Ugh. An episode featuring a number of nasty moments starts with perhaps the most revolting: Harrison the Moron and Not-Ruby-not-a-Reporter in bed, naked, mid lip-lock.
You GUYS. A girl can only take so much.
Thankfully, we’re saved by the ringtone; a hysterical phone call from a distraught Bob claiming Not Ruby killed his mother puts a pin in the, er, “passion” and spares the audience further unnecessary distress. Of course, Harrison doesn’t believe it (I ‘m not sure I do, either, in fairness – why would she kill her second biggest fan?) but has just enough brain cells to leave Not Ruby at home while he simultaneously tries to calm poor Bob down, contact Khulus and not get beaten up by Osela heavies. Speaking of whom: I’m no expert, but if you were a “private security” force for hire, and your services included hush-hush assaults and murders, would you really want to brand yourself with an easily identifiable, Google-able team tattoo? Could you not make do with a secret handshake?
No matter. While Harrison fails on all counts (as usual), Not Ruby tries to bamboozle her boss into thinking she’s “not a killer.” Her boss isn’t fooled for a second, though, since he remembers watching episode 3 when she killed Harrison’s dad. So, Not Rubes is told she’s to kill Harrison pronto or someone else will. Once they’ve told him who killed his dad and broken up Harruby forever.
At which point, my eyes roll out of my head and down the back of the sofa in protest because come on, you guys, Harrison and Not Ruby have the chemistry of dry Weetabix and Abdul Abbas turning out to be Santa Claus would be more believable than the idea that they’re in grand, doomed love.
Not that the Harrison/Not Ruby sub-plot has a monopoly on unbelievable when it comes to this show, though, since, elsewhere in New York, walking whine Peter inexplicably manages to persuade poor Imam Khulus (who has both Harrison *and* Peter stalking him at the same time, my God) that he (Peter) is “the only one who can help Yusuf.”
Mr Qasim, however, isn’t quite so easily persuaded by our man with no plan’s promise to “do everything in my power to protect”him. Nor is the audience, given that both Danny Gentry and Traitor Joe can speak to the fact that Peter has no power. Or they could if one wasn’t dead and the other one wasn’t offscreen awaiting trial for treason.
After a quick riverside meeting, the artist formerly known as the Jack of Spades works it out for himself anyway and, rather than relying on Peter’s imaginary power, decides to do something completely, insanely stupid instead – stupidity clearly being contagious on this show – and assassinate a U.S. Senator because, obviously, the way to prove to the world you’re not a terrorist is to murder an elected official in broad daylight in front of an entire security detail who just stand there being useless.
Which leaves us with whatever’s going on in the Mali part of the plot: a lot of flip-flopping, that’s what. Odelle doesn’t want to kill Evil Frank. Then she does. Aslam does want to kill Evil Frank. Then he doesn’t. And Luc isn’t on Odelle’s side. Then he is. Then he isn’t. Then he recruits an army of dehumanised child soldiers to take her to their Death Hut because… oh, who knows?
There’s usually some fun to be had in the Mali plot but it’s just nasty this week, the apex (or nadir I suppose) of its unpleasantness being what I think is the show’s attempt at brutal realism (but really, why start now, Odyssey?): a truly horrible sequence where the child soldiers psychologically torture and kill a defenceless old man. In fairness, it’s a powerful, harrowing collection of scenes, but it’s also out of place and depressing in a show so silly.
Still, this week’s episode does manage to surprise me with a couple of major character deaths I didn’t see coming. And Luc telling Odelle it’s not her fault and letting her go is a nice, almost shippable moment – squee! I do think his child soldier/Death Hut plan has to be about protecting her rather than betraying her, but we shall see what next week brings.