Let me start this recap of Lip Service 2, Episode 2 by saying
that I seriously recommend you watch this episode
before reading the recap, if you are at all able to. It'll be on
BBC iPlayer, if you missed the episode at 9pm. So, yes, you have
offically been recommended to. SPOILER ALERT and
That said, I'm now settled down in my standard-issue vest combo
(a black one under a white one, since you asked) and chunky silver
jewelry with my piping hot cup of Hibiscus and Gogi Berry tea at my
elbow and am ready to recap.
We open with lovely newcomer Lexy moving in to Tess and Frankie's
"Is this everything?" asks Frankie, who has left the most
difficult stuff for tiny Tess to struggle with.
"Yeah, I don't like clutter," says Lexy. As an A&E doc she
sees a lot of people "snuff it", she says, so she travels light.
"You realize only junk gets left behind" when people snuff it (a
medical term, presumably), she points out. This is a lovely light
start to the episode.
Then we are at Cat and Sam's, where a beautifully disheveled,
be-robed Cat discovers that Perfect Sam has bought fragrant lillies
and made a lovely breakfast. There's even birthday jam and
marmalade in little eggcups like you get in a hotel, Sam points
out. I'm now going to say what we are all surely thinking, that Sam
is bloody amazing. She's even bought Cat the handbag she wanted,
which is made of black leather.
"I love it, thank you," says Cat of the designer handbag,
looking sad and guilty as well she might after her shenanigans with
Frankie the day before. But is this delightful gift going to stop
her fooling around behind Sam's back? Only time will tell.
(This scene makes me feel a bit sad, myself. It was my birthday
a couple of weeks ago, you see, and as I don't have a hot cop
girlfriend I had to eat my breakfast jam straight from the jar. I
didn't even have a spoon. Sad times. The single life has a lot to
Meanwhile, Lexy is organising her stuff.
"I bloody hate DIY," Lexy says as she places a rickety metal
thing next to a wall, single handedly smashing a lesbian stereotype
in the process. I didn't realize that putting a crappy shelf
against a wall counted as DIY myself, but I will take Lexy at her
word as she is a doctor.
Tess looks on adoringly, as DIY expert Lexy muses that Fin must
be a big help to Tess with her own DIY skills.
To our collective massive surprise, however, we learn that Tess
has split up with Fin because she pronounced tomato differently.
This sounds like a lie to me. When did this happen, I wonder? I'm
slightly disappointed that Fin didn't even get a dumping scene -
I'd really like some closure here. I hope she's okay and that
Badger and Tigger etc are being supportive, maybe taking her to
that greasy spoon for a cup of tea and some mocking banter or
I'll have to get over this dumping quickly though, as Lexy's now
psychoanalyzing Tess while Tess stares at Lexy's slim body like a
hungry animal stares at whatever food it likes best. Australians do
have that effect on people; I'm a New Zealander myself, so I know
just how magnetic and appealing they can be. Then subtle Tess asks
if Lexy is single and Lexy is. Oh how bloody convenient. They'd
make a cute couple and everything, though, so I guess I'll do my
best to forget Fin as quickly as Tess has. There, done.
Meanwhile, Cat is sitting on the couch with her new bag and the
flowers Sam got her. She gets a text and smiles secretively.
£20,000,000 says it's from Frankie. Sam is off for a run wearing
some kind of wetsuit. "Don't you dare clear up that mess, I'll do
it," she says as she jogs away. Perfect, sweet, oblivious Sam. Are
we supposed to dislike Cat right now? I half-heartedly try, but I'm
afraid I just can't. Damn that pretty, deceitful face!
Next up, Frankie and super-cool Sadie meet up in the park. Frankie
says sorry and they decide to be mates again, on the proviso that
Frankie won't be getting back into Sadie's pants. This is an
indelicate phrase. Frankie says that's not what she wants, that
she's into someone else.
"How is Cat?" asks Sadie. "Still married… I'm working on it,"
On the one hand, then, Frankie is a changed woman. But she's
still falling short of being the show's moral compass.
Sadie is "just chipper", broke and jobless. But Frankie can
possibly help, Frankie says. Intrigued? Only a little, to be
A burst of music as Sam does some running around the city. Because
Glasgow is a teeny village-sized city she happens upon an
exhausted, sweaty Lexy, who has also been running but is now bent
double and coughing her lungs out. If you remember, Lexy seemed to
rather fancy Sam in the last episode, so this is probably going to
They talk about donuts and stair lifts and then Lexy says Sam is
"really fit", and then gets embarrassed. Is it wrong to think
they'd be a great couple? But so would Tess and Lexy, as I have
mentioned on several occasions. Argh. Sam runs off into the
distance while Lexy and the rest of us catch our breath.
Back to Tess and her rehearsals. The ghastly co-star of Tess is
being ghastly again, undermining Tess and trying to steal the
limelight. Is this a subtle Lip Service in-joke about one of the
cast of Lip Service that only the cast and crew get? Nah, probably
not. It's just a way of torturing Tess.
Cat and Sam are walking to work. They have a table booked tonight
at 7.30pm for birthday dinner. No jeans, no trainers. Cat's acting
shifty and Sam asks if she's okay. "Yeah," lies Cat. Cat pretends
to go into a building but actually she's not and sneaks back to the
street once Sam's walked on. She is deceiving lovely Sam.
At the hospital where they work Dr Love and Lexy do some cute
banter regarding Lexy's jogging meeting with Sam, who she admits
she fancies. Dr Love has his eye on a male colleague, who he
believes his "sixth sense" is telling him is gay. "I see gay
people," he says, indicating that his pop culture references are a
Tess and her drunkard male co-star chat about how Tess should be
enjoying herself now she has broken up with Fin, not wanting to
kill her co-star. He says that actresses are all the same: selfish,
faithless, self-absorbed. Tess chomps on some crisps and points out
that she's an actress. He tells her about how his wife left him for
another man. This week's episode is heavy with the theme of
infidelity. Actually, every episode is.
Speaking of which, sneaky Cat has sneaked off and arrives at
Frankie's. Turns out Cat is wearing this amazing red corset thing
under her coat. Frankie's wearing a two-vest combo. Cat looks very
dishy. "I want you to watch me," she says. Obligingly, Frankie
watches. As do we all.
In her patrol car, Sam tells her partner about the amazing
restaurant she's taking Cat to tonight and says that she'd marry
Cat tomorrow. This is a sad counterpoint with what is going on
between Cat and Frankie.
Back at Frankie's they are lying back on the bed. Frankie is a
voyeur and Cat is an exhibitionist, they acknowledge. Frankie gives
Cat a bracelet with their names engraved on it, which is lovely and
everything. Cat doesn't want to talk about whether or not she'll
leave Sam. Like Natalie Umbruglia, she is torn, and don't let
anyone (especially Dr Love) tell you that's not a solid, current
Then Cat gets edgy when Frankie tells her Sadie's arriving soon
to drive her to a job in the Highlands. Frankie assures her that
she doesn't want to sleep with anyone else.
"I love you. I'm going to wait for you," she says.
Then there's a kissing bit which some day a Lip Service fan will
edit together with other kissing bits in the show, set to music and
post on YouTube. And no, before you ask, that Lip Service fan is
not me. I have better things to do, like the two-by-two metre
Gillian Anderson collage I'm working on, for example.
The front door opens. Tess has come home early and she sees
Frankie and Cat together. Awkward. Tess rushes off to the shower,
and Cat leaves to go back to work, with Frankie promising to tell
Tess not to tell anyone what she has seen. Frankie asks Tess not to
tell anyone. Tess agrees. The web of deceit is becoming stickier
than the kind of web a spider makes.
Sadie turns up in non-sensible shoes for her trip with Frankie.
Love her, for self-evident reasons. Oddly, so far no one has had a
cup of tea or even mentioned tea at all in this episode. Unless I
missed it when I made myself a cup of tea just now. Curious, most
Outside, Cat is headed back to work, upset, and asks a stranger
for a cigarette. This must be a parallel universe in which
cigarettes are not more expensive than gold, because he gives her a
cigarette and lights it for her. She stands on the footpath
smoking. Then Frankie texts to say Tess won't say anything and Cat
reads this, smiles and steps into the road where she is slammed
into by a car and sent flying through the air.
Yes. I'm afraid you read that right. Un-bloody-believable.
Then there's a bit where Sadie and Frankie are walking to
Sadie's car, which is full of pants and bras possibly left by
Sadie's former conquests, but I'm not really focusing on this, on
account of Cat having just been horribly, brutally run over. Could
we go back to that slightly more important event, please?!?
We do, thankfully. Cat has been taken to A&E where Lexy and Dr
Love try to save her. Lexy recognizes her and looks pained. They do
medical stuff to her. Sam's arrived because traffic have told her
Cat's been called in. She walks down a corridor. As she watches
through a window in the door the medical stuff doesn't work and Cat
I know. Intense doesn't even begin to cover it. I am genuinely
astounded. As Sam stands outside the A&E room, looking
devastated, I remember Heather Peace saying in an interview that
things get really dark for Sam in this season, and I feel a right
idiot for never even considering this turn of events.
Back at the flat, Tess and Ed are chatting away about Cat's
birthday presents when they get a call and rush to A&E. Tess is
wearing a really cute yellow top with dots on it. I hope she is
ready for the top-notch acting she's about to have to do.
They run into the hospital. At A&E, Sam's sitting with Cat,
who is not alive anymore. At first Ed doesn't get it but then he
does. There is great acting all around, including from Cat who is
playing a not-exhaling corpse now. Was that stuff last episode
about Tess having played a corpse in The Bill foreshadowing? And
Lexy's comment earlier about people snuffing it? I could never be a
DS like Sam; I have missed all the clues.
(I'll say it again; this is intense. I'm not ashamed to admit
that I cried watching this the first time. And again, just now,
writing this recap. I don't usually cry watching TV, by the way.
Just during the sad bits.)
Meanwhile, in the Highlands, Sadie and Frankie are having car
trouble. Sadie has a good line: "Can't drive. Can't change a tyre.
Turns out you're not so cool after all." She also ruins her very
nice shoes in the mud. There is lots of stuff in the boot of
Sadie's car, Frankie notes. Is she living in her car? "Shut up,"
says Sadie. Then they're having phone trouble as Frankie's phone is
coated in mud. It's now not working. Convenient. Or inconvenient,
Ed, Sam and Tess sit with Cat. Lexy comes in, very sympathetic and
lovely, and Sam asks her about the blood alcohol level of the guy
driving. He hadn't been drinking but is there at hospital with
concussion, says Lexy. Sam looks like she wants to kill him anyway.
Tess tries to call Frankie, but gets her voicemail.
Meanwhile in a hotel in rural Scotland, Frankie has no texts.
Sadie wants to sleep with Frankie but Frankie passes the fidelity
test and declines. She truly loves Cat. This is pretty tragic.
Still feeling a bit stunned actually. So is Sam, who finally leaves
her vigil by Cat's body to go home where she sees the remnants of
Cat's breakfast and the flowers and breaks down. Seriously great
piece of acting from HP, makes me cry. Again. I'm not a blubbering
wreck, but I have definitely teared up. Bloody hell, Lip
Morning. Frankie takes a photo. Everyone else wakes up stunned.
Except Cat, who I guess isn't on the show anymore.
Dressed for work, Sam calls up someone official for the name of
the driver who hit Cat. At the hospital she finds him. She stands
outside his room for a moment and then Lexy spots her and
beautifully dissuades her from going in. Great scene. Love Lexy.
Love Sam. Lip Service has come of age, IMO.
Tess and Ed are watching telly, talking about how careful Cat used
to be, ironing her socks and whatnot. I'd make a joke about cats
crossing roads, but I have known cats who have died doing just that
and it's not in the least bit funny. It's bloody horrible. The
front door opens and Frankie comes in. Tess tells her what has
happened and I'm not kidding, but Fiona Button nails it. So does
Ruta. Then we see HP/Sam in an otherwise empty bed with this
grief-stricken look on her face. The cast have been tested in this
episode and I think they've passed.
Then Tess knocks on Frankie's door and offers her a cup of tea.
Frankie is holding Cat's broken necklace, the one Sam gave her and
then Cat gave Frankie last episode. Frankie checks Tess hasn't told
anyone about her and Cat, and tells her not to tell. More
importantly, she doesn't want tea, but I do, so it's pause button
and off to the kitchen for a quick break.
Tess and Lexy hug in the kitchen while making… coffee!? They would
be such a great couple once all the grief is over. This is the way
Lip Service makes me think, always trying to pair people up. Sam
arrives to collect a CD and stuff of Cat's for the funeral service.
She doesn't want a herbal tea either. Sam thanks Lexy for the other
day at the hospital. They'd make a great couple also. Viewers, we
are spoiled for choice. Then Frankie busts past and leaves,
followed after a few minutes by Sam. Everyone is gorgeous (Tess'
hair has never looked more lustrous) and hurting and it's all a bit
A great scene next with Cat's family preparing to discuss funeral
arrangements (that sounded odd, but it's true) dominated by the
brilliant, brilliant Phyllis Logan who plays Cat and Ed's mum, and
by Gerry's failure to remind her about the digestive biscuits. Poor
Gerry. The doorbell rings and Ed springs up to answer it.
Then Frankie visits Cat in her coffin. "I'm so sorry," she says
to poor Cat. I miss Cat already, too. Maybe my hormones are mad
today but I'm feeling tearful again. This scene reminds me of where
we all started, in the first season, with Frankie's aunt dying and
Frankie visiting the funeral home. In a weird way, Frankie's aunt
dying has led to Cat's death, because it brought Frankie back to
Glasgow in the first place. It doesn't help to think about these
things too much though, so let's stop.
Great script writing in the next scene back at Cat's parents'
house; the discussion between Sam and Ed and Cat's mum about what
flowers and music to have at the service is spot on. Phyllis Logan
= amazing. Also, as I have said before, the Scottish accent is
among the best of all the accents.
Then the funeral's already about to happen. Sadie turns up for
Frankie, who's not planning to go. Tess and Lexy head off. Sadie,
owner of the best fringe in Britain, convinces Frankie to get
dressed. Frankie wasn't going to go to the funeral.
Frankie: Would you go?
Sadie. Yes, I would. Because I'm not a total idiot. You know
what you meant to each other. Sod everyone else.
Have I mentioned how much I love Sadie? So glad she's become a
more regular character.
Light banter at the hospital follows, with Dr Love making jokes
about Cat's friends returning their birthday gifts now, and
suggesting that Cat's death makes Sam now available for Lexy. Then
he is swiftly rejected by a guy he fancies. Ha ha. Cool scene, a
little tough to take but a reminder that death is a part of life
and that Cat's death is not such a big deal to people who didn't
know her. Doctors see it every day, after all.
Funeral. Jay is thinking of moving to London. Makes sense - no
point in scenes at architect firm now Cat's not there. Inside the
service kicks off. Tess and Jay check their text messages; Jay
admits he knew that Frankie and Cat had been hooking up, which may
be relevant later. Ed says some stuff. Sam says some stuff. Frankie
turns up just in time to leave when Sam speaks. She goes to a pub
and drinks a double whiskey. They bury Cat without her.
Frankie goes to visit her mum for consolation. "Are you alright?"
her mum asks when Frankie tells her that Cat has died. Not too
perceptive there, mum. Mum then refuses to let Frankie come in as
her partner is there. For the record, Frankie clearly isn't
alright. To illustrate just how not alright she is, she goes to lie
on Cat's muddy grave. Frankie really is having a shit time this
season, not counting the red corset sex scene with Cat of course,
which is now a dim memory, I suspect.
At home, Sam is looking through some of Cat's stuff and finds the
bit of wood with Frankie and Cat's initials carved in, plus the
note from Frankie which says 'Some things shouldn't be destroyed'.
Hmm. Is she going to start asking questions? There could be some
problems ahead if so. It occurs to me that this sort of thing must
have happened to loads of people in real life and it must be
absolutely horrible and devastating. Perhaps the single life has
its benefits after all, I muse smugly. Even if it does mean no
birthday breakfast jam in eggcups.
Meanwhile, Sadie lets herself in to Frankie's place. Frankie is
catatonic on the floor, mud all over her face.
Sadie: I guess it didn't go so well then.
"If it wasn't for me, she'd still be at work. She'd be alive,"
She is, naturally, very very upset. Then she kisses Sadie,
because she needs to be consoled. Sadie obligingly kisses her back
and the episode ends, leaving me, quite frankly, emotionally
drained and somewhat impressed that:
A) Lip Service made this brave plot decision given the backlash
when Dana died in The L Word
B) I've just written 3,000 words about this episode.
I'm exhausted, Lip Service fans, and I imagine you are too.
Thank you for reading and goodnight.
If you enjoyed this recap, please "like" it above and tune
in next week for episode three.