As typically happens upon realization that you could die at any moment, Rachel and Janet finally make up at a pub afterwards. They also get confirmation that Helen Bartlett died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. Here’s the question, kids: Is Helen Bartlett’s story the most depressing lesbian storyline ever? Like, of all time? I know this is a big question, since there’s an enormous crop of depressing stories out there; believe me, I know. But. For fuck’s sake. They never show Louise again, but she’s all I can think about. They could have been okay. I like to think they could have been OK.
Gill’s son’s engagement party goes on that night as planned, as Janet suspected. Gill Murray is not one to let a little something like a near death experience interrupt her plans. While Rachel technically wasn’t invited, she comes along with Janet anyway. And when they find Gill on her bed next to a bottle half full of gin, Gill pulls herself up and tells Rachel, “You can crash my parties anytime, kid.” And my heart fills up to bursting.
When Rachel asks if she’s alright, she explains that while she’s had people threaten her life before, she’s never actually watched someone die. Seeing someone actually die is a much different thing than seeing dead bodies. As she tells Rachel, “I’ve seen more dead bodies than you’ve had embarrassing and inappropriate sexual encounters.” While this line is amazing, what’s really telling about this scene is that, in stark opposition to Kevin the Mole, what’s really getting Gill down is not that she could have plummeted into the sea from a cliffside hours earlier, but that Helen Bartlett killed herself. Which is why she screamed at Janet over the phone not to get help for herself, but to get an ambulance for Helen. In the end, they all wanted to help Helen. But sometimes the system just doesn’t work the way it should.
Rachel and Janet then explain that they made up at a pub that afternoon. To which Gill retorts, “What are you doing at a pub in the middle of the afternoon? What do you think this is? Life on Mars?” Aaaand END SCENE.
This is a reference to a sci-fi-y police show that ran on BBC back in 2006, and so I have to admit as an ignoramus on the other side of the ocean (although there was also apparently a version of it that ran briefly on ABC), I didn’t completely get it as much as I’m sure other folks did, but to be honest, it didn’t even matter, because the line was still so amazing. Gill Murray, you are my hero.
Now with Series 3 at a close, the question of a Series 4 is still at hand. Now, when I first finished these episodes, my thoughts went along the line of, “Goddamn this is one of the best shows in life ever I don’t want to wait for more I mean there is going to be more I mean there has to be a million seasons of this probably right?”
So, imagine my shock when I did a bit of research online and came upon this devastating short interview with Suranne Jones (Rachel Bailey) on The Mirror . In it she says, “Series Four hasn’t been commissioned and I haven’t made my mind up yet whether to do another one. The hours are so long and it takes you away from friends and family. When you stop enjoying yourself, it’s time to go.”
To say I’m conflicted about this would be an understatement. Part of me feels that the show is so excellent in every single sense that it would seem crazy to me to want to walk away, although another part of me knows that it’s insane for a fan to presume what’s best for an actor. (Although how we try!) If you don’t enjoy something, fair is fair. It’s not up to us decide. And I can only imagine how exhausting of a role it is; I feel exhausted just watching Rachel Bailey! But it’s still heartbreaking.
My only comfort is that if for some reason this show doesn’t continue, there’s at least three seasons out there of completely solid, female-dominated television gold for people to continue discovering in the future. So I suppose as we wait to see, all I can say is, as always, thanks for everything, Sally Wainwright.