Stay Close 1.5 [includes spoilers for 1.1-1.5]

Continued from here. Keep in mind disclaimers here.

Reminder: SPOILERS. Do not read this post if you do not want to read SPOILERS.

***

Summary: After the effective dramatic architecture of episode 5, this one seemed aimless. (I admit that I was tired after thinking about the difference between truth and validity all day, and also worried about the snow that’s coming.) But I frequently found my attention wandering. There was a lot of unsubtle information delivery. In this regard, the beginning was quite incoherent — totally new information about someone I’d never seen before and won’t see again, albeit with the “19 years ago” prefix. The takedown by the police of a Black man, who we then see doing prayer in prison.

The episode proper resumes with Broome in Lorraine’s apartment, suggesting they could go to a yoga retreat. She dodges him, refusing to say “what [the relationship] is about.” Morning debrief at the Shaws; Dave urges Megan to be on time “at the church”; after he and Jordan leave, Cassie leaves, too, giving the excuse of work — what work? — allowing daughter Kayleigh free run of the house. Kayleigh in turn deduces where Cassie is going based on her iPad.

Broome confronts Mrs. Green at her house. She offers the totally plausible story that the suitcase of money showed up in the backyard one day, and she needed the money so she used it to pay her bills. Then she wants Broome to keep it a secret, referring to PAST secrets they’ve kept. Man. At the police station, Cartwright pries from Broome that he’s seeing Lorraine. She smirks. And then some info dump.

 

Cartwright makes a sarcastic remark about Cassie changing her name, which she was able to figure out by tracing her car registration. At least in the US, this would be a glaring plot problem for Cassie — recently I’ve been involved in trying to help the child of a friend go through a name change in the courts. You have to prove that you are not changing it for nefarious purposes. I guess Cassie didn’t have to do that.

 

Goldberg wants Broome and Cartwright to look into a group of civilians who research crimes on social media to ask her about Carlton Flynn. (I assume, to distract them.) After they disagree, they take off to meet the lady in charge of the group.

Cassie shows up at Fester’s bar (the “Weak Signal”) to try to get Ray’s contact info. I really liked this scene and Fester may now be my favorite character in the show. Loved the reference to what she did to Ray as “extreme ghosting,” and also the sarcastic quotation of the Bible.

 

Youssef Kerkour as Fester, here noting that he will have to put Ray together when Cassie ditches him again, is also a LAMDA alum. Here’s his impressive bio.

 

I’ve been ambivalent about Cassie for most of this show and convinced she hasn’t told anyone her whole story. But at this point, I tilted into minus on her: it’s really hard to like someone who definitely seems like such a user of her friends. So it’s sort of hard to believe what the show is implying about how she “needs” to see him again. I don’t think it’s love, anyway. She asks Fester to have Ray meet her. Bea and Kayleigh are on the job again, tailing Megan.

Broome and Cartwright meet with Mrs. Keyboard Warrior, and after some mildly funny wrangling, they discover that she already knows about the date coincidences of the murders, and indeed has an additional victim — this is how the scene from the beginning fits in, because someone’s been made responsible for that murder already: Jamal Alade. (After I see her wall of pictures, I conclude that Ray was brawling with Carlton Flynn and not Goldberg at Vipers.) Kayleigh is also in many of the photos and they resolve to locate her. (As a former church historian I have to interject that Broome’s subsequent explanation notwithstanding, Carnival, if they’re talking about, you know, “the” Carnival, the wild week before the beginning of Lent, is never going to coincide with the third Friday of April every year. Maybe it’s some local festival that has the same name.)

Apparently Cassie wants to meet Ray at that “Dream” sculpture again, and TOTALLY PLAUSIBLY, she has the key to its insides.

 

I will concede that the background sets them up for visually interesting shots — that’s Armitage down there, antlike as he enters the monument — but the penis resemblances are also distracting.

 

Cue the young Ray / young lovers flashbacks.

 

Yum.

 

To me, this is more a female than a male fantasy, but Ray seems delighted, so we will go with that.

 

The present is not so pleasant, as Cassie tells Ray that she is engaged and has three children.

 

According to her, they are meeting so that he agrees to stay away from her family. (WHY NOT JUST STAY AWAY YOURSELF? OR CALL HIM?) They exchange notes about their suffering in the interim, and Cassie repeats that she wants him to stay away from her family. I guess that doesn’t include her, because they kiss, and there’s a nice, if someone trite, interspersing of the kiss in the present and the past as the camera circles the pair.

 

Then, Ray moves unerringly toward a wall, I guess because Armitage can’t have sex without a wall in the frame somewhere?

 

And then, of course, Kayleigh walks in on the end of the kiss. Ouch.

 

Mother and daughter have an emotional debrief at the base of the statue — Cassie still doesn’t tell her daughter the entire truth — but Cassie says she’ll tell Dave all about it. This scene didn’t really work for me: I still don’t get why Cassie is so anxious. Also, I’ve been wondering for awhile whose daughter she is. I guess not Ray’s, but if she is as old as she appears to be, Cassie must have gotten pregnant the week after she disappeared.

Broome and Cartwright are now set up to meet the man convicted for the first murder in the series. Outside the prison, Lorraine interrupts Broome with some questions about something he wants her to wear. I’m sure there was a purpose to this — but in general I don’t know why Lorraine wanted to have sex with Broome anyway. The show wants us to think it’s a last pre-death fling, but I still have big suspicions about her even if she is dying.

Summary of the meeting in the prison: It looks awfully like Jamal Alade was stitched up, maybe in part because of racial prejudice (but if Goldberg is protecting the murderer somehow, he could obviously have been involved). Now he’s suffering from severe sickle cell disease (poor guy, seriously, it’s really painful apart from all the ways it harms the body). The show is scripted accurately (policemen never give up on their convictions), but it’s galling that Broome seriously is willing to consider Jamal as potentially involved in the current investigation. Sickle cell anemia that advanced means that he would struggle to breathe enough to walk very far. This whole tangent really contributed to the aimless feeling of this episode. If all this does is establish that Jamal didn’t commit the first murder and it should be considered part of the investigation, considering that we didn’t know about the additional murder at all until this episode, it feels largely pointless.

Also why another call from Lorraine about Broome’s kinks? That seems to offer the opportunity for Broome to confess to Cartwright that he is deeply infatuated with her. I suppose this increases our sympathy for him if she turns out to be the mastermind.

Cassie is late to church for what turns out to be a premarital counseling session. The pastor is talking about memory and how people tell stories about their relationships in which they discard what doesn’t fit. He encourages them to close their eyes and think about it.

 

Sadly for Dave, Megan flashes back to Cassie’s relationship with Ray in the past ….

 

… and in the present.

 

Afterwards, Megan tells Dave they really don’t need the pastor’s help (with Kayleigh? or with anything else?) because they are good people. She doesn’t tell him about Ray; she urges him not to speak to Kayleigh until his bachelor party is over. It’s a weird scene because, of course, we know that he’s supporting Kayleigh by having hidden the car (the motion to the glove box in this car is supposed to be a reminder of that). So when Megan says they both want to protect their family, she is more right than she realizes, I suppose.

Broome and Cartwright finally make it to Harry’s — he’s really dead. Even though the beat cop points out that he has a history of near-overdose, they declare it murder. What a gruesome body.

 

I’m subbing these in for a cap of the body, but also because I remember as someone was described as having shiny shoes. Stewart Green, maybe? In any case, there’s no way one would mistake Harry for Stewart Green, right? Too much hair.

 

They declare it a murder investigation; Cartwright casts suspicion on Megan (do you really trust her?).

Back at his darkroom, Ray finds himself staring down the barrel of a long gun, when Simona shows up and suggests that he killed Guy. He talks her down. That was definitely a jump scare. I hate jump scares. Also, doesn’t Ray have any emotionally normal friends? Under pressure, he admits that Guy was a with a woman at Vipers that night. (Perhaps the cause of the brawl?) He also gushes out his pain at the way Cassie walked away from him that day, after he panted after her for seventeen years. (He’s striking in this scene, but that is an unabashed script excess. Men don’t really talk that way. Even when they are drunk.) We see him in his darkroom again, taking down and throwing away all his photos of her. (Good job Ray, in my experience this really does help. Out of sight, out of mind.)

 

Not a thumb shot.

 

Cassie is flashing back on the night in the sculpture …

 

Somehow she got a whole bed up there.

 

… when Broome appears at her door. She goes in for an official chat and is surprised when Cartwright offers to find her another attorney.

We again glimpse the jerky torturing teenagers, and they have a conversation about not having kids or pets, which is probably supposed to make us think they are narcissists (but I mean seriously, would you want those two to reproduce?) and at Goldberg’s behest, they break into the Shaw house.

Bea returns Kayleigh to her home. I found this scene funny simply because after they speculate about whether Kayleigh’s mum was a prostitute, they have to remind themselves so explicitly not to judge. I’m surprised that they think anyone cares, or even that they care. My nieces are about their age, have been raised much more conservatively, and still are neither woke nor full of twentieth-century prejudices.

When Kayleigh gets into the house, she is surprised by the girl murderer. I know this should really make me frightened, but this aimless episode didn’t get me there dramatically. It’s like being asked to come after forty minutes of mostly distracting foreplay.

~ by Servetus on January 5, 2022.

14 Responses to “Stay Close 1.5 [includes spoilers for 1.1-1.5]”

  1. […] Continues here. […]

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  2. OMG. I was just glancing at this recap (having decided to read all 8 at once since I already binged the entire series) and my eye accidentally(?) fell on your comment that “Armitage can’t have sex without a wall being in frame somewhere” and I nearly fell out on the floor. YES! It’s true. As soon as Ray put his arm out to balance himself I flashed on the foreplay scene from Sleepwalker where RA’s character (can’t remember his name right now; a bit distracted due to the images in my head!) did the same thing, only with both arms against opposing walls in the hallway. Ooof!

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Probably we need the awful hoofers because nobody else is enough threatening, but they’re scary due to their incompetence and lack of sense – the kind of people who think that a raw bat is a good meal. So, still annoying and boring. The statue is only vaguely phallic, I think we need a RA full frontal – just for scientific purpose of course. The love nest has a cute pinterest-ish vibe but why meet into a (vaguely phallic) statue? There’s not motels in Blackpool?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I just don’t want a shot from the perspective of the top of his erect penis (which is what i thought of when I saw that shot). I would take a full frontal.

      After I saw all the flashbacks, I thought, wow, all that work and she had to get rid of it right away afterwards probably. Unless maybe you can rent the inside of the statue for romantic trysts? It’s an interesting possibility — good way to finance public art. I mean, how many people would pay to have sex inside of something like the Washington Monument in DC?

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  4. I had a good chuckle over your recap with your unexpected irreverent observations 😆. I find the series fairly enjoyable if I suspend my disbelief (and frustrations with the plot holes). I hope the denouement is worth the time investment but am not holding my breath on that.
    That said, I do like to see RA in a romantic role, playing the wounded, discarded lover. He portrays hurt well.
    I remain in hope that his character will get to take his top off or else the black undies will make an appearance (apologies for my shallowness).

    5 down, three more to go…hold on in there!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think for me it’s very much a willing suspension of disbelief issue — to be entertaining I have to feel like I can leave the outside of the story behind me — episode 4 wasn’t bad in that regard but this one was a total failure.

      I suspect that we’re not going to see his top — that his remarks about having a “dad bod” a few years ago was the signal that he was done stripping off. Although who knows, maybe it’s just because they didn’t want to paint that whole tattoo on all the time.

      Three more. I think maybe I won’t have to move much snow today. Hoping.

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  5. Hi Serv! I’ve just binged this one, so I’ll keep my substantive comments until you finish the show. But as you noted, Fester is also my favorite character! Richard looks great in it. I also live Jo Joyner – she’s great on Shakespeare & Hathaway if you’ve ever seen it. Hope you’re doing okay! As always live your comments.

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  6. I don’t like Megan/Cassie either. I think she saw Ray as pretty but thick and not a good long term provider. Dave, on the other hand, obviously has an income that has given her a big house, a BMW 7 series and a yoga mum lifestyle. Call me judgmental but I don’t think Megan has a job that pays for all that. The timeline bothers me too – the eldest daughter must be nearly 17 as her friend Bea is driving and you can’t start driving in the UK until you are 17 so even if they are a year or so apart in age she’s 16 at least. I think it’s unlikely she’s Dave’s child unless Dave was already on he scene concurrently with Ray and Greene. The father could be any one of them.

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    • That little bitch. I knew she wasn’t good enough for Ray. Good riddance to old trash, I say. He’s much better off without her. He’ll become an internationally renowned photojournalist, meet a wonderful woman whose the president of his fan club, and live a rich and fulfilling life. Meanwhile, Megan/Cassie gets bored with the ‘burbs, returns to stripping at Vipers, and eventually loses everything. What goes around …

      Liked by 1 person

    • it’s weird that the show doesn’t find this suspicious.

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  7. […] from here. Keep in mind disclaimers […]

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