Ashes To Ashes – S02E07 – episode review

Possibly the strongest episode of [[Ashes To Ashes (TV Series)|Ashes To Ashes]] of the current series last night – Gene and Alex uncover the rat in their department, and Alex ends up doing a bit of late night grave-digging thanks to Martin Summers.

If you’ve been keeping up with my Ashes To Ashes episode reviews, you’ll know I missed last week’s show, so I had to do a bit of catching up last night, watching both episodes via the BBC iPlayer. That is one useful website – I don’t know what I’d do without it sometimes!

The Recap Bit

Anyway, this episode revolves around a body found in a shallow cement grave on a building site. It becomes especially interesting when a young policeman comes forward with information implicating the foreman of the site: the policeman is a youthful Martin Summers.

Naturally, this raises Alex’s suspicions about him and his motivations, and she becomes sceptical about the quality of the information. However, she doesn’t have to worry too long about Summers – a night-time meeting (arranged by and attended by the older version of Summers) ends with the corrupt Summers shooting dead his youthful equivalent. He then leaves Alex to cover up the trail by submerging the body in wet cement – mirroring the way the earlier body was disposed of.

Of course, Alex’s disposal of the body makes the remainder of the episode all the more delicious. It centers around Gene looking for the mole in his organisation, the person who’s been tipping off crooks and removing evidence. The ‘cops on the take’ storyline has been a thread running through the whole series, but it’s usually Ray Carling who looks shifty whenever Gene mentions cops lining their pockets. Naturally, Ray was the chief suspect in this, being a Mason, and having links to SuperMac.

Everyone in Hunt’s team becomes paranoid though, and a fistfight breaks out at Luigi’s. Hunt as previously told the inner-circle of his team that crucial evidence is stored in a locker. He gives each person a different number, meaning that depending on which locker is broken into, he’ll be able to identify the culprit. And the guilty party is most unexpected: Chris Skelton.

As Dan remarks in his review, Marshall Lancaster’s character has mostly been the comic relief in the series, so he was almost too stupid to count as a suspect. However, this makes the revelation all the more shocking: he’s been with Hunt since Manchester, he seems fairly innocent, but he’s got involved with a loan shark to pay for his wedding and this has left him vulnerable to corruption: criminals are leaning on him because of the debt.

Comatose or Time Travelling?

Aside from this, the lesson in last night’s episode is that the past can be rewritten. I suppose that this idea ties into the fact that it’s a construct of a comatose person’s mind. It’s not real time travel, so events can be rewritten. However, this isn’t helpful when Alex’s mother appears to her in dreams and says that she could have been warned about the car bomb that killed her at the end of series 1. But then Alex does seem to blur the boundaries of this fictitious world, and fact from fantasy.

However, with Martin Summers inhabiting the same universe as Alex, it seems that there are two people from the future inhabiting this universe. So, is it a shared experience, or is it some kind of purgatorial place? More likely, Martin Summers is a figment of Alex’s imagination – so far, he’s only told her what she already knows, hasn’t he? He hasn’t really brought anything new to the table.

Dan’s review explores the idea that Summers can move between the worlds:

What is Summers’ deal? Is he a constant inhabitant of this ’82 with Alex, or does he just drift in and out from his own hospital bed in ’08? That must be the case of he knows she’s had her bullet removed by doctors, surely. But why does he need Alex to embrace police corruption? Is that a way to keep her in ’82 permanently — as it equals brain-death in the real world? Can’t he exist in ’82 without her, maybe because he’s only a visitor in HER fantasy and perhaps paralyzed in ’08? And what exactly is Operation Rose?

Food for thought, folks. Food for thought. I’d say it’s unlikely that he’s an imaginary friend for Alex from the future, but Summers’ role in the series arc seems important, and will probably become clearer over the next couple of weeks.

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