porn career. Debbie interrupts them and asks Robert about their meal plans for that night, much to the dismay of Brian. Later, at the meal, Debbie reveals that she’s a fan of the porn label, the amazingly-named ‘Midget Gems’ and Robert’s performance in ‘Whole White…’ is what inspired her to take up acting.

With the secret about his porn career out, Robert thinks that everything is behind him but he receives a text saying, “You Killed Her.” Throughout the meal Robert is constantly insulted by the waiter who offers him a colouring set, a high chair and a balloon.

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After the meal, Robert and Debbie are chatting on the stage and he tells her that he had to spend some time in an institution and that a woman was killed whilst he was there. He tries to explain further but Debbie interrupts him by kissing him and reveals her fantasy and asks him to go away and get ready to help her fulfil it. Robert comes out, naked apart from his hat, to find that he’s been set up. A spotlight is on him and the whole cast and crew, including Debbie, are laughing at him. Enraged, he causes some lights to explode.

Another great episode. Truly gripping stuff. The plots for all of the key characters are developing nicely. I’m particularly enjoying Lomax, who I’d say is up there with Shearsmith and Pemberton’s finest creations. The writing is superb and another episode packed full of little details that reward repeat viewing. What’s this place / institution? Who was killed? Who is The Black-gloved Man? And how are they all involved? I can’t wait until the next episode to see how this develops.

Check out our review of episode 1 here.