Following last week’s fantastic series opener, the team found themselves in a spot of bother in the latest episode of Hustle.
After learning about the successful theft of a Picasso, the team quickly hatches a plan to sell on a fake to a private collector… without realising it was his painting that was stolen in the first place.
With Mickey locked in the boot of a car, it’s up to Ash and the gang to track down the original panting and return it to its owner before their leader begins losing body parts. That’s easier said than done, however, when it turns out the original is in the hands of London gangster and well-known psychopath Harry Holmes (Martin Kemp).
In stark difference to the previous episode, we saw a far more vulnerable and slightly desperate side to the larger-than-life characters that we’re used to watching, which brought the whole story down to a more intimate, personal and realistic level, whilst retaining the usual wit and charm. The fact that they walk away with nothing in terms of money reinforced the fallibility that we’ve seen in recent years.
What was especially nice to see was a story with Ash Morgan (Robert Glenister) in the driving seat. He’s been present since the very beginning, appearing in every episode of the show’s ten-year run, yet he’s never really taken centre stage in a story.
It was refreshing to see a plan scrambled together by someone other than Mickey, and good to see more of such an interesting and underplayed character. Oh, and Ash’s rant is sure to go down as one of the greatest moments in the show’s history:
“I’ve had a gun shoved up my hooter, been hung upside down and kicked up in the air! I’ve been threatened by at least three nationalities, whilst running around half of London chasing some stupid picture of a cat in somebody’s back garden that looks like it was done by a three-year-old on a sugar rush!”
This episode also marked the directorial debut of cast member Adrian Lester, a job that we feel he excelled out. The style and tone that we’re used to was well maintained and scenes such as Harry’s introduction worked incredibly well, instantly dropping us into the action and informing us of what we need to know.
A strong start for Lester behind the camera and another fine outing for the Hustle crew.
Aired at 9pm on Friday 20th January 2012 on BBC One.
What did you think of the episode? Let us know below…