The reintegration of the PDS sufferers/rotters starts to fall apart, as some of Jem’s PDS classmates decide to do a little drug experimentation – and in the process reveal some of Jem’s problems which lead her to revisiting some old habits… some really old habits. Harriet Cains didn’t get that much to do in the first episode, but that’s more than made up for here, both in the school scenes and in another of the show’s trademark bedroom scenes – and it’s clear that the ramifications of this episode are going to spread through the whole series.
We begin to learn just how much of a political wannabe Philip has become (and also just how much of a hypocrite as he goes for a rather unusual ‘girlfriend experience’ at the local brothel). And we also just start to get some idea as to why both Simon and Maxine have come to Roarton. I’m hoping that Kieren isn’t the one who everyone is searching for: one of the strengths of the first series was that Kieren was an ordinary person caught in the middle, and there’s enough going on already that binds him to both sides of the conflict without him having some mythological status. Both through and independently of him, we’re seeing just enough of both Simon and Maxine to have our doubts about both of them and the throwforward to episode three hints at worse to come.
The use of music has been well-judged so far this series: some key scenes which might get massive underscoring in other genre shows have been left silent, while the final moments of this episode get inside Jem’s head neatly.
Verdict: Some clever twists mean that this series really isn’t necessarily going where you might have thought from last week’s episode. 8/10