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Cold Feet Series 8: Episode 3 - Review

Cold Feet: Episode 3, Season 8

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

FOR all of its lighter weight tendencies and ability to make you cringe, Cold Feet has a habit of handling its big moments very well. Episode three of the eighth series (and third of its revival run) delivered some genuinely affecting moments.

The action mostly took place around a music festival where the son of Pete Gifford was making his debut with his promising band. It meant that all of the five principal players convened.

The main dramatic thrust, however, was provided by the ongoing story of Jen (Fay Ripley)’s cancer diagnosis. This has been particularly well handled, from the moment she shared in her car last week with a fellow cancer patient in the immediate aftermath of the diagnosis, to the devastating moment she confided in Karen (Hermione Norris).

That scene, in particular, was emotionally devastating. Both women were superb.

For Ripley, this had been a long time coming. She has been bottling it up for days. But once drunk on tequila shots, the realisation that she might not be around to see where her son’s fledgling music career takes him hit home hard.

The scene in which she told Karen was as emotionally raw as it felt authentic. It combined grief with anger and fear. When Karen attempted to reassure her that everyone would be there for her, and that everything would be alright, her reaction was one of realistic despair.

The ‘C word’ is something to strike dread into anyone once muttered. It shatters lives for the way in which it shatters confidence in living, no matter what the outcome. Everyone fears the worst. So, to hear Jen plead with Karen to be more honest and say that it might not be alright was downright tear inducing – and in stark contrast to the quiet dignity of her fellow patient, grappling with his own terminal diagnosis.

If Ripley was superb, so too was Norris, who had several other moments of her own to savour in this standout episode. You could feel her hurt and helplessness. The confession rocked her to her very core.

Moving away from that emotionally wrenching storyline, this episode also put forward some other great moments. The developing romance between Karen and James Nesbitt’s Adam was nicely played, too, especially in the minutes leading up to their stoned kiss. To be fair, this had been well telegraphed, but while Adam’s sexual advances thus far in this series have offered up cringeworthy moments galore, this felt like something worth rooting for.

And then there was David (Robert Bathurst) – still hapless, still awkward but, by the end of the episode, staring into his own abyss. I’ve always found this particular character the hardest to warm to. But those final moments in his BMW felt sad. It will be interesting to see where he goes from here.

This being Cold Feet, there were still some misjudged moments of comedy, mostly stemming from fantasy sequences. Pete’s imagined view of Jen flirting on the phone being one such example of the show at its most grating.

But in the main, this was an episode to savour. And one that proves Cold Feet can still handle the emotional material well, if not always the humour. It seems inevitable that Jen’s journey will bring more heartache and upheaval. But we’re fully behind her journey.