TV Review: Ashes To Ashes, Monday 1 June, 9pm


It’s the penultimate episode of Ashes To Ashes and a few things are becoming clear. Thanks to this second series’ shift to stand-alone detective stories, it’s one of the worst cop shows on the box. But we all know ATA is not just a cop show, it’s a Charlie Kauffman-esque, metaphysical trawl through someone’s head while they’re lying in a coma. But seven episodes in an you would’ve hardly noticed. So (including this one) with two episodes to go it was time to focus more on Alex and her route home. Well, it certainly did that.

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If ever an episode needed to deliver, this was it. And it did. In fact, I’m not sure where to start.

The ‘case’ this week was a drug bust on a building site, and coincidentally, finding a body set hard in concrete while taking down the bad guys. The first surprise of the night was the person who tipped off the police was a young, idealistic police officer who was sick and tired of the back handers the site manager had been taking. The police officer in question? One Martin Summers, or at least a young Martin Summers.

Alex, who had been intermittently cajoled by the old Martin Summers to get in on Operation Rose to ensure safe passage home, was immediately suspicious. How could they trust a man, albeit a younger version of a bad man, who was at the heart of all the corruption in the MET? Soon enough, the situation unraveled – the old Martin Summers summoned Alex and the young Martin Summers to the building site late at night, introduced himself to his younger self and promptly shot him. I’m not sure this was a neat twist or not (in fact, looking back, it was all a bit daft), but it was certainly a surprise.

The second big shock of the night was the identity of someone who was tampering with evidence. Throughout the investigation of the body on the building site, key bits of information was going missing, so Gene laid a trap – he told each member of his team that some vital shizzle was hidden in a safe box, and gave them all a number, hoping (or not) that one of them would try to remove more evidence and blow their cover.

And the culprit? It was Chris. Lovely, stupid Chris. Genuinely emotional and gripping scenes took place in the interview room when Alex and Gene, with tears in their eyes, heard Chris’ full confession. It all started with a loan for his wedding to Alex, but led on to more and more things. But he didn’t get fired, oh no. Gene, in one of his sheriff rants, decided that the best punishment would be for Chris to continue working and feel the glare of his betrayed colleagues. And poor old Shaz.

One thing wasn’t quite adding up, and that was… with Supermac out of the way who was giving him the nod to remove evidence? Although it wasn’t mentioned, it was pretty obvious it had been Summers and, after a bit detective work, Alex had found out the address of the person who had been making the phone calls to Chris. When she got to the address she found a full-blown incident room-style set-up with photos of herself and Gene and everyone else on the team – the lair of Operation Rose.

Now this was more like it.

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