Just over the halfway point, Rebecca arranges for Paul and Alison to have some alone-time together, Eddie is strangely determined to fill in a questionnaire, and Maurice has a tub of rub. Again.
The things that made us so happy in last week’s episode of The A Word are back again in episode 4. The minor characters continue to shine. And Maurice has a new tub of ‘rub’.
Taking over from the Polish workers as our favourite scene-stealers is Joe’s little chum, Ramesh, who’s back to torment adults with his existential wisdom. Also chewing up every scene he’s in is the brilliant Leon Harrop as Louise’s son Ralph, who understands perfectly what a knob Maurice is and isn’t afraid to let Maurice know.
Poor, overburdened Rebecca, a teenager with more insight than most of the adults around her, sends mum Alison and Paul off to Manchester so that they can reconnect. After his ecstatic experience at the gig last week, Paul is now struggling to ignite his passions to the same level. The scenes between him and Alison are a hard watch and you have to wonder what the future holds for these two, despite what we are pretty certain is a significant contravention of the highway code at one point in the episode.
A couple that has already fallen apart is Eddie and Nicola, although Eddie seems very keen this week to complete a questionnaire about Joe while Alison and Paul are away. He also seems determined to help Joe learn to ride his new bike. Has Eddie suddenly become a doting uncle or does he have another motive for overstaying his visit?
Last week, we had the deep and lasting joy of witnessing Maurice (former Doctor Who Christopher Eccleston) buying and using a bottle of peppermint foot cream. This week, Maurice has another tub of ‘rub’.
Maurice and Louise are always a delight to watch and never more so than in this episode. We’ve watched every week as Maurice has prepared for the annual fell race. This week, he has a moment of realsiation mid-race that takes him where he least expected.
Louise not only has to deal with the illness caused by her cancer treatment, but also with cack-handed romeo, Maurice. The scene between these two as Maurice is honest with Louise and himself is one that will make you choke and laugh all at one. It is absolutely sublime.
There are only two more episodes to go in this excellent second series of The A Word. We can’t wait to see them, but we can’t help feeling a bit sad that it’ll all be over soon. let’s enjoy it while we can, eh?
You can watch The A Word series 2, episode 4 on BBC One on Tuesday 28 November 2017 at 9pm. You can catch up with previous episodes on the BBC iPlayer.
Written by Peter Bowker, Director Sue Tully, Producer Jenny Frayn