Friday, 6 February 2015
Cucumber: Episode 3
"You're a prostitute!"
"Yes. How much money do you make?"
Three episodes in, and the clever little tropes and writerly tricks are coming more and more into focus. There's the repeated use of Henry perving at blokes in the supermarket as a framing device, for one. And there's the way Freddie gets written here; up until now, and even early in this episode, he's this beautiful, arrogant, unattainable Wildean aesthete without any of the money, but we get the truth here; he was abused regularly as a schoolboy by his teacher, Gregory, now a father of two. There are scenes dancing around blackmail, and at the centre is a pop art style wall decoration relating this abuse as an erotic comic strip so that, literally as well as metaphorically, the past of abuse hangs over the narrative.
It is Henry who urges Freddie to expose Gregory, disgusted at the abuse of a schoolboy the age of his fifteen year old nephew. Yet Henry is directing this very same nephew in pornographic "vlogs" in a clear parallel. It's complicated.
Elsewhere, Lance continues in his chase of semi-closeted gay homophobe Daniel, an interesting character, and the swimming pool scene is superbly written. Lance is an interesting character: in control when it comes to Henry but definitely not in the driving seat when it comes to Daniel.
I still think he and Henry will get back together. But there's a long way to go...