It’s a slightly more subdued episode this week with an increased emphasis on literary analysis and fewer direct laughs across the half hour.
Nina begins another letter to Vic and details the latest on the Nunney situation, which, frankly, isn’t going quite as well as could be hoped. At least not from Nina’s point of view.
Meanwhile, she’s attempting to read Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy so that Nunney will think she’s ‘clever’ but isn’t experiencing much luck there either. To make matter worse, Joe is poorly but he’s only allowed to listen to the radio in his bedroom so long as it’s ‘boring.’
When George trips over their cat, Lucas it falls to Nina to arrange a transfer. Despite Max’s wish to get rid of Joe instead they bring Lucas around to Mrs Peyton, a small but delightful guest turn from Marcia Warren, who’s interviewing several potential feline replacements for her lost best friend (another cat). After renaming Lucas to Johnny, Mrs Peyton informs them he’s a ‘very strong candidate’ leaving Nina and Max a little confused by this development.
Things between Nina and Nunney get more awkward as they keep bumping into each other, which, as is pointed out, is the problem with living only three doors apart. In the supermarket there’s a painful moment involving cheese pizza and coincidences and Nina ends up buying 16 packets of turkey mince after misreading George’s list.
‘I don’t know what to say about books,’ Nina admits to Nunney as she continues to struggle with Hardy. When she confides in George her employer reckons Hardy might not be for her but Nina is determined to persevere with it anyway. However, Hardy is the least of their worries when Joe has another one of his ‘crises’ and is taken into hospital. ‘I know you can’t help the getting ill bit but I wish you wouldn’t get better quite so quickly,’ sighs George as her son’s health improves before they’ve even seen a doctor.
Once Joe is out of hospital they decide to get Lucas back and of course it’s left up to Nina. Nina brings a cat home but it isn’t Lucas. Instead she takes one of Mrs Peyton’s rejects and a conversation with George about whether the kids have noticed causes Nina to realise something about people.
This leads to a breakthrough with Hardy as Nina discovers literature is about the ‘stuff underneath’. Finishing her letter to Vic, Nina drops one last bombshell. She’s decided to take an A-level.
Despite feeling a little flat at times this week, Love, Nina manages to stay afloat thanks mainly to its terrific cast.
Aired at 9.30pm on Friday 3 June 2016 on BBC One.
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