Here we are already, Lip Service fans, at episode five of
Last week ended badly for Slexy fans (that's Sam and Lexy,
obviously), with an anguished CCTV-addled Sam kissing Lexy, who
backed off, protesting quite fairly that the situation wasn't
right. Sadie, meanwhile, having met Lauren's wife Jo Glass and been
given a job in her art gallery, is still having sex with Lauren.
Tess has an ongoing thing for Lexy, who doesn't seem to have
noticed. Ed and Nora are a cosy non-smoking couple, while Tess'
other co-star is still angsting over his wife's relationship with
Thomas Delaware, a successful actor. Unfortunately, however, we
seem to have misplaced both Cat and Frankie somewhere along the
line. That is where we are now, more or less.
Episode Five, then.
Sam is sitting looking pensive with what Lexy would
probably refer to as the junk Cat left behind when she snuffed it.
A gold bangle. A lipstick. A red notebook. What looks like some
tangled yellow string. The possessions of an unfaithful harlot,
basically. Unhappiness and suppressed anger are two emotions Sam's
very familiar with, it would seem. She's also wearing a watch
that's bigger than my flat.
Her phone rings; it's her friend and jogging partner Lexy,
who rebuffed sad Sam's late night advances at the end of the last
episode. Sam looks at the ringing phone with distaste. Sam's upset
because she has very gradually discovered that her girlfriend Cat,
who died suddenly in episode two, was cheating on her just before
she died. I'm not sure why she's angry at Lexy, because Lexy has
done The Right Thing by not taking advantage of Sam in her distress
the other night. I guess Sam's pride is wounded,
Cut to Lexy on the bridge, leaving a message for Sam. Lexy
is hopeful that she and Sam can get past this.
Eden: I don't think Sam's going to get past
this, do you? [Looking around] Oh, I'm watching this on my own.
I'll just write something down about that, then.
Lexy hangs up, vainly hoping Sam is already en route. The
bridge is very interesting architecturally, with a sharp point
angling towards the grey clouds of heaven as if to pierce the
mournful heart of the sky. Coincidentally, Cat was an architect,
but is now in heaven, if you believe that sort of thing. It's all
richly symbolic, arguably. I did say arguably.
Sadie gets up. She is, as always, wearing her red silk
Chinese robe. She yawns.
"Woah," says Tess, whose own man-robe is delightfully
disheveled, displaying one shoulder and the vest, of course,
beneath. "I thought you melted in daylight." This is possibly a
reference to a witch in The Wizard of Oz or a vampire, but Sadie
takes it in good humour. She heads to the tea-making area to serve
herself a portion of tea. Several things are discussed, meanwhile,
including the fact that Lauren the editor is due back and that Tess
didn't sleep with the make-up artist from my favourite
as-yet-uncommissioned show of the future: Cardiac Care. Bacterial
hydrytus is mentioned, again reminding us of Tess' near miss with
the make-up artist, who has, it seems, since spammed Tess' Facebook
wall with her love. Tess, you need to sort out your privacy
Then Sadie lets slip that her editor is with someone else
and Tess says: "I don't think I could be in a love triangle. I'd
always be wondering what was going on in the other corner." The
irony is of course elephant-sized, as Tess is in a sort of love
triangle with Lexy and Sam, though technically the side between Sam
and Tess isn't joined up. She just doesn't realize there are three
of them in the burgeoning relationship.
"Yeah well I'm not," says Sadie. "Lauren's really into
me." This gives neither us nor Tess any insight into why Sadie is
pursuing the married editor when it may all end in tears for all
involved and then there is someone at the door and we may never
have another chance to find out.
It's Sam, and she's in Robocop mode, steely cold and
angry. "Lexy not in?" she says, when ditzy old Tess opens the
"No," says Tess. "Good," says Robocop, who looks on edge,
like a boxer all revved up for a fight.
Inside, Sam ignores the offered tea or coffee. She tells
Tess she knows about Cat and Frankie's affair and asks when it
started. Tess bumbles and Sadie, who is curled up on the couch like
a cat with a cup of tea, says she doesn't think it ever really
Sam: And you're all right with that?
Sadie: Didn't have much of a choice, did I?
The scene continues with Sam blaming Tess for not telling
her and Sadie being the voice of reason, pointing out that if Tess
had told Sam asap about Cat's cheating it wouldn't have made things
any easier. Sam says with some venom that it would have made her
feel like less of a "foolish idiot". Then Lexy comes in wearing
scrubs and tells Sam to back off. "Did you know too?" asks RoboSam,
and dashes off without wanting an answer. Lexy is thoroughly
Again Sadie is the Voice of Truth, pointing out that only
two people caused this colossal mess and neither of them are there
any more. Tess exits. Sadie then spells it out for Lexy, noting
that Tess has a thing for her, and that Lexy is liable to wake up
to discover Tess licking her face one day soon. I don't think Tess
would be that direct, frankly. But Sadie's right; Tess does like
Café. Tess and Lexy are at a café. Ed and Nora come in,
and Nora is hilarious. She does vile so well. When will Tess see
Meg from Cardiac Care again? asks Nora the Matchmaker. I must focus
on the play and my thespianism, says Tess, who never wants to see
Meg again so help her god. Nora thinks differently, as if her time
in the business called show has taught her anything it is that
nothing improves a performance more than great sex (Really? Not
rehearsing? Not studying the work of Olivier, Gielgud and etc? Not
fifteen years at RADA? Ok) She rushes off to get coffee, telling Ed
to save his strength for later, wink wink. Not just the lesbians
having sex in Lip Serviceland, then. I like that; equal
opportunities for all and all that.
With Nora off-camera, the others chat. Sure, Lexy wants to
go to this book signing event thing that Ed's invited them to for
free drinks so very suddenly Tess does too. Lexy looks at Tess as
if for the very first time- verily, she really does fancy me,
thinks Lexy warily. Will Sam come along, wonders Ed. Nah, says
Lexy. Sam has other things on her mind, like replacing her human
body with a new titanium one.
(PS. I have a request that's about a year too late to do
anything about: could we see Lexy just once with her hair not in
hospital quiff, please! Thanks.)
Outside, an intense man stares at Lexy. Ah, the stalker
plot comes to a head imminently, I suspect.
Sadie is at work, at the art gallery. She looks, viewers,
bloody amazing. The editor's wife, Jo Glass, is a bit of a scruff
in comparison. She's also old school; she prefers paint to stuffed
sharks. I think the two combined would be good - fancy a painting
of a stuffed shark, Jo? But no, my creativity here is wasted, they
already have some Monica McCarthy paintings. Sadie's left there to
price things up and discovers they are £20,000 paintings! Sadie's
Lexy is tired of removing hoover attachments from people,
she says. Who peed on your chips? asks Bea, which is seemingly part
of a quite different conversation. There's no such thing as a
perfect woman, Lexy tells Bea. Au contraire my dear Lexy; many
women watching would say you were the perfect woman, I deeply
suspect. Bea is a puddle of sanity in the ocean of insanity that is
Lexy's life right now, ipso facto they have sex in the hospital
toilets. Is the smell of Domestos, unguents and death an
aphrodisiac? To some, perhaps it is. To others, I fear, not so
Lauren the editor turns up at the gallery only to head off
with her tragically clueless wife and is rather rude to Sadie in
the meantime, as she is obviously afraid that her infidelity will
come back to bite her. This is not a good situation. As they leave
Sadie sends her a text: I want to touch u. I must admit this bit
has a certain frisson to it.
At the hospital. Lexy and Love model their stethoscopes in
the corridors like catwalk models. Lexy is sad that Sam is not
receiving her calls. "Is Tess hot?" wonders Dr Love when Lexy
mentions that she's been told she is fancied by Tess. "I don't
know; I never thought about it," says Lexy. Then, "Yeah, I
guess she is but shit I really liked Sam," says Lexy, pained.
"Correction - you wanted to save her," says Love, perceptively. He
is still after Sexray, but is also currently pursuing a fireman, it
Sadie is bored in the art gallery until she splashes
coffee all over a white Monica McCarthy, that, frankly, my
five-year-old could have spilt coffee on.
Tess' stalker, probably, is in the hospital.
And then: I see more beauty. Tess is wearing a white
costume bodice thing and she looks lovely. She is definitely
attractive, am I right? Hugh and she chatter and then Nora drops by
with lunch for Tess, on the house, and it's ham no mayo! Yum! Nora,
you lovely lady! I am considering changing my opinion of Nora,
thanks to this touching sandwich gesture. Hugh looks amazed. He
fancies the wardrobe lady with great "jugs" who has got him down
for six costume fittings. If that doesn't mean you fancy someone, I
don't know what does.
Next, Lexy is confronted by her stalker. "Stay away from
my wife," he says. His wife is Bea. Yes, turns out No Strings
Attached has a bloody great string attached to her, ie. a husband
and a kid. She immediately confronts Bea who can't believe her
husband has been stalking Lexy and asks her not to be mad. Lexy is
not sympathetic to this request, probably on account of having been
stalked for ages.
At work, Sam lets a junkie perp stew and ignores another
call from Lexy until, pressured by Ryder, she picks up and says
"Stop calling me."
At work, Sexray comes looking for Love, but Love is
relieving his fireman beau in a cupboard. He feels regretful
directly afterwards, it seems.
Sadie can't get hold of Lauren on the phone, but she shows
a customer the Monica McCarthy Café Au Lait piece and, you know
what, he likes it. I love Sadie's can-do attitude. Actually, I love
Love and Lexy chat in the café about the stalker plot.
Love makes a comment about Bea's "fanny" and Lexy leaves abruptly,
for truly Declan is being Dr Crasslove again. I have to say I am
generally unamused when men like Dr Love (or even real, rather than
fictional, men) are crass about women's bodies. Show some respect
for the dignity of women and the beauty of the human body,
Dickface, I always think. But perhaps I'm just old-fashioned like
RoboSam interviews a dealer dude with Ryder, showing him a
bag of mixed drugs - heroin, cocaine, amphetamines - and quizzing
him about a warehouse deal that's going to go down at some point.
"Don't fucking lie to me!" she says when he offers no info and she
throws him to the floor. In the hallway, Ryder tells her to sort
herself out. "Go home," says Ryder. "To what?" says Sam.
Tess and Lexy are at home. "Me and Bea are done," says
Lexy, and Tess orders pizza and makes some hot sweet tea and lager.
Tess is great GF material and, as I mentioned, looks smashing in a
Wife (Jo) tells Sadie she can get off now, meaning she can
leave. Double entendre alert!
Tess comforts Lexy with lager and assures her that the
heterosexual community also have tangled lives and are additionally
blessed with "crap" sex. Lexy says she likes Tess and Tess looks as
pleased as Punch.
Sadie is wearing fabulous footwear. She turns up at
Lauren's lovely home, unexpectedly. She takes off her top. She
kisses Lauren. "Spend the afternoon with me tomorrow. Say you've
got the dentist," says Sadie (I paraphrase). Lauren is helpless to
resist. Then Jo comes home but Sadie manages to come up with a
plausible excuse for being there and their secret remains
undiscovered. Turns out she sold the Monica McCarthy today! Nice
Now, Lexy and Alice are sitting by the couch, a la Alice
and Dana all those years ago on The L Word. They discuss An
Impossible Task, AKA finding a woman one is utterly and completely
compatible with. They have a list. They are close to kissing,
perhaps, but then Sadie comes in and spoils it. Oh Tess. Your
predicament is ongoing.
The next minute Tess is telling Hugh all about it while he
is pruning his manly nasal hair. Tess still can't be sure if Lexy
likes her, and I'm thinking this situation needs to move on soon,
as watching someone be this tentative and indecisive could get a
bit wearing eventually. She asks Hugh if he'd like to come along to
the book thing and watch Lexy to see if it looks like Lexy likes
Tess, but he's busy. Fitting date with wardrobe mistress, you
"How do I look?" he says once finished clipping, tipping
his head back to display his inner nose.
"Hot," says Tess. Classic Tess.
Lauren is frustrated at work, surrounded by people who
don't know what end is up. Then a cheeky cheating smile arrives on
her face like a warm spring wind. "Cancel all my appointments!" she
says and she leaves to go to the dentist. A likely
Ed visits Sam, who is still angry and spills the beans
about Cat's cheating heart and body. Ed is sweet, so well-meaning.
Sam is just angry. Cat's betrayal has seen Sam distilled into a
fine glass of fury.
Lauren and Sadie meet in the centre of Glasgow. Off they
walk, pretending to be aunt and niece if anyone asks. That's
weirdly hot, says Sadie. Their hands touch as they wander off,
which is a nice touch.
Love hugs Lexy. He's a good egg, really.
Sadie and Lauren shop for dildos and then dress up and get
it on in a cubicle. Did I just say "get it on"? Oh dear. "Take it
bitch or your arse gets the fairy wand," says Sadie. Another pretty
great line for Sadie.
Nora and Ed meet. Key point: Nora assumes Ed will pick up
her dry cleaning. Her true colours are shining through, and we and
Cyndi Lauper are frankly unimpressed by them.
It has been a sexy afternoon of shopping for Sadie and
Lauren. At a ritzy restaurant Sadie buys Lauren lunch with a
library card - dangerous sexy danger! They walk don't run their way
out of the restaurant. They really are glorious together, sorry Jo
Book launch for Ed's sci-fi pal. The geek extra is good;
he wants Ed's autograph. Lexy arrives with Dr Love and Tess looks
incredibly happy. To avoid Tess' Cardiac Care bad date from the
other night, Texy go up on the roof. (At this point we see a scene
that I was on set for the filming of. Yes, I was on that roof when
they did all this talking!) Tess is so close to telling Lexy she
likes her, but is interrupted by corpulent slug Hugh, who has
arrived pissed downstairs. His six fittings were for a corset, not
a date. Oh Hugh! You are possibly even unluckier in love than Tess.
Tess agrees to take him to the home of his wife, Maggie. He's
brought a squeaky gift for his "fucking, fuckering dog" as Tess
puts it. This is all rather annoying, as Lexy is waiting back on my
rooftop. Hugh is smashing the place up when the police arrive and
Hugh and Tess take refuge in the bespoke dog kennel. This is comedy
with a heart, viewers. A dark, doggy heart.
Back at the launch, Nora steals Ed's geekfans with her
lies about Peter Jackson.
Hugh has an ASBO for posting sausages through his wife's
letterbox, we discover. His wife and best actor Delaware turn up.
This is a lovely side story about failed love and career
Sam is drinking spirits from the bottle. What's that in
her pocket? The drugs evidence from work. No Sam! No!
"Grab happiness while you can and cling onto it," says
Hugh, the other Voice of Truth in this episode (Sadie was the other
one). His tax disc has expired so they can't drive back to the
Nora's true colours are blinding and ugly. She doesn't
know the difference between Rings and Flies (Lords of). Lexy heads
home with her 15-fingered cutout alien.
Sam snorts the evidence. Surely not standard police
Tess returns to the launch hours late to find it all over,
and Nora and Ed breaking up in the darkened street. During the
process, Ed tells Nora that Tess thinks she is a self-centred
bitch. Ed! You could have kept your big mouth shut about
Sam is detached, clinical Robocop, this time in a bar
Meanwhile, Lauren and Sadie sit on a boat and chat. Sadie
reminds Lauren of a younger her, sort of. They have fun.
Sam is doing some arse-staring of her own in the bar and
soon finds a youth to approach. Back at Sam's moments later, the
two are being intimate and Sam covers the youth's mouth. "Don't
speak" she says. Maybe she doesn't want to be reminded that this
person is not Cat? I think that's it.
Tess gets home. Lexy is asleep on the couch.
The youth and Sam have a drink on the floor. Then Sam
kicks her out. "You're just wrong," she says. Ouch. Poor RoboSam.
"You're lovely," however, says Lexy asleep to smiling
Tess, and touches her hand. Tess smiles even more. Thus we end on a
happy note for some, and a sad for others.
Thanks for reading, and as we said on Twitter the other
week, please remember that every time you 'like' a recap, an angel
gets its lovely gossamer wings. And every time you watch Lip
Service on iPlayer, perhaps, we might get a teeny bit closer to
seeing a third season of Lip Service commissioned, which would be