There was a double billing of Scott and Bailey this week, with the final two episodes of the season airing on Wednesday and Thursday nights. I feel I could write a book about each one, so I’ll do my best to contain this. But lord, are there just a lot of feels.
While there was an episodic mystery in Episode 7, the main things that are important to know are: 1) Janet and Rachel are fighting in a way they’ve never fought before and everything is horrible, and 2) We find out the identity of the mole who’s been leaking information about the Helen Bartlett case to the press throughout the series.
1) Rachel’s downward spiral has basically become unstoppable. She’s told Sean that after being married for a hot second, she just can’t do it. But he’s still living in her flat and things seem not completely settled and generally weird. She’s been sleeping at Janet’s (OBVIOUSLY), which pleases Janet’s daughters but begins to ruffle her mother’s feathers. It’s a full house of estrogen.
Until one night when Rachel gets especially pissed and brings home Kevin for loud sexytimes. Yeah, Kevin! Office doofus Kevin! Janet arrives home to find her daughter standing at the top of the stairwell, looking “as if she’d seen a ghost,” trying to get away from her former hero’s moans and gasps. Clearly, Janet be ticked, and an absolutely horrible row ensues between her and Rachel in Janet’s car, wherein they say the type of cruel things you only say when you are really, really angry or really, really depressed.
It’s also the type of fight you can’t easily make up from the next day, and their division continues throughout Episode 7 and for most of Episode 8, even getting to the point where Rachel starts talking trash about Janet to other co-workers, which is awful, and both of them act like they can’t believe they were ever friends in the first place. As if “friends” even covers what their relationship actually is.
We’re thrown a bone though in a hilarious scene in Episode 7 where they’re forced to share a car ride for work. After a short and nasty exchange where Janet makes it clear she’s not going to speak to Rachel unless she has to, she then turns on the radio which hilariously blares the Wannadies “You and Me Song,” which is that song from the Romeo & Juliet soundtrack which goes, “You and me always — AND FOREVER!” Rachel casts the radio a disgruntled look.
While this mini-breakup is heartbreaking in its own right, what really gets me down is Rachel herself in this story arc. She’s never been very discriminating in who she shags, of course, and so I’m not necessarily disgusted that she got it on with Kevin or anything. But I’ve always liked to think of her as a character who can’t be tied down, who needs to have independence and wants to have a lot of sex with whomever she wants, all because that’s simply who she is — a female character on TV that represents the women who don’t need (or want) to have the loyal partner and the house and kids. But this season, these sexual trysts are all clearly done simply because she’s a mess. When she admits everything she’s done to Sean in Episode 7, she also essentially tells him that there’s no one who hates her more than herself.
And maybe we’ve always known that, and maybe it’s just that Janet’s love for her has helped balance that, and without Janet’s love, things just really bottom out. But it seems hard to take.