By Will Barber – Taylor
In episode four of the series, white flags are raised as Stella calls a truce with Michael, going so far as to let him use her shower when his water runs out. The lawyer might think twice about accepting the offer again, though, following an incident involving a basketball and shattered glass. Daughter Emma, on the other hand, heads into dangerous territory, crossing the line with boss Marcus. Brenda’s Buses make their maiden voyage, too, but with Brenda and Dai butting heads at every turn, surely it’s only a matter of time before the business runs out of gas? Plus, jaws drop when Simpsons relaunches in an attempt to attract “classy stiffs”, and Big Alan grows closer to the troubled Celia.
Once again, Stella delights from the off as the episode begins with Stella having a dream about an embracing encounter on a male sex line and continues into the title sequence with Michael discovering that his water has been switched off. The mix of comedy and genuine drama is a great blend in this episode as we move from the scenes where Michael is pleading to use his smug ex-wife Jan’s shower to a much more touching scene with Luke and Zoe. This classic blend of offsetting the funny with the touching helps us connect more with the characters and their problems and situations.
The acting in the episode is as always very good, particularly Catrin Stewart as Emma who is one of the emotional corner stones of the series. We empathise with her struggle to be with the man she loves while trying to keep down her job. Bethan Witcomb as Zoe also has an emotional struggle pulls off her part equally well. Both actresses give depth to the sitcom and make it less of a simple comedy and a more grounded tale of human life in one small Welsh town.