Welcome back to Years and Years! This show is being handled in a fun new (to me) way in partnership between BBC One and HBO; this time Years and Years finished up in the UK and now will swing over to the Americas. It was the same for another favourite show recently, except the other way around, so I'm interested in the reaction in the colonies! Let's roll into E04 since we're here.
So where are we with the Lyons family? Some of them helped vote entrepreneur / amateur politician Vivienne Rook (Emma Thompson) into alllllls the power, at least one is having an affair, another is desperately trying to get his boyfriend back to safety and there's a saboteur in the mix as well.
Let's find out where we are now!
Happy New Year everyone! The whole gang is gathered at grandmother Muriel Deacon (our Anne Reid)'s house for the celebration, save eldest son Stephen Lyons (Rory Kinnear) - who's probably seeing his side piece and other son Daniel Lyons (Russell Covey), who's in Spain with his boyfriend Viktor Goraya (Maxim Baldry).
Wow, I just spoiled almost my whole mystery intro in one shot.
Bethany Bisme-Lyons (Lydia West) is the tech guru with the implanted phone in her hand, she links everyone up and we getta see newly engaged Daniel and Viktor. Muriel asks about the culture there, is it going to be problem with them getting married surrounded by Muslims?
I know that was the point, but I think the other bit was Muriel and her daughter-in-law Celeste Bisme-Lyons (T'Nia Miller) is as interesting. They have never got on, but now they're living together (bit of a long story, Stephen lost over a million quid through a series of unfortunate events that as a money manager, he should have been aware of), it's more tense. Add in Stephen having an affair on top of that: my sympathies are all the way with Celeste especially since Stephen and his mum have taken to ganging up on her.
*I *love* that one of Stephen's justifications to himself for having the affair was that his wife was just too understanding.
ANYWAY, back in Madrid, more news! As Viktor will not be allowed back in the UK again, Daniel's going to move there too. It's a ten year process, Bethany wants to know if her Aunt Edith (Jessica Hynes) will still be alive by then?
Whoa whoa whoa too far shouts everyone, but it's a valid question. A while back, the US nuked a man-made Chinese island they said was harbouring weapons of mass destruction (but...would nuking WMD be an awesome idea?), Edith was bearing witness far too closely and is now on a timeclock due to radiation poisoning. She spends her time conducting covert espionage missions involving her nephew Lincoln Lyons (Aaron Ansari) dressed as a girl.
Back in Spain, Daniel and Viktor cuddle and just as things start to get interesting, the noises outside start to filter in as more than just your usual celebrating. It sounds like gunshots and screaming. There is a military coup and the far left government is being replaced by an even farther left government. What does THAT mean? Extra bread lines?
We've got instability all over that region: Greece is leaving the Eurozone, Italy has martial law, Hungary declares bankruptcy, and close to home for me... Roe vs. Wade has been overturned in the US along with same sex marriage.
Edith joined in the last protest, she's been banned from America. She regroups with her siblings, Rosie Lyons (Ruth Madeley) thinks Viv Rook is still a viable solution to these problems. She could smash the system!
Rosie's working on something else since being let go from her job in catering management; she's bought a food truck/van/old car. She wants to ask Gran for money, but wants Edith's approval first as it's really all of their money (eventually). Edith agrees but wants to know about this Jonjo Aleef (George Bukhari from Ordinary Lies - he looks completely different but I knew those eyes!) who's got so many opinions. He's just as adorable and silly as Rosie, so it's a good match.
Daniel tries to enjoy the food truck celebration but his mind is on Viktor, trapped in the Spanish Revolution. He could even be executed, which seems insane to say in this beautiful English garden.
Daniel asks Edith for help, but identification requirements are on steroids now. They have to have a breath scan? How does that even WORK? Do you know how often a breathalyser can fail just in trying to figure out how many pints someone's had? How are they collected? What are they testing?
Daniel wants to sneak Viktor back to the UK, even if they have to live like criminals, it's better than a death sentence, isn't it?
They take a moment to ponder Lincoln's clothing; he still has a dress and cute pigtails on from his stealth mission with his Aunt Edith. Does it matter? No.
Later, Edith calls Daniel from storyteller and sometime lover Fran Baxter (Sharon Duncan-Brewster)'s party. Fran's heading to Spain under an Arts visa, would Daniel like to come rescue his boyfriend?
We swing back to take the political temperature of the UK, a hung parliament has led to an election looming. It's now compulsory for people to vote (I thought Viv Rook specifically said only smart people should vote?) and a number of Deep Fake videos have appeared. That's when they use someone's image and computer generated imagery to make them appear to say things they haven't said.
Daniel makes up his mind, packs and calls his family.
Celeste has had ENOUGH of the Lyon's family and their group phone calls for every bloody thing while she's trying to work, fanks very much
Daniel explains the plan to Viktor, who is all the way in.
Eeeeh I am so worried!!
Viktor is stowed under the bus, it should be a straight shot to France.
Back in Manchester, Stephen is managing his eleven jobs and two women in a decidedly unsexy fashion.
His mistress Elaine Parris (Rachel Logan) is grudgingly charmed.
Oh ho, Jonjo has reached the sleepover stage with Rosie, Edith sends Rosie's kiddos Lincoln and Lee (Callum Woolford) away for a minute so she can have a private chat with him. This involves her holding a knife to his throat and asking if he has any designs on the two little boys. Jonjo swears he has no sides, no layers.
Back to Elaine and Stephen, his time is up and he has to get back to his work as a drugs tester. 300 quid, cash in hand, which he's mentioned three times so you know it will be a bad one.
Technology notes! Stephen has to blow on a tablet for identification (SO UNSANITARY AND IMPOSSIBLE) and is asked if he wants to know his life expectancy, which is communicated through his blood. He declines. The drug of doom drips into his arm.
He does have a reaction, he can't stop looking left, which is mimicking the signs of an epileptic seizure. It should pass in an hour to two but he can't ride his bike home. Elaine is called, but so is Celeste, so this ought to be interesting.
Celeste is some kind of a saint, but her patience is all used up, meeting Elaine in person like that.
They get home and Celeste calls a family meeting, Bethany is on the phone and Ruby Bisme-Lyons (Jade Alleyne) doesn't much care but she's there!
Now Elaine is on the line, too.
Oh shite, the French police are searching every car at the border so Daniel and Viktor run off.
All of this! ALL OF THIS. Because Viktor is gay.
Daniel gets caught up on the family gossip while Celeste puts the boots to Stephen. She tells him to leave, but Stephen doesn't take that seriously, it's his family house.
Gran interrupts, this is HER house, fanks.
Celeste and I are shocked.
But then, Stephen's father did much the same. Gran actually apologizes to Celeste!
Only one of his daughters are speaking to him, ahh divorce is so ugly. There aren't any winners once betrayal is involved.
Daniel and Viktor have a contact for a passport and faked breath test (REALLY?), they are led to an Alodie (Tamar Baruch) while the music makes me really nervous. Daniel's worried too, especially since Alodie asks for his passport to have one to copy.
*Alodie is funny, but Daniel and Vitkor are not laughing. Then she's homophobic and they do laugh.
Alodie is also leaving with their 6000 Euros and Daniel's passport.
Daniel freaks out, it takes them a while to regroup back at the hotel, but they do and focus on what's ahead.
Celeste cuddles with Ruby and Bethany while Stephen and Elaine lie stiffly in bed. She has a life separate from him and she's not particularly inclined to share more than the bit she usually does.
Daniel finds someone else to rob him of 6000 Euros, this time for a boat. By that I mean a rubber dinghy in the ocean. Danny stops to take off his boots but I'm more worried about everyone fitting on this dinghy than I am about foot rot.
I literally held my breath until Vitkor was pulled on the dinghy. Just as they're full, another van pulls up full of desperate people and then there are gunshots and will they make it??
Oh my god
There's a night full of terrors and people screaming on this little tiny dinghy, we only see glimpses then a crime scene with dead people and parts of the boat and DANIEL.
Oh my god Daniel was killed!! DANIEL.
Ah and Viktor is alive but staring at his dead fiance lying on the sand.
I need a minute.
Viktor returns to Daniel's flat, he had kept the front door key to guide him home. Ah Viktor's face.
He calls the family link, but doesn't say anything right away while they all bicker. He tells them what happened in a monotone, ending with "I came home. Is this home?"
Everyone cries then heads straight to the town where Daniel's body lies, unidentified. No! They head to Daniel's apartment to see Viktor but he's not answering. We're out.
Jaysus wept. I needed a moment so took the day. I was not expecting that. I am quite concerned that Viktor might do something untoward and ehhhhh. Wow. Okay. The rest of the show, honestly, you must watch because the way the Lyons family interacts is golden. It's a thriller written like a drama starring Academy Award winners, you know? Heady.
I don't always buy the plotlines, but I can see where they came from, and who knows? That might be where we're headed. Until next time, you guys, I can't believe we lost DANIEL. I was fully aware of the danger that Viktor was hiding from, I didn't understand that it might also be dangerous for Daniel. I don't know if that makes me bigoted or racist or xenophobic. I will be thinking about this for awhile.