Today seems as good a day as any to say a few words about Saturday’s episode of Thick, which quite frankly blew my mind.
To describe it as a return to form isn’t fair on the series so far, which has been excellent in navigating the political realities of coalition government, but this week’s episode truly was a classic and the rest of the series is going to have to be going some to top it. The best half hour of new TV in several years.
Malcolm was subdued in the second episode but was on fire this time around. The way that the various elements of the plot were knitted together to end in Nicola Murray’s resignation, which I didn’t see coming at all (and I’m fascinated to see how the plotting develops from here), was astounding and a testament to the writers. It was redolent of the specials from a few years ago, that I maintain are two hours of the greatest British comedy created in the modern era.
It was great to see Glen and Ollie back together and it reminded me how much of the comedy came from their relationship. Glen looks totally disillusioned and you can imagine that there are plenty in the Lib Dems right now who feel the same.
John Duggan was even more contemptible than in his cameo in series 3, which takes a bit of doing……… It kind of makes sense to keep having these halfwits popping up again and again. You spend any time in any political milieu in this country and people like him will keep re-appearing, however useless they seem to be.
I suppose the twist where Malcolm crushes Ben just before he is about to go on air and resign should have been expected, considering the way that Ben had been talking to him earlier in the episode. Malcolm doesn’t allow a slight to go unanswered. But even so, it was an electrifying moment. Much as I can see why Malcolm hasn’t featured prominently in the first three episodes, I have missed him. He brings something that no one else does (barring Jamie maybe. Oh Jamie. Will we ever see you again?)
Which scares me really, as I find myself rooting for him despite his manoeuvrings making Machiavelli’s Prince look like a paragon of integrity. He is everything I loathe about the Labour Party and contemporary idea- and policy-free politics, and yet I love him in spite of myself.
Peter Capaldi really is a genius, isn’t he? Tucker is one of the great cultural creations of our time.