We left our heroine Doctor Foster heading to dinner with Simon, his lover, his lover's unknowing parents and family: things are about to hit the fan spectacularly, I can almost smell it! Rolling the series finale after the break:
Chris and Susie are taking the Fosters on a tour round the house; Susie begs off to reustle up some more food for supper and Chris shows them his fancy, fancy stuff. The whole back of the house is made out of an engineered glass, "extra thin, double height and stays hot. Like Naomi Campbell" jokes Chris. He's kind of a gentle buffoon, isn't he? He reminds me of Hank from Breaking Bad, although I'd never be able to say exactly why.
There are more architectural details to be shared, back to it! They liked the pool at their place in France so much that they copied it for this house, oh they have a place in France? They do, and she's welcome to stay there, says Chris! I feel a bit bad for him right now, Gemma's just using him and his hospitality to toy with Simon, I have a feeling they won't all be friends later.
There's a maid called Angelique there, she'll sort everything out for them if they visit! There we go, someone else who knows. Kate comes out of her room as Chris is offering bevvies; looking completely spooked. I'm slightly confused, as neither one of them looked the least bit discomfited when the Fosters showed up at the opening of the Parks' new restaurant. I imagine you build an amazing poker face in 2 years.
Anyway, Kate and Simon stare at each other while Gemma watches. Simon runs at Gemma; how could she get the date wrong?? And Chris isn't even a friend, he's an important contact! Gahhh. I love how he's still on the offensive. That really is a great cover, usually.
Gemma deliberately drops a gorgeous tchochke, Kate is called to clean it up. She stares hard at Gemma, "what are you playing at?" written alllll over her face. Chris takes Simon and Gemma out on the deck to chat while Kate sweeps; Susie's upset but Chris is deep into hospitality mode, he doesn't want to do anything to embarrass his clumsy guests. And no, he's never thought of going into business with Simon, which is probably why he can afford his swaggy glass and La Pierre Blanc in France. What does that mean in English?
Dinner time! Gemma and Kate are seated next to each other; chatting about Kate's career. She's waitressing at Ciao for now, but wants to go into event planning. You know, like weddings, divorce parties, funerals, that type of thing. Which of those do you think we'll talk about now? NO, GUESS!! Do people really have divorce parties, asks Gemma? They do and those ex-wifes have a GREAT time, perhaps they were never meant to be married.
Side note: Suranne Jones is so lovely and nuanced in this role, handling everything gracefully, which is beautifully contrasted by the aggression from Jodie Comer as Kate. Either one of those roles could run to exaggeration and caricature in a heartbeat, I love how it never does.
How's her love life, then? Kate is taken aback, aren't there confidentiality laws about what's said between a patient and doctor? Well, yes, but does that mean *raised voice* your parents don't know?
Susie overhears and demands to know what's going on, she doesn't want any big surprises going on under her roof! Oh, under her roof, Kate still lives there then? Well, Kate tried living on her own, what didn't she like, asks Gemma? Gemma's a real curious George this evening, isn't she?
Speaking of surprises, Susie wants to know why her appointment with Doctor Foster was cancelled today and she's been assigned a new doctor? Gemma doesn't lie, wow, she tells them what happened, and explains that she's been under a lot of stress lately, it's affected her work and that's why she threatened that young man who was beating his girlfriend.
Kate sneers; not an excuse, should have called the police and with that, we are off to the races.
To be honest, I meant to stop along the way and transcribe parts, but it was so VISCERAL. I watched it all the way through then walked around a bit to process and then came back to it a few minutes later.
Gemma starts; you don't mind if she and Simon share what's been going on that's been so stressful in her life, do they? He's been having sex with another woman for two years, well, more of a girl, really *side eye at Kate*. Chris tries to call it at that point, but Gemma's going to fix his little red wagon too, as we go. His house in France is called La Pierre Blanc, which means The White Stone, which is, coincidentally the name of the single investor bankrolling Simon's project. Oh, AND, Chris is the friend on the city council who worked so hard to get that approval, which is a massive conflict of interest (but probably how most business is done, tbh) and all that bit about them not knowing each other well was ANOTHER huge lie. Kate is very upset to hear that, which confuses Susie, because that can only mean one thing...for dessert, Gemma offers up Kate and Simon's aborted fetus and that is it, we are absolutely done this dinner from hell. Kate slaps Gemma on the back of the head, Gemma takes it as a warrior's due and strides out with a smirk on her face.
My favourite part of all that was when Kate calls our Gemma a bitch and Gemma responds "I'm a WOLF tonight" oooh all the shivers.
She asks Simon if he's coming back with her? But no, he's got to sort this out, but there is not sorting to be had tonight: Chris and family have literally closed the door on Simon.
He's sputtering away and trying to process while she coolly lays it all out for him: she wasn't ill at his party, she'd just found his Other Phone. And yeah, yeah, she knows all about Academy Green about to sink them finanically, she found out from Neil, after sleeping with him. LOVE this line:
"He was all right, actually. I wouldn't sell tickets, but we had a good time."
Simon stares at her as though he doesn't even know her, she asks: has it sunk in? No, but it will. He tries to push her, asking how Neil was, but she's gone past the point of being intimidated by convention. "Slightly bigger than you, but not as good."
Kate storms out then, a bag on her shoulder; "we can't stay here." Gemma and I's ears go up: "we"? And here's Simon torn again; go home and tell Tom together and give into Gemma's insistence that he move out, leaving her and her son in that house, or run with Kate. The stakes are upped when Gemma realises: Kate didn't have the abortion after all, she was testing Simon as to whether he wanted her or the baby and he passed.
I can hardly believe it, but Simon LIT up when he realised the baby was still alive, even though it reveals the most incredible emotional blackmail. He deserves what he gets with that one. Gemma entreats Simon to think of their child, but he's already moved on to his next kiddo, begging Gemma to not tell Tom as he gets in with Kate.
Gemma drives home alone, but ah, she didn't go home. She went over to Neil and Anna's. It's weird right from the jump, Anna staring at her and not inviting her in. Gemma jumps right to it, how did Anna know? Did Neil leave text messages, no he wouldn't have been dumb enough to do that, he's a seasoned adulterer. Anna's known all about the Neil's straying, following him sometimes and being fully apprised of the situation.
Oh and she HATES Gemma, in fact, she's the one doing all those internet comments and that completely makes sense. Neil tells Anna to delete them but Anna's even smarter than Gemma thought, she knew Gemma came there to break them up and there they are: still together. She looks at Neil for confirmation and honestly. He nods, but it's not automatic. So much deceit and ill-feeling in this marriage.
Gemma gets home to find Becky and Isobel, asking how it went? He's not there, that's how it went.
She leaves and Gemma works a bloody hole in her finger, worrying it with her fingernail.
Simon and Kate wake up the next morning, he likes secrets, doesn't he? And so does she, as he pulls away the covers to see her belly. She wants to keep the baby, does he? Well yeah, and then she offers to talk to her dad about keeping the funding for Academy Green going. They are about to get busy and they're not going to make me watch that, are they?? No, a knock at the door stops them.
Kate answers the door in her underwear, it's Tom, ah jeez. Gemma's dropped him off, she's busy and Simon's to take Tom to school. I can't say I like that. Tom asks if they're having sex? Simon insists they're just good friends and goes off to get dressed, leaving Kate alone with the clear-eyed Tom. How old is she? Hey, you're Andrew Parks's sister, aren't you? Some of the guys fancied her, but Andrew said not to bother, his sister was just "a slut who has sex with loads and loads of people" asking if that was true? Kate waffles a bit, and then decides to deal with the slut-shaming, women can have as much sex as they want, Tom! But not with his dad, right? True for sure, just maybe not the best time for that particular lesson, Kate.
That does bring my ears up, though, I hadn't considered before if Kate had been seeing other people, it would make sense, of course. She was only 21 when her and Simon first started; I was an unrepentant slam-hound at 21, perhaps she has other man-friends. I was only taking her word for it.
They drop him at school in her little baby-poop green car; he doesn't want to be seen with them. They've got to sort this out, she advises, so he goes home, letting himself in and having a panic attack in the kitchen. The phone rings then as Kate goes home to meet her maker, literally.
Chris is trying to work out if Simon was after his daughter or his money first, Kate tells them they met right at the beginning, at a networking conference. Who says those things are a waste of time and brain cells?? Who?? He fills her in on how bad of a businessman Simon is, looks like Kate's boyfriend may not be as bankrolled as she previously thought. I don't think Daddy's going to let his darling daughter and grandbaby starve, though, is he?
She asks him to reconsider on her behalf, then breaks out the tears and further emotional blackmail to seal the ask: "I'm still pregnant."
Of course they will help her, she has a place to stay and they'll help her take care of the baby, but even with the tears: Chris will not give any more money to Simon. EVER. She stalks out while he looks above as Gemma descends the stairs. How does he know she won't say anything? She can't, of course.
Gemma's in to work to see Ros, Luke tries to warn her about something, but Ros swoops in and leads her off into a private meeting space. Where Simon lurks. Ros leaves them alone and didn't I SAY she should never have trusted Ros? I can't stand that woman.
Simon's aware of being completely cut off now, but Gemma didn't just arrange to cut Simon off at the knees with her blackmailing of Chris; she's made full arrangements for herself, Tom and keeping the house. Oh yay Gemma, master stroke brilliant!
Oh and just then the tide turns: Ros brings in a woman named Martha as Gemma destroys his phone. They keep talking about Tom, are they insinuating she's a bad parent and threatening to take Tom from her? They have Ros, and that complaint, this doesn't look good. She storms out and I love how she slows Simon down by throwing his keys in the bushes, saying "Fetch." There was such a gif on Tumblr, but after looking for an hour, I'm DONE!!!!!
She arrives at Tom's school to find Tom kept under lock and key, Simon's requested that Tom not be released to her. She braces the headteacher, unless she believes Gemma is a threat to her child, she cannot keep Tom from her. Gemma drives off just as Simon drives in.
Tom is furious at being kept in the dark, what's going on?? He threatens to jump out of the car unless she pulls over so she scarily pulls out into the middle of a large field at top speed.
They have it out; Tom blames everything on Gemma, all she does is work! She never plays with him or packs his lunches and THAT'S why Dad was having sex with that girl. She presses: you like Dad? And you don't like me? No, sorry, he doesn't, which knocks her completely out.
She goes to the back of the car and gets out her surgeon's shears...WHAT THE HELL??
She arrives home alone to meet Simon, saying Tom's with Becky. He calls Becky and finds out that's not true while Gemma drinks and looks shakier and shakier. Simon says this sort of thing happens all the time, she's got to just move on, deal with it, it happens all the time! She holds up a lock of Tom's hair, if Neil said all men cheat, maybe she should protect Tom from growing up like that.
And then, and only then does Simon understand what is possible.
Tom comes in then, he's been with Carly, who may still be at least a little TeamGemma. Tom's furious with his dad, Gemma told him everything. He cries and runs upstairs and Simon finally loses it. He attacks Gemma, pushing her up against the french doors; once, then twice and hard, she crumples to the ground unmoving.
Anna breaks in then, Simon's called her, Kate and everyone comes in at the same time. Gemma is lying in a pool of blood on the floor as Anna strokes her hair and she comes around. Call an ambulance AND the police, he says. And we're out.
We get a montage of endings, the divorce decree final, Ros wants Gemma to come back but she declines, I HOPE because she understands how little she can trust Ros for ANYTHING. She does walk away with her doctor's bag, anyway.
Gemma's catching some rays in the square waiting for Tom when she spies a very pregnant Kate walking. Kate comes over to tell her she and Simon are moving away to London, just as well. Simon's not allowed to call or contact them, I'm guessing that is the because of the violence.
It was lovely seeing Gemma relaxed for a moment, not picking at her fingers or looking like she's losing her mind.
Simon arrives to pick up Kate, smiling ruefully at Gemma across the top of the car. She turns to look at everyone else in the square, all the different families, and then suddenly someone's down and shouting for a doctor. Good thing she kept her bag! She performs CPR on the heart attack victim and we're out as Tom watches, impressed, finally.
So. I understand there is a second season planned and I can't imagine what they're going to cover onnit, given the divorce decree and completely separate life of Simon and Kate. A couple of things: I assume she pretended to have killed Tom to motivate Simon to put his hands on her, because he sure as shite wasn't giving in the way he should have. I have to wonder if Simon is some kind of a sociopath. Who could be that narcissistic, selfish and calculated about everything like that? Also, Anna's tenderness towards Gemma was a bit of a welcome surprise, I could understand her jealousy towards accomplished Doctor Gemma whom her husband has been panting after for years.
Thanks again to E from Facebook and Twitter who put me on to this show, I very much enjoyed Suranne Jones and the show in it's entirety. If anyone has any suggestions of awesome TV they think would make a good recap, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet at me @gingesbecray or Friend / Follow me on Facebook, I'm very approachable, they tell me. It's most of my charm. Until next time, cheers!