Remember Bob (Timothy Spall)?
He’s the shop manager who was knocked out in the fake robbery. We saw him for about five minutes in the first episode, and he’s been in a hospital bed ever since.
While he was in getting his head stitched up, he was unexpectedly diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme (an aggressive form of brain cancer) with a worrying prognosis.
Some might say Jamie did him a favour smacking him over the head with that whisky bottle. Jamie would say that. Jamie’s an idiot.
This week is Bob’s episode, which mainly consists of watching the previous week’s important scenes again, filmed from a slightly different angle through a blurry lens: head injury cam.
Bob’s two sons, who previously wanted little to do with him, are suddenly super keen to accompany him to his hospital appointments. I WONDER WHY?!
We’re initially led to believe that Matthew, who wears ‘alternative’ clothes, has no job and may or may not be under the influence of alcohol, is the slacker son. However it later transpires that suited, booted lawyer Peter’s cadged over thirty grand from his dad’s retirement fund without so much as a thank you, never mind a repayment plan.
Besides, Matthew may not have a job, but he does have an idea about starting his own record label. Which, everyone knows, is a foolproof money maker.
Both brothers are sniffing around, waiting for their cheques and dopping hints about how much money they need, while at the same time being quite blatant about the fact they don’t care much for their dad.
Meanwhile Stu, who actually sees him as a father figure, confesses to his boss about the staged robbery. Bob had already worked it out (with concussion, fair play!) but isn’t interested in telling the police.
‘Get on with your life. You’ve got kids to take care of. Money to spend,’ he tells Stu. That last one might not be strictly accurate, the rate Stu’s missus is going. By my reckoning, he’s probably got just about enough left for a EuroMillions ticket.
While Amy is shouting at removal men and generally spending every last penny of his winnings, Stu is more interested in his ex-colleague. He and Leanne have sexual tension. Loads. It’s palpable. After he drops round to pass on the cheery news of Bob’s brain tumour, they have a moment:
Him: I better go
Her: You don’t have to (grabbing his arm)
Him: I do
Her: Oh, I didn’t mean, errr…
Him: I know. Fnugh.
Oh, it is on. If only there were some kind of event in which they were both required to attend, drink free sherry, and stay overnight in a swanky hotel.
Wait, hang on: Bob’s having a party! There’s a string quartet, free bathrobes in the bedrooms, and a surprise proposal. Bob gets down on one knee and asks his long suffering partner Annie to marry him.
She counters with her own proposal: ‘I’ll marry you if you go and see a special brain doctor in South Africa’. It’s romantic, in a way. Stu and Leanne secretly hold hands. They are definitely having sex next week.
In contrast, Denise is taking a back seat this episode. Still makeover fresh, she’s now dating Rodney, who works at the dogs’ home. I wonder what their main topic of conversation is.
Supermarket management lesson of the week
Right Buy U barely featured in this episode. It’s almost as if these millionaires have better things to do.
Lottery winner tip of the week
Check your list of people who owe you £33,000. Deduct their hand-outs accordingly.
Extravagant purchase of the week
Stu bought his missus a £20k ring and a trip to St Lucia. He also bought an ipad, with which to google ‘terminal brain tumours’. And Jamie and Denise’s outfits suggest they were both tragically ripped off by department store personal shoppers. Meanwhile, Bob bought whisky like a man who only has a few weeks to live and wants to drink a whole lot more whisky before he dies.
Shawshank Redemption homage of the week
Bob’s been hot and bothered all day so Annie flounced off to sleep in the spare room. So, apropos of nothing, he strides into the garden, rips off his vest in the pouring rain, and points his moobs up at the sky. It’s not quite so poignant without the 19 years in prison and Morgan Freeman voiceover. Nonetheless, if I knew I had weeks to live and £3.6million to spend, re-enacting my favourite movie scenes is pretty much all I’d do.
The Syndicate is on BBC1, Tuesdays at 9pm. You can catch up on iPlayer here