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Everything you need to know before watching Love/Hate season 5

Bit hazy on the key details ahead of the premiere? We’ve got it covered.


LOVE/HATE RETURNS to our screens this season, for a fifth season of criminal hijinks from Nidge, Fran and the lads.

But let’s be honest: it got pretty complicated there at the end of season four. So we’ve prepared a handy guide to everything you need to know ahead of the premiere.

If you’ve never seen the show before, you should read this piece instead. OK?

OK. So how did the last season end again?

The memorable final scenes of season four showed Nidge intentionally getting himself arrested (by weeing on the gardaí’s milk delivery), then losing the head in his cell, tearing his clothes off and clawing at his own chest until he bled.

It was all extremely puzzling.

But before that, here’s what happened:

Nidge and Fran had organised a big shipment of lidocaine into the country, using the cover of Andrew the dentist to import the drugs. (Fran later killed the dentist after discovering he’d ratted them out… but not before getting his teeth fixed for free.)

Meanwhile, Det Insp Moynihan had been monitoring their operations and set up a trap to catch them in the act, watching on concealed cameras as the gang accepted the delivery.

However, it all went pear-shaped for Moynihan when Tommy – who Nidge had sent in to take the fall if anything went wrong – had some kind of terrible haemorrhage mid-delivery.

Moynihan did the right thing and sent an ambulance in rather than waiting to collar Nidge with the drugs. That’s the only reason our Nidgeweasel got away with it.

The final episode also saw teenage terrorist Wayne get killed, and his young associate – who clipped him – emerge as a possible candidate to join the gang.

So is Nidge still the kingpin at the beginning of this season?

Yes. He’s out of prison. We’ve been told that he has recovered from the attack of paranoia that had him bouncing off the walls of his cell, and is back in the saddle as a gang boss.

We won’t go into the problems ahead for spoiler reasons, but you can read about what we know about the season five plot in our preview post.

What about Nidge’s ever-complicated love life? How did we leave that?

Well… it’s complicated. Season four saw Nidge develop a growing – and uncharacteristically tender – bond with Janet, who runs the brothel.

However, when we last saw her she’d gone a bit cold on him thanks to his callousness about Debbie’s death. In fact, she was palming him off on one of her girls.

One of the final scenes showed Nidge going back to his wife Trish – who had been shown mainly in scenes of domestic squabbling for the rest of the season – for what looked like some profoundly unsatisfying sex.

Let’s not forget the prostitute who recalls having sex with Nidge with the most cutting words of all: “Couldn’t feel him inside me.”

And his trademark green anorak?

Fate uncertain. Surely we’ll see it again, unless the Love/Hate costume dept have got him in a new colour for autumn/winter 2014.

What about Fran The Man? Why did he and Nidge fall out again?

Ah yes, Franno. Viewer favourite Fran emerged during the course of season four as the main threat to Nidge’s leadership of the gang – with repeated resentful outbursts, as well as moves to set up his own criminal sidelines from his grim little base in the hills.

Basically, he’s not happy about knuckling under and being told what to do. (It’s not clear yet whether he knows that Nidge effectively murdered his missus.)

Fran has also shown himself to be a dangerous loose wheel at time, with his judgement pretty comprehensively impaired by all the poitín he skulls while glaring resentfully over the city. Watch out for signs of a Nidge/Fran clash in season five.

On the plus side, one of the seasonwe HAVE got the answer to the big question – did Fran get his teeth fixed? – after some dodgy continuity at the end of season four. And… he did.

RTÉ - Ireland's National Television and Radio Broadcaster / YouTube

Oh yeah… is Siobhán working for the gardaí now?

It certainly looks like it. After growing frustrated with the gang’s treatment of the injured and vulnerable Tommy, Siobhán finally cracked and went to the cops, telling Det Insp Moynihan:

I’ll do whatever I can to help you get Nidge.

The season four finale left Tommy in an awful bad way, being rushed away in an ambulance, which isn’t exactly going to make her reconsider. And all indications from advance press materials point to Siobhán working for the good guys now.

And what about the cops themselves? They were supposed to be a big part of season four, but it was a bit of a let-down wasn’t it?

Yeah. The split-story cops-and-robbers format of season four – with one narrative tracking the gang, and the other tracking the detectives’ attempts to catch them – was much heralded before broadcast.

In the end, though, it proved too much to pack into six short episodes and the ‘cops’ part ended up looking flimsy and a bit hackneyed – more The Bill than The Wire.

With Siobhán on board as a mole in the gang’s operation, let’s hope for a bit of extra drama this time around.

OK, that’s about it. Anything else I should probably remember from the last season?

Here are a few key events:

  • Debbie died of a heroin overdose.
  • Nidge and Wayne attempted to kill Patrick the pipe bomb maker but failed.
  • Lizzie, who offed Darren in season three, got arrested after a failed IRA-backed assassination attempt on Nidge.
  • Dano (the Real IRA guy) was gunned down by his own mates.
  • Aido’s missus – and partner in heroin-smuggling – Nadine got pregnant.
  • And Fran dug up the dead mother of the lad who bust his teeth. As you do.

Can’t I just binge-watch it to catch up?

Not legally, unless you buy the DVDs. The show is not on iTunes or Netflix, and episodes disappear from the RTÉ Player after a few days. It IS on Hulu in the US… but that isn’t available here.

Right, got it. Roll on season five, eh?

More: 10 questions about Love/Hate you were too embarrassed to ask>

More: Here’s what will happen in Love/Hate season 5>

More: Here’s a first look at the Love/Hate season 5 cast>

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