Sorry sorry it's been so long since I've been at Hiddles, rolling S1:E3 of The Night Manager after the break!
We open at a birthday party for a young girl / woman Elena (Tabata Cerezo), everyone’s singing but she doesn’t look happy. The Most Beautiful Girl In The World has a birthday cake as tall as she is (fondant, pass), a diamond necklace (not like a diamond chip on a chain like we’re used to, but approximately eleventy-thousand carat sized stones in a semicircle) that appears to cause her physical pain (I hate it when my dad is like, SOOOO ridic and EMBARRASSING, GOD) causing him to mutter “at least smile, Elena” so she kinda does.
Party time, excellent, everyone’s having a good time including Jed, Dickie and Corky, who is either dating a very young man or brought his kid to a party. Sandy’s talking to Juan Apostal, nicknamed Apo, Elena’s daddeh (or patron, I shouldn’t make assumptions, given how poorly Hollywood understands age gaps) and is he the Spanish lawyer Sandy was photographed with previously? They are in Spain after all
Apo doesn’t want to talk business at the party, Sandy! Except to confirm that Sandy and Richard will be able to deliver goods as planned to Apo’s associate? Of COURSE!
Everyone’s having a great time, dancing and carrying on (to a song which I must figure out!) when a crying maid comes and RUINS it. She drags Apo to the bathroom, where Elena has hanged herself.
Jed sympathizes with the deceased Elena, murmuring “she must have been in so much pain” but Dickie will have you know Elena caused everyone ELSE pain with her shenanigans. He had to rebook that meeting and everything.
They don’t want to meet with the “Arab fellow” alone, since he has a watch on him (I assume watchlist?); Corky has a better idea: invite him to the children’s party! Absolutely! Do THAT!
Dickie apologizes to Jed then, at least he realizes eventually when he’s being crass.
Frisky (seriously, he’s aged well from his Rose and Maloney days, but) has come to gather Jonathan from his sickroom, time to meet El Jefe!
Dickie calls over his son when he spies Jonathan, time for the apology! It’s very sweet, what a gorgeous child Danny is. I bet his aunts get weird around 11. Dickie clears the room, telling Frisky to stand watch and pouring champagne.
What does Jonathan want? Richard Onslow Roper doesn’t want to know what he wants right now, but in an existential sense? He pooh poohs the suggestion (upspeak) that Jonathan wants to coast for a while and relax: he can tell our Mr. Pine hasn’t relaxed a day in his life.
Super Villain Monologue time! People assume Dickie was born rich, but balls to that: his father was an auctioneer (in my head, I’m playing the game from Deadpool: oh. So you had a father?) but the drive to accumulate all this champagne and pastel linen has always been inside him, see, where does it come from in Jonathan?
For the record, Richard Onlsow Roper looks about as driven as a wheel-less cart. If he was any less animated, he’d lose control of his bowels. I’m sure he’s meant to look like simmering malevolence, but all I’m picking up is a droll sense of humour and a love of wrinkled beachwear.
Dickie bluffs: they know about the man Jonathan killed in Devon and the police are on the way right now. Jonathan waits, giving nothing away and Dickie’s impressed with his poker face. Corky thinks Jonathan smells bad, so Dickie asks the man himself why as he wanders in. It seems Jonathan’s references at the restaurant didn’t check out and how did he get the Tom Quince passport?
Jonathan explains, he “met a girl in Devon” and Dickie knows just what he means “Didn’t we all?” and anyway, it was her ex blah blah. Dickie probes a bit more, trying to get a handle on our n’er do well but he just can’t figure out what he’s looking at. I guess Angela must have done a good job of blending real and fabrication!
“This is bloody chaos, Jonathan” and hahahaha. Sorry, I also like order! Jonathan’s CV reads like a Jeckyll and Hyde of the modern age. He starts interrogating in earnest now, did Jonathan know those men he fought with? Cooked for them, sailed with them, anything? Corky has a theory!
Jonathan’s had quite enough of this; he hasn’t ASKED them for anything, doesn’t WANT anything and certainly doesn’t OWE them anything, especially after the nosy bastages starting poking around in his life. So he’s not squeaky clean; bet you “and your little friend” aren’t neither! Final coup de grace: “I am bored of your hospitality.” BOOM *English mic drop* *faint shocked noises* Can you imagine how angry this particular Englishman had to be to imply that the hospitality wasn’t top notch? He must have been SEETHING!
He’d like his passport back, please, fanks! But too late, Corky’s shredded it since our erstwhile Mr. Pine / Quince is wanted for murder and all kinds of dastardly deeds, if “sadly, not buggery, but we’ll work on that.”
Jed comes in to shouts from Dickie, he said nobody was allowed in, oh it’s you darling. She’s been whatever the opposite of sunbathing is: tiny bikini and practically translucent. She feigns excitement at the news of Jonathan staying for awhile, does he want to come for a swim?
Given that Jonathan falls in love with anyone who walks by with a bagina, I assume she is meant to be his next love interest.
Time for a pep talk! Dickie takes Jonathan aside, he runs a tight ship blah blah swashbuckling blah play it straight blah ending with “if you step out of line, I’ll make you howl for your mother” *meaningful eye-cuddle*
What size feet does Jonathan have? 12! I don’t know what that means but I DO know what it means when Corky offers to lend him a Speedo.
Corky hands over the keys for the cottage Jonathan will be staying in, it’s far down the beach, or alternatively, he can fill his pockets full of rocks and walk into the ocean. Very showy line, but all I pictured was Hiddles’ pants falling down in the water and then I was distracted.
Angela hates this bit, she can’t tell if the hook it set or not and there’s no contact. Plus she’s pregnant and looks HOOOTTTT.
Jonathan comes back from his cinematic run on the beach (that was not complaining) to find a pair of white sneaks and a note “hoping you can fill them” and that’s not weird.
Idle rich montage, swimming, playing tennis, until Corky meets Jonathan at the end of the pool with a towel. I would transcribe it, but I’ve already done a bunch of Corky’s work; he’s clearly the Shakespearian court jester of the group and Tom Hollander does a great job at delivering each line with malice-coated treacle, but too much of a good thing, you know. Suffice to say: hands off Jed or we’ll remove your wobblies. Hiddles dries his hair with his hands and
Our Jonathan turns to look at the forbidden fruit, lounging with half a leg in the pool soaking up sun (so calling bullshit on that one; unless she’s smeared head to toe in zinc and we canea see)
Jonathan asks to take Danny to town, for a change in scenery and something to do. Frisky and Tabby will be accompanying them and awww, Danny likes Jonathan. Good, because he likes Danny, *shy smile*SAYS A SUPPOSEDLY BLOODTHIRSTY MURDERER WITH A DRUGS NETWORK.
They’re in town with Frisky and Tabby following behind; Angela is shite at being inconspicuous, isn’t she? I’d have clocked her three seconds after her clearly following Jonathan and I’m Canadian.
An excruciating conversation follows, I mean, Angela stands next to them at the gelato stand and STARES at them. Frisky and Tabby aren’t the sharpest tools in the shed but they aren’t BLIND. Jonathan tries to give Angela as much information as possible about the children’s party on Sunday, but it seems young Danny hasn’t memorized the guest list just yet. Jonathan manages to signal that Corky’s a problem, though, and that it has to do with Egypt, so let’s see what Not-So-Secret Agent Angela will come up with.
Jonathan’s not done pumping Danny for information, though, how many rooms are there? 23. There’s something secret in Dickie’s bedroom, though, called the Citadel. There’s a key in a locked-up box of peppermints and there’s an alarm too. Jonathan wants dose mints, Danny!
Angela and Joel have Apo under surveillance; it seems the Spanish Lawyer is having second thoughts after the suicide of his daughter (yes! Nailed it. Er, sorry, that seems cold. I just wasn’t sure if girlfriend or daughter) and has contacted the prosecutor’s office about an illegal arms deal. He hung up before saying anything, but now they know he’s vulnerable.
Angela approaches Apo in the church; she’s his guardian angel! He’s distraught, not sleeping, not able to absolve himself of guilt. She’s there to wash away the blood on his hands; it’s all the fault of Richard Onslow Roper. She can help him (she’s on the side of the angels), but he’ll need to help her: Lance Corkoran must be replaced as Richard’s right hand man.
At that very moment, Richard is waxing nostalgic about the long and sainted history he has with Corky, they’ve been in a lot of foxholes together. Jonathan asks if Corky was drinking then too? Jonathan tells the tale of how his dad died because a member of his platoon got chatty when faced with five pints of lager and a quickie. Richard sums our Jonathan up thusly “all right, so you don’t drink and you’re not pink, what are you?”
Richard calls himself a free man, Jonathan thinks he is too!
Super villain Monologue time! Blah blah being a man is different blah it’s all rotten blah being a man blah means accepting and celebrating the rottenness. Blah.
Party time! Sandy is very clearly banging the French nanny, Caroline obviously knows it and she stares at our Jonathan just a couple of beats too long. She’s a strawberry blonde, I hear those are FREAKS. Get at it! Jonathan watches everyone else arrive closely, not suspicious at all!
He wanders upstairs to see the room with the locked box of peppermints; he’s staring around fetchingly while Jed is talking to her child and crying on the phone. He opens the door to see Jed nekkid and crying on the bed, ducking back out to formally knock a second later. Guests are arriving!
Dickie’s doing magic tricks (badly) for the kiddos while Jed pretends to not have a care in the world and Jonathan watches closely.
Apo is poisoning the water around Corky to Sandy, he can’t stop his mouth, can he? Corky’s in the process of locking down not one, but two gym bunnies, so we could just call that courting, right? Apo says Corky being involved will affect the deal and he doesn’t want him near it.
Sandy passes on those concerns to Richard immediately while Jed approaches Jonathan. They’re going for a little stroll. Richard decides to have Corky’s “friends of Dorothy” escorted from the premises with as much fuss made as possible, interesting choice.
Corky and his friends are whizzing off the edge of the infinity-edge pool when Tabby gets to them, Corky doesn’t look very happy after.
Jed and Jonathan are wandering through the water on the beach, sooo romantic. She warns him, he should not have seen her like that today. Not naked, as he thinks she means, but crying, he needs to not tell anyone about that, is he clear? He is, and doesn’t think going for a swim is advisable, but there’s no current and she’s going for it.
Proving that she doesn’t care who sees her nekkid, she strips down for us and dives in “beyond the haha.” He watches with a bemused expression; probably wondering if she baits all the hired help like that.
The Permanent Secretary (Katherine Kelly) would like to see Rex; she and a dozen others , including Drumgool (hi Lord Edmure!)from the Riverhouse would like to know about “this Limpet thing.” There’s a penis-measuring contest between Rex and Drumgool, I think Rax takes it by an inch. Lots of fancy words strung together with an “English eff-you” hidden behind.
Drumgool stops Rex on his way out; he has reason to believe that Operation Limpet isn’t quite the lame duck Angela’s swearing it is; should Rex point it towards Riverhouse, he’ll straight-up bribe Rex with a buncha money. Wow. That’s not putting too fine a point onnit. Don’t answer now, just think about it.
Drumgool is our back-up villain!
Jonathan’s making his move on the vulnerable Caroline, she likes him. He sees everything and says nothing and those are exactly the opposite qualities I like in men. She confides in him about the nanny, so cliché, but then he already knew that. She asks him to do her back, but don’t worry, she’s not going to try screwing him. I call bs on that one. She gives him a full synopsis of the current arms deal, names, company specifics; er, um, why would she do that? Oh, she just wants to be honest with SOMEONE in this world. SURE.
Jonathan asks if Jed knows; she doesn’t because Richard doesn’t share anything with her but at least doesn’t cheat, whereas Sandy tells Caroline everything but screws everything walking by with a bagina. Does he think she should tell Jed? Perhaps
Angela and Joel are having a lovely evening by the water; she’s worried about Jonathan. Did he really know what he was getting into? Joel asks about Mr. Burr, making a go of it? My ears are up now, that’s how you talk about a marriage there’s been a break in. And that is the case; she’ll stay in her marriage, she made her bed and her mum said she should die in it (whut? Mum!). Gordon’s a lovely man, it’s not his fault she’s not in love with him. Joel wants to talk about the past; they WERE a couple, an unlikely one at that.
Everyone is spending lots of time staring out into the ether; Jonathan is interrupted by Danny, who can’t find his phone? Daddy will be cross. Everyone’s cross and Jed isn’t talking to Daddy (I guess Caroline spilled that Dickie isn’t just selling farm equipment as she thought) and let’s go do a bedtime story! They wander off while Frisky watches suspiciously.
Jonathan gets back to his cottage; it’s he who has misplaced Danny’s phone. He’s using it now to text Angela and Joel with all the details of the current deal. Joel and Angela are very ‘cited!
I’m worried now, Jed knows, Caroline knows and will one of them be at risk now? Don’t Sofia Alekan these women!!
Er ooh the next morning, Jed and Caroline are crying and hugging goodbye and then Caroline full-on makes for the nanny. She’s furious, calling her all kinds of names and sigh. THE NANNY DIDN’T MARRY YOU, CAROLINE. The one who broke your trust is YOUR HUSBAND. She yells at him a little but she bounces fruit off the nanny’s car, so. Everything is very volatile right now.
Dickie tries to talk to Jed; don’t even, Dickie!
Jonathan asks Corky why he isn’t in Monaco with everyone else; it seems the two of them have been left behind.
Our intrepid Mr. Pine is making another run at Dickie’s bedroom and locked box of peppermints, but he stops to note a picture of a young blonde boy with his hair cut exactly the same as Jed’s.
This show is not known for its subtlety.
He goes through box after box of peppermints, finding the key and waiting just until the daily alarm test to use it on the door lock. He runs down stairs to find… a study full of things like a boxing robe with “Dickie “The Kid” Roper” and books on Stallingrad. He hasn’t much time; once that alarm is shut off he won’t be able to get back out. He takes pictures of documents with Danny’s phone and is about to scoot when he finds a shot blonde hair on the desk. You know, like Jed’s.
He makes it out the locked door just in time, to hear Jed coming up the stairs. She opens the door to find him arranging a flower vase he brought up; what is he doing in here? He explains re: flowers, but she isn’t buying. He can’t be in here. He’s all smoldering sweatiness, saying “shut the door.” She complies, but looks terrified, eyes locked on him the whole time he’s moving towards her. He holds up her hair, telling her she left it on the desktop and needs to be more careful.
Corky comes up then, is she ready? He’s suspicious, though, staring into the room and you know another of Jonathan’s love interests got killed for knowing stuff, right?
Richard and Sandy are meeting with the earnest and fresh-faced representative from Riverhouse; ah, Richard now knows all about Limpet, good job not sharing that Angela! Let’s see if Rex holds steady; that completely explains the bribe. Richard has already decided to change the guard, cut to Corky sitting alone and drinking wine. All byyyy himself.
Jed and Richard are fighting on the phone; why wouldn’t he tell her about everything? He counters with the knowledge of her child: how could he know that?? Did he look at the picture of the lookalike blonde child in the unlocked drawer of her nightstand?? He’s a mastermind; NOTHING gets by him!
Again, Hugh Laurie is coming off as henpecked-hubby, not the head of a massive criminal network, but maybe he’s having an off day.
Jonathan decides to keep the super-secret picture of Jed’s kiddo private, but sends the pictures of the arms deal invoice to Angela and Joel, they’re even MOAR ‘cited!! Who’s this Halo?
Corky and Jonathan are waiting by the gate; the master has returned! Oh but it’s Jonathan who gains entrance, not Corky and he chews his liver as Jonathan strides forth to get all the head pats.
And a passport! Dickie’s bought Jonathan a New Zealand passport to replace the Thomas Quince one that was so thoroughly burned. His new name: Andrew Birch! Oh but it’s not his yet, he has to earn it first! He has to sign the papers Dickie hands him: Dickie’s giving him a company!
Jonathan gets a few practice runs at the signature first; his shy, smiling countenance is so very genteel English and not the least BLOODTHIRSTY LONER WITH AN INTERNATIONAL DRUGS NETWORK.
Oh ho ho, he is taking over a company that Corky owned previously, wow, that’s a fast switch. There couldn’t have been THAT many foxholes in Dickie and Corky’s past. Maybe just for this deal, since Apo said Corky was a no-fly zone?
A handshake seals the deal with “welcome to the family, Andrew.” And we’re oot.
I will say I am finding the show more compelling as it goes, I particularly like the scenes with Jed and Jonathan; they draw you in even with their predictability. Until next time, keep your flowers arranged and your speedos borrowed!