Is everything as it seems in the town of Renton?
The plot thickens as Mark hears of his parent’s marriage troubles and Jodie struggles with her grief.
With the second episode revealing some startling information and with old long-buried feelings coming to the surface once again, is anyone in the town going to come out of the recent tragedies unscathed?
Mark was clearly still battling with his urge to run away and turn his back on his troubles while desperately seeking solace in old girlfriend, Alice’s arms. Taking on a job at the council office where his mum used to work, Mark saw a temporary measure and was doing well in his role until one of his mum’s old colleagues came across a series of incriminating photos in her old desk. Giving them to Shireen was her solution and Shireen was shocked to find married local policeman Chris Franks in a series of intimate photos with Mark’s mum Kate.
Shireen questioned Chris without letting on that she knew about the relationship but he claimed that he never knew Kate making Shireen suspicious. When seeking advice from Len, the Mayor, he simply advised her to destroy the photos. But she couldn’t let it lie and gave the photos to Mark, leading to a fiery confrontation between Mark and Chris with Chris later disappearing.
Jodie was preparing to go to a party with upper class schoolboy Harry but he proved to be less than chivalrous by ignoring her and so her plan was to seduce him and lose her virginity but he was reluctant and said no. This led Jodie to start a relationship with an older boy in a downward spiral of her grief. It’s such a shame that the family, in their own turmoil haven’t really helped her to get through the death of her parents and the more they now try to be sympathetic, the more she acts out and while feisty, Jodie is simply a fragile frightened little girl.
Betty decided to get a job and despite being told that her age would count against her, a local hotelier took her on cleaning the rooms. With former undertaker’s assistant Daniel beginning work at the same time and being a solid supporter of Betty’s bid to get a job in the hotel, Betty was left wondering why he was helping her.
Mark and Alice shared drinks and discussed their former dreams with Alice realising that she had gotten into a rut with her husband. After a brief kiss from Mark, Alice ran away but later arranged to meet him in a hotel room where they rekindled their love only for Alice to leave with barely a word in the morning. Betty was surprised to find Mark at the hotel where she worked and with revelations that Betty knew about Kate and Chris’ relationship Jodie was off on another self-destructive path.
Assembling his family quickly, Mark brought Betty and Jodie to a hill where they scattered Tom and Kate’s ashes but there was further trouble in store for the family.
Andrew Scott is truly breathtaking in this role, poised to run at any minute back to his life in London, he also desperately clings to the familiar in trying to recapture the connection he once had with Alice. A man of many contradictions and quite an enigma – the character of Mark reveals nothing of his old life encapsulating the claustrophobic air of the town. It is almost like he has stepped back into a bubble where time stopped and everything is the same but some secrets are emerging that are sure to pull the family wide apart. Julia McKenzie is also amazing as the oldest member of the family still trying to pull together and go on as normal when everything is anything but.
This is a well executed drama with lots of twists and turns and when we find out the secrets of the town, will anyone be left untainted? If you missed it, it’s well worth a look.