125. Therapy

Tapehead no 125

All of Wednesday’s Brookside is devoted to Family Therapy Day – more self-help for the Simpsons. Even Danny is there. (Danny is, as Chris Morris would say, as mad as a lorry; Tapehead’s tip for the first serial killer on the Close.)

“What’s he doing here?” demands a typically belligerent Nat, obviously worried that Danny might make a move on their sweet sister, Georgia.

“I’m fed up on being left out,” Danny argues, possibly angling for a threesome. The bell rings and it’s round one of Ollie versus Bel: This Time It’s Personal.

Ollie is still raging about Bel’s allegation that he or his father must have interfered with Nat and Georgia. 

“For God’s sake,” Bel squeals, “it has to be faced up to ! It’s the only explanation.” 

The shrink turns up the heat by siding with Bel -pointing out, “the one thing we do know about sibling incest is that one or other of the siblings has probably been abused.”

 (Tapehead’s hunch: what if it was Danny all along?)

Nat, that intellectual Titan, then throws a massive curve ball, describing the whole affair as “kids’ stuff” with his defence (“We’d just moved to the new house”) surely ranking as one of the most unusual excuses for slipping it to your sister that anyone’s given, and as such, the most imaginative thing Nat has ever said.

“So,” says the shrink, “one day it changed from childish curiosity to penetrative sex.” 

At which point Bel predictably explodes. Again.

Danny insists on staying (and who wouldn’t ?), pointing out, “I’m older now than they were when they first started.” (Good point.) So presumably, he’s saying, he can now join in. 

When the shrink refers to incest as “the most profound human taboo”, Danny interjects, “I thought that was cannibalism,” thus becoming the prime suspect of the inevitable future storyline.

Ollie raises the stakes casually lobbing in the child-molesting-at-work accusation. Bel is, once again, aghast, but Danny is nothing, if not reassuring. 

“It’s all right,” he says, “Dad’s told me about that as well.”

Bel retaliates by raging, “why not tell him that, sexually speaking, I’m a plank of wood?”

(Actually, they can be quite deceptive, in the right light. With a touch of varnish, they can come up nicely.)

Georgia chips in with “We could have sorted the baby out. You know, brought it up together.”

Ollie goes ballistic, demanding answers. Sadly (for Ollie), Georgia has them. 

“No other relationship comes anywhere near it.” 

Sex with anyone less, she says, was “just a pale imitation”.

Danny listens intently, obviously bearing it in mind for the future. His attitude is a combination of prurient voyeurism and knowing superiority, as he virtually yawns throughout.

Such calm in the face of evil is the sort of thing you usually only see in Millennium. His head is going to start spinning and chanting Latin any day now.

Even Ollie starts getting spooked. “And before you say anything,” he screams, rampaging around the room, “I am not running sway. I am leaving now, because this” – he points at Danny – “is macabre.”

It is all utterly unmissable. By the end, Georgia, her eyes puffed beautifully by tears, has never looked hornier. 

(Nat obviously agrees.) The one thing you can say with certainly is this: the therapy isn’t working.

Tapehead’s second favourite soap opera, This Life, returns, and, inevitably, the first thing we see is a post-coital cigarette.

Anna and Miles do their Burton & Taylor/Bel & Ollie. 

Egg has the horn. So, luckily, does delicious Miss Milly. 

Warren, Keira, Joe are all back, along with a new trainee, Rachel, who (somehow) manages to get through the whole episode without getting laid.

“That’s it,” one of them says after last year’s party. “I’m off the booze – for ever. It’s drugs only from now on.”

All much better than therapy.


Brookside: Weds, 8pm, C4

This Life: Mon, 9.45pm, BBC2