A good start to series three, though I find that the episodes I like best are the ones that focus on the characters as a group. This episode was heavily focused on Tony and Anna's plotlines and not so much on how Charlie's handling being manager or what the story is with Jackie's new relationship and so forth. Considering both Charlie and Jackie are leaving during the series, it'd be good to see some foreshadowing as to why they might be departing. All in good time, I guess.
Picking up where we left off: after losing the trust of her staff, the demise of her marriage and a one-episode-long relationship with Charlie, Rebecca decided to clear out. So Charlie's the general manager now.
Seemed only fit to start things off with a cap of the main reason why I watch this show. Dexter Fletcher, gorgeous as ever. Definitely looks nicer when he grows his hair out a little (last season's haircut was a little too short for my liking). Oh, and there's Charlie in the background. Max Beesley's smug grin still irritates me. At least he'll be gone in a few episodes' time.
They've changed the opening credits a little, but I'm not going to be bothered with the finer points of that. Anna watching a fashion parade, and has her heart set on getting a trendsetting dress for herself. Ben's like 'whatever'.
Gino goes to get Tony for the morning staff meeting. But who is he spying on there?
Jackie and her new dentist boyfriend, post-coital.
Like I said, it's Tony's birthday. Cue the embarrassing staff rendition of 'Happy Birthday'. Complete with silly pointing.
Jackie slips in after the singing and gives Tony a much more sedate greeting. *sigh* That Jackie has a new boyfriend kinda kills my Tony/Jackie OTP a little. Which is a pity, because they're just so awesome together.
Tony wanted a little radio for his birthday. He got a ledger instead, and no matter how much you could pretty it up with a suede cover and your name embossed in gold, it's still a damn notebook.
Charlie asks Tony to look after a party of jurors staying in the hotel. Jackie is sent to ring Mrs Tony to find out if she's doing anything special for her husband. She isn't. So far, a shitty day as far as birthdays go.
O hai its Lucy Saxon! What's she doing here? Details at 11.
Anna tries on the dress that she got from in return for getting David an important package. And that's some impressive cleavage right there. However, after overhearing the exchange between the head of the fashion house and David about how the clothes are made in sweatshops, it's no longer quite so appealing.
After some irritating exchanges in the lift, Tony brings the jurors to their floor. Including Cute Juror (her name's Justine, but we'll call her Cute Juror here), who's indesiciveness is the reason the jurors are there. Tony hasn't even known her five minutes and he's already got his hand on her back. Oooh, smooth operator.
Lucy Saxon begins investigating the hotel staff and taking notes.
And Cute Juror wants Tony up in her room. Now.
Lucy plays the coquette at the bar in order to get Gino to open up.
Cute Juror's brought Tony up because she's been slipped five hundred thousand pounds in order to get her to give a 'not guilty' verdict. And she's been promised more after that. And Tony's there to act as the voice of her conscience. Sort of.
Also acting as a voice of conscience in this episode? Anna, to Charlie. She spends a good deal of time following him around trying to convince him that De Rigeur should be kicked out of the hotel for their unethical practices. Charlie's proving a tough nut to crack. Kind of ironic, given that once Charlie would be the one doing this to Rebecca, rather than the other way around. Surprises me that Charlie's code of ethics has changed a bit.
After sweettalking Gino, she pulls the same act on James and gets him to confess that he once tampered with a bottle of wine 'in more ways than one'. Which sounds so very wrong that I don't want to think about it.
After a flirty conversation with Cute Juror, Tony's struck by how much he fancies her. And how nice it is to be appreciated during a bad birthday by an attractive woman. Oh noes, will he cheat on his wife?
While Charlie stands guard/distracts the De Rigeur CEO, Anna rifles through the CEO's stuff until she finds the dvd with the sweatshop footage on it.
Then they watch it together....and Anna finally manages to convince Charlie that this guy needs to be kicked out. I quite like Anna and Charlie as a team. They seem to work together far better than Charlie and Rebecca. Maybe they worked together before.
Lucy interviews Tanya on what chambermaids get up to when no one's looking. Until Jackie comes in and puts a halt to it. Oh, and her name's now Emily. Just so we know.
Over dinner, James, Ben, Gino and Tanya swap stories about Emily. And then Jackie joins them and realises that there's something afoot with her.
Cute Juror has invited Tony up to her room for his birthday present. Obviously the sort of present that Tony has to guzzle mouthwash for.
Meanwhile, the recently-fired David is trained to go undercover as a waiter so that he, Charlie and Anna can reveal how De Rigeur clothes are made.
As it turns out, Cute Juror gives Tony dinner on the balcony as a present. Though snogging there against the backdrop of the London skyline was also a given.
Tony and Cute Juror discuss what they'd do with the bribe money Cute Juror's been offered. Tony wants to go to Brazil to start up a salsa school, Cute Juror wants to go to Cuba. And somehow, what was a crazy idea suddenly becomes a concrete plan. Probably because of the alcohol and Tony's general feeling of having really done nothing for himself through the years.
Cute Juror suggests they go inside, but Tony prefers to stay out on the balcony and cuddle.
Charlie lands his first punch for series three. In this case on Nasty CEO, whose unethical practices have been revealed.
As it turns out, Tony spends the whole night out on the balcony. Ah, what a gentleman, not making a move on her. So he hasn't exactly cheated on his wife, right?
Jackie lures Emily away from her breakfast to give her the real scoop on the hotel...
The jurors leave the hotel to give their verdict. Cute Juror and Tony agree to meet at lunchtime to run away together.
Tony's feeling quite pleased with himself when Anna delivers an envelope to him.
Oh, damn. It's his family's birthday present to him. N.B. Tony's wife is Sheila. And what is an 'Emirates Stamp'? Obviously something that means a lot to him....
....because he's put his wedding ring back on. So no salsa school in Rio then? It'd probably make an amusing as all hell spin-off.
And then to further hit the point home further, Tanya and the other chambermaids bring a gift they bought together with Jackie. And sing happy birthday to him in what is probably Croatian or a similar Slavic language. It's the radio he wanted in the beginning.
Emily is soundly pwned by the staff. She reveals that she's the hotel's new PR woman and that she went undercover to discover what the staff were really like. Which backfired spectacularly, as none of them trust her now.
It appears that Charlie and Anna are on very friendly terms now. Like almost in a relationship but not quite.
Cute Juror waits for Tony.....
....but he isn't coming. He's telling his wife that he loves her. Aw. Happy ending! Well, sort of.
In next week's episode: Alan Davies! And Charlie is once again failing in the romance department.