We're back with Spotless, which is having a very interesting first season, doncha think?
Last time Julie (Miranda Raison) found out her hubs had leveraged their shared home for a million pounds, Martin (Denis Menochet) had some wife-beater cleaning up to do, Jean (Marc-Andre Grondin did some bonding with Claire (Tanya Fear) and Maddy (Jemma Donovan) is now officially a breeder.
We open with Ollie (Niall Hayes) making a disturbing Lego diorama involving ketchup packets and spring roll sauce and none of that is coming clean between the spaces, you know that, right Ollie? So...Julie walks in with the verboten mortgage documents (or insurance paperwork) looking all serene whilst Jean hangs about in the garden in a shortie robe (seriously tiny robe), texting with Claire. I really expected more paper throwing when she finally saw him: borrowing a million pounds against the house and not telling your spouse is exactly how people end up on the How To Kill Your Wife Channel.
Jean and Julie have a tense conversation; why is she all dressed up? She has a new client to meet, a Michael Hillier who found her via her website and wants to commission 3 pieces. Jean tries to kiss her and she pulls away, like I GUESS, JEAN. I mean. He probably puts this as "trying" when we all know it's "horseshit;"he's moved on to being in love with Claire and these half-hearted attempts are garbage. Relationships and people are complicated.
He shoos her away, he'll take the kids to school, go on, off you go while I act like a conquering hero for doing WHAT SHE DOES EVERY OTHER DAY. But no, he can't even do that, Martin's already taken them. He can be a great uncle, when he's not taking the kids along on drug deals and offering them cigarettes. Maddy is unsure in her new school, hasn't found her place, but he's off to talk to a cool dude on a motorcycle to fix that.
Julie snags some more paperwork and later at her studio is able to confirm with the bank that there are three separate loans against the house. In walks Michael Hillier, or as we know him: Victor Clay (Liam Garrigan). AKA the psycho there to murder her and possibly attempt procreation with her after the fact.
He's very good looking for a murderous necrophiliac.
Ahhhh, Martin paid motorcycle dude to drive Maddy to school, hahaha oldest trick in the book, very Grease 2. GREAT uncle. Cool-ooh--ool rider. The other girls are very impressed.
I'm almost embarrassed to admit that I recognised the book Maddy and Martin were talking about earlier; I just confirmed that it IS The Fault in Our Stars, which I am so Not The Demographic for but got roped into reading for my online book club. He steals a copy from a bookstore and reads it at work. The "spectre of death and first love. That combination is too much for a young mind." Rosie (Izabella Urbanwicz) thinks it's good to start managing expectations, Martin offers to fix that for her. By that he means that he would fcuk her, not set her up on dates and thank god for that. You certainly understand what you get with Martin, no hearts and flowers, but sometimes a girl just needs to see her brain, right? Thanks for keeping it real, Grey Ginch.
That's enough sex talk, Maureen (Naomi Radcliffe) is eating her Hobnobs!
Jean and Martin are talking in Jean's office; Jean thinks he has a bit of leverage; he's been keeping souvenirs from all the Clay jobs and Martin thinks it's ridiculous but sure! Do your boyscout project if it gives you warm and fuzzies.
I'd love to see that cross-examination: "So you admit that you committed illegal activities but insist that you were forced? And you accepted money for these activities? And then spent this money?" "IT'S VERY COMPLICATED"
Martin walks out to find Veysel (Phillip Arditti) and his henchman Hakan (Tolga Safer - who has the most glorious nose in profile), who think they can squeeze Martin to find out about Nelson's cocaine importing business. I mean. They don't even work at that branch of the Clay empire! Somebody get HR on the phone!
Jean is cleaning up his office, opening up the evidence he found at DCI Tom Kendrick's scene; he finds an encrypted file called Fallowfield on the drive but is distracted by Claire calling; she wants to see him. He thanks her for being nice to him, unlike HIS MEAN WIFE WHO WON'T EVEN LET HIS LYING, ADULTERATING ASS KISS HER!! And his BROTHER, who won't stop HELPING, not to mention the MOBSTERS, who keep SUPPORTING HIS FAMILY. GAWD.
I've figured it out: Jean is emotionally 15. That trauma when he was young has completely messed him up.
Julie and Victor chat about wood (Madagascan rosewood is for coffins? and there's a moratorium on trading in it?), her husband and Victor's dead wife; I like how he sums that up thusly:
She touches his hand in sympathy and I'm telling you! This woman needs affection and the next one to cross her path is going to be obliterated.
Claire and Jean chat and she's so cheerful and delightfully short-sighted. She wants to take him to a Pop-Up restaurant, which sounds kinda cool! You only pay what you think it's worth and it's a set menu and they sure kiss in public a lot, hey? He gets a call from DCI Squire (Sarah Niles) to come in for a chat.
Martin is enjoying the t*ts at Lunch (thanks, London!) when Romain (Maxime LaFrancois) and Nico (Damien Taranto) bust in.
They lock the door and kick a reluctant Nico out, he doesn't want to miss the good part! Romain pours drinks and then the punching. Romain monologues a little ("actions leads to consequence" - like Happy Valley series 1! and "a man like you is just a part of someone else's bigger picture") the more punching. Martin manages to knock out Romain's tooth (600 Euros!), but it's really HIS mouth, as usual, that does the most damage. He calls them both disposable but Romain sees himself as a little more than merely an attack dog.
Jean's meeting with the friendly DCI Squire at the police station; it's much more formal this time and she asks him about these names: Eddie Morebury, Douglas Trenchon, Carl Blakely and finally, Nelson Clay (Brendan Coyle). After he demurs, she helpfully provides pictures of four more, and Jean points out Victor Clay as a maybe? He might recognise him? She intimates that one of those men is an informant, or maybe one of these other three missing men? One is our mystical completely dead Frank (Ciaran Owens), but I don't recognise the other two. They're all missing and mostly she just watches his face. You have to be able to spot a lie easily as a police officer, I imagine, and I am pretty sure I can tell when people are lying, but I never know why and I think it's kind of rude to speculate. I wouldn't be a very good police officer. She offers her full support if he has any information on any of these people.
Jean hightails it back to his car, to find Nelson innit, freaking him out. Um, Nelson, Ixnay on the OpStationCay, yo! He wants to know about the police interview, of course. Off he goes when Jean says nothing happened, I don't think he believed him just then. Or, you know, ever.
There are all these strange fits and starts to the Romain / Martin fight, they stop, they talk a bit, right now they are discussing Nico and his propensity for liquor and whores. Now, I may be mistaken, but I'm pretty sure that was a dude Nico was all up in, and it feels like that would have come up if old Romain knew that. And yeah, he didn't know that, Martin calls Nico a cock-jockey and that must be a thing now because they also used that expression on Mr. Robot. Romain is concerned; he knows that when the big boss finds out about this, Nico will have his throat cut; no stench of weakness allowed, says Romain. How does gay mean weakness? Have these guys seen gay sex? There's wrestling and all KINDS of shenanigans!
They punch up a bit more, then drink and talk about Martin's affinity for the strong-pulling vagina hair that curses Martin. I don't know, that's what he said!! They laugh and cough and chat some more while Romain's daughter calls and they bond some more and Martin offers to disappear.
Martin knows that Romain will die if this continues; he's sad as they start more face punching and I see nobody has figured out how to cover their faces when someone is coming at them. Oh man. Romain makes the mistake of bringing up Martin and Jean's mother and Martin strangles him to death. I'm sure he sees Capoue but it is Romain who is dead.
Jean has gone to see the Widow Kendrick (Sarah Ball), she knew he was dirty but thought that he would be clever enough to hide it. She thought Kendrick liked Jean, I don't know if I got that vibe while Kendrick was headbutting / blackmailing Jean, but stress can do strange things to people. He asks her about Fallowfield, but she says that isn't about work, it was his escape from everything. I bet that's where everything is!!
Oliver's in a spot of trouble at school...he has an unhealthy interest in death and it's aftermath. She takes him for a snack later; he can't go around explaining about his dad's job all the time. It freaks people out. And then he takes all the ketchup packets, so he's not learning anything.
Nico finally busts in to the bar to find Martin alive and Romain dead; Martin tells him they know he is gay and just as Nico is deciding to start afresh in London, Veysel arrives and kills him. My goodness. That was unfortunate.
Claire is getting her makeup done and discomfiting the artist by explaining that she's doing her face for a date with a married man, who hisses at her at leaving that "they never leave their wives" and that is just fine with Claire.
Veysel is insisting that he saved Martin's life instead of needlessly taking Nico's; Veysel doesn't like the ingratitude and that's it! They're quitsies! Martin cleans the bar and looks as though he's saying goodbye. He stares down a fox, battered and bloody.
Julie and Jean dine in silence; finally she asks how much longer she's supposed to pretend there is nothing going on? She means the finances and we can see him take a breath. She stomps away and then...they're fcuking on the counter while freshly made-up Claire sits alone in the pop-up restaurant I was so looking forward to seeing. Martin comes in as they finish, he hides away and listens; there's something odd there. The first time I wondered if Jean's children were actually Martin's then but now I wonder if that scene reminds him of finding his mother and Capoue. He looks so sad, so spent, so DONE after.
He wanders into Ollie's room, who asks if the "horrible Frenchmen" got him and explains his armed robbery death diorama. He thinks it's good that the baddies died and Uncle Martin tries to explain that not just the dead person suffers, but Ollie isn't having it. He doesn't want real.
Julie awakes to find an absent Jean and a stickie note, because nothing says "I love you so much xxx" like sex against a counter while your brother listens and a yellow stickie on a pillow instead of a warm body to curl into. Jean's gone to search Fallowfield, of course, and aside from being a lovely old brick house, it's in quite the state of disrepair. WHY would you smell a milk container in such a place?
Maureen opens up to find Julie going through paperwork in Jean's office, is everything all right? "You tell me."
Jean finds duct tape, plastic and hipwaders, adding them together to go out into the slough. It's as though I can feel the leeches from here. But that's where it is, he finds all the money in the centre of the pond as well as a video camera with taped murders by Victor and Nelson Clay. So there it is, he's found Tom Kendrick's real escape plan and now has the tools to free himself of Nelson and Victor forever. If they don't kill him and his family first.
He flashes back to murdering the man by the lake when he was a child; all the secrets hide in lakes, his, Tom's, how many more?
This was an interesting episode again, not much Nelson, but his presence was felt throughout. The complicated marriage of Jean and Julie got some airing as did Martin and Jean's much different reactions to their shared violent history. Marriage is tough, y'all, and you can never quite know when things will sort themselves out.Another note: I really enjoy how layered ALL the characters are, nobody's a typical throw-away character as you see on most shows of this type. Everyone has a story.
Final note: I love love LOVE the extended cut of the show, the DVD or Netflix is absolutely the way to go.
Deuces, fellow Spotties