As we hurry towards the finale, this penultimate episode of In the Club highlights all the women’s lives in order to reach conclusions next week.
However, while all the characters’ lives and stories are touched upon, to varying degrees, this episode truly belongs to one couple and the journey they’ve had to get their happy ending.
The stories of Kim (Katherine Parkinson), Susie (Tara Fitzgerald) and Rosie (Hannah Midgely) are only touched upon here, but after the revelations from last week regarding Neil and Kim and the paternity of Rosie’s baby, it’s only fair they take a backseat.
Vicky’s storyline is given a little more weight, but we are obviously building to something as Christine Bottomley gets more screentime, displaying a lovely palette of emotion, strength and sensitivity. Her character has been a conduit to all these women’s stories and Bottomley portrays her with such strength and endearing warmth.
Hermione Norris’s Roanna and Jill Halfpenny’s Diane get more screen time, with both women giving touching performances and highlighting their respective issues. For Diane, it’s the prospect of Rick’s sentencing and what this will mean for her family.
There’s also some good news with respect to baby Hope, who is taken off the ventilator here and begins to breathe on her own. Halfpenny is sterling in this role, evoking an emotional response simply from a look and you really feel Diane’s hopelessness and frustration throughout.
Similarly, Norris’s Roanna is captivating in trying to balance two distinctly different worlds: that of the world she had with her (horrible) teenage children and the new one she is carving out with lover Simon and baby Sonny. There’s a looming sense that their stories will expand next week with Rick’s court case and Roanna’s impending divorce.
However, this episode really belongs to Dev and Jasmine (played superbly by Sacha Dhawan and Taj Atwal) who bring a lovely dramatic and comic tone to the conclusion to their tumultuous storyline, backed by a great guest performance from Mina Anwar as Jasmine’s mum.
The Jack situation is tense throughout and reaches the best possible conclusion for all involved, considering how much viewers have rooted for this couple. Jasmine’s anger, bitchiness and irritation over her situation is mitigated here, as she expresses her genuine love for Dev and her doubt (and self-doubt) over her baby.
Similarly Dhawan shines in this episode, displaying a wealth of emotions from jealousy, hope, fear and even simulated physical pain. A gifted actor, we really get a sense of Dev’s vulnerability. Their story also has levity, particularly with Atwal’s comic timing during the epidural scene where she doesn’t stop talking and unexpectedly pushes Vicky’s story forward as a result. Atwal is a talented comedienne and it’s a credit to the actors involved that they can switch so readily from this to drama and still be believable.
In the Club continues to take emotional twists that grip us as we head into next week’s finale, and while certain stories are reaching conclusions (and near conclusions) there’s still a lot to cover.
Aired at 9pm on Tuesday 2 September 2014 on BBC One.
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