I didn't get to see this last night as it was Noel's birthday, so Paul and I watched it this morning. Probably just as well, seeing as I've had flu for a week and would probably have fallen asleep halfway through otherwise (because I'm ill, not because it was boring).
Anyway, I don't think I have quite as much to say this week...
So, this week we return to the good old tried-and-tested formula, at least to some degree - a bit of a mystery and Jonathan putting clues together to solve it. The only difference here is that the mystery itself takes place in the quiet little village in which Jonathan now finds himself residing, which is... almost similar to the good old days where mysteries found him rather than the other way around, but still doesn't quite seem to work.
Just a few bullet points this time around, I think...
- The universe in which Renwick lives must be very cushy, if he thinks everyone lives in massive country houses like that. I know in the early series the majority of the incidental characters were mid- to upper-class types with massive country manors, but the rest of the world doesn't live like that and just once it might be nice to have someone who lives in a tower block or a normal terraced two-up-two-down. I just about remember that there was an episode in series 4 where someone lived in a flat, but that's the exception to the rule, really.
- Jonathan is forced into meeting yet more of Polly's apparently endless list of acquaintances whom he has not met before, which in this case is used as a device for him accidentally releasing a pair of (already-captured) burglars. One little tiny thing did bug me there, which was when he found the pair tied up and went to find some scissors to release them - surely he's more than adept at untying knots, given his background? Plus it's just a bit convenient to have a pair of scissors in a drawer like that (in my house I have about six pairs of scissors and can never find any of them).
- The ketchup bottle and all associated 'humour' - which was mostly unnecessary and I actually thought they'd make more of the previously-broken wrist than a stupid repeated joke. I also want to know when and how he broke his wrist, as it was mentioned as being two years ago, which places it presumably afterhe's lost contact with Adam. (Though interestingly it was actually the same wrist as he damaged in "Time Waits for Norman" when attacked by the small dog, which I'm guessing is a coincidence. :P)
- Polly was more likeable in this episode - her world-weary acknowledgement that Jonathan is not going to stop solving impossible mysteries was sort of nice, though she went back to bemoaning it at the very end again. I still think it's stupid that she expected to change him at all, and repeat my previous wondering over what it is she sees in him if that particular facet of his personality is the one thing she wants to get rid of. I wasn't that taken with her repeated nightmare, though, nor the fact that something seemingly innocuous (the stuffed rabbit) apparently triggered it off again, or that she'd forgotten why there were carrots being grown in the forest when it was her idea. Again, this relates back to my comment last week on how Renwick doesn't seem to understand how children work. It wasn't like we saw a Polly who was young enough not to remember this stuff - and most kids generally remember stuff about their first pet, no matter how traumatic it was.
- I do, however, have this weird sense of foreboding that these past two episodes, with all their childhood trauma / strange children / babysitting, etc, are leading up to something for next week - like, I don't know, a sudden announcement that Polly is pregnant. You know, now that they have a nice big house and friends with a small baby and all the other normal things that Jonathan's life did not amount to before. I dunno, maybe I'm just paranoid. It just seems a bit convenient to have had, in these two episodes, firstly someone trying to put them off and then Polly being all hands-on with someone else's infant. Given my suppositions / theories proving correct in "...Septimus Noone" (i.e. the Sheridan-alike), I am worried that my propensity towards predicting Renwick's movements is consistently and terrifyingly accurate...
- This is just a minor thing, but... WHY CAN JONATHAN SUDDENLY DRIVE WHEN HE COULDN'T LAST WEEK????? I'm not even justifying that with further comment. FAIL.
- The wordplay in this one was somewhat better than last week, though it didn't take a genius to spot "Will + Win" when Jonathan was looking through the parish records. The anagrams were sort of fun, though, and I have to admit the one point where I did enjoy Polly was when she was distractedly coming up with more imaginary people during the meeting. :)
- I liked the little nod towards Jonathan's earlier life, as well, with the psychic's poster and such. This too, though, makes me wonder if Renwick is building up to something - in both episodes we've had throwaway mentions of Jonathan's previous world, and given my earlier post regarding Caroline Quentin's interest in returning, I just... I don't know. I have a feeling I will be watching episode 3 on tenterhooks for either a surprise!Maddy and/or Polly being pregnant (it would not surprise me if Renwick went down both routes simultaneously), and at this point I really don't want to be right.
- This episode reminded me of both the "Hounds of Baskerville" episode of Sherlockand that episode of Sleepy Hollowwith the Sandman (unsurprisingly), and given the episode's title it would have been good for there to be more about said Sandman than him being a distant childhood memory of Polly's. (Also: that seems a rather unnecessarily cruel way of explaining to a child where their rabbit has gone - no wonder she was traumatised!) The thing about the parish newsletter was a bit redundant, I thought, and mostly padding. In that sense the episode did feel a bit weird, as before the 'padding' would have been the character interactions (Jonathan, Maddy, Adam, Carla, Joey, etc); as this episode centred mostly around Jonathan the padding had to come from elsewhere.
- I said this before in relation to "The Judas Tree", but I really wish Renwick would not go down the route of bodily fluid gags - we never did get any explanation for why everyone was pissing everywhere, unless the earlier mention of badgers or whatever it was had anything to do with it? (I wasn't really paying attention at that point; once I heard "badgers" I kind of giggled to myself that they were still the Official Fandom Animal and drifted off.) Plus the whole painting / cherub / self-conscious Jonathan thing was also unnecessary, though I suspect the answer to Polly's question ("Were you like this as a boy?") is quite probably yes. :P (Again, though - they do not seem to actually know each other.)
- Seeing Jonathan's swanky London offices just made me depressed about his new career all over again. :(
- Especially because whenever he was embroiled in piecing clues together he actually looked more Jonathan-like than we've seen for a while - jeans and check shirts - and a direct contrast to him looking uncomfortable in a suit.
- Oh, and that other comment from Polly re: Jonathan having to socialise struck a nerve with me. He wasn't completely isolated in the windmill - in "The Omega Man" he's on the phone to a mate when trying to get rid of the US soldier, a mate who clearly knows the area given he mentions "taking him as far as the sheep dip". I always saw it that he was part of his local community - a regular at the pub, or whatever - but mostly kept himself to himself. The local area around the windmill was probably no bigger than the village they're now living in, which makes it all the more difficult for me to accept that she made him give it up.
I think that was everything.
So, not as bad as last week - at least he got all the epic fail out of the way nice and early, as I'd hoped, and is now focusing more on trying to make the show great again. And mostly failing, but never mind. What is most interesting to me is reading the #jonathancreek hashtag on Twitter and the amount of people who actively dislike Polly and want Maddy and the windmill back. Maddy was written out 14 YEARS AGO. That says a lot for the show's glory days and what people most remember about it, i.e. Jonathan/Maddy, not to mention the fact that Caroline's casting was probably one of the key selling points at the time.
Yeah, it's just nice to know that even though the fandom is still quite small, I am not that lone voice howling at the moon when it comes to my 'ship. :D
One more week to go and then I can get back to indulging my headcanons. :P