Ashes to Ashes: Season 3, Episode 3

This episode beings with Gene discussing two arson incidents in the past week – one targeted at a Conservative councilor, the other at Green Hill army barracks. The 1983 general election is coming up, and it seems that someone has a bone to pick with the government. Gene is afraid that whoever is starting the fires might want to make an even bigger statement tomorrow…  Election Day.

Jim walks in the office, and Ray tells him that they do care about him… as Chris presents him with a cheese tray. Everyone is disappointed when Keats says that Operation Countryman will keep him in the office a “wee bit longer”, because D&C want him to go through the past three years of cases. Gene tells him to just “be a man” and admit that he’s snooping.

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Jim also says the Home Office has asked Special Branch to take care of the arson case. Gene complains, and Jim says that he told his superiors that Hunt and Company are capable of handling the case. Jim then gives Gene the floor. Gene says that the attacks could be IRA; Alex says to trust her that they weren’t. Jim asks if she knows something they don’t. Alex says that she just knows that she’s right. Gene tells Jim that this is Alex on a good day. Gene then tells the gang that he wants “every anarchist, commie, Trotskyist, pinko, leftie, greasy bastard student” rounded up. Alex sarcastically asks if he’s forgotten anyone. Chris, taking her seriously, mentions Vanessa Redgrave. “Good point,” replies Gene. Shaz, on the phone, announces that a polling station is also on fire.

We then see the polling station engulfed in flames and firefighters working feverishly to put the fire out. Gene and the gang pull up, and Gene asks the fire chief if there is anyone inside the building. The chief says that he doesn’t think so, but that a witness saw someone “lingering ’round the back”. Thinking that it could be the fire starter, Gene tells Ray and Alex to enter the building on one side, whilst he and Chris enter on the other. Jim tells Gene that such a move would be risky, and Alex agrees. Gene says that the chief’s job is to put out fires, but that his is to catch scum. Meanwhile, Jim, trying to drive a wedge between Ray and Gene, whispers to Ray that he doesn’t have to “prove himself” to Gene. Ray ignores him, and says that he ‘s ready to go.

Gene and Chris walk towards another side of the building, while Ray stands waiting for Alex to join him. In doing so, he hears a scream. Alex doesn’t hear it, but she tells Ray that it’s far too dangerous for him to enter the building. Ray ignores her, and goes running into the building. The gang all gather around, with Chris looking especially worried. A few tense moments pass, and we eventually see a fireman emerge carrying a woman over his shoulders with a coughing Ray following closely behind. Ray collapses on the ground, and everyone rushes over. Chris tries talking to him, and asks if he should give him mouth-to-mouth. A weak Ray slowly raises his hand and gives Chris an obscene hand gesture. “That’s a no then,” Chris says.

Gene spies some anti-Thatcher graffiti on a wall. The building’s night watchman said the graffiti was not there earlier. Gene is convinced that anarchists are behind the attacks, but Alex says that the “artist” signed his work via a tag. She thinks the tag will be an important clue. Chris approaches and says that the woman Ray rescued was a cleaning woman getting the place ready for tomorrow’s voting. He also says that the woman will be fine, and that Ray is suffering from a mild case of smoke inhalation; Alex quips that he’ll be fine, as he’s been “inhaling smoke since he was nine”. Jim then approaches and says that his boss says that Thatcher has high hopes for the councilor, and that this is now a high-profile case. Alex says that Jim is responsible for the big picture, and that they’re just trying to catch an arsonist. Gene agrees:

“You shove your nose any further up Newman’s arse, it’ll end up browner than bloody Gandhi in a heatwave.”

Jim tells Gene and Alex to calm down and not shoot the messenger (“or anyone else for that matter”). He then walks away, just as the fire chief approaches them. They’ve located the cause of the fire: a blown-out electrical panel. He also says that it was rigged with some sort of device, and thus not your garden-variety arson. Gene wonders if Viv has rounded up any anarchists back at the station.

Cue the Sex Pistols’ “Anarchy in the UK”

At the station, Viv says they’re running out of room for suspects, and he complains that it’s starting to smell like a youth hostel. Alex, in a rare joke, says that they’re looking for a professional, “not the cast of Hair“. Chris asks Viv if he confiscated the anarchist’s cigarette lighters. A grinning Viv hands him a single pink Bic lighter. Viv then spies an older woman, who looks out of place amongst the punk rockers and hippies. Chris says that she was once arrested at Greenham Common and she has a mural of William Wedgwood Benn, a famous Unitarian and social reformer, on a wall of her home.

We’re next taken to the office, where Gene announces that Drake will give the team some psychiatric (Alex: “psychological”) insight into arsonists. Alex says that most arsonists are usually just crying for help, and that the reason they lash out is because they’re unable to articulate their feelings into words. Shaz asks how we know it’s a man they’re looking for, and Alex replies that arsonists are overwhelmingly male, and that they usually suffer from sexual or marital problems, alcoholism, or “occupational maladjustment”. After Gene notes that they could apply to half of England and most of the people in the room, he asks why the arson attacks are carried out anonymously if they are supposed to be political.

Gene suggests that they go to Luigi’s. Before anyone can move, however, Shaz loudly asks Alex if she wants anything else from Manchester on the Sam Tyler case. A nervous Alex glances at Gene and says that she doesn’t. Ray walks in the office, and Chris jokes that he’s glad to have him back… so that he can get the £5 back that he lent to Ray. Shaz says that he shouldn’t be there, while Gene congratulates him on a job well done. Ray says that he’s going to buy Andy Smith, the fireman who saved his life, a beer later. Jim hands Ray some money and asks him to buy Andy a round on him. Keats then asks Gene for a word.

Alex opens her desk drawer and sees Sam’s leather jacket and his file. She pauses to look at it for a minute, then locks the drawer. She walks over to Shaz’s desk and asks her to look after the key. She can’t help but notice the stars that Shaz is mindlessly doodling:

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Alex asks why she’s drawing them, and Shaz says that the day before she looked out her window, and the sky went dark and she saw a field of stars. Alex finishes the thought by saying that when Shaz looked back, the stars were gone. Shaz begins to ask Alex how she knew that the stars would disappear, but is interrupted by the ringing telephone on her desk.

Meanwhile, Jim, whose office is now filled by bicycles, asks Gene if he’s meant to share his office with the “bloody Tour de France”. Gene says that it can’t be helped, as they’re using all available rooms to interview anarchists. After a snide exchange between the two of them, Jim asks him to look around at all the boxes of files, Gene’s cases dating back to 1980. He says that it’s Gene’s past, and this will determine his future. He promises to uncover all of Gene’s “little secrets and malpractices”. He promises to “unearth” Gene and “expose him to the air”. Gene tells him to knock himself out… “in both senses of the word”. Jim says that Ray almost died that night, trying to prove himself to Gene. Hunt, unmoved, says that we all have to prove ourselves everyday.

A little while later we see that gang at Luigi’s, where the cops are running off the paying customers. Andy Smith (Ray’s firefighter) and his brother Steve show up, and Ray tells them to have a seat while he gets them some beers. At the bar, Ray asks Chris where he got the “poof magnet” (the pink Bic), and Chris says he took it off an anarchist. Meanwhile, Alex and Shaz are all giggles about the handsome firemen, which causes Gene to ask what the big attraction is and also to make a crude comment about “sliding down poles”. The girls act all offended, but the second Gene turns his back, Shaz asks Alex if she’d “slide down his pole”, and she readily agrees. Alex asks Shaz if she would, but she says that she’s “spoken for”. Chris asks if it’s anyone they know, and Shaz says that his name is Julian, and that he’s an interior designer. Ray pulls Chris aside and tells him to forget about Shaz, and that he knows a girl named “Big Wendy”. He then shows Chris a picture… and Chris gasps and asks if that’s an orange. Ray says that it is, and that she can “fit a melon up there as well”.

Alex asks Andy if he’s ever come across organized arson attacks. He says that he hasn’t. Gene says that it must be someone with a political grudge, and Alex adds that it could be a malcontent. Andy says that he just puts out the fires. Ray asks Luigi to get Andy another drink, as he’s a hero. Under his breath, Luigi says that he’s the hero, as it’s almost midnight. Shaz, disgusted to see a Conservative Party flyer at the bar, tosses it to Ray. Alex notes the oddity of the misogynist Ray voting for a woman, but Ray deflects her criticism by saying that “Maggie’s got more balls than all of ’em”. Chris reminds Shaz that Thatcher won the war against Argentina, and Ray, holding up a Labour Party flyer, asks who wants to vote for Worzel Gummidge. Shaz says that Labour is the only party that believes in equality and socialist principles, and that they’d never have gotten the country into a “pointless war” like the Falklands [har-har!]. Alex starts to correct her, but changes her mind. Gene then asks if they’re finished.

Ray asks the firefighters if they’re up for going to a club. Andy says that he needs to go home to the wife. A disappointed Ray asks if they’re going to take a taxi, and Andy says that he can’t afford it. Ray insists on them taking a taxi instead of the bus, and he stuffs a few bills into Andy’s coat pocket to pay for it. The two then leave after a round of thanks and handshakes. As the clock strikes midnight, Chris wonders if the arsonist has made his point, and if there will be any more attacks. Gene says there will be if they don’t stop him (or her) first.

[A montage of news coverage of the election and Falklands War follows, with Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s “Two Tribes’ playing over it.]

Back at the station, Ray has noticed something. He approaches Alex, sitting at her desk, and says that he thinks the person who sets the devices knew something about bombs. They could have used a liquid accelerant, but he’s certain they used a customized gadget to set the fire. Alex asks if they need a military advisor, but Ray says it’s pointless, because he’s spoken to an Army friend who said that it’s top secret, so the military won’t talk about it. Alex thanks Ray for his hard work, but Ray shrugs it off. He’s from a military family and is interested in the subject. Alex then proposes that they get his family on the phone. Ray gives her a harsh no, but then tries to soften his response by saying that they don’t like to talk about it. He then walks away.

Chris walks up and tells Alex that the graffiti was done between the time the building was locked down and the start of the fire. He looks as if he’s about to say more, but Jim interrupts him, asking Chris about a robbery on Whitechapel Road from April 1981. It seems that a witness statement is missing. Chris says that it was a “whopping big blag”, so he’ll have to be more specific. Jim says that it’s the most important one, the one that got the accused sent to prison. He also points out that he found a deck of game cards in the box with the reports. Chris thanks him and takes the cards. Jim says that he needs help tracking down the paperwork for the robbery, and that help will come from Chris. Overhearing the conversation, Gene says that the public would probably prefer for Chris to do his job than fiddle with paperwork. Jim asks if Gene is blocking Scotland Yard. Alex, seizing the moment, asks Chris about the graffiti. He says that he put word out to youth clubs about the “tag” and cross-checked the station’s old record to find… Barney Wright. He was brought in for vandalism a few weeks ago, and Chris shows Alex his signed statement… which includes the tag seen at the arson site:

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We then see Gene in an interview room. He tells Barney “no tea and no fags until you start talking, shitstick”. We then see Barney for the first time, and he appears to be around 12 years old. Barney says that his Dad told him to never talk to the pigs, as they always get you in trouble. Gene points out that his Dad is not there, that it’s only Drake, Gene and his size nine boots. Alex tells Gene that the attacks involve complex wiring, and she points to Barney and asks if Gene thinks he could do it. Gene says he has no idea what the “little bastards” could be up to. Alex shows Barney a picture of some graffiti that says “Maggie Thatcher – Milk Snatcher” and asks Barney if it’s his. He says that it is, then asks Alex for her bra size. “Out of your league, that’s my bra size”, is her reply. Alex notes that Barney usually goes over his letters a dozen times, but in last night’s graffiti, he only went over it once. She asks him why. He eventually admits that he ran out of time because someone came along. When Alex asks who came along, Barney clams up… but only for a moment. He then asks if Drake and Hunt are sleeping together. Gene, who has heard enough, lifts Barney off his chair and drags him through the hallway by his ear. Alex says that Gene is abusing the boy and asks if water-boarding is next. Gene says that it’s typical of Alex: “I go for a confession and you want to teach him to surf!” [har-har!] Gene tells an officer to take the boy down to cell three. Alex asks if that’s the cell that still smells like vomit. Gene says that it is. Barney says that he’s going to kick Gene’s head in. Gene says that when the boy turns 18 and they release him, he’s welcome to try.

As Barney is being led away, Ray comes up and says that there’s been another fire, and that Nigel Trueman, a local journalist, has been hurt. At the scene, Gene asks the fire chief if the fire was started the same way as before. He says that he thinks it was, and that they’re dealing with a serial arsonist. Alex reminds Gene that Ray thinks the arsonist has a military background. Gene complains that it’s a war zone and it’s not even ten in the morning yet.

Back at the station, Chris and Jim and going over old files. Jim has found Cilla Black’s signature on a statement. Chris thinks it’s unbelievable, and wonders why she’d be involved in a  robbery, as she’s rich… but she is a Scouser, he notes. Jim, changing the subject, asks Chris is Ray was desperate enough to please Gene that he walked into the burning building. He asks where all Ray’s “macho stuff” comes from. Chris says he doesn’t know, except that Ray came from a family of heroes. Jim asks if they were firemen, and Chris says that his grandfather won some medals, but that Ray doesn’t really talk about it. Jim figures out that Chris means that Ray’s family was in the army.

Back in the office, Alex and Gene are walking towards his office as Chris is walking out. When Gene asks what he’s doing, Chris says that it’s just some papers that “Jim” had asked for. Gene tauntingly asks “Jim? Jim?”, which Chris corrects to “DCI Keats”. Gene points to his office and Chris says that he’ll put the papers back. A few minutes later, Alex says that they need to get some background information on Trueman and see who he’s interviewed lately.

Meanwhile, Ray is walking through the hallway when Jim, hidden behind a door calls out “Attention!”. Ray, curious, stops to see what’s going on. Jim says that he heard that Ray was an Army man. Ray corrects him, saying that he doesn’t have any army training. Jim leans in as if to hug him or shake his hand, but Ray flinches. Jim, undeterred, says that Ray is a clever guy because he “didn’t follow his old man” into the army. Jim, giving Ray the full-court emotional press, says that he knows that Ray wanted to join the army, to impress his father. He says that he knows that army wasn’t for Ray because he knows that Ray is an independent thinker. Going for the kill, Jim says that the army gets rid of independent thinkers and makes them do nothing but follow orders… a bit like Gene Hunt. Jim continues, saying that Hunt doesn’t like independent thought, and that Hunt was away Ray made DI. He insists that he’s not trying to “trick” Ray… just letting him know that when the time comes and he wants to “be his own man”, to go for it. Jim says that Gene is amazing, but that Ray doesn’t need him. Ray asks if he means that he should join Jim, and Keats says that it’s not like going from “City to United”. Jim says that they’re all on the same team.

Just at that moment, Andy walks through the door. He says that he’s come to give Ray his cab fare back, that he didn’t feel right about taking it. He insists, so Ray takes the money back. As luck would have it, Gene is walking through with Barney, who says that Andy is the man he saw fleeing the building the night before. He says that he saw Andy break in a window and climb through. The only trouble is, no one seems to believe him. Ray thinks Andy’s a hero, Gene thinks Barney’s a liar, and Alex thinks he’ll blame anyone just to get out of a holding cell. Gene takes a breath and asks Barney if he’s sure. Ray protests that Gene can’t possibly believe him, but Gene says that Barney has made a positive ID. Gene says that he wants to know everything there is to know about Andy Smith, and walks away with Barney.

Some time passes, and Gene has Andy’s service record. He spent five years with the North Wessex Fusiliers, and both Andy and brother Steve saw action in the Falklands War. Ray says that he’s a war hero. Alex says that with his training that he could possibly be arsonist. Ray, voice rising, says that Andy saved his life and that he puts fires out, not start them. Gene then throws down a copy of the fictional Fenchurch Gazette newspaper on Ray’s desk. It seems that Nigel Trueman, the journalist injured in the fire, recently interviewed Andy. Alex tries to remind him that it could be a big misunderstanding, but says that they have to check it out. An angry Ray walks out of the office, with Gene reminding him that he can’t just walk away from him. Gene tells Ray that he is a DI now, and that if he has balls he’ll go and arrest Andy Smith. Jim, whispering, tell Ray do “follow orders like a good puppy dog”. Ray appears to ignore him. Alex asks Gene if someone else can go. Ray turns to her and says that if anyone has to go, it will be him. Alex says she’ll go with him. After they leave, Gene gives Jim a “death stare”:

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At Andy’s place, Alex and Ray are greeted by Karen, Andy’s wife. Smiling, she says that if they’re there to thank him again, they’ve done quite enough. Her mood changes when Andy walks in the room and Ray arrests him for the attempted murder of Nigel Trueman.

At the station, Ray tells an officer to take Andy to an interview room and give him anything he wants. When Andy says that he doesn’t want anything, Ray tells the officer to “treat him right”. After Andy is taken away, Jim approaches Alex. She says that it’s possible that they’ll get the results Jim wants and get Scotland Yard off his back. Jim says that he doesn’t want “a” result, and thinks that Gene is under intense pressure to wrap up the case as quickly as possible.

Alex tracks down Ray, who is up on the roof of the building (he says he comes up there “to breathe” because sometimes he feels like he’s choking in the office). Alex says that Ray did a brave thing, and she mentions the look in his eye when he entered the burning building. Ray says that he was scared, but Alex says it wasn’t that, but a look of hope in his eyes. Ray asks her to explain, and she says that entering the building wasn’t just about saving that woman, it was about saving himself, too. Ray asks how it’s helping him. Alex says that she doesn’t know, but that whatever it is that he’s holding on to, it’s time to let it go because it’s eating him up inside. Somewhat unconvincingly, Ray insists that nothing can eat up his guts. They smile at each other, with Alex knowing her words hit home, even if tough Ray won’t admit it.

In the interview room, Alex and Gene question Andy about the fires. He asks Andy for an alibi for the times of the fires; Andy says that he was home and that they can verify that with his wife. Gene says that he was identified as being at the polling station last night; Andy says he was there putting out the fire. Gene clarifies that he means before the fire broke out. Andy asks how someone could have identified him in the dark. Gene then asks about Nigel Trueman. Andy shakes his head, and Gene says he’s lying and shows him the copy of The Fenchurch Gazette with Andy’s interview on the front page. Gene suggests that Andy went in to save Ray and the woman so he would look less guilty. Andy says that he was only doing his job. Gene disagrees. Andy says that he’s neither a hero nor an arsonist. Alex asks why he lied about Trueman, since he had to know that they would look in to that. Andy says that he doesn’t really know Trueman, that he only met with him for fifteen minutes six months ago. Gene asks what Nigel did to piss him off so much. Andy says nothing.

Outside in the hallway, Gene is convinced that Andy is the arsonist. Alex is surprised that he could reach such a conclusion in such a short time. Gene wonder why she’s not convinced. Alex says that he could have depression or survivor’s guilt. Alex reminds him that Andy is a war hero and a fireman, and that they need hard evidence, or else the Home Office will crucify them. She asks Gene to let her talk to Andy alone. As a sign of approval, Gene simply walks away.

Alex goes back into the interview room and plays “doctor cop” with Andy. She says that she doesn’t know if he started the fires or not, but that she knows that he still has shell shock from the war. She says that he was trained to kill, but not trained in how to not feel. Andy asks for a coffee, but Alex keeps pushing him, telling him that he has mental trauma and asking if his decision to join the fire department was based on guilt. She presses him harder and harder, saying that she will get him the finest mental care in the country if he started the fires. Andy looks at her and asks “Country?”. Alex asks what he means, and Andy says country is what he fought for. “Smith, A. 27677”. Alex notes that it’s his service number, and Andy repeats it. She begs him to talk, but Andy, with newly found backbone, repeats his demands for coffee. He says that he didn’t do it.

Alex goes to Gene’s office and says that she’s only getting his name, rank and serial number. Ray notes that he’s been trained to handle interrogation. Alex says that Andy needs counseling, and that they have no proof that he’s the arsonist. Ray agrees. Gene makes a snide remark to Ray, who says that they have no proof, so they have to let him go. Gene says that the only place he’s going is a holding cell, and that Ray will take him there… now. After Ray leaves, Gene tells Alex that Newman will surely fire him, and that nothing would give Keats more satisfaction that seeing him fail. Alex says that they can’t charge him, and that if Gene takes his eyes off the streets today and someone burns to death, they are all sunk. Gene assures her that “our little pyromaniac friend” is in the holding cell, and that they cannot let Keats call the shots. What they need, he says, is a “bucket of evidence”, staring with the wife.

We then see Gene and Alex hauling ass in the Quattro, arriving at Andy’s house. They walk up the driveway and see Steve working on the family’s car, with Karen standing next to him. Gene asks them where Andy was when the fires started. Karen says that he was on duty at the usual time. Alex notes that he could have started the fires before he went to work. Gene asks about the fire at Nigel Trueman’s house, and Karen says that Andy was in bed with her. Gene asks if she can prove it, then turns to Steve and says that he knows that Andy has a case of shell shock and that he feels that both Karen and Steve are protecting him. Steve pauses, then asks if he can see his brother.

At the station, Ray tells Andy that he feels that Gene is “pissing up the wrong tree”. Andy thanks him, and Ray then says he didn’t know about his military background. He asks about the Falklands War, and how many “Argies” he killed. Andy, suddenly uncomfortable, says that he didn’t count. When Ray asks if he blew any up, Andy says that they were only kids, and that some of them couldn’t even hold their rifles correctly. Ray says that it’s a honor for him to be saved by someone who served his country.

At Andy’s house, Alex tells Karen that all the evidence they have against Andy is circumstantial. She also says that they’re in a tough position: if they keep him in custody, people will say that they’re harassing a war hero. But if they let him go and he sets another fire, people will say that they’re negligent. Alex says that he needs help. Karen gets up and gets two pictures out of a drawer. She says that the first was taken before he left for the war, while the second one was taken after he came home. She says it looks like the same man, but it isn’t. She says he might be able to fake it with his co-workers and friends, but when he comes home to her he “shakes like a leaf”. She further says that he jumps if a door slams or a car backfires, that he doesn’t go to the pub anymore, and doesn’t talk to her or Steve, either. She says that he won’t hold or touch her any more. She says that he got a burn on his chest during the war, and that they (the army) said that it could be fixed with a skin graft… but what about his mind. She says that he scares the children by waking up in the middle of the night screaming. An apologetic Alex asks if he’s confessed to her, and if she’s protecting him. In both cases, Karen says no. Getting emotional. she then screams for Alex to leave her house.

Back at the station, Ray is escorting Steve to the cells to see Andy. Steve just says that he wants to make sure that Andy is OK; Ray gives him two minutes, or else he’ll get hell from Gene.

Alex and Gene are then seen walking down the hallway of the police station. Gene asks her what she got out of Karen that he didn’t, and Alex says that he’s a lot worse off that they’d thought, and that Karen is definitely protecting him. Just as the round a corner, Jim appears and says that Scotland Yard have ordered him to release Andy within the hour. His expression changes when Alex says that Smith is out of control, and that if he is released he’ll kill again. Jim asks if that’s her professional opinion, and when she says that it is, he walks away… pushing a bicycle. Alex asks if he’s been “putting crap in his office again”, and Gene dryly says that he has.

The two walk in to the office, and Gene acknowledges that the Karen and Steve are sticking together too well. He asks how things are doing out on the street. Shaz says that everything is quiet – no problems have been reported. Chris notes that they’ve contacted every left-wing group they can think of, too. Just then the phone rings. Shaz answers and says that there’s a problem in the cells. It seems that Andy and Steve are fighting.

Down in the cells, Ray has restrained Steve, so Gene storms in and subdues Andy. Alex asks what happened, and when no one answers, Gene loudly reminds Steve that DI Drake asked him a question. Steve says that Andy tried to make a run for it, and that he tried to stop him because that would only make things worse. He then apologizes. Gene turns to Andy and says that someone who runs is someone who’s guilty. He demands that Andy comes clean. Andy says that he is innocent, but Gene says that he had motive, he was seen at the scene, his family is covering him and lastly, that he’s “as sane as a box of frogs in party hats”.

Upstairs, Gene is convinced that there is one small detail that they’re missing. Chris reminds everyone that Sam Tyler used to say that “God is in the detail”. Alex says that they’ll have to go over the witness again. Ray, still delusional, says that no one will find anything because Andy is not guilty. The phone rings again, and Shaz tells Gene that the hospital has called: Nigel Trueman has died. Gene replies:

“Excellent! What else have you got for me? A burning down orphanage? Couple of chargrilled kittens? You know, if the Queen Mother self-combusted on my watch, I’d been blamed for that an’ all!”

Just then, a triumphant Jim bursts in and says that an army recruitment office on Bank Street has just burned down. Ray, also triumphant, says that Andy could not have done it, as he was locked up in the cells. A sanctimonious Jim says that Newman has ordered Andy’s release, and that Gene will release him now.

Ray goes down the cells to release him, and a little while later, in the kitchenette, Jim plays “hardball” with Ray, telling him that everyone thought it was wrong for him to walk in that burning building, but he was right. Everyone thought that Andy was guilty, but he was right. He tells Ray to trust his instincts.

Back in the office, Alex absentmindedly watches the election news while Ray and Chris hang out at their desks. Alex looks at her notepad, where she’s been doodling stars, then moves the pad to see the “6-6-20” carved into her desk. Just then, the lights flicker and dim, and the dead cop appears in the office:

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Alex tuns her notepad sideways and discovers that she can “connect the dots” and make the stars spell out “6-6-20”. Just then her phone rings. It appears that the latest arson case was caused by an electric trigger, just like the other ones. Jim, still smug, says that they’ve been wasting time and have been putting people’s lives in danger. He sarcastically congratulates Gene on a nice day’s work and leaves.

An officer delivers a package to Gene just as the first election results are being read: Thatcher will win in a landslide. Shaz complains about the results, and Ray tells her to give it a rest. Shaz then blames Andy’s mental condition on Thatcher. Ray asks what a “little girl” would know about it, which causes Chris to tell him to cool it, that she’s entitled to her opinion. Ray asks where she got her opinion:

“What she’s learnt in some college in Bromley? What she’s read in a book? Or what her bisexual mates down the wine bar are saying?”

Ray says that Andy is a brave man, and that if he’d done it, he would have confessed. Alex asks Ray why it matters so much to him, but he tells her not to start.

Just then Gene walks up and says that he hates being right sometimes. He drops a circuit box on Alex’s desk and says that it’s from the army recruitment fire. However, it wasn’t started with a “fuse wire” but was doused in an accelerant. It’s made to look like the other fires… but it isn’t. It’s a copy. So whoever set that fire knew how the other fires were set… a detail that hasn’t been made public yet. Whoever set the last fire had to know how the other ones were set… someone like Steve Smith. He asks Alex is this makes any sense to her; Alex says that Andy is mentally disturbed but Steve isn’t. Gene vows that Steve is about to get disturbed. He orders Poirot and Terry to pick up Steve, and asks Ray, Chris and “Lady B” to come with him to Andy’s place.

Once there, the gang bust down the door and begin searching. Gene and Chris don’t bother being careful, but Ray gently goes through Andy’s desk, even taking some time to look at some pictures and smile. He then sees a tin. Opening it, he finds a map marked with locations of the arson attacks… and his next target: Finchley, the Prime Minister’s home constituency. Gene gets on the radio and warns “Not So Special Branch” that Ms Thatcher has a bomb right under her nose, but Alex insists that nothing will happen to her. Gene asks if she can bend spoons with her amazing mind (a reference to Uri Geller, a famous paranormalist of the time). Alex says that they IRA will try to get to Thatcher, but not until next year. Gene sarcastically asks if he’s going to win the (betting) pool this week, then tells her to help him find Andy. Alex tells Gene to keep an eye on Ray, as he isn’t taking Andy’s apparent guilt very well. Gene tells her that he’s not there to babysit. He’s raring to go, but Alex says that she will stay there. When Gene asks why, she says that she’s going to look for any clues they might have missed. Gene holds up Andy’s list and asks what more evidence they need.

With everyone gone, Alex looks through a photo album and finds a picture of Andy, Steve and Karen. She notices that Karen and Steve appear to be quite friendly in the photo. She’s then figured it all out. Back at the station, she asks Steve how long he’s been sleeping with Karen. He says that he’s not. She asks if his guilt over the affair is why he started the fire at the army recruitment office, to get Andy freed. Steve is quiet for a moment, then says that Karen waited for Andy, and when he came home she still waited for him… but he never came back. He says that Karen’s a hero too and that he loves her and he always has. He says that he loves his brother too, and that Andy always looked out for him… when they were kids, when they were in the Falklands. He says that he owes Andy. When Alex asks when Andy found out about the affair, Steve says that it was that afternoon, and that was what the fight in the cells was really about. Alex, looking worried, asks where Karen is. Steve says that she is at his place. She tells him to call her. He does, but the line is dead. Alex calls Gene on the radio and tells him that Andy is not at Finchley, but is instead at Steve’s place. Gene whips the Quattro around and picks up Alex on the way to Steve’s.

When they get there, Gene sends Chris and Ray around the side while he and Bolly try the front door. They knock the door in and see Karen tied up in a corner and Andy standing over her. He tells Gene and Alex not to move, as he’s covered everything in gasoline and has a lighter in his hand. Ray and Chris then come in from the side. Andy demands that everyone leave, but no one moves. Gene asks if they can take “his wife” with them, but Andy angrily says that she’s not his wife any more. Alex tries to use her psychological skills on Andy, but he won’t have any of it. Andy then goes on a rant about being on a ship that was hit and seeing his friends melt. He talks about how, thanks to his wounds, his wife won’t touch him any more. He talks about how everyone lied to him. He then gives the gang three seconds to leave. Gene says that they’re not going anywhere. Ray then tells everyone to do as he says. He then pours some of the gasoline on himself and asks what the point of everything is:

Andy’s right. What’s the bloody point of it all? Andy thought he’d come back a hero. He is a hero. But what the hell did he fight for? He lost his mates. He was neglected by the Army His wife betrayed him. His brother betrayed him. So what the hell’s it all been for, eh? What the hell’s it been for, eh? ‘Cos you know what, Andy? I wanted to be you once. A soldier, like me dad. And his dad before him. And me uncle Col. They fought in wars. Central Lancashire Rifles. Medals… DSO, DSM. And I was all ready to join up. 16 and raring to go. And you know what stopped me? Me. Night before the interview, I went out and got hammered. City had beaten United… Bell with a header… bang! Kidded myself I was drinking to celebrate, but I knew deep down, that wasn’t the reason. I was scared shitless of being shot. Of being bombed. I was just scared of dying. The more scared I got, the more I drank. Well, I missed that interview. And as far as my dad was concerned, I’d blown it. And then I joined the police, I thought “This is it,” but that still wasn’t good enough. And I’ll never be good enough. I’ve been choking on that ever since.

He then says that it’s time. He asks Andy is he’s ready. When he says that he is, Ray pulls out a cigarette pack and the pink lighter Chris gave him earlier. He tries to light a smoke, but the lighter (as we’ve seen several times) just doesn’t work. Ray, almost in tears, begs Andy to give him his lighter. And several agonizing seconds, Andy hands him his Union Jack Zippo. Ray looks as if he’s going to light the cigarette, but instead he turns around and flips the lighter to Gene. Chris rushes in, but Ray says that no one is to touch Andy. Ray gently walks him out to a waiting patrol car while Chris unties Karen.

Outside, Chris asks Ray how he knew that Andy would give him the lighter… Ray says that he didn’t. Alex asks him to continue, and Ray plays the “hard man” again, as if he’d just made up everything he’d just said inside. Alex and Ray know that this is all a game, however, and Ray leans over and kisses her on the cheek. He then threatens to put itching powder in her underwear for a month if she tells any one. Gene, oblivious, tells Ray to get his ass of the Quattro… which actually makes Ray smile.

Later on, Shaz walks in to Gene’s office and asks if he’s OK. Gene says:

“Let me see – Gary Cooper is still a hero, Franny Lee is still a god and Gene Hunt is still the sheriff of this shandy drinking, leotard wearing, godforsaken, Southern shithole.”

A smiling Shaz says she’ll see him at Luigi’s. Jim then walks in the office. He says that Ray did well and that he (Gene) owes him. He says that today would have been a “bloody big nail” in his coffin… but then seems to cheer up as there are “plenty of nails” in this station. Gene says that he was right and Jim was wrong, and that makes the score “D&C nil, Gene Hunt’s guts 1”. Jim then says it’s funny that he should mention guts, because Gene won’t have the stomach for where he’s taking him. Jim says that today’s victory was Ray’s, not Hunt’s. Gene, unfazed, comments about his “divide and conquer” plan. Jim says that he doesn’t really have to do anything, that the “scales are falling from their eyes”. He notes that Alex has been on the phone with Manchester.

At Luigi’s, Alex asks Shaz about Julian, who she was supposed to be seeing tonight. Shaz says that she doesn’t have anything in common with him. Alex says that opposites can attract, but Shaz says that he’s too posh for her. Alex says that people from different classes can find each other attractive… then says “maybe not” as Gene walks in. Gene asks Luigi for “one of those large bastard Cuban” cigars, the tells him to put it on his tab. He walks over to Ray and says “[t]hree words: Well done, Ray”. Ray, who has been looking down at the table, looks up and, just at that moment, the lights and sounds fade. The camera zooms in on Ray’s face, and you can hear Bowie’s “Life On Mars” again, only this time louder than it was with Shaz:

ashes_to_ashes_s3_e3_06

Gene asks if he’s OK, and he says that he is. Gene lights the cigar for Ray, and Chris walks up and says that he had them all going with the story about his dad. After everyone walks away, Alex quietly sits next to him and says that his dad would have been proud of him today. Ray said that his dad wouldn’t have told him, even if he was. Alex says it’s just like how he’ll never tell Chris that he’s his best friend, or that he worships the ground Gene walks on, and that his dad would probably never be able to tell him how proud he was of him. Ray reminds Alex that he was serious about putting the itching powder in her underwear.

On TV, the news discusses the election, and how the Conservatives have apparently swept the entire nation. Ray stands up and begins clapping, and Gene joins him, as do most of the other cops. Shaz, looking terribly disappointed, glances over at Alex, who raises a glass to her.

OTHER STUFF

– I gave it a good try, but I couldn’t find any historical basis for the 1983 arson attacks seen in this episode. Of course, that doesn’t mean that there were never any election-related arson attacks in the UK, I just didn’t find any in 1983.

– The 1983 General Election was one of the largest landslides in modern British history. Margaret Thatcher was initially quite unpopular with the British people, but her decisive action in the Falklands War and an improving economy helped increase her popularity. What’s more, the actions of the Labour Party helped elect her to a new term as well. Labour forced moderate leader James Callaghan to resign in 1980; he was replaced with the very left-leaning Michael Foot. This caused much division within the party, and four senior party leaders (the “Gang of Four”) left and founded the Social Democratic Party. The SDP placed itself as being between the now very left-wing Labour and the right-wing Conservative Parties. The Labour Party’s 1983 election manifesto – a document outlining the party’s ideals and priorities for the upcoming election – championed leaving the European Union, abolishing the House of Lords, re-nationalizing industries that Thatcher had just privatized, and dismantling Britain’s nuclear weapons. It was such a left-wing document that Labour MP Gerald Kaufman famously referred to it as “the longest suicide note in history”. As a result of both Thatcher’s popularity and Labour’s missteps, the Conservatives added 20 seats in Parliament, giving it a total of 397 to Labour’s 209. It was the most lopsided election since the infamous 1945 election when Winston Churchill was swept from office. For what it’s worth, the SDP would merge with the Liberal party in 1988 to become the Liberal Democrats, Britain’s most robust third-party. Read more here if you’re interested.

– Alex’s “so long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, adieu” line when Jim walks in the office at the beginning of the episode is a reference to the song “So Long, Farewell” in the 1965 film The Sound of Music. I would hope that you knew that already – I’ve never even seen the film and I knew that.

Goodbye Mr Chips is a 1933 novel written by James Hilton. It tells the story of a beloved teacher – Charles Edward Chipping – who is retiring from a long tenure at Brookfield, a fictional boys’ school. Unrepentantly sentimental, the book looks back at all the changes that have happened both in the world at large and in “Mr Chips'” life over his tenure. The story was made into several movies and plays, and is also the basis for many “beloved teacher leaves school” films, like Dead Poet’s Society. Pointless trivia: Hilton wrote the entire book in just four days.

– In British government, the Home Office is the branch of government responsible for immigration, security and policing (and, until recently, prisons and probation). Along with the Foreign Office, the Home Office is one of the pillars of British government.

Special Branch was a group included in most larger police forces in the UK. Initially created in 1883 as Special Irish Branch, this was a team dedicated to combating terror threats from Irish Republicans. As their job description widened, the “Irish” was dropped from the name. Special Branch not only dealt with terrorism issues, they typically acted as senior security officers at airports and ports and provided protection for visiting VIPs. They could, however, be mobilized for most any emergency, especially terrorist issues. In 2006, the Metropolitan Police Special Branch was combined with the Met’s Anti-Terrorism Branch to form the Counter Terrorism Command (many smaller police forces have kept their own Special Branch divisions, however). Special Branch often works with MI-5; and only Special Branch actually has the power to arrest people. American fans of the show Spooks might be amused by the fact that MI-5 can track down terrorists, but must call Special Branch when it’s time to actually arrest such suspects.

– The 1980s were a relatively quiet time in London, as far as IRA attacks go. One attack, on July 20, 1982, killed eleven people when two bombs exploded in Hyde Park and Regent’s Park. The other London attack, which hasn’t happened yet in the Ashes universe, occurred on December 17, 1983. In this bombing, six people were killed in a bomb blast outside Harrod’s department store during the bust shopping season.

-The English actress Vanessa Redgrave has long been known for supporting left-leaning causes, including fighting racism, advocating nuclear disarmament, supporting the PLO, opposing the Vietnam War and freedom for Soviet Jews and Bosnian Muslims. Well known as a Trotskyist, Redgrave twice ran for Parliament as a member of the Workers’ Revolutionary Party (UK). She even helped form the short-lived Marxist Party in the mid 1990s (several years after the Berlin Wall and Soviet Union collapsed, mind you). Since Redgrave has spent most of her acting career on the London stage, many American viewers might be more familiar with her sister, Lynn Redgrave.

– Most Americans are familiar with the “peace sign”, a hand gesture made by holding up the first two fingers while the others rest in the palm of the hand. This gesture is typically made “outwards”, so that the palm of the hand is facing away from the person giving the sign. In the UK (and Ireland, Australia and New Zealand) making the “peace sign” while keeping the palm of the hand towards the giver is considered an insult, especially if one flicks his or her wrist up and down whilst giving the gesture. It’s analogous to “giving someone the finger” here in the US. Popular history says that the gesture was created in 1415, at the Battle of Agincourt, where victorious English and Welsh archers tauntingly showed their fingers to the defeated French, who had vowed to cut off the fingers of every captured archer to prevent them from ever shooting a bow again. However, the sign is seen in an illustration in the Macclesfield Psalter of 1330, so it had to have predated the battle. Amusingly, both Winston Churchill and George H. W. Bush got in hot water for using the sign. The aristocratic Churchill took to displaying the “V for Victory” sign during the war, and early on the chain-smoking prime minister would sometimes hold his hand in either position, depending on whether he was smoking a cigar or not. That is, until aides explained to him what the gesture meant to the lower classes of society. And George H. W. Bush, apparently unaware of the gesture, was seen giving the “peace sign” to a crowd at a rally in Melbourne, Australia in 1992. So keep the “two-fingered salute” in mind if you ever visit the UK, especially when ordering two beers at a pub. Read more here.

Banksy is perhaps the most well known British graffiti artist. His work typically has social commentary, and often looks more like a Northern Ireland mural than the “pointless doodlings” most people associate with graffiti. Some people have even sold his work, leaving to the buyer the issue of how said art will be removed from a wall or street corner. Little is known about Banksy, other than that he was born in Bristol in 1974 or 1975. Since he did not begin his graffiti “career” until 1992–1994, Gene would have no idea who Alex is talking about.

Gordon Banks was an English football player. Voted the second best goalkeeper in history by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics, Banks was a member of the English national team that won the World Cup in 1966. Banks was so popular in his day that people changed a common expression to “as safe as the Banks of England” in his honor. A car crash in October, 1972 caused him to lose vision in his right eye, thus ending his career as a football player.

– As mentioned several times in last season’s recaps, Kenneth Newman was commissioner of the Metropolitan Police from 1982 to 1987. Newman was appointed during a time of intense public scrutiny of London’s police force, and he led several much-needed reforms. As you might also remember from season 2, he often spoke out about the influence of freemasonry in the police force.

-“Anarchy in the UK” was the Sex Pistols’ first single, and the only record the band ever released on EMI, who dropped them a few days later after the Bill Grundy incident. The song, released on November 26, 1976, only reached #38 on the British music charts at the time, but ranks at #53 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list.

Greenham Common was an air force base in England. After WWII, it was used almost exclusively by the US Air Force until 1964. After that, it became home to nuclear missiles, and the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp, which started in September, 1981. On April 1, 1983 (just prior to the events in this episode of Ashes to Ashes), the camp received a lot of public attention when some 70,000 protesters formed a ‘chain” over 14 miles long from the air base to a munitions factory. This is (presumably) when the little old lady seen at the station was arrested. The camp was ordered closed by the local council on September 29, 1982 and again on April 4, 1984, but in both cases new camps were built overnight. Although the last nuclear missile left the base in 1991, protesters remained there until 2000, when their demands for a memorial were met. Yes, seriously.

– Recall that in the previous episode Alex was following Shaz down an alley and, when she reached the end of the alley, she saw a field of stars instead of a the street scene she should have.

– In the screen cap of Shaz drawing the stars, you can clearly see Yorkie and Wispa bars on her desk. I find that interesting, because product placement is a controversial issue in the UK. Many in the UK consider it “stealth advertising”, and the BBC’s own guidelines prohibit product placement. However, the Beeb got a bit of bad press for “alleged” product placement when it aired season 3 of Mad Men last summer. The BBC defended itself by saying that the show was made in the US, and that it (and other networks) often import US television shows as-is, so the matter was “out of their hands”. Yet here is a BBC production, with two highly visible candy bars in retro packaging. Perhaps the fact that candy bars are made by competing companies – Yorkie is made by Nestlé and Wispa is made by Cadbury – somehow makes this OK?

– Did Gene and Company move to London in 1980? Is that why Jim’s cases only go back that far? Or was that just all the cases he had in his office at the time? Do we even know exactly when Gene and the gang moved from Manchester to London?

– I assume most Americans know that “poof” is British slang for homosexual (although it often sounds like “puff” with the British accent). But just in case you didn’t know… now you do. Pointless trivia: the house band on the British talk show Friday Night with Jonathan Ross is named “Four Poofs and a Piano”. The band are known for being flamboyant and campy, and for often wearing identical t-shirts featuring the face of one of that night’s guests.

– So… Shaz is dating “Julian”, who is an “interior designer”? I bet that guy’s slid down more poles than Shaz has!

Worzel Gummidge is a character from British childrens’ books dating back to the 1930s. He’s a scarecrow who comes to life and has a series of adventures. The books were made into a TV series in 1979, so it’s possible that the show (and not the books) is what Ray was thinking of. And Labour Party leader Michael Foot did have a bit of resemblance to the character. Incidentally, I just found a new alias for the next time I go on the lam… one paid-in-cash hotel room for Worzel Grummidge, please!

– “Sarnie” is a British slang term for sandwich.

Top Trumps was (is) a card game popular with British children from its launch in 1977 to the late 1980s. The game came in many different versions, and each version was based on a single subject, like cars or soccer teams. Each card contained a bunch of data relevant to the subject (in a car game, each card might be for one particular model, and the data on the card would contain statistics like top speed, miles per gallon, etc.). The person to the left of the dealer would choose one category (like top speed), and call it out to the rest of the group. The person with the best card in that category would win all the cards for that round, and the person with the most cards at the end won. The game was relaunched in 1999 and remains popular to this day, mainly due to the low cost of the cards, which have an allowance-friendly price tag. I seem to remember American kids playing something similar using the statistics on the back of baseball cards, but I could be wrong.

– Gene has “size nine” feet… in British shoes. In American shoes, that’s about a nine and a half. Gene doesn’t have very big feet, does he?

– When Gene drags Barney by the ear through the hallway, Alex reminds him that the boy is only twelve. Gene says that Jimmy Osmond was only ten, and look at “the pain and misery he inflicted”. Jimmy Osmond was the youngest member of The Osmonds (of “Donny and Marie” fame), so Gene is joking about how awful their music was.

Cilla Black is an English “singer, actress, entertainer and media personality” who has been in show business since 1963. Black was discovered by John Lennon, who insisted that the Beatles’ manager, Brian Epstein, manager her. Several of her early singles were either written by the Beatles or featured the Beatles accompanying her. By 1968 she had parlayed her musical career into a BBC TV show, simply named Cilla. In the 1970s, as her musical career declined, she became more and more involved in TV, and she has been on British TV more or less continuously to this day.

– People who aren’t from Liverpool (especially people from London) like to make fun of “Scousers”. Liverpool is seen as a den of thieves and killers, and out of touch people who spit when they talk and have hideous fashion sense. There’s no equivalent analogy in America. It’s not “country comes to town”, but there is a bit of that. Imagine a fictional city in America with the reputation for crime that Detroit has, with the  reputation that Floridians have for being crazy and out of the loop fashion wise and you have something somewhat similar… but not quite. To see more, read Urban Dictionary’s definition of Scouser… it’s really harsh!

– When Jim says that joining him is not like going from “City to United”, he’s referring to the Manchester City and Manchester United football teams. Insert any relevant sports rivalry you want in this analogy: Yankees vs. Red Sox, Steelers vs. Cowboys, Lakers vs. Celtics, Georgia Tech vs. Georgia, etc.

– There is no British Army regiment called the “North Wessex Fusiliers”.

– “Bricking it” means to be scared… as in “shitting bricks”.

Scotland Yard (or, more properly, New Scotland Yard) is the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police. The building was once located at Great Scotland Yard, although the reason why it has that name is a mystery. Some think that Scotland once had a embassy or ambassador’s residence there. Others think that a man named Scott once owned the land in the Middle Ages. Still others think it got the name because stagecoaches to Scotland once left from the area. One way or another, the area became home to many government buildings by the 1600s, and when Parliament passed the Metropolitan Police Act in 1829 the area was chosen for the new police headquarters building. By 1888, the police had outgrown the old building, so a new one was constructed on the Victoria Embankment. Interestingly, during construction the remains of a mutilated female were found; she is thought to have been a victim of Jack the Ripper, although she has never been added to the official victims list. In the 1960s, the police moved yet again, this time to a modern office block on Broadway. This is officially known as “New Scotland Yard”, although no one ever says the “new” bit. Interesting trivia: the first phone number for Scotland Yard was WHITEHALL-1212. To this day, the phone number for Scotland Yard (and most other London police stations) ends with the four digits 1212.

Bostik is one of the largest adhesives manufacturers in the world. Formed as the Boston Blackening Company in Chelsea, Massachusetts, the company was sold to United Shoe Machinery Company of Leicester, England in 1929, then to Emhart, who was purchased by Black & Decker in 1990. B&D sold the company to a company named Total that same year. The company then changed its name to Ato Findley after merging with two other companies. They changed names yet again to Bostik Findley and became just Bostik in 2004. The company, which I have never heard of, is apparently well-known in industrial markets… but not so much in the US consumer market. I had no idea who the company was until I looked them up on Wiki.

– Wait a minute here… after Ray releases Andy, Jim tries talking him up in the kitchenette. He says “Everyone thought you were mad to go into that fire, but you’re still here”. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the person who complained most about him walking in the building was… Jim Keats?!?!

– Two longtime (but rarely used) characters – Poirot and Terry – were asked to pick up Andy Smith. Poirot is almost certainly named after Hercule Poirot, the Belgian detective in many Agatha Christie novels. I’m not sure about Terry. I don’t even know if “Terry” is his first or last name. However, I have a feeling he might be named after Detective Sargent Terry Reid from the Touch of Frost detective series. I only say that because Reid was played by Robert Glenister, Philip Glenister’s older brother. Of course, it could just be a coincidence. Viewers new to British TV might know Robert Glenister as the first Home Secretary on Spooks.

Finchley was Margaret Thatcher’s constituency (district). She held the seat from 1959 to 1992, a remarkable 33 years.

– When Alex says that the IRA will try to get Thatcher next year, she’s talking about the Brighton hotel bombing, in which a bomb planted by the Provisional IRA exploded during a Conservative Party conference on October 12, 1984. Five people died in the blast, although Ms. Thatcher and her husband Denis were unharmed in the incident.

– There is also no “Central Lancashire Rifles” in the British Army.

DSO (Distinguished Service Order) and DSM (Distinguished Service Medal) are medals given out in the British Armed Forces. Strangely, Ray mentions the DSM, which is mostly given out by the Royal Navy, and I’m pretty sure that Ray has no family in the RN.

Francis “Franny” Lee was yet another British football player. From 1967 to 1974, he played for Manchester City, Gene’s favorite team.

– A “shandy” is a beer mixed with ginger ale\beer or “lemonade” (which in Britain means Sprite or 7-Up). Although shandies are cool and refreshing, it’s not a very manly drink. It’s not something you’d order with your male friends; it would be like ordering a spritzer in a biker bar.

MY THOUGHTS

Wow – what an awesome episode. It’s timely, given the elections are going on right now in the UK. And the main story was pretty good – fairly solid, no major plot holes. What was most amazing about the episode was, of course, Ray. I’ve always liked Ray, and learning more about his past was much appreciated. The climax scene at Steve’s was incredible. Ray went from the cold badass he usually is to a quivering pile of goo in thirty seconds flat… but he didn’t overdo it. It was totally believable, and that’s the mark of a good actor. A tip of the hat to Dean Andrews for this episode. And man, I’m hating Jim more and more as this goes on. I wanted to help Gene knock the smug look of Jim’s face this entire episode!

MUSIC HEARD IN THIS EPISODE:

Sex Pistols – “Anarchy in the UK”
Frankie Goes to Hollywood – “Two Tribes”
Dean Martin – “Volare”
Robert Wyatt – “Ship Building”

One Reply to “Ashes to Ashes: Season 3, Episode 3”

  1. I dislike Jims smug face and am still not convinced a younger man would really have the motivation and hatred to take down a dinosaur like Gene. I dont think he is the right actor. But I though Raimundo was FANTASTIC in this episode as was Andy.

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