READ: Our Girl FINALE review: Lacey Turner excels as Molly decides her next move (Spoilers)
In my first review of this series of Our Girl I hoped that the love triangle element of the plot didn’t overshadow what should be a drama about a young woman trying to cope in a male-dominated environment. However that’s exactly what happened last week after Smurf declared his love for Molly and then she did the same to Captain James. The love triangle storyline intensifies this week as both men put themselves in danger because of their feelings for Molly leading her to try and protect both of them at the same time. I do feel this is a shame as I felt that Tony Grounds had built up an intriguing plot that was somewhat ruined by an unbelievable climax.
The intriguing plot builds around last week’s revelation that Molly was wanted dead by Bashira’s father Badral. As the Americans get involved in the mission they put together a dossier on Badral and reveal that he’s pretty high up in the Taliban. Despite being a medic on her first tour of Afghanistan, Molly is drafted into the mission as she’s the only person who’ll be able to give a positive I.D. when they track him down. The Americans initially believed they’ve captured Badral but the three men they’ve detained turn out not to be him. However Molly does came face-to-face with Bashira’s brother who informs her that she’s ruined his family primarily by corrupting his sister. After the Americans extract more information from the men, the team are forced to go into the field again in the hope of tracking down Badral. But, just like in episode one, Smurf’s hot-headed nature compromises the mission as he fires a shot at unarmed farmer.
The motivation behind Smurf’s actions is his discovery of the secret relationship that has been going on between Molly and James since the last episode. Despite their relationship being in its infancy, James his already inviting Molly over to his family home in Bath for Christmas. However the pair have decided to keep their relationship a secret from the rest of the platoon till they arrive back in Blighty. Although this makes perfect sense it does mean that this episode includes a farcical scene in which James hides Molly in a wardrobe when Smurf enters his quarters. Smurf and James’ discussion also results in Molly discovering that the Captain is married and has a son; two pieces of news that don’t go down particularly well. The surprises keep coming when Smurf tries to propose to Molly despite her making it perfectly clear that she’s not interested him in that way. Molly agrees to wear the engagement ring around her neck but this almost seems to give him hope that one day she’ll put it on her finger. However some timely eavesdropping means that Smurf overhears Molly and James’ declaration of love which basically sees him dive off the deep end.
The characters in Our Girl appear to revel in airing their dirty laundry during times of grave peril. After last week’s scenes involving James and Molly, this week the Captain and Smurf’s argument about the medic occurred just as Badral appeared. The fact that Badral was disguised as a woman didn’t occur to Molly till after her suitors stated to row meaning that they both got shot by the man they were trying to bring to justice. As I have a soft spot for the series, I was wiling to forgive Our Girl for some of its narrative failings but the scene in which Molly is forced to simultaneously tend to James and Smurf at the same time was a little too far-fetched for me to look the other way. Nothing that happened in this scene rang true for me and it appeared that the love triangle story had engulfed the tale concerning Molly’s determination. As both men were air-lifted to safety we were told that this story was to be continued but I’d personally had enough of it already.
I think that part of my problem with Our Girl’s love triangle is that Tony Grounds hasn’t really painted either of her beaus in a positive light. After following Molly around like a puppy dog in last week’s episode you would’ve thought Smurf could have got the hint after having his declaration of love rebuffed by her. But instead, unlike any other rational person, he feels that it’s a good idea to propose to her. Meanwhile the once noble James is portrayed as a bit of a cad after failing to reveal his personal circumstances to the woman he supposedly cares for. As Grounds initially painted her as somewhat of an independent woman, I feel that Molly should be on her own especially considering that her choices are a divorcee with a young son or a soppy Welshman. Another issue is with the whole love triangle plot is that I don’t feel that Grounds can right convincing romantic dialogue. I do think that this is part of the reason that these scenes are Our Girl’s most awkward and at times I feel uncomfortable watching them.
Luckily Grounds redeems himself during the more high-octane scenes and I feel that that’s where Our Girl has been at its strongest throughout the series. I’m really enjoying the fact that Our Girl is the first drama I can remember that focuses on what our troops have to go through in Afghanistan. Although the final scenes were slightly spoilt by the aforementioned romantic aspects I will still on the edge of my seat when Badral finally revealed himself and started firing. The look on Molly’s face at the end of this sequence was equally compelling and I feel that it’s a testament to Lacey Turner’s performance that I still care about Molly despite all her silly dalliances with the Captain. I do feel that if Our Girl has done anything then it’s established that Turner can successfully lead a drama and to that end I hope her current stint in Eastenders is only temporary.
Just like last week, I felt that this was a strongly plotted episode of Our Girl that was let down by a frankly ludicrous final few minutes. I believe that the love triangle story has overlapped with the main plot too much and is now making the series feel a little too far-fetched. I still have hope that the series will redeem itself in next week’s final chapter and I really think that the best conclusion for the drama would be if Molly decided she’d be better off on her own rather than with either of her potential suitors.
Do you feel the same way about Our Girl as I do? Or do you enjoy Molly’s various romantic entanglements?
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