30-year-old former prisoner Miri Matheson (played by Daisy Haggard, co-writer of this comedy with Laura Solon) for the second season of “Return to Life” (BBC Three / iPlayer) left him just weeks later. She’s now six weeks out of her life as a single woman – barring her mandatory appointment with her probation officer Janice (Joe Martin, still brilliantly in a reinforced role in this circle, of course in recognition of everything she did the first time) – and all. Miri keeps the Tamagotchi alive.
After the ice cream cake from the last series:
The first episode of the new sandwich lunch continues on Hythe’s frozen beach. She takes driving lessons, is about to take a test run as a supermarket clerk. And is still friends with benefits for her neighbour Billy (Adele Akhtar). The benefits are based in large part on a diet (or, as Janice puts it, “you’ve never even seen him naughty”). But the gradual development of this. The most daring and tender relationship on television, makes it a pure and painful pleasure. It manages to crush and inflate hearts at the same time.
On the other hand, Miri is still actually trying to accept the disclosure of her best friend Mandy (Christine Bottomley) ‘s involvement in the crime. That made Miri serve 18 years in prison and her mother’s affair with Miri’s ex-boyfriend’s house. (Jamie Michi). While really learning how to use the internet and smartphones. And recovering a bank account he hadn’t used for two decades.
As usual, Janice was right. The backbone of the second season is the return to Light’s parents (Hara) (Lara is Miri’s childhood friend in prison for murder). Lara’s mother Nora (Lizzie McInerney. Who puts on an extraordinary, soul-crushing show, despite only a few lines across six episodes). It turns to Miri at the supermarket to find out the truth about her daughter’s murder. It turns out she ran away from her husband John (“He made me put Valium. I’m obviously crazy”), and once she found him, she was just as scared of him as his stamina. Adrian Edmondson as John delivers the perfect portrayal of a genuinely terrifying perpetrator. Who always eats up the suffering he inflicts.
The prevalence and idiosyncrasies of male violence against women:
That are themes that run through the show. From enforced control and alleged threats against John to the drafting of entire empires. “Ninety per cent of the women I work with have s*x with men,” she told Miri. “And those people left. Honestly, if I didn’t love arrogantly, I would never have s*x with a man again. To punish them. It’s a quality pump, Miri. Returning to the ability in life to move you from tears to laughter in a line. Let alone a scene, remains undiminished.
However, the central theme is forgiveness. Should the parents of a slain child be expected to receive such a boon? Can Miri forgive Mandy? Can he and his father Oscar (Richard Durden) forgive their mother Caroline (Geraldine James) for their betrayal? Oscar believed he did, but his descent into passive aggression showed otherwise. Should the Caroline work for the forgiveness of her own social group? The cruel Christian women of the Highs enjoying their downfall – or are there people whose own sins rob them of their attention?
Return to life returns to its near-perfect original form.
Once we’ve seen the entire season, there may be times when the humour gets a little wider than it was in the first season. But it takes reassurance — mainly when it includes times like Caroline watching Oscar throw out the recycling and muttering, “I wonder if he noticed I didn’t wash the tomatoes?” Just as he turned around, to scream.
“Carolina!” Haggard and Solon expand their world without forgetting the terrible events happening around them. They add better, sharper-drawn characters (Billy’s mother – played by Mira Shial – is precisely like Billy’s mother). And create a space to absorb the grief of others and explore its effects over the years. This show has not lost its delicacy or nuance, nor has its creators broken their hearts and souls – in fact, they just added to it. All of this and Janice’s addition. Quality pumps everywhere.