Despite his much trumpeted return tonight’s episode Hold the Front Page wasn’t really about ‘filthy little oik’ Adam (Craig Roberts) dirtying the guest room sheets at Honolulu Heights.
That’s no fault of Roberts who plays the loathsome, creepy, sex obsessed 47 year old trapped in 17 year-olds body perfectly – though it might not be everyone’s cup of tea he mines each dirty pun for all its worth.
No, tonight was all about his love-struck relationship with 47 year-old former head teacher and brand new ‘Type Five’ Yvonne (Selina Griffiths) whose feminine charms turned out to be self negating traits of a succubus – albeit one that can boast of A-List suitors.
While the idea itself is a great way to keep a character already permanently trapped as a teenager as obnoxious as he was in Series Three there’s something missing from the core of their relationship that makes the episode miss most of its emotional targets.
Perhaps its skittishness about playing the oddest of odd couples in any other way than for laughs but if we’d only seen that ‘sweet’ side of Adam or learnt a little more about how they met (after all any other dewy eyed suitor is seen as an annoyance) then it might have made their eventual reunion at the end more powerful.
What works better is the comedy between Hal and Tom as they too become enamoured by Yvonne – the moment Hal causally stakes Tom is shocking and adds much to his dangerous, impulsive side despite being a dream.
There are a few minor quibbles: Why were we left waiting for an explanation as to why Yvonne could see Annie?
Regardless of not paying the audience the lip service of a temporary answer, wouldn’t the presence of a supernatural in a house containing Eve not set alarm bells ringing?
Also, why were they so panicked about Adam’s photograph? After all it was, as the episode later pointed out, just an image of a window. Tabloid furore is always out of touch with the general consensus but even My Schoolboy Lovers a Vampire! Is stretching it a bit too far. Unless the photographer works for the Daily Star.
Speaking of the photographer, poor old Pete’s entrapment plan wasn’t the best thought out of designs; Why, after going to the trouble of painting a crucifix on the door did he not wear one himself for protection.
Hell, he really needed to have a ‘Duncan’ of his own to stand any chance of surviving.
What’s bad news for Pete (Sacha Dhawan) however is good news for anyone following the Werewolf Threat arc as Cutler – perhaps the best supporting character so far this season – finally begins to set his plan in motion.
Its still not clear exactly how his: ‘Hey, I’m a Vampire but ignore that cause you should see these Werewolves’ plan is going to work – he had quite a bit of trouble convincing one photographer that vampires weren’t the more interesting angle but his character is compelling enough to overshadow the minor complaints – something that too goes for this episode which was a massive improvement on last weeks episode.