‘Lip Service’: Series 2 Episode 5 review

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It’s the penultimate episode of Lip Service’s second series and it seems everyone in Glasgow is celebrating by indulging in varying levels of stalking.

Bemoaning the fact that blind-date-gone-bad, Meg, is “all over my wall” (the Facebook attack always being the first offensive), Tess (Fiona Button) then demonstrates a complete lack of self-awareness as she willingly attaches herself to Lexy’s hip.

Tess also accompanies actor chum Hugh to give his ex-dog a birthday present as part of his post-divorce wallowing. Sadly, this eventually reveals itself to be a sustained campaign by an ASBO-straddled alcoholic to make a nuisance of himself to his ex-wife (who, it turns out, he also cheated on frequently).

Once again, Lip Service proves it’s not afraid to take your favourite seemingly-benign character and unleash the worst aspects of their character.

In Lexy’s (Anna Skellern) world the stalker/stalkee relationships are just as complicated when her stalker turns out to be nurse Bea’s husband. Lexy is supposedly shocked and betrayed, and sure, she has a right to be upset – no one deserves to be stalked, intimidated, or misled – but ultimately she’s spent absolutely no time accounting for Bea’s feelings.

Earlier Declan declares that Bea “doesn’t count” as a love interest and Lexy doesn’t disagree. It’s possible, had Lexy spent any time talking to Bea, she might have gotten her to open up about her situation. Instead she is speedily dismissed as a “sex tourist”.

Elsewhere a pointed comment from Sadie alerts Lexy to Tess’s interest in her. A nice arc develops through the episode demonstrating Lexy’s initial concern about her flatmate’s affections and then the beginnings of looking at Tess with new eyes. Perhaps Tess’s genteel approach to stalking can be put down as endearing?

Meanwhile, Sadie’s (Natasha O’Keefe) up to her usual tricks, relentlessly harassing Lauren with text messages and tempting fate by turning up at her house. Fast becoming the show’s most intriguingly complex character, Sadie finally has a decent job and is doing well impressing her new boss, yet seems either determined to have it all (including the boss’s wife) or she’s so fucked up she can’t help pushing the boundaries until they blow up in her face. Why is it that the latter seems far more likely?

It’s Sam (Heather Peace), however, drugged up and on the pull, stalking up to a nameless girl in a nameless club, who demonstrates the most worrying behaviour. Hot though it most certainly is it’s coming from something within Sam that is way beyond mere seduction. Sam projects a power far more threatening than anything Sadie could construct with her handcuffs and her whips.

Sam is out of control herself and can’t stop herself trying to claw it back by first lashing out at a suspect, and later hand-gagging her one-night-stand and then brutally rejecting her. The girl leaves with the words, “You’re just wrong” ringing in her ears. But it’s Sam, of all the stalkers and stalked of Lip Service this week, who should know exactly how wrong her behaviour is and still can’t help herself.

Aired at 9pm on Friday 18th May 2012 on BBC Three.

> Buy Series 1 on DVD on Amazon.

> Order Series 2 on DVD on Amazon.

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