Now that was one of the most on-the-edge-of-your-seat episodes to date. For once we saw the lads getting outsmarted by the gardai, and not the other way around. It had all the tension a penultimate episode of a season would have, never mind only the second. It was exciting, it was intense, it was very clever and it introduced some brilliant new characters, while giving more depth to some of the fringe players. Here’s your recap.
This week’s opening montage is brought to you by The Byrds’ ‘Turn! Turn! Turn!’ and is suitably excellent as we see an undercover officer (Det. Ciaran Madden) help catch a drug dealer in the act. He’s promptly taken off the beat by Moynihan, who wants him on his new task force, hell bent on taking down Nidge and his operation.
In the barracks, our fizzy orange-loving Tommy is coming under scrutiny from interrogators, but refusing to rat out the lads. In the meantime, a worried Nidge questions his stuttering garda on the inside about Tommy and the officer that’s been tracking his whereabouts. Then Debbie makes her triumphant as she’s picked up at the airport by Ado. Why, you ask? Oh she just smuggled two bags of cocaine in her suitcase, and it wasn’t even well hidden. Airport security eh?
Old people are so gullible. After Ado and co. finish up sorting the cocaine in some oul’ granny’s kitchen while she thinks they’re using the oven, Nidge pays a visit to his new dentist friend from last week, the one who owes him €2,500. It’s Nidge’s plan to have the broke dentist pay off the debt not through financial means, but by using his importing capabilities to bring in certain bits and bobs they otherwise wouldn’t legally be able to obtain.
Moyhihan’s crack team of undercover agents have now recruited Terry, the very garda that has been chasing Nidge for a while now. It’s a veritable who’s who of crime fighting elite gardai. At the same time, under more interrogation, Tommy spills the beans that Fran was with him for the kidnapping after the gardai uses the young girl Tommy was worried about to get into his head.
After the break, Ado and Elmo are then arrested at the flats, with Elmo chucking an ounce of cocaine as he’s taken by the gardai. With Fran taken in also, Nidge is asked by his lawyer to come in also. Everybody loves an arrest montage.
Moyhihan’s Avengers have now assembled for a meeting of minds, planning out how they will proceed to take down Nidge Inc. “I want these fuckers put away for a long stretch, so there’s no shortcuts.” The plan is to be smart. “You mean fuck with their heads, gaffer?”. “I do Gav, I do.”
After an inspired reply by Fran under interrogation, Detective Ciaran Madden, our silver haired rogue from earlier, brings the team back to to barracks, where Gav ‘Obama’ has hatched a plan for Elmo. On a side note, Detective Madden is played by an actual undercover garda, named Kieran O’Reilly, who is a serving member of the Garda National Drugs Unit in Dublin Castle. How’s about that for realism?
The plan is pretty genius. They release Elmo without charge, something which would be inexplicable given he was just caught with an ounce of cocaine. Why? Because now it looks very suspicious that a man caught with so much gear gets off scot free, right? Elmo know what they’re trying to do, but can’t do a thing about it.
Nidge’s man on the inside is also caught in the act and arrested by uber-garda Moynihan before we get to Dano’s obligatory two minutes of screen time. Nidge then finds out from Ado that Elmo was released without charge, but won’t answer his phone. Nidge ain’t happy, not at all, and his misery is compounded when he finds out his mother has had a stroke. It’s somehow hard to believe a man like Nidge ever had a motherly figure.
With Lizzie and her probably too young to drive sidekick tailing Nidge to the hospital, Fran downs pint after pint, swearing he’ll “get Tommy in the long grass” for ratting him out. A seemingly harmless trip to the toilets ends in bloodshed though as Fran is blindsided by a patron, losing two teeth in the process. Noely Hughes it was, and old Noely wasn’t happy at hearing Fran had been “banging his missus” while he was locked up.
Unfortunately for Lizzie, Nidge opts against leaving his car, meaning she bottles the hit attempt. Nidge then does another of his customary slow-motion-drive-by-looks-at-the-camera-menacingly glares, as the country emits a collective “oooohhhh” sound effect. After another break, Lizzie gets a lickin’ from Dano about botching the hit, who tries to convince her that he’s taken as much from her and from him. Dano conveniently forgets about Lizzie having already exacted some pretty severe retribution at the end of season three. What’s one more head on plate though? This is the I.R.A. after all.
With Nidge now hiding out in the queen of the brazzers gaff, Tommy is in court while Fran bemoans his two missing and one wobbly tooth en route to the dentist’s, conveniently enough. Nidge isn’t buying Elmo’s story either. Tommy gets bail of €20,000, which Nidge promises to sort out.
Det. Madden, along with Terry and Gav decide to “have a bit of fun” now by driving up to the flats where Elmo resides, spray painting “ELMO IS A RAT” all over the wall. You get the feeling poor Elmo is about to become expendable to Nidge Inc.
Meanwhile, Fran is once again attacked by Noely while he’s on his way to meet up with the dentist. A baseball bat and a shotgun aren’t enough to take out Fran the man, who’s seemingly invincible at this stage. Or maybe Noely just hasn’t a clue how to get the job. He’s arrested again though, and our poor dentist is left waiting until the early hours in his car. At what point does he just risk it and go to the gardai?
The fantastic ‘White Rabbit’ by Jefferson Airplane sees us out this episode, leaving a wonderful impression after what was one of the best episodes of Love/Hate to date.
One of the best episodes of the show ever. There was so much going on, but not so much so that the viewer was struggling to piece it all together. Moynihan’s introduction has been an inspired one, as well as the brilliant detective trio led by Ciaran Madden. Ado remains the comic relief of the series, while the attacks on Fran and Lizzie’s pursuit of Nidge remind us that the group’s past can and most certainly will come back to haunt them, most likely in a devastatingly bloody fashion.