LOVE/HATE SEASON FIVE started last night, just as there were a series of power outages across the country. It may have been down to everyone putting the kettle on.
The first episode was – to say the least – action-packed. Here’s what we learned.
1. Terence Bigballs looks weirdly like Jeremy Kyle
As heralded in all the trailers, Nidge went to meet ‘Terence Bigballs’ – some kind of Irish crime kingpin based in Spain – to ask him for a loan.
He turned out to be a permatanned lad with a smarmy demeanour and an uncanny resemblance to the king of daytime chat-shaming. You half expected him to wheel one of Nidge’s old flames onto the screen with news of a DNA test.
(Incidentally there is no mention at any stage that Terence Bigballs may not be his actual, real, birth-certificate moniker. We’re assuming that Mr and Mrs Bigballs just liked the name Terence.)
But anyway, all that happened was that Nidge was forced to turn his NidgeCharm™ up to 11. And that meant making this face. A LOT.
2. Fran is still a nutter, and this time he’s naked
We meet Fran for the first time hanging out in his mountain lair with perennial sidekick Deano, smoking and drinking. He’s got someone’s skeletal finger in his fridge, for some reason. No big deal.
So obviously he gets it out and plays with it. Bonus points to anyone who can remember where the finger came from.
Shortly afterwards, Fran gets picked up by Det Insp Moynihan and co for the murder of Andrew The Dentist.
And we’re treated to a lingering shot of his behind as him and Deano get the strip-search treatment.
Er, thanks for that. The only reason we can think of for this is that it may be a foreshadowing of an important mention of Fran’s hole in a few minutes.
3. Trish has got a new barnet, and supernatural patience
Our first meeting with Nidge’s missus shows her ditching that terrible haircut she sported through season four. She’s gone back to brown, hasn’t she? Classy like.
Nidge, ever the gentleman, greets her by saying: “Mother of f***, what happened to you?”
And rather than flying into a rage and/or day-long sulk, as any other human being would in this situation, she tells him she changed her hair because she “looked like Herman Munster’s mot”.
Not bad, Trish. Not bad.
4. Even gangster’s sons get nits
Warren is infested. Riddled. Just remember this, because it’s going to be a weirdly important plot point.
Meanwhile, Nidge is busy casually loping down the stairs with a baseball bat. No biggie. Just heading out for a while. #casual
5. Nidge has a creative way with threats
In a tense confrontation with Fran in some kind of underground car park, Nidge utters the immortal line
Misha here will beat you til the bat breaks. And then he’s going to ram it up your fucking hole.
Twitter was weirdly puzzled by this.
Anyway, it’s enough for Fran who swears on his dead wife’s grave that he’ll do whatever Nidge wants. Everyone knows this will not happen.
6. The gang have furnished their new pub from IKEA
It’s called the Pappin, and it is one hell of a hot joint. VIBES.
Hang on, that lamp looks a bit familiar.
According to the description: “Gives a directed light; good for lighting up for example dining tables or bar tops.” No fools, these lads.
7. … while Patrick the Pipebomber is more of a DFS man
He’s back, and he’s plotting to kill Nidge. But first, he’s going to have a nice sit down with his pals on his lovely cream leather corner unit.
Ooh, very nice. That shot could go in the catalogue.
8. Janet has the most awkward sex talk ever
She and Nidge have a very rapid set-to, photographed in excruciating deal by the Love/Hate production team. With close-up shots like this:
And this. Note the motion blur from where her head is bouncing up and down in a really uncomfortable-looking way.
However, throughout she keeps asking Nidge if he’ll talk to her son. Poor Nidge, straining away, can only reply
Can we not talk about it after? I’m losing me rhythm here.
It only gets worse for Nidge, because as soon as he leaves her house he gets set upon by Patrick’s lads with baseball bats and slash hooks. And has to hide in a hedge.
Pity the people who had to watch that scene with their parents in the room.
9. Tommy’s still alive!
But he’s in hospital, unconscious, hooked up to what we can only assume is some kind of intravenous fizzy orange delivery system.
Siobhan comes in, stares mournfully at him for a bit, and then legs it.
10. Even gangsters have a naggin in the taxi
There’s Siobhan, lashing a bit of own-brand vodka into her like there’s no tomorrow. Good girl.
Side note: the Pappin appears to be the old Towers bar in Ballymun.
11. Pauley really knows how to live
At the party in the Pappin – which incidentally, features tunes straight outta your second cousin’s 21st at the community centre – Pauley is having it large. (Pauley is Terence Bigballs’ nephew who’s been foisted on Nidge to make sure he sticks to the loan conditions.)
While putting the moves on Siobhan, he heads to the bar and asks for “Four shots of that blue stuff and three pints of lager.”
12. MINI NIDGE!
Warren has to get his head shaved, because of the nits. Which makes him basically a mini version of Nidge. He’s wearing the grumpy face and everything.
They’ve even got matching jackets!
Long live Mini Nidge.
13. Nidge learns that nits are not to be mentioned in polite company
He goes to meet Patrick for a reconciliation. Patrick is all up for making peace… until Nidge makes the mistake of asking if Patrick’s son – who’s also had his head shaved – had nits.
Patrick flips out. “He’s clean and looked after. I’ll rip your f***ing head off, here and now.” It takes a lengthy apology to calm him down.
For Christ’s sake Nidge, this is a man with a cream leather DFS corner unit. Keep the headlice chat to a minimum, eh?
14. Poor Lizzie is one step behind
We meet Lizzie again, and she appears to be preparing to carry out a hit – we can only assume on Nidge.
However, it all goes pear-shaped when someone turns up at her door and shoots her deader than Darren’s blue hoodie.
Who could it be that executed this deed? Only that young fella, Wayne the cat-killer’s mate from the last season!
He’s still riding the same bike and all. You’d think he could have got a new one, what with the proceeds of crime and all.
15. Aaand the episode ends on an excellent lingering shot of Nidge and Fran pretending to be mates.
While the Velvet Underground’s I’m Sticking With You plays, Nidge and Fran embark on a protracted game of Who Can Make The Most Insincere Face.
Fran 1-0 Nidge.
Nidge equalises with a stunner! Fran 1-1 Nidge.
Ah lads. Let’s just call it a draw, eh?
Roll on next week…