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Name: Jamie Bamber News

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Jamie Bamber News - 'The Smoke': Episode 4 SPOILER Discussion Thread
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'The Smoke': Episode 4 SPOILER Discussion Thread

(c) Des Willie / Sky 1
No tardiness this week!  Properly early, here's your discussion thread for The Smoke Episode 4 airing Thursday, in which there will be a Ziggy sub-plot so *wild applause.*  Haul off and discuss belowwww!...



Under this line? SPOILERS. You have been warned...

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anteros_lmc From: anteros_lmc Date: March 14th, 2014 01:31 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Ouch. That hurt. Lots of very fucked up people. Kev and Trish's break up was painfully realistic. It's that point when no matter how much you care about someone you know it just has to stop and it hurts like hell. Kudos to LK for capturing all the confusion and mood swings that go with a break up. And Jamie and Jodie were both outstanding.

Still can't quite get my head round Mal. He's behaved like a shit, that that much is obvious, but I haven't seen anything that shows why he was supposed to be such a good mate in the first place.

Sophie Stanton was brilliant again, she's fast becoming one of the real stand out characters.

Not quite sure what to make of Ziggy's storyline, need to come back to that....
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: March 15th, 2014 07:47 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Kudos to LK for capturing all the confusion and mood swings that go with a break up. And Jamie and Jodie were both outstanding.

Utterly. Effing. Destroyed me. It can't be overstated how this show is letting Jamie do so much that he hasn't been given a chance to do in other projects; even in BSG! Despite my feelings (see below) about the women & kids tropes, I do feel like the show is sincere (and Jodie makes the case very convincing) that Trish absolutely doesn't feel the need to have more kids in order to be with Kev. Though we have yet to understand the seed that made her want to reconnect with her child; I think it's probably more like something that came about after Kev's accident and needing to re-evaluate all the choices she's made, and own up to them. But criminy, it was hard to see just how badly Kev does want kids hit him like an anvil. Can I re-iterate the need to get that #BamberBAFTA hashtag out there**? ;)

(**His line reading of "But you know everything about me!" ALONE deserves a shiny brass trinket. Or three. See also: His reaction to "She looks like her dad.")

Still can't quite get my head round Mal. He's behaved like a shit, that that much is obvious, but I haven't seen anything that shows why he was supposed to be such a good mate in the first place.

I do think you have a point that the show hasn't really dug deep into getting us to understand the dynamic of Kev & Mal's friendship when things were good, to forgive how horrible Mal is a lot of the time. The little anecdote Kev tells in this ep while he's frying eggs sort of begins to scratch the surface... but we're not quite there yet. (Also: See below for more comments specific to Mal in this ep. I'm spreading the yammering around this time. ;))

Sophie Stanton is a flippin genius. I had to roll that scene in Kev's office back & watch twice.

Not quite sure what to make of Ziggy's storyline, need to come back to that....

Here's my feelings on Ziggy...

Firstly, and I've heard this from a couple of folks and I agree: It's a bit of a drag that now, our two main female characters' major plotlines involve child drama. Just once, it would be nice to have a female character for whom their major arc doesn't end up in the realm of nesting. (I've been trying very hard not to, but now I'd refer back to some of our discussion posts on Monday Mornings on this point. Specifically the way that show wrote Tina and Sydney.)

THAT SAID: Again, I'm so appreciative of the degree to which Lucy Kirkwood is trying to take tropes that we see constantly in television and give them a different spin. In Ziggy's case, IMO it goes well beyond her wanting to be "one of the lads" and be accepted and not judged because she's a woman. It goes all the way back to becoming pregnant at a young age and essentially losing out on the carefree, fun-and-games phase of her twenties. Unlike Trish, who chose to give up her child, Ziggy settled down and is *technically* raising them... but she's not, really. She's running away from this family life and escaping every single time she has the opportunity, relying on a very responsible partner who is a full-time dad, and having a career that keeps her out of the house so often helps her maneuver along that path. She's really struggling with growing up and taking full responsibility, preferring to revert to what makes her feel good, and safe, and not beholden to anyone... and that is definitely a trope that is far more often applied to male characters, rarely to women. Women are branded bad mothers if/when it is depicted, and it's so important to note that the show makes a point of indicating that Ziggy does love these kids; they are her babies, to the point of inking them on her body, they mean everything to her. She just hasn't figured out how to be their mom yet. (BTW, this is the plotline that reeeally has me pulling for a Series 2 now; I have a feeling we may not get a chance to revisit Ziggy's story this series, what with Kev/Trish/Mal and the Kev/Asbo mystery being the two main arcs that need resolving.)

Also, in relation to Kev's overall arc... oh, it's coming in another comment... ;)

Edited at 2014-03-15 09:12 am (UTC)
asta77 From: asta77 Date: March 16th, 2014 08:50 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
(**His line reading of "But you know everything about me!" ALONE deserves a shiny brass trinket. Or three. See also: His reaction to "She looks like her dad.")

I was more focused on her reaction to "She looks like her dad." It struck me that he was a real s**t. Not that that is the reason she gave up Grace. It's clear she was young and had no support system, unlike Ziggy, and did what she felt was best for the baby. Also interesting to learn she has already spent some time with her. I'm wondering if it was an open adoption and she an agreement was made with the adoptive parents she could contact Grace when they felt all involved were ready.

I could see in Series 2, Ziggy and Jamie (Couldn't they have picked another name? Very distracting given the chemistry Pippa and Jamie had in their scenes together. ;) having split up, Jamie continuing to be the primary care giver, and Ziggy, separated from them, realizing how important it is to spend time with them. I also think she only committed to Jamie because of the pregnancy and kids and, as she's grown older and experienced more, has realized that this is not the man she wants to spend the rest of her life with. Which happens to many people and is completely understandable.
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: March 17th, 2014 04:25 am (UTC) (Link Me)
I was more focused on her reaction to "She looks like her dad." It struck me that he was a real s**t. Not that that is the reason she gave up Grace. It's clear she was young and had no support system, unlike Ziggy, and did what she felt was best for the baby.

I got the same feeling re: Grace's dad. And if it was a case where her family shut her out and she had nowhere else to turn, then yes putting her up for adoption was likely the best option. Particularly if she was a special needs baby; with no support, that's unmanageable.

(I'm also wondering now if her family reacted that badly, if it was everyone except Julia; despite what a piece of work she is, it makes a lot more sense that she and Trish maintained a bond if she was the only family member who would speak to her. At least Trish had someone who would listen.)

I also think she only committed to Jamie because of the pregnancy and kids and, as she's grown older and experienced more, has realized that this is not the man she wants to spend the rest of her life with.

*nod* The episode doesn't make it explicit, but given Zig's line about deciding not to live like it's 1957 (which I think was partially cover for her choosing not to be responsible)... I do wonder whether or not, despite them being "together", she and Jamie are really not a couple at this point. I got a distinct vibe of co-habitating for the sake of the kids, but I really wonder if there's an active relationship there. (For one thing, we've seen Ziggy flirting and making out with other guys, and it does seem a little bit hypocritical of her to throw shade at Trish as she did if she's cheating on her husband regularly. Then again, it could very well be a "do as I say, not as I do" thing because she's so protective of the fellas. Hrmmm...)

Edited at 2014-03-17 06:32 am (UTC)
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: March 14th, 2014 04:56 am (UTC) (Link Me)
As per usual, gonna be a couple days before I can yak way, way, way too much about an episode. But I had to pop on really fast...

Unquestionably my favorite episode so far. The entire last 15 mins pretty much wrecked me. I am Smoke-wrecked. THIS. CAST.
josieb1 From: josieb1 Date: March 14th, 2014 06:09 am (UTC) (Link Me)
The episide was better than I thought it would be. I understood the rescue but I didn' like the way they used a very overweight person to show a rescue where they needed a winch, a severely disabled person would have been just as effective. As an overweight person (not that big I might add) it felt like making fun of overweight people. Sorry minor rant over.

I found some of the episide confusing, particularly the night Kev spent with Ziggy, and Abso out drinking with Gog but getting used to that type of storyline now. It's certainly hotting up.

The breakup scene was heartbreaking. I guess Kev and Trish need time apart, well Kev does anyway, he has so many decisions to make he needs a clear head. The acting is superb but it's very much like watching a train wreck here.

Edited at 2014-03-14 06:11 am (UTC)
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: March 15th, 2014 08:04 am (UTC) (Link Me)
I understood the rescue but I didn' like the way they used a very overweight person to show a rescue where they needed a winch, a severely disabled person would have been just as effective.

Hmm. Of two minds on this one. (And for a start, I'm a size 18. ;))
On the one hand, I do think Christine's weight plays intentionally comical in some regard, although TBH this is exacerbated by it being a thin actress in a fat suit and not an actual heavyset actress. I get that it's often difficult to find an appropriately heavy actor for a part like this and in the end you want the performance first and foremost; there's always a risk of the makeup not quite looking realistic, though. And this went back and forth for me; in some shots it looked pretty good, in others it was really distracting.

Now, as to whether it could have been another disability, have to disagree with that one. And here's why: I think this particular rescue plays an important role in finally moving Mal a significant distance from "complete shithead" on the game board. My guess is LK's intention is to draw a comparison between Christine's mum enabling her condition by infantilizing her and giving her everything she wants (best demonstrated by literally calming her by shoving chocolates in her mouth), and Mal consistently failing to recognize that his serial shagging is a) an addiction, just like any other and b) just plain destructive behavior. Initially on this shout, he's rude and cruel and dismissive as ever, but by the time the ep is over and he's sitting at that breakfast table watching two people - who despite all of it he *does* actually care about - deciding to abandon their future because of a situation he helped cause... he finally breaks down. Now, whether that's the case and he now starts to pull it together, we'll see. (The fruit gag at the end, also, I don't really think is entirely there for laughs; it's an indication of making a decision to change. Though whether Mal scoffing the cake is a worrying omen remains to be seen. ;)

Also, apropos of nothing: Best ironic use of Sir Cliff on a soundtrack EVER. ;)

I found some of the episide confusing, particularly the night Kev spent with Ziggy, and Abso out drinking with Gog but getting used to that type of storyline now.

I answered anteros_lmc above specific to Ziggy's personal storyline, but re: the larger picture:

I'm pretty confident some of what LK is going for - in tone at least - is intentionally confusing. She wants the audience to wonder exactly WTF is going on with Kev and Ziggy dancing in a pretty damn sultry manner, which builds to a head when Trish implies that she's wondering if they hooked up the night before... only to have Kev admit that no, that's not how it is at all. Because that scene is contrasted with Trish and Mal working their shit out, we're meant to wonder if maybe there's something there, but ultimately Kev and Ziggy's little hippie siesta isn't all that different from his cot-smashing night out with Asbo in 1x02. They're very different in tone and emotion, but they're both examples of Kev giving in to the need to just tune out and try to keep all the conflicting emotions he's having in check. When everything hurts, the urge to pivot and say 'You know? Fuck EVERYTHING' can be pretty strong. So let's point an aerosol can at a bonfire, even though I'm a fireman... because YOLO. ;)

As far as Asbo and Gog go... yeesh. This was probably the hardest to watch because it really felt like Asbo caving and doing what Gog wants *just* to keep him satisfied and not risk another violent outburst. (Come to think of it, you could lump this right in with Mal and Christine... feeding the addiction so it doesn't bite you in the ass.) By the time Asbo found out about his mum's injuries... yeah, the ending of this episode was pretty chilling. While I'm REALLy glad Kev's offense didn't include doing something *worse* to that dog... it was both satisfying and stomach-turning to see Asbo resort to sheer violence in the end, too.

*shakes fist in Lucy Kirkwood's general direction* I CAN'T.

Edited at 2014-03-15 08:50 am (UTC)
aurora1888 From: aurora1888 Date: March 16th, 2014 07:08 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Chipping in my tuppenceworth here.

With every episode my Mal hate is growing - he is behaving like a complete stalker, I watched the episode back and on two separate occasions Trish clearly tells him to leave her alone and he completely ignores here. WTF is his problem?

Poor Kev, he and Trish are going to be the death of me. He wants kids so badly and it seems like the whole world is having kids apart from him and it's ripping him apart. He and Trish need to work this out and I'm hopeful it's just needing some time apart. he's turned into a dog napper.

Seriously how cute were Ziggy's twins?

Not sure what to make of Gog and Asbo - there's gonna be some serious fall out from Asbo beating him up that's for sure.
asta77 From: asta77 Date: March 16th, 2014 08:38 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I'm rather surprised that we are half way through the series and Mal remains so underdeveloped. I shouldn't be sitting here asking why Trish and Kev are friends with this horrible person at this point. I could deal with the womanizing if he was shown to have some admirable qualities.
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: March 17th, 2014 04:34 am (UTC) (Link Me)
It's not even the womanizing I have a problem with. It's the complete lack of empathy, or tact, that he's demonstrated a number of times now... with the girl who jumped in front of the train, and then this week with Christine's mum. Who, let's face it, had some serious issues but to act like such a callous shit is inexcusable. Just about the only truly endearing moment Mal's had so far was with the little girl in 1x02; otherwise there are moments of sweetness here and there (Rhashan really sells the dialogue sometimes; the bit about cloning Kev on the back of a mouse was lovely, snarky but ultimately he's being optimistic and supportive in that one moment). And then he goes and does something really....stupid...

Mal seems to have reached a turning point now but I agree, it would be grand to get some real back story to help give him some real context. He did mention his mum dying, are there lingering resentment issues there? Is there some past girlfriend who broke his heart that we don't know about? Telllll me Lucy, make me understand. ;) (I'm optitimistic we'll get something, eventually; there appears to be a big Mal/Asbo confrontation on the plate next week, maybe something will come of that.)

Edited at 2014-03-17 06:11 am (UTC)
asta77 From: asta77 Date: March 16th, 2014 08:34 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
It seems like every weekend since the show premiered I've had Auntie duties so I think I'm resigning myself to Sunday viewing til seasons end. ;)

Overall, I really liked this episode. I found it interesting how they paired off various characters and followed them through a 12 hour or so period. And though all had to face a harsh reality as the sun came up, there was some fun moments to be had before that. How adorable was Kev riding the bike with Ziggy on back? And while I wasn't rooting for infidelity to happen (and glad it didn't) and still wondering if Kev and Trish can work things out, there was no denying Kev and Ziggy had some nice chemistry together.

I'm torn on this reveal that Ziggy has a family. I have no doubt that being a female firefighter in a male dominated profession is rough, but the guys were teasing her because she had kept it a secret. I'm not sure how telling them from the day she joined the unit would have changed anything. So, I'm guessing the reveal has more to do with her being young and having a family and how that interferes with how she envisioned her life being at this point. I have no doubt she loves her kids, but, yeah, you don't lie and party with friends when it's the night of your kids play.

I loathed Mal less this week (progress?), but I still find him to be an asshole. And really question what great qualities he has that we are not seeing that Kev and Trish would be friends with him for years. That's probably why he's telling himself he loves her, because she a) puts up with him and b) is the longest female relationship he has had in his life. Can we start seeing some of the good in him, other than apologies after being an asshole? And also find out why he is so messed up and self-absorbed?

OK. Jamie. Wow. He had a lot to work with this week and, boy, did it allow for him to show his range. I LOL'd at that shot of him sitting in Christine's room with the fuzzy pink pillow behind his head. His expression was perfection. Then letting lose at the gathering/party. And then breaking down outside Ziggy's home after seeing the kids and confronting what he believes he's lost forever (though why does no one ever talk of adoption?) and again after saying goodbye to Trish (which, uh, Trish maybe not the best time to drop the Grace bomb). I really do admire how the show has made the breakup so complicated. He's still in love with her, yet it's understandable he's not getting past her cheating with his best friend. I do think there is still hope for them, but totally get he needs to be apart from her for now.

Of course, Kev is going to be put through the ringer again when he finds out the truth about Dennis. And while I totally understand Dennis' mom, who is watching her son get his life together, going to Kev and urging him to be a role model...I'm also thinking of what her son has put Kev through. Again, complicated.

Did they just drop the idea of the therapist after the first ep? That seems odd. It's clear Kev could still use someone to talk to and is in no way over what happened to him. I was actually a bit worried he was going to kill the dog. :(

If I have one criticism of the ep, it was the rescue. I could deal with Mal being an ass, but obesity is a sensitive subject and I felt if they were to tackle a rescue like that it could have been handled better. The mother is an enabler, but did we need her pushing a candy bar into her daughters mouth as soon as she was brought out of the house? Would Christine, who I get didn't want to leave the house given her state, be so bratty to people trying to save her? And would the hospital allow her mom to stock the room with junk food???
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: March 17th, 2014 05:21 am (UTC) (Link Me)
And while I wasn't rooting for infidelity to happen (and glad it didn't) and still wondering if Kev and Trish can work things out, there was no denying Kev and Ziggy had some nice chemistry together.

Such an intentional diversion! ;) But yes, ultimately there's a chemistry there that I think the show *can* spin into something really interesting; if (hopefully!) the show gets another series, it would be nice to see that develop, as maybe Kev comes to feel a certain kinship with Ziggy given all he's been through. They're both a little outside the circle of "lads", as it were.

That's probably why he's telling himself he loves her, because she a) puts up with him and b) is the longest female relationship he has had in his life.

I like the notion of B there. Who knows, maybe Mal had his eye on Trish back in the day, but Kev got to her first. Maybe he's been pining ever since. But yes, for a start Trish's line about "otherwise you're just a bastard who slept with his best mate's girlfriend" was ACE... but also, it really does seem like he's pushing the issue because he's trying to convince himself of something that just isn't.

And then breaking down outside Ziggy's home after seeing the kids and confronting what he believes he's lost forever (though why does no one ever talk of adoption?) and again after saying goodbye to Trish (which, uh, Trish maybe not the best time to drop the Grace bomb).

I think as far as adoption goes, it may be something that's in the back of his mind, but for right now the wounds (literally) are too fresh; just the notion that he no longer has the ability to father a child himself is agonizing. And no, it was probably not the best time to drop that bomb but a) Trish was unaware of how seeing Ziggy's kids affected Kev earlier that morning, and b) I kind of saw her decision to tell Kev in that moment as an opportunity, because she was leaving the flat anyway, to get it over with when the situation had already gotten pretty dire. Right, might as well rip off the Band-Aid now. And what was actually pretty heartbreaking is that tiny moment where, after Kev makes it plain that he still loves her... you can see that Trish gains the tiniest bit of hope that she might change his mind, and then is gutted when he doesn't.

And while I totally understand Dennis' mom, who is watching her son get his life together, going to Kev and urging him to be a role model...I'm also thinking of what her son has put Kev through.

I thought about this too, and I wondered how much of it is compartmentalizing the portion which is "my son was involved in this" and equating it with "that menacing little shit Gog got my son mixed up in this." In that way that sometimes, parents only see the potential in their child and try to forget the ugly stuff; she has such hopes that Kev can be a positive influence that she's staring straight forward, she's trying not to look back. I just loved that scene in Kev's office, though. Also one of my favorite Jamie moments this ep; he really looked like he wanted to jump over that desk and give Kelly a hug, poor thing.

(Also, on a shallow note, f'in' GORGEOUS in that scene. And A+++ to the makeup department for continuity on the bit above his right eye where he really bashed his face in last week. ;)):



Did they just drop the idea of the therapist after the first ep? That seems odd. It's clear Kev could still use someone to talk to and is in no way over what happened to him. I was actually a bit worried he was going to kill the dog. :(

I think we ALL were for a second!; that was another perfectly pitched Kirkwood bait 'n' switch. ;) And TBH, I'm not confident Kev was thinking of every angle and picked a good sturdy no kill shelter to dump the dog in, so it's still not exactly kosher. But back to the real question at hand... Elizabeth Berrington has been listed on every cast round up in the weekly schedule updates from Sky so I'm banking on her turning up again. Now is REALLY the time where it would be nice if she turned up again though. Talk to him, Pauline. Give him tea and biccies and knit some booties while he purges everything. He needs it.

Edited at 2014-03-17 05:22 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous) Date: March 18th, 2014 09:31 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Hello peeps..hope you don't mind me crashing this discussion.
Dear lord.. Mr Bamber has broken my heart. Have you ever seen a better piece of acting..ANYWHERE!.. If he doesn't get several acting awards for this role, I shall be mightily irked!
For me too the line "But you know everything about me!" Was the killer. The break in his voice, the look of complete betrayal , broke me and severely challenged my , (supposedly waterproof,) mascara... Then the tearful "iI do still" and following hug., made things evan worse.Seriously they both.. Trish and Mal need a slap and I'd be happy to do it.
Both of them insensitive and selfish.. The pair of them obsessed with getting their jollies, knowing full well that Poor wonderful Kev doesn't have much to get jolly with!

At least Ziggy is kind of looking out for Kev and Asbo in his way is trying to make amends.
I was o overwhelmed by this weeks ep I rewatched the whole series again from the start. Did it make me feel better...did it heck, just made me adore Kev all the more and appreciate how utterly brilliant Jamie is at portraying him.
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