Synopsis: Ed, played by Steve Buscemi, is a somewhat slimy scientist who works for a company that places Quantum Consciousnesses, or QCs, into human bodies. These creations, known as Jacks and Jills, occupy a lower position in society than ordinary humans. A rogue Jill played by Sidse Bahatt Knudsen persuades Ed to help her steal embryonic QCs from his place of work so that the two of them can make a new life together. Initially on board, Ed experiences a crisis of conscience when his wife Sally (Julia Davis) walks in on him overseeing the heist from his computer.
He presses the alarm and Jill is forced to flee with the QCs. She appears at Ed and Sally’s house offering life insurance and fakes infirmity to convince Sally to allow her to stay. After Sally goes to bed Jill continues trying to seduce Ed into a life of crime. She succeeds and the two of them go to sell their stolen QCs to a group of gangsters. After Jill and Ed kill the gangsters Ed is confronted by his boss, Donald, played by Lucian Msmati.
When Ed hesitates to save Jill she kills Donald and drives away after telling Ed she is disappointed in him. When Ed returns home he finds a note that has been left by Sally before his house starts to explode. Ed takes a speedboat onto the open ocean that contains Sally and Jill. After a half hearted explanation by Ed the two women dump him into the water. Ed washes up on a shore with only a vinyl record to keep him company. He laughs hysterically as he realises what he has lost.
Review: This was another great episode. All three of the main actors play their roles very well. Steve Buscemi is great as the morally conflicted Ed. It is implied that he wants to do the right thing but is just too weak to do so. A great moment I thought was when he was trying to resist Jill’s seduction into a life of crime three quarters of the way into the episode. You really felt in all of Ed and Jill’s interactions that Ed was trying his best to be a good man but was just not strong enough, or perhaps too tempted by Jill, to say no to her offer.
Sidse Bahatt Knudsen plays a great femme fatale with moments of real vulnerability, being a failing Jill who just wants to live. I think my favourite actor in this outing is Julia Davis for her multi faceted depiction of Sally, Ed’s wife.
Davis shows Sally’s inner conflict and nervousness brilliantly. It was great when she tries to talk Ed out of committing a crime and her conversations with Su (Joanna Scanlan) really show Sally’s fear and confusion as well as her loyalty to her husband. The scenes with Ed and Sally were great. I loved the build up of sexual tension between them and the contrast between Sally and Jill that is subverted at the end when they join forces and leave Ed to his fate.
The music in this outing is spectacular. The theme that accompanies Ed and Jill’s second meeting is romantic yet chilling and the score played when they first meet is so haunting and beautiful. The music used when Donald is presenting the QCs being placed into human bodies is also great. Questions about the humanity of the Jacks and Jills are raised when Jill asks “Do they think?” “Do they dream?”. This episode can be taken as a sermon about the dangers of infidelity, whether to a spouse or to a way of life and that ultimately living two lives will destroy you. There were some great shots throughout this episode, from the sinister shot of the coast when Ed agrees to help Jill to the eerie forest juxtaposed with a child’s singing.
Overall a great and thought provoking story
- Incidental Music10