Tuesday, 10 April 2012

White Heat: S1 Ep5 - The Eye of the Needle

On TV: Thursday 5th April 2012
Channel: BBC Two 9pm
Episode Type: 5/6

In 1 Sentence: Not quite as good as the first few episodes, White Heat is still a moving and beautiful series...

BBC Summary: In 2012, five of the former flatmates await the arrival of the sixth. In 1982, the group are summoned by Jay and Orla to help detox Jack, who is in the grip of a life threatening heroin addiction. However Charlotte finds that Jack's hold over her is equally threatening.

My Review: As we reach the penultimate episode we see the characters in 1982, a year I adore to see on screen. However while the nostalgic haze that has coated the series remains, the potential of the 80s wasn’t quite used as the focus was mainly on Charlotte and Jack as always and there destructive lives. One great thing about the 80s was the fashions, yet only Lilly and Charlotte were really working the ‘working girl’ looks - something I’m now dying to try out for myself!
One shame about the series is the number of characters that have been side-stepped such as Jay and Orla. We know very little about them and, in fact, this episode I felt a lack of depth to everyone. There was almost no point to these other characters and we see more of Charlotte’s mum and Jack’s dad than we ever do them it seems. And that may be the issue with the One Day-esque style of storytelling. Much of their characters get lost between the cracks while we try and ‘catch up’ on the big progressions and dramas going on in their lives. 
Because while I’m losing empathy for characters that isn’t to say that the series has lost any impact in the drama department. Episode 5 was all about their girls and their biological clocks as we learn that Lilly’s abortion earlier on in the series has had some tragic consequences. Charlotte, while still my favourite character, came off as quite selfish this week as Victor and her discuss having a child together. She felt that she would be ‘lost’ if she did and while I can see her view, it is clear that she’s hurting Victor more and more by the day. This is evident even further by the end of the episode when she lets him down once again with heartbreaking consequences. 
It was all rather emotional as the character’s lives are falling apart somewhat. Not least Jack’s whose addiction to drugs has gone so far as Heroin and so Charlotte is forced to call his dad in. What follows is an incredible performance from Jeremy Northam as Jack’s Dad and a beautiful, beautiful scene that reminded me once again how powerful this series has been. 
A development in the modern day was the appearance of ‘older’ Jay and so that still leaves Orla and Jack - no surprises who it will be! Or will there? We shall have to see on Thursday in the finale...
Score: 8/10

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