The grand finale and an award winning performance from Penelope Wilton as Pauline, her talents have been showcased in a much better way than Downton Abbey was able to provide. On reflection, Mrs Crawley was too similar to other interfering ladies that Wilton has played throughout her career. Pauline has given a well loved actress a new lease of life and I think the nation stood still as with teary eyes, she told Brian (Peter Wight) that she had known a man before him and that she had a Son who had traced her. The catalyst for this outburst? Ovaltine! What a well chosen moment for the truth to come out.
It’s testament to the gritty and believable writing that such a showdown worked, and indeed that the rest of the finale was wrapped up in a way that leaves the way clear for a second series. There MUST be a second series, ITV has a gem of a production in this series.
The rest of the episode consisted of Steph (Sophie Rundle) pulling off a spectacular event which enable her talents to be noticed by a top dog for Ann Summers! A Unit Manager role is offered and in what is a neat culmination of the character’s efforts throughout the six episodes. That Nita (Angela Griffin) ‘chooses’ that moment to be giving birth backstage after a confrontation with Pauline relating to the accident which left Brian for dead, is genius! Plus, Dawn (Sharon Rooney) is bustling around trying to be the glue while hoping for an appearance from her husband who should be there modelling a willy warmer. When Russell (Will Merrick) does rock up he certainly doesn’t let his Mrs down.
The love triangle between Terry (Karl Davies), Steph and Johnny (Ben Bailey Smith) draws to a conclusion, too. Or it certainly reaches its peak for the sake of the end of the first series, it would be interesting to see what the future will bring.
I was happy with all of the decisions made by the writers for this episode, I’d be even happier with a second series and more than six episodes, please!
Photo credits: ITV