Great LezBritain: “Lip Service” Recap – Season 2, Episode 3


Lexy is with gay stud in the hospital canteen telling him how good Sam looks in lycra. His ruthless attitude about trying to shag the recently widowed hot cop continues. Lexy tells him off and says that she’s getting her kicks elsewhere, and in fact has a f–k buddy situation with a colleague at work. She gives a little wave to a blonde across the room.  

As they leave the canteen, Lexy’s phone rings. She looks disconcerted and doesn’t answer it.

Sarah: That’s the second time that’s happened so now it has piqued my interest.
Lee: It might be Cat. Giving her blessing.

Frankie is walking the streets and passes a flower stall and asks which flowers are the norm to purchase for one’s mother. This little scene is just to reinforce that Frankie is a little orphan girl who has never even bought a mother’s day bouquet before, but now because she wants her mum to love her, she’s buying the perfect bunch.

Sadie is flying by the seat of her pants in her interview to be a magazine writer with a very attractive editor lady who is really very attractive. She is attractive in the same vein that all Scottish TV character brunettes are attractive. See: Anna, This Life and G Wing Governor Helen Stewart for more of the same.

The attractive editor asks which previous publications Sadie has written for and without any of the subtlety that Verbal from The Usual Suspects graced us with, Sadie reads off words that are printed boldly next to her head. The interviewee reels off the rest of her sentence knowing what game the not so Artful Dodgeress is trying to pull. 

Sadie: All right look, I am, was an Estate Agent so that’s why I know what I’m talking about. The hotel was shit. I need the money so you going to use it or not?
Interviewer: It needs more subbing than what it’s worth.
Sadie: Well why get me in then?
Interview: You’ve got a decent take and I like to check out new talent.

Oh this flirtation is a red rag to a bull and Sadie’s old eye glint increases to the strength of the Northern Lights and there is more than a little suggestion that she has a plan to outfox this foxy lady.

Unfortunately much of the attractiveness of the editor is subdued by the reveal of a truly hideous jacket as she stands up to wave Sadie off.

Lee: Boak.
Sarah: That’s a wardrobe malfunction if ever I witnessed one.

Frankie sits alone in a plush looking restaurant, and we’re given a montage of close-ups of her sad, but lovely face as she waits. The Lip Service camera does have a small love affair with Frankie’s face.  

Ed and Tess meet for lunch, eating sandwiches on some lovely steps in Glasgow’s West End while sharing stories about Cat. Ed can’t really eat and his little face is pinched with the pain of dealing with his mum and the rest of the family’s constant  glowing reports on Cat’s outstanding character. He pleads with Tess to tell him some negative tales. Tess looks awkward for she knows an absolute corker, but instead comes up with a pathetic admission.

Tess: She didn’t have a TV license at Uni.
Ed: Maybe she was perfect after all.

He tells her that he’s meeting his agent tomorrow to talk over the sequel to his book but hasn’t written anything because writing is being alone and being alone makes him wish for his sister. This makes us well up a little. Ed shakes off his doom and gloom and asks after Tess’ activities, namely rehearsals. She admits to not returning yet. Ed agrees to attend a drinks session with her fellow cast members to ease her back into the throes of it all if she comes for drinks with him and Sam tomorrow eve. They agree. They then agree to have ice cream instead of shots o clock. We think they’re misguided in this choice but we are not here to judge the recently bereaved.

Frankie is still alone drinking what may well be her eighth cup of tea when mother dearest comes bounding in with shopping bags and a fleeting apology about her tardy time keeping.

Frankie is very contrite about her drunken ways on the doorstep of her mother’s home and hands her the flowers. Her mum looks at them with a very slight stirring of pity and tells her that she is sorry that Cat is no more.

Frankie: I would have really liked you to meet her. If things had worked out that way.
Frankie’s Mum: I would have liked that.

Frankie’s face shines from the hand that her mother seems to extend out to her. However, her mother then tells her that her that she has come along way since the days of Uncle Fester and Frankie and that her husband could not cope with the knowledge of her. Although Frankie has always been a part of her, she cannot get involved in Frankie’s life.

At this last line, the camera focuses on Frankie’s disbelief closing in on her face as yet another part of her life crumbles around her.

Frankie: So that’s it then?

Some tea is brought over and that’s awkward.

Frankie’s Mum: I’m sorry Frankie, I —
Frankie: You what? You love me? You take it back?

Frankie gets up to leave, the hardness repainted on, and the pain blatant. Before she leaves, her mum pulls out an envelope of dough, maybe to try and relieve her own guilt or maybe to genuinely help her struggling daughter. We just don’t know. The camera closes in on Frankie’s face again and she leans over and whips away her carefully picked flowers, leaving the grubby bad mummy money on the table.

Lee: Seriously, what more shit can they chuck at poor Frankie?
Sarah: She could be run over in the street while reading a text?

DS Murray is in her counseling session picking the fluff from her trousers as opposed to delving into the core of her feelings. She challenges why this is activity is a necessary step to getting her back to the front line of law and order.

Sam: I can see the point in it, if a suspect dies in custody or on an armed unit you have to take someone out, but a death in our personal lives?
Counselor: Why a suspect?
Sam: What?
Counselor: You compared losing Cat to a suspect dying in custody or getting shot. Why not a victim of a murder or a RTA?

Oh dear, the inner most feelings may have squeezed out, but she shakes this off as codswallop.

Sam will not allow herself to be unfolded. Her grief must be contained and her emotions realigned, refocused and thrown into getting back to work. She has transferred her pain and wretchedness and deluded herself into thinking that her troubles will be etched away when she is back on duty.

She meets Ryder in the hallway after her counseling session. He is concerned about her and wants to know why she has been elusive to his texts and calls. Sam tells him her parents have been staying, she’s been preoccupied, but she’s fine and just wants to know the latest work happenings.

Ryder: Hey come on, you’ve just lost the woman you love.
Sam: Do you think she loved me back?
Ryder: What’s that supposed to mean?
Sam: It doesn’t matter.

She walks away, the hard shell cracking under the weight of uncertainty. And the weight of a piece of wood.

Frankie takes the flowers she reclaimed from her mother’s rejection to Cat’s grave.

Sarah: I suppose it’s the thought that counts.

She starts to write their initials into the soil. Sam appears from the bushes, startling her out of action by calling her name. Frankie is very uncomfortable, desperately trying to shift away. Sam tells her that she is entitled to stay. The weight of uncertainly however pushes harder on Sam’s fair-mindedness and through tears of devastation and a steely determination to know the truth. She asks the question that has been driving her spare.

Sam: Were you f–king her? 

Lee & Sarah: Oooooh.

Frankie: No — she chose you.

Lee & Sarah: Oooooh.

Frankie turns and walks away. Her expression recognizes that she will never be able to acknowledge the relationship she was having with Cat because to do so would be to rip out Sam’s heart and generally open a rather unpleasant can of worms.

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