It's the season one finale of Ordinary Lies, someone PLEASE tell me we're gonna find out where Beth's missing husband is! PLEASE! And let's wrap everyone up in a bow too, fanks, since we're moving locations and secret-keepers for the next season. Rolling S1:E6 after the break!
We open with the ladies perusing various phallic-looking animals online; what did they do before the internet? Marty (Jason Manford) reminds us: our memories! Oooh, Beth (Jo Joyner) and Mike (Max Beesley) aren't hiding anything any more, are they? Necking in the office while Kathy (Sally Lindsay) peers over her shoulder. Mike tells Beth to get fancy, they're going out somewhere posh!
He suggests she leave her daughters with their grandmother, whom Beth kicked out of her house last time for faking phone calls from her missing husband. Beth grudgingly agrees, Gina (Ellie Haddington) IS still their gran.
At supper they discuss the path forward; Mike's already found a flat and Beth's kiddos sort of know Mike, but...he's not their dad. They're gonna carefully ease into it. Because the kiddos are gone they getta have a sleepover date and everything! Awwww, first I Love Yous.
Beth has a great morning, happy and singing and just as she's off to pick up her girls, the police pull up. They've found David (Shaun Dooley) because of course they have on this most glorious of post-coital mornings.
Okay, let's process this along with Beth.
David was arrested after shoplifting and was flagged in the system as a Missing Person. Missing People can opt to notify their families in these situations or not, David chose to notify his.
SO HE LEFT??
Why does he want to see his family NOW?
WHAT KIND OF MIDDLE AGED GUY SHOPLIFTS ANYWAY??
Beth tells her mother in law Gina right away, she wants to go down there right away. Beth's all: no, Imma go coz I'm his wife and Gina's all: OH ARE YOU and I'd like to see someone tell me I couldn't see my missing son. I'd love to see that.
Somehow Beth talks Gina out of it (I'D LIKE TO SEE THEM TRY) and heads off herself, ignoring Mike's calls all the way.
Dave's gone by the time Beth gets to the police station, but they have an address for him. That turns out to be a picking farm? Where Dave isn't either, but helpful farm owner Samantha (Susannah Doyle) promises to notify Beth when he shows his face. After all, he left a bunch of his stuff here, he wouldn't just leave it.
"Last time he left a house and two daughters."
Beth takes a hotel room and hunkers down to wait Dave out; a text from Gina has her calling and freaking out because of course Gina told her grandchildren that their mom was off bringing their dad home.
COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY ASIDE: Beth is visibly upset after the phone call, so her server asks if she's okay and just as I was musing how Canadians are so much like the British for politeness, she tells him to "just go away" and that made me think of something that happened when I was much, much younger. I was a waitress in a coffee shop (not a very good waitress, but hey: I love people) and a couple came in for coffee fairly late in the evening. In the towns I lived back then, "going for coffee" usually took at least two hours and all the gossip one could muster up (just shoot me), but this couple was different. She was trying her hardest not to cry for one thing and for another, they wanted zero interaction with my cheerful self. I stayed open almost an hour past closing time, dropping off coffee and water and running away like a little girl to give them privacy and then didn't think much of it when I finally got to close up.
COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY ASIDE CONTINUED: a few days later, I saw that lady again,at the entrance to the restaurant talking to my boss. I waved hello (I've always been far too friendly) and she ran away this time and my boss gave me an envelope. In it was a letter and $20.00; this woman and her husband were divorcing and this talk was them settling some important things, she had been so sad and distracted that she hadn't left a tip. SO SHE CAME BACK TO DO SO. THAT is a Canadian, my loves, but apparently not a Brit, as we see above. UNNECESSARY ASIDE OVER.
Beth finally gets the call the next morning, after she lies to Mike and doesn't mention the resurrected husband and all. She goes down to the farm to find a very scared Dave who doesn't have a lot to say.
Beth loses it, lashing out verbally and physically, not letting Dave comfort her.
The gang is playing tricks on poor Jason (George Bukhari) when Gina rings up to tell Kathy everything. Ah jeez, didn't Dave work there back in the day? Flirting with Marianne, who woulda?
Dave was just under so much pressure; he wanted out and he went mad. Beth and I are still stuck on the letting your kids think you're dead bit. I couldn't walk away from my kids if I tried and that's not judgement, that's reality. They'll be divorcing, yes?
While Beth hashes it out with Dave (he just blocked out all the pain and fear his family was feeling and feels quite inordinately proud that he is earning money picking fruit), Kathy breaks the news to Mike.
Beth calls Mike on the way back with David, Mike hangs up on her but calls back: he's there if she needs him. They don't say I Love You when they hang up.
It's an exciting homecoming for Dave back at home, his mum and daughter Jazz (Charlotte Dowson) flying in for hugs but older daughter Nell (Jessica Greenhalgh) hangs back and has to be encouraged.
The owner of the dealership keeps calling, that would be Mike's wife's dad, you know, Allison's dad! The wife he just left for Beth.
Receptionist Tracy (Michelle Keegan) finds Grace (Rebecca Callard) crying in the staffroom; the last time she saw Dave he was giving her a hard time about being single and here she still is! I have to say I'm glad she's crying about that and not that Marty who pretended his wife was dead and slept with her almost by accident. Tracy tells Grace to buck up, get back on that horse and make it happen for yourself! That's what this year taught her, well, that and don't smuggle drugs or your best friend could be stuck in a foreign jail with a belly full of H.
Beth won't have Dave sleeping in her house yet, Gina's "YOUR house" brought me right back to one of the worst nights of my life, but I shall spare you, Gentle Readers. YOU'RE WELCOME. She goes to bed alone as Dave smokes a spliff outside and Mike tucks his drunk wife Alison (Belinda Stewart-Wilson) into bed on the couch.
Beth talks it over with the helpful detective on Dave's case, George Hagan (Jeff Alexander). He's seen cases like hers more than once, how she is feeling is completely normal.
But Dave feels like a stranger and she doesn't know how to fix that.
Beth and Dave go for supper and talk slightly more rationally, since he's shaven and they're in a public place and all. She's so angry, but he's not wrong when he says she wouldn't feel the same if he had cancer or took seriously ill another way and it makes her think. He keeps saying it wasn't his fault, the pressures of work (especially Mike, which makes Beth and I stare carefully at the table) and Marianne and everything weighing him down.
Delicately, they broach the subject of other partners, I hope he's lying too coz Beth doesn't own up to being in love with Mike.
They walk home, he turns suddenly and demands she kiss him. That demand becomes a plea but still: she can't and she doesn't trust him, she doesn't want him home with her and the girls yet.
A loud banging in the middle of the night brings Jazz and Beth to the door, oh noooo it's Alison and she's there to snatch a wig. Beth isn't taking the husband-stealing allegations lying down any more, though, she yells right back at Alison and all I can think is: YOUR DAUGHTER IS RIGHT THERE!
Alison alternates between threatening Beth and begging her to leave her family alone; you have to feel bad for both women but still: I'm mostly worried about Jazz standing there listening. Because children shouldn't be exposed to the complexities of adult relationships, no way would Alison do that in front of HER kiddo. Divorce sucks, y'all.
Jazz runs away and Mike calls; Beth's had it with his fam dramz for this night. Leave your wife because you're unhappy or don't leave your wife because you want to make it work, Mike. Either way you can't steal a person. You just can't.
Beth brings Dave into the showroom to see everyone, she and Mike have a tense conversation over the phone as Dave catches up with Marianne (Manjinder Virk). I hope Mike and Beth are able to work it out but I can see how it would be easier to just fall into the rut of things. It takes a lot of bloody courage to resist the pull of inertia.
Emma (Cat Simmons) collects Beth for a girly night out, only it's really so Beth can see Mike. I bet $10 that Gina tells her baby boy what Beth's been out doing while he's been gone.
She's meeting Mike at a hotel, he thinks she wants to talk. She wants HIM, after the sweaty parts he says he loves her and he's never going to leave her, but she doesn't say it back.
She gets home to find Dave by himself, drinking and furious. This is HIS house, HIS kids and he'll stay here as much as he wants! How's Mike? If he comes close enough, will he be able to smell the sex? (I was just worried about that very thing!) Dave is so angry that we worry about physical violence, but it's that he still loves her, he still loves her and it's just the same for him and not at all like that for her. He's devastated and enraged, screaming "DO YOU LOVE HIM???" over and over until she admits she does.
They end up embracing in the street as he cries, Beth unwillingly but compliant because she doesn't want him to storm away and leave the kids again, they'd never get over it.
You can't put someone down like a toy you've gotten tired of and come pick them up a few years later and expect everything to be the same.
Time's up, Mr. Stevenson (Robert Pugh -Jack from Doctor Foster!! When is season two coming anyway??) is there to remind Mike to sort his marriage: he put Mike behind that desk and he can just as easily remove him.
Beth wanders within view as Mike turns the tables on his father-in-law: he's on wife number three, right? Mr. Stevenson doesn't respond to that, instead he invites Mike on a cruise with the whole family. If Mike stays loyal to Alison, he'll stay loyal to Mike. He leaves as Mike and Beth stare at each other through the glass and we're oot for the last time with this gang.
A couple of clean-ups: Grace is meeting a fella named Gareth, Tracy is going to see Viv as they've moved her to a jail in the UK and that was it! Cheers season one, I shall miss ye! We'll be on to the second series soon, starring Con O'Neill from Happy Valley Series two, woo hoo! Thanks for reading along, everyone, see you soon!