Great LezBritain: “Lip Service” Recap — Season 2, Episode 1


It’s the day of Tess’ first rehearsal, but she feels like shit and looks like an old mop (copyright Bridesmaids). Frankie gives her a pep talk and then tells her that they should invite Sexy Lexy to live with them. Tess is keen but worried that Frankie might sleep with her again. Frankie uses excellent observation skills to observe that Tess might have a little crush on Lexy.

Lee: I wish there was more little scenes with Frankie and Tess being friends and hanging out

Sam tells Cat that she’ll cook that night because she’s invited her partner Ryder and his girlfriend for dinner. Cat has forgotten about this because all she can think about is, Did Frankie f–k Lexy? Sam says they can’t cancel again and Cat agrees with an obvious lack of enthusiasm.

Sarah: Selfish

Tess is getting ready for her rehearsal and because she’s nervous, hungover and not feeling her outfit, she does what all good lesbians do and projects it onto her girlfriend. Thus another sign that Tess is not feeling Fin as her perfect match, which mainly seems to be due to Fin’s friendship with the cast of Winnie The Pooh.

Lee: I like Fin, She seems to think the world of Tess. So if Tess doesn’t like the football, she should just not watch the football.

Sarah: This episode is basically shitting all over good girlfriends.

Tess arrives at the rehearsal early and practices saying her name a few times, wrecks a few props and then settles down on a couch to read her script. To make herself more comfortable she removes the multiple bottles of free shots that she got last night from her jacket pocket.

Cat arrives at work and asks Jay if Frankie and Lexy went home together. Jay doesn’t know.

Jay: I thought you were happy with Sam.

Cat: I am happy; she’s beautiful and kind and I don’t want to lose her.

Jay: Look I feel bad saying this. Frankie’s my mate, but she’s not exactly the most reliable.

Cat: Do you think I wouldn’t put her behind me if I could? What would you do?

This is a silly person to ask for advice and predictably Jay says he would keep shagging them both but acknowledges his shortcomings as a relationship advice counselor.

Tess’ director and castmates arrive to find her asleep on the couch surrounded in bottles of shots, reeking of booze.  They wonder if she’s a homeless person who has broken into the theatre until the director recognises her and wakes her up.

The director tells her that he discourages alcohol at rehearsals and doesn’t look convinced when she says they were just in her pocket. He seems to give her the benefit of the doubt and offers her some tea.

Sarah: Just tea.

Lee: Some really patronising tea.

The castmates regard her like she’s a drunk lady they’ve just found asleep in the green room, except one of the actors who shows her a hipflask in his own pocket with a wink.

Frankie is moping around on her bed looking at a Sid James postcard that Cat gave her in days of yore.

At the rehearsal, the cast are “getting to know each other.” Nora, played beautifully by Sinead Keenan from Being Human, is an actress so mean and bitter that lemon pips shoot from her eyeballs with every breath from her sour mouth. She faux-modestly regales the cast with how wonderful she is, and all of the fabulous roles she’s known for, before having a fake argument with one of the other actors Timothy about who is the most brilliant.

Nora: I’m not the one that has just been nominated for a Spanish BAFTA, you talented bastard.

The hipflask actor has also been in many major TV shows but laughs that he just plays every weathered drunk going. Nora then turns her forked tongue on Tess to ask what she has done.

Tess: Mainly bits of telly. Casualty, The Bill, nothing very exciting.

Hipflask fan (helpfully): I have a friend who was in The Bill, maybe you know him, Johnny Stevens?

Tess: Er, I wasn’t in it for very long, it was just a small part.

Nora: Go on, amuse us. What were your lines?

Tess: Oh, I can’t really remember.

Nora: Don’t be a spoilsport, course you can.

Tess: [Stutters] Well, it wasn’t really lines as such, eh, it was more like a — a noise. Well, like an exhalation of air. I was a corpse that they found in the river and when they pulled me out I made like a, huuuuuuuh sound  — because corpses have air in them.


The hipflask man tries to help her out with a self-deprecating quip and Nora says with all the authenticity of a hair extension, “Well done you. From corpse to Sonia in one fell swoop. That is, quite an achievement. You must be thrilled.”

There follows a few seconds of “brilliant eye contact acting” between Tess and Nora. We do not believe this is an actual proper acting term, but this is how we can best describe it. In those few seconds of glances they tell the whole story of jealous older actress and naïve ingénue and the realisation of the differing levels of pain they are both about to endure throughout this rehearsal process.

At the architect’s office where no one does any work, an envelope has been couriered to Cat. It’s the Sid James postcard and Frankie has added the words “Dear Babs, Let’s carry on, Sid x.” Just then Alistair the homophobe comes over to tell Cat and Jay that the client loved their pitch and they got the business.

Lee: Really? Remind me not to bother doing any work in the future. I’ll just spit out water at people’s faces instead.

Sarah: Yes and I’ll just spontaneously shout out types of flowers in between shoving biscuits into my mouth.

Because he is a massive wanker, Alistair then tells Jay that he has to lead the project. Jay makes a joke about it, but Cat is rightly upset and Jay tells her to make a complaint. Instead Cat throws something and shouts, “F–k it and f–k him! I don’t give a f–k anymore!”

A little later and Cat is looking at the Sid James postcard and smiling. She tells Jay that she’s going to try doing the wrong thing for a change and leaves the office. There are no buildings being designed in Glasgow for yet another day.

Frankie arrives at a café to meet Cat who is already there waiting and drinking wine again.

Cat: Did you go home with Lexy last night?

Sarah: Oh change the f–king record, Cat.

Frankie: [Smiles] Well, what do you care?

Cat: You know I do.

Frankie: If you must know, I went home with someone else but I couldn’t go through with it.

Cat: I can’t leave Sam.

Frankie: Yes, you told me that yesterday.

Cat: But we could still see each other. If you want me, this is the way you can have me until I’ve worked out what to do.

Frankie: So, I’m supposed to sit on the sidelines while you continue to f–k your wife?

Cat: Forget it, it was a stupid idea.

Lee: Yes, yes it was Cat.

Cat gets up to go but Frankie stops her and next thing they are in the lane outside going at it, hammer and tong, and Frankie accidentally snaps the necklace that DS Murray bought Cat on holiday, but instead of being brought to her senses, Cat says, ” F–k that and f–k me.”

Lee: I’ve rarely been so angry at a fictional character, although I was close when Ross and Rachel were not on a break.

Sarah: This behaviour is why I don’t like Cats generally. They’re fickle and selfish and you never really know what’s going on in their heads.

Lee: They can turn at any minute.

Sam and her friends are waiting for Cat, and the carefully prepared meal is getting ruined. When Cat arrives home, she lies that her mobile phone was out of battery. She tells Sam and friends that she just has to go wash the sex off and she’ll be out in ten minutes. She doesn’t actually say that, but we all know because in this episode textual analysis is our friend.

At dinner, Ryder asks if Sam and Cat are thinking of buying a house together. Awkwardly Sam says yes as Cat says it’s too soon. Cat tells them about winning the pitch, but that Jay has been put in charge. Because she’s an excellent girlfriend, DS Murray looks concerned, rubs her and says she’s sorry. Cat reacts by downing the rest of her wine and delivering her new mantra of not giving a shit anymore. This is one of the worst dinner parties ever.

Frankie arrives home for a post-coital fag and takes Cat’s broken necklace out of her pocket and smiles.

Cat is sozzled and holed up in the toilet when Sam knocks. She says sorry for drinking so much and Sam tells her not to let Alistair get to her so much. Cat tells Sam that she loves her with wide eyed intensity. Sam says she knows, but really her detective skills should be telling her that something else in this relationship is wrong by now. They hug and Cat looks wide eyed and terrified. The End.

Sarah: Well, there we are then, a good start?

Lee: Definitely good start, lots of drama and lots of laughs.

Sarah: Liked Sexy Lexy, nice little moment with Sadie.

Lee: I’m very upset for Sam and really angry at Cat and I do hope this cheating doesn’t drag on.

So lesbi-friends, we’re here, we’re queer and what did you think of the first episode?

Lip Service airs every Friday on BBC3 at 9pm. Follow the show on Twitter @lipservice_bbc3.

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