This episode for me wasn’t bad, although I’m not sure if I really liked it.
Lewis was portrayed in an unlikeable light–drinking all of the pub’s beer and subsequently draining the supply, stealing the ugly vase he bought for Gemma over-and-over and teaming up with Ned to get beer illegitimately (and clearly illegally). I personally didn’t like the vase subplot or the symbolism it was trying to achieve, granted I have never been in that situation myself, but I think Gemma and Lewis were becoming uncivilised and immature too quickly.
I personally liked Phoebe’s return in this episode for two reasons. One, her ability to sum up the entire situation by stating that Lewis ‘had gone full circle’ and also proving how insane and unrealistic it is, and two, her character development. The fact that she didn’t want Lewis and Gemma to split up shows she has also gone full circle, as in her first appearance she was against Lewis and Gemma’s marriage. I did like Ryan being able to see why Phoebe wanted to move out, it proves his loyalty as a boyfriend and sweetness overall. Although I take issue with the continuity error of Ryan stating that Phoebe tried to dump him before he dumped her, just like she is apparently trying to do with Gemma. I recall in season 2 that he dumped her, twice.
I loved the Luci subplot. As a high achiever who has worked so hard to become a solicitor, who is acting as a stepmum to three children, I can see why she wants to work so much. Her boredom with being temporarily a stay-at-home mum, not to mention Phoebe pointing out she had only been jobless for a week and the irony of their current situation. The kitchen fire scenes were intense and well done, however the outcome was obvious, not that this is a bad thing.
I liked the episode ending with Justin propose to Luci with her answer not being revealed. It’s the perfect start to the next episode and genuinely leaves you wondering, considering that she is torn between loving Justin and feeling the need to be young and free.
The only real issues I had with this episode where little errors that were obvious and should have been explained–the continuity error with Ryan and Phoebe pointed out earlier, Lewis failing to see the vase on the floor and Luci not having the common sense to turn off her phone during a job interview. However you could argue that without the latter two errors, there would be no dramatic effect.
Overall this episode was filled with plenty of tension and drama, it wasn’t flat, however I think it was a filler and perhaps that’s why I didn’t like it. It filled a few gaps and sets up drama for proceeding episodes. Other than the kitchen fire scenes, nothing really stood out.