Mr. Sloane: Episode Six (Episode Review)

If there’s one thing I wish Mr. Sloane had, it’s more Olivia Colman. I know her appearances are special because they are so sporadic, but the problem with leaving the audience wanting more is that they are left wanting more, and you never know how they’re going to feel about that. Is it going to ensure their return next week? Or is it going to make them feel cheated and put them off?

I, for one, am certain to return. These little segments between Frost and Colman are the best things about the series. Their frosty encounter in this episode is one of the most uncomfortable domestic engagements I’ve seen in some time. Its spectacularly British. The passive aggression; the feelings bubbling below the surface; you can see they’re going to spill over and there’s nothing you can do about it. All you can do is watch and you cannot turn away.

Mr. Sloane takes a right old beating from his wife in this one. Although she is never there, she is always on his mind, a specter in the background, always belitteling the new man he is trying to make for himself. In the beginning (as well as the flashbacks) he faced her with a snivelling subservience. Now he no longer trembles when he hears her voice or shies away when he sees her face. She gives him some home truths’ all right, but Sloane’s ears are beginning to close to them.

That’s not the only place he’s starting to show balls. At his job he takes out some bullies in a heartbreaking scene where the victim desperately stands up for his persecutors; he goes to a place way outside his comfort zone and takes the piss out of Robin’s boyfriend; finally he has another round of verbal chess with the hard of hearing Mrs. Wyndham. Those scenes always bring out the best in Frost, where he can make Sloaney be a bit more like him, knowing he’ll never get in trouble for it.

Speaking of Robin, I don’t think I’ve properly gone into what makes her so good for the series. A heinous oversight as she’s one of the best characters. Ophelia Lovibond’s accent is bang on the money for sure, but the way she gets the audience to fall in love with her without seducing them is what makes us see her from Sloane’s eyes. Her beauty is unquestioned but that would just make us fancy her. In this program she makes us want to spend time with her; a much harder feat for any character to achieve. She is funny, easy going, she opens up to Sloane and bears her soul. She finally does it in this episode after threatening to do it for three weeks and the wait has been agonizing.

Through her we can see the man Sloane would like to make of himself. A better man, a more adventurous, romantic and caring man. One that has his head in no other figures apart from hers. We get a small glimpse at this man at the end of the program, after a reveal that is just fantastic, more heartwarming than anything in this series has any right to be and says more about Sloane than we, the viewer, will ever need.

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