Now we’re starting to realise why that flashback episode was so crucial.
Without seeing Carvel and Milner’s relationship from the beginning, we wouldn’t understand why the ice-cold Milner could let her emotions get the better of her with Carvel and Jessica.
Is she going to be undone at the last minute by her own past?
With Milner going soft and Arby (it’s increasingly hard to think of him as Pietre) apparently trying to go straight (via murderous means), the show really needed to bring Lee back from the dead. He’s exactly the oddly insightful sociopath series two needs.
His scenes with Wilson are both outrageously funny and seriously tense. Lee is the unpredictable wild card of this series, and Paul Ready plays him perfectly.
The one problem that the show has is that the villains are more interesting than the heroes. Milner, Arby and Lee have all the agency – Ian, Becky and Grant are rarely more than reactive.
The heroes are the most interesting when they’re at their least heroic – when Grant is correcting Arby’s car-jacking skills, or Becky is securing Ian’s loyalty with a cynically-timed kiss.
Ian might be the only traditionally heroic character left, with both Wilson and Dugdale going to the ‘dark side’.
Conspiracies and observations
1. Russian flu exists!
We assumed all this time that it was just a made-up illness – but, no, the Network are really going to drop the nuclear bomb of flu just to make sure that everyone takes their vaccine. That gives the show an added urgency, and puts thousands of tangible lives at risk – not just future lives.
2. How did Carvel survive?
Carvel, like his children, is apparently an expert at lying low. Hide and seek must have been an Olympic-level sport in the Carvel household.
3. Who exactly is Leah?
And how did she get involved with the Network? It looks like she might be considering a coup, if Milner continues making mistakes.
4. Wilson and Dugdale
Wilson and Dugdale both went to the Network’s side in series one, but for very different reasons. While Dugdale operates entirely out of cowardice and fear, Wilson joined for rather admirable moral reasons – without ever (yet) letting himself forget what the Network is.
Wilson is still, by the show’s moral compass, a hero. Dugdale definitely isn’t, and it looks like punishment might have arrived at his door in the shape of Jessica Hyde.
5. Oh, Arby
Sweet-but-weird breakfast-making Pietre is really just a face that you’re wearing, isn’t it? Arby is the killer he always was, as the return of his ‘where is Jessica Hyde?’ catchphrase reminded us.
He’s willing to murder and betray just to start a new life with his girlfriend and her daughter – without ever considering that perhaps they won’t want to go on the run with him.
6. Best line
Lee: ‘We could say suicide, but that would be a bit of a stretch.’
Are you still watching, ONTD? Bets on what Carvel's "adjustment" to Janus is?