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Second outing of BBC3 ‘Lip Service’ climaxed with a grand finale

By Anca Dumitru
Posted May 26, 2012 in Entertainment
The long awaited second series of British hit drama Lip Service returned this spring on BBC3 after nearly two years. Its sixth and last episode aired last night and concluded some intriguing and dramatic story lines while others have nicely developed towards, hopefully, a third season.
Often compared to The L Word and considered UK’s response to it, Lip Service is a provocative relationship drama set in Glasgow, which follows the lives and loves of a group of friends, some gay, and some straight. Harriet Braun, the show’s creator, wrote a non-issue based series and managed to successfully include lesbian and bisexual relationships in the mainstream television.
The first series aired in 2010 introducing Frankie (Ruta Gedmintas), a photographer, who returned to Glasgow when she learned her aunt died. Her comeback turns the world of architect and ex-girlfriend Cat (Laura Fraser) upside down. Frankie left her two years before, when she bailed out on their relationship and took off to New York.
Frankie (Ruta Gedmintas) and Cat (Laura Fraser)
Frankie (Ruta Gedmintas) and Cat (Laura Fraser)
Meanwhile, Cat began a stable relationship with Detective Sergeant Sam Murray (Heather Peace). Another central character is Tess (Fiona Button), a bubbly struggling actress and Cat’s roommate.
Although it’s an ensemble cast show, Lip Service centered pretty much on the Frankie-Cat-Sam love triangle. First series ended with Cat sleeping with Frankie behind Sam’s back.
A few things have changed since then and some new and more than interesting faces joined the cast. Among them: Dr. Lexy Price (Anna Skellern), Declan Love (Adam Sinclair) and Nora (Sinéad Keenan).
The second season started with Cat and Sam returning from a one-month vacation in South America. Frankie is hopeful that she might still have a chance with Cat. Overwhelmed with desire for Frankie and guilt towards Sam, Cat is unable to choose and starts an affair with her old flame.
Meanwhile, Tess, who got a role in a play, is in a relationship with sporty Fin; but she’s instinctively attracted to her and Frankie’s new roommate, Lexy.
Then, in episode two, the shocker: Cat is hit by a car after she leaves Frankie’s house and dies. This throws her friends and Sam’s life into a complete turmoil. Frankie returns to New York. The detective’s strong armour cracks and Sam begins to struggle with panic attacks.
Lexy, who was on call at the hospital the day Cat died, starts developing feelings for the anguished Sam but respects her space and confides in Declan, a fellow doctor who happens to be gay, too, and her friend with benefits, Bea (Alana Hood), a nurse.
As if losing the woman she loved wasn’t devastating enough, Sam finds out later about Cat’s affair with Frankie and starts drowning her anger in booze and drugs. When she gets distracted at work and puts her work partner’s life at risk, she realizes she can’t pretend holding it together anymore and calls Lexy.
Anna Skellern was, undoubtedly, the revelation of this season, just like Heather Peace was in the first one. Her entire performance was flawless portraying the most emotionally stable character of all the girls, caught up between two sides: Sam and Tess. The one who was the least affected by Cat’s death, Lexy is at the point in her life when she wants to be loved more than she used to love.
Peace was brilliant going through the darkest phase of her character and showing a different facet of Sam. The sadness, the anger, the lack of trust and self-confidence were heartbreaking to watch.
Fiona Button’s Tess kept being a welcomed comic relief in this entire sea of adversity and darkness. She gets the well-deserved acting success while hoping she’d have a chance with Lexy.
Although both Ruta Gedmintas and Laura Fraser had short stints in this season, they also deserve big props.
There is no word yet on a third series, however, after last night’s finale, fans have been extremely vocal and flooded social media sites and BBC's messageboard demanding it. It’s fair to say that a third season of Lip Service would be in order.

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