'But that's my constituency.'
When did you last laugh your way through a murder drama? Most TV thrillers dealing with premeditated deaths are gloomily lit, frightening affairs about precision killers and hard-nosed cops. Episode two of A Very English Scandal is marvellous for being none of those things, and this week is even funnier than the last, as this story of incompetence, buffoonishness and superb arrogance begins to collapse in on itself.
Thorpe, now serious about finding someone to do away with his troublesome ex-lover Norman Scott, recruits his murderer. A series of phone calls go out across London, with men in various pubs and homes answering and then passing the message on to someone else (reminding us of the lost puppy cry that goes out in 101 Dalmatians), as Thorpe's lackeys hunt for a man who can be trusted to quietly to shoot Norman.
Unfortunately, the killer picked is Andrew Newton – a man so hopeless that when one of Thorpe's men calls home to report that a discreet, professional killer has been found, Newton is in the background being carried unconscious out of a casino, having raucously celebrated the huge amount of money he's about to be paid for the hitjob.
Newton goes on to forgets his fake name, his fake occupation, the fake assassin from Canada who he imagined to win over Norman's trust – in one very funny scene smashing himself over the head with the phone in frustration when he refers to himself as Andrew – and yet still manages to get Scott alone in a car in the pouring rain. If it wasn't true, it would be unbelievable.
Funnier, sadder and more brilliant than episode one, there's no doubt that A Very English Scandal is proving to be one of the best TV shows of the year. Bring on episode three.
|What||A Very English Scandal, episode two review|
|Where||BBC One , BBC One | MAP|
27 May 18 – 30 Sep 18, 9:00 PM – 10:00 PM