Last week dealt with the murky underbelly of the police; this week it was the beautiful game.
Martha’s compassion for her clients continued as she came to the defence of gay footballer Jordan Sinclair (a stellar Ukweli Roach), who was facing prison for breaking the jaw of a fellow player.
The smear-campaign against Jordan by slippery agent Madden (Coronation Street’s Brian Capron) seemed a bit Footballer’s Wives, but the violence and ingrained homophobia brought the story down to earth with a bump. We were reminded of the pain suffered by those trapped in a world that will never completely accept them. “The game is better than that” was oft-repeated wishfully; and the game could be – should be – but sadly isn’t.
‘You always end up liking them, don’t you?’ Clive said to Martha this week in reference to her clients, which, as Martha slowly realised in this episode, comes at a cost to her personal life. The Katherine and Petruchio of this piece were clearly finding it hard to keep the professional and personal separate.
With Reader becoming more and more ambitious (thanks in no small part to icy new practice manager Harriet) and Martha becoming more and more emotionally involved, is it only a matter of time before their differences become irreconcilable?
Meanwhile Billy, driven by his illness, is looking to continue his legacy through Jake (perhaps), but while the idea of a new clerk keeps the show pushing onwards, it’s hard to imagine Silk sans Billy. He’s a grafter and a bit of a dinosaur (his reaction to Bethany getting smacked in the face was unpleasant), but it just wouldn’t be the same without his particular brand of clerking.
Harriet though, with her online diaries and disdain for lunchtime tipples, has her sight trained on him and is poised to take him out. Their exchange over a leaked press release, crackling with animosity, was one of the most entertaining scenes this week.
It’s old school versus new school – we can’t wait to find out who wins.
Aired at 9pm on Monday 3 March 2014 on BBC One.
What did you think of the episode? Let us know below…