Friday, 16 December 2011

The Slap episode 8 review - Richie: an ending, of sorts, but the right one

Along with the decision to devote a whole episode of The Slap to Hector's father Manolis a few weeks ago, the choice to have an episode all about Richie's story initially seemed a bit strange - why put an apparently peripheral character in the foreground when there's more central characters we want to know about?

Back in episode one, we saw Richie mainly as Connie's shy, awkward friend. He looked more like a 'supporting character' - just the babysitter of Hugo, the kid who was slapped by Hector's cousin Harry.

Then, after Connie's lie that Hector had raped her, and Richie's growing realisation he liked Hector too, it became clear trouble was brewing - especially after Hector began receiving anonymous text messages calling him a rapist, sent by a confused and self-loathing Richie.

So just like the Manolis episode, Richie's episode turned out to be another well-placed alternative take on the overall story, and, once again, it managed to give an unexpectedly sympathetic insight into the central character's life - but this time the episode also had the additional pressure of wrapping up the whole saga.

Richie's story, like Connie's before him, was essentially another coming of age tale, but once the pressure of Connie's lie gets too much for him, his life takes a turning point after he blurts out what Connie had told him, which in turn causes further drama for him and practically everyone else.

But as we know, the nature of The Slap in devoting most of the episode to one character means that many of the other characters' stories take a back seat, so here, in the last episode, they had to be wrapped up in a Holby City-style music montage in the last five minutes.

But, it did the job - and it also acted as the reward us loyal viewers needed.

We see Anouska tapping away on her keyboard writing; Harry and his wife looking at the scan of their unborn baby; Manolis and Koula having a family meal, and, er, Connie having a walk with her mother-figure aunt. So they've all got what they wanted, despite however uneasy the truth might be.

But there's less of a clear ending for Aisha. Having sacked Connie and told Rosie to stay away, after Rosie's husband Gary takes a bit too much glee in telling Aisha Richie's belief that Hector had raped Connie, she decides to return home to her kids and Hector, after what we presume are a few nights on her friend Anouska's sofa.

Aisha arrives home just as Hector finds the cricket bat in the garden - the same one Hugo was swinging before he was slapped. They don't speak, but we presume there's a reconcilation beginning.

We get more of an ending for Rosie and Gary and Hugo, as they were directly linked to Richie too.

They've decide to leave for another town and a new house - which Rosie had long been hoping for - with Hugo snoozing menacingly in the back seat of the car: an undisciplined, soon to be uncontrollable, monster in the making.

ABC should revisit him in 20 years when he is actually a monster. He'll probably be very successful in life.

Most of all, episode eight was Richie's story - and it felt right, in the end, to conclude on him.

It gave us a happy ending, of sorts - he found a nice boy, got his friend back and found he has everything to look forward to - and it also acted as a reminder that The Slap was always about much, much more than just a slap.



  2. how do you watch episodes of the slap?

  3. Why is this no longer on iplayer?

  4. Most programmes stop being available on BBC iPlayer 7 days after the last transmission of the last episode of the series - so that may be why it's no longer available to watch.

  5. I've read all 8 of these reviews as I've watched each episode on DVD and I've enjoyed them - you helped me get my head around some of the more complicated aspects of the plot! I'd love there to be a sequel but it's probably better as a one off xx

  6. Can someone please tell me what song used at the episode 8????

  7. brilliant reviews.....just read all 8! Reminded me what a fantastic series this was....thanks!

  8. Thanks for your comment Stu, glad you enjoyed the programme and the reviews - much appreciated.

    To Ellandra - not sure what the song is in episode 8, sorry, but the soundtrack is available to buy on CD or download on iTunes - google 'The Slap soundtrack' or have a look here: Hope that helps.