‘Raised by Wolves’ Episode 5 review: ‘Little Orphan Mannie’

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It’s a pity, really, that Germaine (Helen Monks) is home-schooled, because it means that she missed the science lesson about the centre of the universe.

Clue: it isn’t, as she appears to think, her. So it’s with slightly too much glee that she bounds up the stairs to interrupt Grampy’s moment of solace with the news that his mother’s died. Before he can properly respond, Germaine is already thinking about how to rock the funeral look.

Before that day is through, however, Grampy (Phillip Jackson) gets dumped – literally, dumped on the roadside ‘like a bolloxed mattress’ – and so the family are on a rescue mission: ‘anyone who’s had a piss in the last half hour, in the car.’ Later, having taken a black marker to the Nike trainers, Della takes Aretha to liberate her dad’s good suit and a pair of black shoes. He doesn’t want to go the funeral wearing his bifta smoking moccasins: ‘It would be inappropriate’.

While Della (Rebekkah Staton) and Aretha spend a terrifying afternoon at Shit Grans, Germaine is tasked with finding a film to distract Grampy – ‘one where they go on a journey,’ Della suggests. Germaine settles for a DVD in which lots of rabbits die horribly, which is more of a long distance journey than Grampy was really prepared for. He wanders off, worried he might be undergoing an acid flashback.

Raised by Wolves

‘The black rabbit of death came,’ he explains, eyes as wide and deep as the Great Lord Frith’s soul. ‘When the black rabbit comes, your time is up.’ He pads off, muttering that he met the devil back in 1970, at a party.

‘I blame you for this, Germaine,’ snarls Della, not unreasonably. ‘Could you not have put on something less existential than Watership friggin’ Down?’ Germaine is cheerfully distracted by the bunny action. ‘Bigwig is definitely the sexiest rabbit. The Alec Baldwin of rabbits.’

This might be because Germaine has, in the midst of death, discovered little deaths, which could be awkward when you have to share your room with your siblings. Or it would be. Germaine, however, really couldn’t give a frig. As it were.

Having discovered the joys of masturbation, she’s keen to share the great knowledge of her discovery to all who will listen, like an overly excited student just back from a Buddhist retreat in her gap year.

Aretha (Alexxa Davies) is tempted to tell her to keep her hands to herself, but has to be satisfied by Germaine keeping her palms on her cheeks. ‘Not even you can derive sexual pleasure from your own face,’ That’s what Aretha says, but the only sound Germaine can hear is that of a gauntlet being thrown down.

RAISED BY WOLVES Della (Rebekah Stanton)

Della, meanwhile, scores a victory against her mother (or Voldemort, as she gets called here), and claims back the bad family photos that adorned the snakepit. Fired up, she wants to rock a Thelma And Louise ending. ‘I won’t,’ she reassures a visibly concerned Aretha in the passenger seat. ‘I’ve just had the MOT done.’

Shit Gran has one last revenge. She doesn’t come to the funeral (‘She can’t walk on hallowed ground’, Della remarks), but she offloads Grampy’s entire record collection at her daughters, not caring how much 45rpm gets smashed on the way. Della suggests Spotify, but Grampy isn’t seduced by digital: ‘I like a strong woman on an imperishable format’ he says, gravely. Words to live by, right there.

Speaking of your Spotify playlist: You’ll never listen to the Question Time theme in the same way again. This time next week, it’ll have replaced Marvin Gaye as your go-to lovin’ track: ‘This is Wolverhampton, this is Question Time: Let’s get it on.’


Aired on Monday 13 April 2015 on Channel 4.

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