Lip Service recap: Season 2 Episode 2
SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS!
If you haven’t seen this episode yet, do not read on. You have been warned!
Lip Service 2. Photo: BBC/Kudos/Tania Chalkin
It’s the morning of Cat’s birthday, and Lexy’s finally moving in to her new digs. Cat and her misses are at the breakfast table in their apartment. “Rigorous detective work” has led DS Sam to surprise Cat with the fancy handbag she’s always wanted! Or something. And yet, Sam, y’can’t tell that she’s cheating on ya? When she’s feckin’ guilty as charged, officer!?
Don’t kiss her, Sam! She’s a dirty cheater! Photo: BBC/Kudos/Steffan Hill
As the kids say, smh.
Cut to chez Tesskie
Tess is helping Lexy move in (go #TeamTexxy!). Tess casually drops the bombshell that she and Fin are no longer an item. Seriously, hands up who saw that coming? They looked so solid! They had so much in common! Oh, wait..
And our intrepid antipodean is so insightful! She can actually pinpoint exactly how Tess must’ve given Fin the cold shoulder so much that she broke it off with Ms Roberts. And so Tess pipes up:
Tess (as casual as y’like): “So.. Are you seeing anyone at the moment..?”
Don’t you love this show’s subtlety? Subtle as one of those giant big books Lexy’s shelving: It’s like she’s bashing me over the head with them!
And, hang on.. Is Tess looking up Lexy’s skirt?! (Or is that Leggsy?) Go on the Tess, y’durtburd.
Fitness freaks and interminable mopers
Enter Sam in spandex! She’s going for a run, it seems. You’re working that look, officer.
Frankie concedes she’s a cock. And mentions something about Cat being still married, but that Frankie’s working on it. And sure, sod it, Sadie and Frankie are now mates. I’m sure this will have importance for some later plot development, and is not at all implausible or contrived. Also, poor Sadie is broke and jobless (innit), and Frankie – who, as we learned from the last episode, has had so much success in finding a job and not being broke – reckons she might be able to help Sadie out with that. Enterprising Frankie is here!
See Sam run
Sam’s in her spandex and she’s running. Of all the other pedestrians in central Glasgow, she happens upon Lexy. Who is also out for a run. Sorta. Maybe she’s out for a wheeze. There they are, the two of them, all hot ‘n’ sweaty together. This foreshadows nothing, I’m sure of it. There follows some strange dialogue – definitely not of the “talking dirty” variety, Lexy – which concludes with:
Sam: I’m running that way if you want to go together?
Lexy (cue Aussie brogue): Aw, nah, nah. You’re really fit. (*guffaw*) Um, I mean, you’re really healthy. … And I just quit smoking, so… I’ve got the lung capacity of a small hamster!
Also, can I just point out: Lexy is supposed to be an Australian doctor. One more time: An Australian. Doctor. If she was real, she’d be one of those sunkissed, outdoorsy, over-achieving types that every Aussie is. It’s like their default setting, or something. Swear to god it’s true.
The scene ended with an actual Heather Peace look of distain saying, “I can’t believe you actually said those lines.” I can’t disagree.
Thesbian lesbian Tess and her luvvies are going through the lines, and bleedin’ Nora but Nora (Sinead Keenan) is a bleedin’ beeatch. She repeatedly disrupts the scene and basically tries to take over the stage direction. (Spineless director guy is no use, either.)
Who does that beeatch think she is? Photo: BBC/Kudos/Tania Chalkin
Seriously, love, you’re so Z-list, you couldn’t be a diva even if you tried. Thankfully, Tess’s actor pal guy, Hugh (Stuart McQuarrie), is providing moral support through a series of mimed ways-to-kill-Nora. Personally, I think he needs to be more method acting about it, though. But it’s okay: they’re bonding.
Oh, Cat how could you?
Cut to Sam and Cat: Sam’s planning a suprise birthday meal for Cat. Well, y’shouldn’t bother, Sam. Cat’s a cheatin’ hoe-bag!
Anyway, Cat doesn’t know what to wear; Sam suggests heels and a neglige. For some reason. Sam walks Cat to… work? Well, wherever it is they’re going, Cat peeps out a window to watch Sam walk away so she can go and cheat on her. Why? ‘Cause she’s a filthy cheater!
Glasgay General Medical
Lexy’s character as a practicing doctor instantly becomes more plausible when we see her in scrubs wandering through some ward with her Gay Boy Doctor Pal Man.
Gay Boy Doctor Pal Man – played by none other than Adam Sinclair – is desperately trying to cruise Swarthy Doctor Radiologist Man, but Swarthy’s having none of it. GBDPM is not impressed, and sees this as a gaunlet being thrown down. Well, this GBDPM is up for the challenge!
I have to say, this scene is one of the best so far – lovely bit of banter, easy flow to the dialogue, likeable GBDPM character, generally believeable, nice hosptial scrubs. More hospital Lexy and GBDPM scenes, please!
Tess and her actor friend, Hugh, continue bonding during a break in rehearsals. We get a bit of his backstory – beyond just the fact that he has a drinking problem – and learn that his wife of 20 years left him for another actor, Thomas Delaware, who has since shot to stardom.
Tess (Fiona Button). Only fabulous. Photo: BBC/Kudos/Tania Chalkin
Tess: Crisps? New flavour.
Love you, Tess!
Speaking of cheaters…
Filthy cheater Cat and Frankie – say it with me Frankie: hairbrush – are in preparation to make the beast with two backs.
Frankie: I thought you weren’t coming.
There follows a questionable corset and a whispered “I want you to watch me” awkward wanking scene.
Cut to Sam on a stake-out (okay…) telling her partner about how much she wuvs Cat so very much. (We see what you did there, with the dramatic irony, Lip Service makers.)
Sam: I’d marry her tomorrow, though.
Back to Cat The Cheater and Manky Frankie. Mankie gives cheater a gift. Of something she can’t wear. A bracelet (which to me resembles a manacle rather than a bracelet), with their initials inscribed on the inside.
And where’s Cat’s necklace, the one that Sam bought her? I think all that eyeliner’s gone to your head, Mankie.
It’s all very Notting Hill, isn’t it?
Mankie’s eager to know whether Cat’s thought any more about what she’s going to do about the fact that she’s a big dirtee cheater.
Cat: Can we… not talk about it today? It’s my birthday. I just wanna enjoy being with you.
Cat doesn’t seem too impressed, then, when Mankie tells her that she has to meet with Sadie who she’s paying to drive her to a photo shoot in The Highlands.
Mankie: I don’t wanna sleep with anyone else.
Oh, yeah right, Mankie. Also, why is Cat still wearing the stupid bloody corset?
But look: Yay, Tess is home! (And plops her coat on the hall floor. Standards, Tess!) But wait: Tess is home, and catches the Cheater and Mankie rapid in a compromising embrace. Cat makes like a tree and leaves.
Mankie: Tess. Tess, it’s not what you think.
Tess: Don’t wanna know!
Mankie: Look, I love her, I want to be with her.
Tess: That’s what you said last time.
Mankie: I’m not stupid enough to make the same mistake twice. I’m not gonna hurt her again.
Tess: Well someone’s gonna get hurt. What about Sam?
Mankie: I don’t know. I hope so.
Tess: Well, I just – I hope you know what you’re doing.
Tess: I’m not going to say anything if that’s what you’re worried about.
Sadie: I woz gunna weah sensible shoes, but ven I fought, fuck vat.
Fair fecks, Sadie. Off they swan to The Highlands. Cut to Cat moping along the road, pinched look on her face, and she’s still smoking.
Lip Service has its Dana Fairbanks moment
Cat receives a text on her phone from Mankie, and while reading it steps out onto the road.
Oh Cat. You’re cheatin’ ass is not long for this world. Photo: BBC/Kudos/Steffan Hill
Being the ever-prepared lesbian, and not wanting to miss a thing for this recap, I decided to record audio notes as we went along watching the episode.
And it was a good thing I did, too: This is the exact moment when that scene came on screen:
Shockerama! Oh, Lip Service, you’ve redeemed yourself! All that questionable dialogue and script writing was leading us to this moment!
Cut to Mankie and Sadie on their way to Sadie’s car – in which she now lives, it seems.
Now we’re in the hospital, where Cat’s been brought into A&E. And here’s Lexy to do the needful (along with GBDPM). We can only assume that these are the only doctors in the only hospital in Glasgow.
Lexy: I know her. She’s friends with my flatmates.
Meanwhile, Sam’s partner has heard about the accident over the police radio.
Back in A&E there’s a worrying continuous beep emanating from the monitors. The doctors have to apply defribillation paddles. This is not looking good…
Sam arrives at the hospital and makes her way to triage. Despite their attempts, GBDPM calls it, and records the time of death.
Oh my god! You killed Cat! You BASTARDS!
Harriet Braun you heartless fecker!
Not all Cats have nine lives #lipservice
— Sarah & Lee (@GreatLezBritain) April 27, 2012
In the words of Senator Clay Davis shheeeeeeeeiiiiit
— Ruta Gedmintas (@Mighty_Minto) April 27, 2012
They kept that under wraps, I can tell you. It (possibly) explains why there was nary a bit of information over on IMDb about this series of Lip Service.
But wait – There I was thinking that Harriet Braun had done this to us and to poor Laura Fraser, but no! It’s Laura Fraser who’s turned her back on us. Why?! Why, Laura Fraser? After The Investigator, and then Nina’s Heavenly Delights, along comes Lip Service and you leave us.
Perhaps I’m being a little bit dramatic, and exaggerating things.
Harriet can explain.
But, alas, life goes on. Happy birthday, Cat.
When Ed and Tess arrive at the A&E, where Cat is laid out, he either doesn’t realise or doesn’t accept that she is dead. Sam breaks the news to him.
Ed: Is she okay?
Sam: She’s gone.
Ed: Whatd’you mean? What’re you talking about? We need to get someone. Why are they not doing something?!
Tess: She didn’t make it.
Meanwhile, Mankie and Sadie are fecking around the wilds of Scotland, blissfully unaware of what’s happened in Glasgow. They’re having car trouble, but Sadie doesn’t have a spare tyre to replace the flat. Instead, the two of them fall in the mud and, like a convenient plot device, Mankie breaks her phone in the process. Mankie also discovers that Sadie is living out of her car. Poor blummin’ Sadie, innit?
A time to grieve. Maybe.
So how are our surviving protagonists reacting now that the awful news has hit them? With grief, you would imagine. And yet, apart from Tess and an emotional scene with Sam, everyone seems terribly detached and emotionless. Even Ed McKenzie. Christ, Edward, you’re supposed to be Cat’s brother! (Which I’d kind of forgotten, actually, and this odd behaviour didn’t help.)
Lexy is trying to be helpful and consoling. Ed calmly asks if Cat said anything before she died, but she lost unconsciousness when she was hit. Sam serenely wants to know what the blood alcohol level was of the man who “killed” Cat (don’t do anything stupid, Sam), but he hadn’t anything in his system. He’s being kept in the hospital for observation due to a suspected concussion. Lexy expresses her sorrow at Cat’s death.
A Highland fling?
Sadie and Mankie are living it up in the posh hotel where they’re staying for the shoot. Mankie wants to know if anyone’s texted Sadie looking for her, but as Sadie rightly points out, the coverage there is poo and Sadie’s hardly Cat’s favourite person.
Oh look! They’re sharing a fancy bed in this fancy hotel. Hm. Sadie’s looking to make some Hankie Pankie with Mankie Frankie. But Mankie’s a new woman now.
Mankie (incredulous): Sadie?!
Sadie: You seriously tellin’ me we’re gonna waste a shit-hot hotel room?
Mankie: I’ve told Cat I’m not going to sleep with anyone else.
Sadie: Why not? She is.
Mankie: Well, I owe her one. She gets to call the shots.
Oh, how poignant. This time, it’s real love from Mankie as far as Cat’s concerned! But Cat’s no longer among the living! Do you see? Do you see what’s happening here, viewers? Pass the aloe vera balm pocket tissues!
Poor Mankie. It’s all about Mankie.
Cat’s remains are now laid out in a coffin. I shudder. Sam approaches the coffin, quietly distraught.
She goes back to the empty apartment, with Cat’s birthday things still in the kitchen, and breaks down. I’m normally cynical, I know, but it’s a moving scene.
Meanwhile, Mankie is obliviously moping around the fancy hotel with her camera. You see? It’s juxtaposition.
The other characters are still being very weird with their very zen-like distress at the awful sudden death of their close friend.
Sam puts her copper hat on and finds out about the driver of the car which hit Cat. She arrives at the hospital in hideous trousers which taper at the bottom, and with brown shoes (her trews and waistcoat are black!). This is the most upsetting thing about this entire episode.
Sam wanders off to find the driver, and lingers outside his hospital room, leaving us to wonder whether she’s about to burst through the door like some kind of FEMINIST HULK SMASH! and bludgeon the unsuspecting, unconscious chap. Along comes Lexy.
Lexy: How are you?
Sam: [Doesn't answer.]
Lexy: He’s asleep now. He had a bad night. It wasn’t his fault.
Sam: He could have been talking on his mobile or reading a map.
Lexy: It’s not going to bring her back. He was so distraught last night. If you go in there you are not going to feel any better and you’ll make an already devastated man feel a lot worse.
Back at chez Tesskie
Ed and Tess are on the couch, staring blankly and quitely into the middle distance. Ed is talking about cat. Very calmly.
Ed: She was always so careful. She even ironed her socks.
The characters are still still being very weird with their not being distraught at the awful sudden death of their close friend.
Shouldn’t they be making arrangements, and helping? What about Cat’s family? Why isn’t everyone together, wailing and keening, and the neighbours and friends fetching and carrying? I’m very confused.
Oh wait. Frankie brings the grief: She arrives back from the Highlands, Ed and (mostly) Tess break the news, and there’s a bit of a weep. That’s more like it, thank you. But then it’s back to default settings.
What a cold, dour lot.
Mankie is fidgeting with the necklace that Sam bought for Cat when they were on the holiday in Rio, but which broke off when Mankie and Cat were roidin’ in a dingey alley way. D’yemember? Tess again assures Mankie that she won’t breathe a word of the shenanigans that have been going on.
By the way, has no-one told Jay? Is he off managing the contract that he and Cat won for their gobshite of a boss?
Sam comes over to pick up… some… stuff. And leaves. But not before seeing Mankie, who mumbles like some kind of teenager that she’s going out.
Shit friends, aren’t they? Would none of them stay with Sam to support her?
Meanwhile, at the McKenzies
Ed and Sam are due to be at the McKenzies, discussing funeral arrangements with the parents. Mama McKenzie is fussing over biscuits, and making the tea. Ed is sitting on the couch, doing a good impression of a still life and staring at the wall. Sam arrives. Apart from these people and Papa McKenzie, there is No-one. Else. In. The house.
Honestly, do these people not have friends and neighbours? Nearly every character and extra who’s been in the series so far would be rally around, wouldn’t they?
It all gets a bit If These Walls Could Talk 2, when Sam makes suggestions for flowers and music at the funeral service. Ed backs her up, but poor Mama McKenzie’ll probably get her way anyway, and sure what harm?
Farewell to Cat
On the day of the funeral, Sadie arrives chez Tesskie, and Mankie sends the others off to the funeral without her. She’ll catch them up, apparently.
Mankie: I suppose I had this coming.
Oh, waaah..! Yes, Mankie, the untimely and sudden death of another person is all about you. You tit.
Frankie seems unsure of whether to attend. In typical Mankie style, Cat’s funeral is actually all about her, and Mankie’s all, “Oh, boo, I can’t go if I have to hide what Cat meant to me. Whinge, whinge.”* Yeah. Life’s hard, Mankie.
(* I may be paraphrasing.)
You’ll go, and you’ll shut the fuck up about it, Mankie.
Over in the hospital, GBDPM displays his tactless side, telling Lexy that Cat’s untimely death is an opportunity to get Sam in the sack. Meanwhile, he’s off to perv on the radiologist guy for lunch. It doesn’t go well, and Lexy slags him off. Still like the banter between these two.
Back amongst the civvies, just when you think she’s going to miss her beloved’s funeral, there Mankie is, sneaking into the back of the church (secular service, thank you – but no mention of Sam from the orator) just in time. But, just when you think she’s going to make her beloved’s funeral just in time, she legs it to the nearest pub as soon as Sam begins her eulogy. (And Ed continued to be serene and detached during his eulogy. Not a flicker of emotion in his voice. Weird, weird, weird.)
So anyway – Stay classy, Mankie.
And boy does she!? She gets shit-faced on whiskey, while Cat’s remains are being committed to the earth, and staggers to her mum’s. Her mother, of course, is some kind of heartless witch, and when Mankie tells Evil Mama just how bad a day she’s had, Evil Mama turns poor Mankie away. The nosey neighbours give Mankie a fair bit of Glaswegian sass, for good measure.
And so, Mankie staggers to the next best place she can think of: Cat’s freshly filled-in grave. Holy feckin’ Jesus, Mankie. And, unbelievably, in a Bronte-esque display, Mankie falls upon the heap of clay, pawing at it.
(You know, if Ruta had gotten that big fancy job opp Stateside, the scene could have been performed by Laura Fraser accompanied by some Kate Bush-styled sounds: “Frankeee, it’s meee, a-Cathy, I’ve come ho-mmme..!”)
Sam tearfully goes through Cat’s belongings, and finds a great big hunk of wood with the initials “FA CM” initials carved into it, along with a letter from to Cat which reads:
Some things shouldn’t be changed.
Mankie was pawing at that clay with her hands and face, it would appear. For what do we see next, but Mankie, faced covered in muck, crouching in her hallway like some kind of home urchin. Somehow, Sadie has access to the urchin’s home.
Mankie: If she wasn’t with me, she’d have still been at work.
This is true Mankie, this is true. And by her weeping, she knows she’s going to have to live with this knowledge. Yet for some reason, eventually – inevitably? – Sadie and Mankie two start to smooch. Yes, Sadie smushes her perfectly powdered visage against Frankie’s filthy, mud-encrusted face for a bit of a wear.
As you do.
So basically Mankie’s day can be summed up thusly: Went out, got shit faced, shagged some bird. A day like any other then, eh?