‘Hustle’: Series 8 Episode 5 review

Following last week’s enjoyable (but slightly below par) episode, it was good to see Hustle back on its feet tonight and showing us what quality TV really is.

After successfully completing another grift, the team takes a visit to Albert’s past, only to find the building he completed his first ‘job’ in has been torn down. A quest for justice leads them to Dale Ridley, a greedy, washed out 80’s game show host turned property developer with a taste for dodgy business deals; back handed bribes and the sound of his own voice, played repulsively well by Harry Potter actor Mark Williams.

The team quickly hatches a plan to take Ridley down by posing as potential business partners and selling him the studio’s he was once fired from. As schemes go, it’s not their most complicated, and seems to be running smoothly until Ash’s 11 year old godson, con man in training Alfie (Sammy Williams), turns up uninvited and tries desperately to help out.

Not as stupid as he looks, Ridley clocks on to their plans after seeing and overhearing Alfie at two separate locations, and hatches a plan to get even by pulling a con of his own. Needless to say with some simple Mission: Impossible trickery, the grifters turn the tables once more and still walk away with something.

We like episodes of Hustle where things don’t go as well as they could. As we’ve said before, it adds an element of ‘human’ to the otherwise larger than life characters. The fact that they are forced to completely abandon their original plan (and far more substantial take) due to the mistakes of an inexperienced kid who is genuinely trying to help is, in a way, heartwarming, showing us a side to our characters we haven’t seen a great deal of. Not to mention him ripping off Ash at the end, which was a fantastic was to round off the story.

Sammy Williams was a real pleasure to watch, portraying a wide array of emotions for such a young actor.

So, this is it then, with only one more episode remaining for our brave and ballsy thieves.

In next week’s finale Stacie Monroe (original Hustle cast member Jaime Murray) is back on the scene, and this time it looks to be the most dangerous score yet. If the chilling ‘next time’ trailer is anything to go by, there’s no telling who could walk out alive…

Aired at 9pm on Friday 10th February 2012 on BBC One.

> Buy the Series 1-7 boxset on Amazon.

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