So, first off: THIRD SERIES THANK GOD. I really began watching this show because the absolutely lovely Dexter Fletcher was in it and I was intrigued to see him in something besides ye olde Press Gang. But it has turned out to be one of my favourite favourite tv shows. Completely and utterly silly, yes, but still entertaining and with characters that I've come to love. So that there's going to be a third series is great. As far as this season went, I think I enjoyed it equally to the first. What I really liked was the development of characters like James, Gino and Ben who were sort of in the background for that first series. And the further development of the 'main' characters like Tony, Jackie and Anna was also very enjoyable to watch.
This episode was a much better season finale than series one's. I think we all knew that Charlie was going to survive being shot, after all! Rebecca's departure was nicely done, with just enough emotion. The acting was very good all-round as well, with everyone being given good scenes that demonstrated their talent. I'm not sure whether I've said it before here, but the cast have excellent chemistry together. They're all comfortable with each other and it shows here with the plot as a way of bringing them together.
And what of the third series? I'm wondering if Charlie's still going to be the main focus of the show, since as deputy manager things tended to revolve around him more than Rebecca. It's going to be a little odd to see him as manager. Can he still balance his friendships with the staff and be in the highest position of authority? And more importantly....who's the new deputy going to be? I suspect that it will not be a current member of the cast and instead they'll bring a new character in for the job, to change the dynamic between the characters. There's a whole year to speculate on that and more, I guess. :/
But I'm rambling on a little now, so how about a bit of a screencap recap?
Tony helps a guest from her car. Ahh, what a gentleman.
Gino does his best impression of Tom Cruise in Cocktail and impresses the guests with his mad cocktail skillz.
James smiles at the untouched meal left by one of the guests and goes to recycle it in the kitchens. My tie love does not abate.
So all the while Charlie's been narrating about how the hotel saves costs and what they charge, etc. This creepy group of people (who look like grown up versions of the Village of the Damned children) are apparently auditing at the hotel presently.
However, they seem to be doing more than that. Which might explain why Anna is disintegrated (and Ben after her).
Turns out property magnate Donovan Credo is visiting. Rebecca's all evasive with everyone and says it's business before whisking him away with his two clones.
Of course, everyone is suspiscious at once. Anna explains who it is and then everyone's like "Oh, him." in a ominous way.
Charlie comes out of the room after hearing Credo bitingly appraising the hotel and is confronted with his concerned staffers. He's also rather evasive about the meeting with Credo, leaving everyone a bit annoyed.
Credo reveals his evil plans to take over Hotel Babylon (and the other hotels in its chain) and make it into one of his ultra-elite showcase hotels. And sack most, if not all, the staff save Rebecca.
He goes into bitchy criticism of the staff, beginning with Tony and Gino, who he describes as 80s porn stars. I'll spare you the shot of Gino....er, adjusting himself. James gets described as an irritated bus conductor, which is marginally better (but not the way James would like to be referred to, I imagine), and Jackie as a latter-day 'Fagin' for nicking a gold watch from lost property. Oh, dear.
He's also quite critical of Ben and Anna and describes them as childish. Ok, so that may be somewhat accurate, but childish in a loveable way, right? Either way, pretty much everyone's getting turfed and as much as Rebecca argues against it, it's not going to work.
Tony, Gino and James discuss Credo's visit and what it means. Gino tries the joke he told to one of the clones on James and can't get to the punchline, because it's a scarily accurate one about the number of governments in Italy since WW2. Italian Politics = teh funny
But James and Tony are all "Huh?"
Meanwhile, Anna thinks she has a chance of being hired by Credo and promptly telephones someone who might be her stylist after bitching with Ben. That bow she's wearing in her hair is so cute.
The featured guests in this episode are a dim Welsh(? Or is it Cornish? I'm terrible when it comes to identifying UK accents) family who've won a competition to stay in the hotel. Credo is rather unimpressed by the 'low' standard the hotel has when it comes to guests.
Meanwhile, Rebecca drops the bombshell on Charlie: that just about everyone's getting the sack and the hotel's being overhauled. She's allowed two employees to stay, and with Charlie being her first choice, she asks him to choose the second and prove himself as a manager and be able to fire people he knows don't deserve it.
Jackie hears a commotion and finds Tanya and another Croatian maid arguing about the rumours surrounding Credo. They naturally want to know what's going on, but Jackie still has no idea and is told she's out of the loop on it.
Charlie has to make his decision about who he wants to stay.
Jackie goes to seea rather stressed and irate Rebecca to find out what the story is and gets the brush-off. She runs into Charlie soon after, who admits that there's interest in the hotel from Credo but says that everyone will not lose their jobs. Which is a half-truth, I suppose, since he and someone else will be staying.
However, Charlie has made his choice about who's staying and the first lamb to the slaughter is Ben. There's this trippy slo-mo sequence of his walk to the manager's office interspersed with Anna and Jackie being optimistic and singing the praises of working in a Credo hotel.
Ben obviously doesn't take his sacking well. He refuses to speak to Anna about it afterwards.
James has a cringeworthy moment while serving the competition winners, the wife wanting something with prawns. The shudder he makes while trying to say 'prawn cocktail' is hilarious. I serious <3 James, in all his glorious posh snobbiness. However, he is next in line for sacking, and is summoned shortly thereafter to Rebecca's office.
And it's not pretty. James gets a bit angry, bursts into tears (but awww on him feeling at home in the hotel) and finally begs Rebecca not to sack him, which is deeply unpleasant for all involved.
Charlie goes to Gino for a drink and counsel on how to handle a difficult situation. To which Gino tells the story of how he nearly got caught in adultery with a man's wife in Naples and ended up in a coma trying to get out of her room without the man noticing. It's better than I'm explaining it, honest.
The son of the competition winners comes to Tony to ask that he cancel the theatre tickets they got as part of their package and instead get him a 'Chinesey' prostitute.
So Tony rings his contact and speaks a little Chinese in the process. Renaissance man, our Tony is.
Charlie narrates a bit about how well everyone gets on when the hotel's doing great business, and there is a whole lot of winking and gestures between the Tony/Gino/James/Charlie about it.
But it's every man for himself now, as Anna shows by a makeover into one of Donovan Credo's clones. Complete with creepy blue eyes.
Naturally, everyone is all WTF? at Anna's new look. I know Gino's drinking his coffee in that cap, but you can be assured he's thinking exactly the same thing as Tony and Jackie.
Tony then explains about how he found James crying in the toilets. Nope, definitely not taking this well.
There's further talk and they all have a laugh at Anna's attempt to look like a Credo clone, and then Charlie comes in to summon Jackie to Rebecca's office. And they hold hands. Awww! Maybe they'll get back together in the third series. It seems that the Charlie/Jackie relationship had more development in this series, despite that they were together in the last series.
Jackie gets sacked.
Followed by Gino, who is indignant. If he did have a blog though, I would so visit it. And he used the word 'interweb'. Hee!
Anna is next, and like James is rather upset, particularly because of the effort she made.
So Charlie gives her a hug. I wouldn't mind if they decided to pursue Charlie/Anna in the next series too.
Then a situation arises, and Charlie passes Anna onto Tony, who is a bit pissed off at Charlie seemingly taking sides with Rebecca against everyone else.
Charlie and Rebecca argue in the lift about Rebecca's handling of the sacking, only to be confronted by an all-out revolt from the maids on the third floor. This must have been so much fun to film, running about with all the feathers flying. Anyway, they have to go and find Jackie, since she'll put a stop to this. Rebecca encounters the competition winners watching the telly, and then Charlie walks in on the son with his 'Chinesey' prostitute who offers to service him after she's done. Oh, dear.
At length, Rebecca finds Jackie on the balcony of one of the rooms and goes off at her for telling the maids, to which Jackie retorts that they guessed something was up and that she never lied to her staff. Well said!
Then Charlie receives word that the kitchen is revolting as well. And James is busy getting stoned with the waiting staff.
This inevitably leads to everyone banding together and Charlie and Rebecca having to explain themselves. Charlie assures the cleaners and kitchen staff that they can be kept on since they're not the 'face' of the hotel, as it were. Rebecca is a little mysterious and says that 'nothing is finalized' re: Credo's buying the hotel. Charlie asks what that means later, but Credo has come back to the hotel and she leaves Charlie's questions unanswered.
Anna makes a last-ditch attempt to get in the good books with Credo. Her new look doesn't work.
While Rebecca argues with Credo (who already knows about the revolt) about the staff, Charlie comforts Anna and tells her to lose the wig because he prefers brunettes. Boy, but those blue contacts look odd on her though.
And then Anna tells Charlie she's going to miss working with him. Aww.
Tony is now summoned to Rebecca's office. As you might have guessed by now, he's the one that Charlie chose to stay on. However, after talking about the time he visited one of Credo's hotels, he announces that he won't stay on and chooses to resign instead, as a show of solidarity with his co-workers. Rebecca tries to sway him by mentioning the high end clientele and the rise in tips, but Tony's insulted by the idea that he's only in the job for the money.
And he also discovers that Charlie didn't refuse the offer to stay, and so he's out for blood for Charlie betraying his friends and standing by them. Except, Charlie throws the first punch and is all 'Say my name, bitch!'.
Charlie demands to know what exactly is going on from Rebecca, and is followed in by Tony, who wants to file a complaint for assault against Charlie.
Rebecca manages to get Charlie into the privacy of the lift (where Credo hasn't planted listening devices) and explains that firing everyone is a stalling strategy so a Japanese group can buy the hotel before Credo's lot can. Charlie's a little annoyed at being kept in the dark.
The pair work through the night going through a load of financial data to help the Japanese out with their bid.
And Charlie narrates a bit about how the hotel staff are like a family. Ben and Anna are the younger siblings.
James is the highly-strung older brother (as demonstrated here).
Gino is the wordly uncle....
...and Tony is the cool uncle who walks the line a bit perilously.
Jackie's the cool big sister.
And finally, Charlie is the dad/authoritarian figure/family friend.
The morning comes, and Credo arrives to buy the hotel and overhaul it. Oh noes!
But what's this? A fax from the Japanese!
And Rebecca's out at once to pwn Credo with the Japanese fax.
While Credo is getting pwned, the competition winners are leaving, and waving goodbye to everyone. James appears to have developed a grudging respect for the guests despite the woman's prawn obsession. Maybe they were great tippers.
Credo insults the guests, and while the son gives his two cents on the matter, everyone listens in.
After threatening that he'll return, Credo leaves. PWNED.
Rebecca explains to everyone about the Japanese bid and the stalling. They're not impressed and just want to go back to work. Rebecca doesn't help matters by praising the Japanese and not apologizing instead.
This debacle over, Rebecca goes home to freshen up and leaves Charlie in the office. He sits down....only to see on the laptop that he's been promoted to manager, which can only mean Rebecca's leaving. Oh noes!
Charlie runs through the streets of London after Rebecca to find out WTF is going on.
He finally catches up and Rebecca explains that she's lost the trust of her staff, running the hotel's cost her her marriage and the best years of her life, etc, and that Charlie's now the perfect guy for the job.
So, it's a goodbye kiss, and....
....she's gone! Like I said, a great final scene for Rebecca.
So Rebecca narrates the final bit, and this great montage begins with everyone celebrating Charlie's promotion with bubbly. And we get clips of everyone through the series, starting with Anna.
And the final group shot. Love it all!
Bring on the next series, I say!
I shall have to review Robin Hood later too, since the first episode's just started. I'm already swayed by the credits and the great music.