Ordinary Lies S1:E4 Guantanamera Recap

Hi and welcome back to the most exciting car dealership in the WORLD; so much delicious banality. Let's see what is exposed this time on Ordinary Lies.

We're with Mike (Max Beesley) being sniped at by his wife Alison (Belinda Stewart-Wilson) for staying at the office too long; is he alone? He thinks he is but a light on in a work van freaks him out and brings all his He-Man to the surface: come on out, he knows you're in there!

It's Rick (Shazad Latif); he's been living in the van for a couple of weeks since he left his wife / his wife kicked him out. Mike exasperatedly invites him home.

Ohh I see trouble on the hoof already; Alison is gunning for Mike, nothing like having your boss's wife ping your boss unmistakably right in front of you. That's not the worst of it; Mike's teenage daughter Ruby (Holly Early - a very young looking 23 here) is intrigued by this unkempt (yet very attractive) wannabe DJ who can't stop staring back.

I thought Rick was one of those guys who slagged his marriage all the time but secretly worshiped his wife, turns out only one of those things is true! They're been living apart for years when he left, separate rooms, separate lives.

The next morning, Mike asks Rick to keep the arrangement quiet, wouldn't want anyone thinking he's a charity case. Sure boss, it's in the vault.

Ziggy (Fisayo Akinade) and Jez (Kris Mochrie) can't believe it; why would Mike let RICK stay there? With his reputation?

Mike invites Rick for a pint after work; it leads to the sort of talk men have but women avoid. Rick should have never gotten married, he can't commit to anything! He's always sniffing around for the next thing and unfortunately, that next thing is Ruby, who charmed him with some jokes after his shower. It's the boredom that was killing him; we see him DJing at a club later and there's nothing boring about being on a stage while youngs look at you adoringly.

He stumbles back to Mike's place, where his noisy entrance wakes Ruby up; fancy a spliff?

They talk and talk and talk, well, HE talks, she laughs and looks adorable and that seems to be enough for Rick to teeter really close to that cliff. They flirt and visit and talk and chat some more; what's Rick's favourite song? He won't say; it's a secret because nobody can know what he plays to make himself happy.

He's mid anti-consumerism / ADULTING IS BORING rant when Ruby actually speaketh; she's an artist and loves doing photography installations. She shows him one she did of her sleeping; it's the only time anyone is ever truly vulnerable and open. They almost kiss, but he kiboshes it, showing he's not as stoned as he claims to be.

The next day he gets a friend request from her and spends far too long looking at pictures of her, one after the other. She has enourmous black pools for eyes; he can't stop staring and smirking. He interrupts Kathy (Sally Lindsay) booking a hotel room for her and her husband (really?? Did he get the viagra then?) to gain entrance to Mike's office: he knows just the thing for Mike and Allison! A night out! Guess who's gonna watch the kids? NO, GUESS??!

It doesn't pan out how he wants, exactly, he spends the night playing WII with Luke (Niall Foley) because Ruby's gone out with her boyfriend Jake.

She comes home and that's it; they're on the couch and then her room; she stops to tell him that she doesn't want to go all the way, right? He gets that?

She walks him out the next morning and puts her number in his phone; he has a great day! He tops it off by going to see his ex-wife Saski (Kate O'Flynn) who's changed the locks. She's not leaving!

That..is not how marital property works, Saskia.

He steals the cat Bacardi and is off into the night!

The kids love Bacardi! Not so much Alison, who offers her computer for Rick to start looking for a flat right away.

Mike and Rick agree to go for a drink after work to chat some more while Jason (George Bukhari) gets dropped off by his girlfriend. I haven't caught her name yet, but I'm positive she's abusive. And not in a fun latex plus high boots way; truly abusive and he looks rather the worse for wear.

Ruby stops by the garage; where's her dad again? She texts Rick to meet her in the disabled toilet. NOW and off he goes, to get a call wondering if he's mad. "In a TOILET. At my dad's WORK?" She talks him into going away with her for the weekend, what is he thinking? What's the age of consent in Britain? I can't tell how old she's supposed to be, but it's young.

They go to an extremely windy beach covered in sand dunes; she's mesmerized by the metal statues on the beach, how different they are compared to how they started. Like people, really. He stares at her; he's falling in love with her and this cannot end well.

He talks about his childhood, the vacations he liked most of all were the package-type ones with his parents. At the end of each, his dad would play his Happy Song, which is...Guantanamera! I loved that song as a kiddo, Pete Seeger was all up in our house! He and Woodie Guthrie, Kiss, Bob Seeger, sorry, sorry, where were we?

They're in their hotel room now, kissing and undressing and...cut to post-coital cuddles. She looks a little freaked out, but his eyes are just fixed on her face. He goes into the bathroom and HE freaks out, very quietly, maybe worried that he's fallen for someone he can't have or possibly worried about impregnating a teenager.

They meet downstairs for a drink; she teasing about telling all her friends and changing her Facebook status and he completely freaked the fuck out. Oh sweet baby jeebus, she's only 15. Herk. What drives a guy to start a relationship with someone so young? I know what she wants out of it; it's all very exciting and he's an Experience, but what's he going to do back home?

Oh but he handles it very, very poorly. Well. I don't know if there is a GOOD way to explain to a 15 year old girl whose V-Card you just took that there is no way you can be together. She does not understand. He's scared and he's had a reality check; again: surely this could have come up before sex, since Ruby and I are pretty sure he was keen then.

She runs into the night and doesn't answer her phone; he doesn't want to leave without her.

Mike leaves Beth (Jo Joyner) with a kiss to find several missed calls from his wife; Ruby is hurt and is in the hospital. She was a bit drunk and fell off a kerb and a car glanced her, breaking her arm but it could have been a lot worse, so. Alison is all angry eyes and WHERE WERE YOU?

I have to wonder if it ever works; staying after there is known infidelity. Alison calling Mike constantly at work, questioning where he is, there clearly is no trust. Now. He is shagging Beth, but did that start before Alison's behaviour or was it the other way around?

Rick finds nobody at home at Mike's house; dude, you gotta pack. That is an incredibly smart incredibly angry girl that you've just taken advantage of, you better run. He doesn't, he just waits for her to come home and is dragged out for drinks by Mike.

Mike is worried that Ruby got up to no good with a boy, he just hopes she "didn't go too far." She looks like an adult but thinks life is like a French movie; she's just a child. Rick poops himself.

I'll say this: 15 is too young to legally consent to sex because 15 year old brains are whack, boy and girl, and while they can look quite grown up, they're just not developed emotionally. That said: most of the people I know didn't make it all the way to 15, it was much earlier and that can't be right. It just doesn't sit well that two grown men are sitting around talking about Ruby's virginity as though it belonged to anyone either than her or that it mattered.

They get stinking drunk and head home; Mike schwasted enough that he tells Rick about Beth, ooooh. I am just waiting to see if Rick will 'fess up about Ruby but I can't see how that could possibly go well. I think it's meant to show Rick's chagrin at becoming a confidant of the man who he's thoroughly betraying.

Ohh but Mike went and grabbed Ruby's phone while she was sleeping and he's going to open it in front of Rick. Whew, okay, no pictures of Rick but one of the statue on the beach and then the hotel bed...Mike knows she's had sex and he is FURIOUS. He wants to kill whomever slept with her.

Rick is practically begging now; put the phone back, go to sleep, things will look better in the morning.

Ruby still isn't talking to Rick in the morning; why is he still here? He sorts something out with Ziggy at work while Alison lays down the law for Beth and Mike watches.

But. Alison. Why do YOU want Mike? You hate the man! Is this a battle over who can be the most unhappy? I don't understand that mentality at ALL.

Rick can't wait any longer; he sends a couple of texts to Ruby asking if she's all right and "I miss you." She's all he can think about, watching her sleep installation over and over.

He's rewarded with a visit to the showroom; her dad isn't around so she has Rick meet her in the disabled toilet for real this time. He doesn't hesitate for a second; and he doesn't put up much resistance at her insistence that they continue on, either.

She looks happy when she leaves, but he looks..flat? As though terror and desire have melded to mute all expressions of emotion.

Ruby was rude to Kathy, though, and she made the mistake of saying she wasn't here to see her absent father. Hm. That piques Mike's interest enough that he watches the CCTV footage of the shop and sees Rick follow his daughter into the disabled washroom.

He speeds home to find Ruby's phone and call Rick straight away; ohhh no. Rick packs and runs as Mike races over to Ziggy's; time to make up with Saskia! Or get his stuff anyway, and maybe this is the impetus Rick needed to get out there and stop whinging about his life and make those changes he's been talking about because he looks alive for once.

Mike the opposite of that; making it to Ziggy's house to throw him about and call 999 before hanging up. He goes home.

While Rick makes good his escape and Guantanamera plays us out.

So. I think that was exactly what Ruby was to Rick; the unforgivable move that would propel him out of this life and back on the road where his restless arse longed to be. Some people are not made to settle down; it's better to know that before you get married, perhaps, but there it is.

Of course, we're not talking about a move, we're talking about the affection of a girl. I go back and forth on whether underage sex should be vilified the way it is; I don't think we should deny anyone their sexual agency and let's be honest: most people had sex while underage. HOWEVER, when the other person is an adult, thatz not okay. All the way through it seemed as though Rick was the one being led along the dirty, dirty garden path, but in the end we have a childlike devastated Ruby holding onto her dad while Rick skips into the future unencumbered, as it so often goes.

We've also got the juxtaposition of Mike being almost-openly unfaithful to his angry wife while casting judgment on Rick-nah, I can't make that work. Ruby isn't of age. Until next time.

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