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Keen Eddie episode reviews

Keen Eddie

Episode 1. " Eddie" is not the best episode, but it is still a kick-ass pilot. What it lacks in story, it makes up for in energy and humour. The visuals are amazing, the soundtrack is addictive and the characters are delightful. Eddie's run of bad luck in the opening twenty minutes is hilarious, my favourite bit is the food he eats on the plane and the flashbacks that allow us to see what happened to that food before Eddie ate it.

Episode 2. "Horse Heir" As much as I love the pilot (and I loved it the first time I saw it) it is really only with Episode 2 that you are getting the full effect of the Keen Eddie TV series. There is nothing else on TV that looks or sounds like this show. Fast cuts, rewinds, zooms and everything else they can throw at you keep the visuals interesting. This episode has some Matrix-style fights! The soundtrack is wonderful, too, and perfectly chosen for the scenes. I watch Keen Eddie on my own DVR's because the DVD release removed all the original music. Crazy!

This episode is better than the pilot because there is no set-up and the formula is fully in place. There is a case to be solved (a stolen horse), there are lots of odd suspects (two warring pub landlords, for instance, who have to be seen to be believed) and there is a full-on war in progress between Eddie and his gorgeous flatmate (Sienna Miller). This is also the first episode where Eddie mishears Miss Moneypenny. (A running gag on the show involves Eddie hearing sexual comments from his bosses secretary that nobody else can hear.) Awesome.

Keen Eddie

Episode 3. "Keeping Up Appearances" Weakest episode so far. Eddie is left an expensive car (and driver) in an old lady's will. This grants him access to a world of priviledge and snobbery that he never saw before. The problem is: the woman's estranged son keeps stealing the car and trying to sell it to pay off his debts. Some of the comedy falls flat, and the point (about riches and good looks, etc.) is a bit laboured. That said, the ending is powerful. Profound and sad and rather excellent. Makes watching the episode more than worthwhile.

Episode 4. "Citizen Cecil" Delightful. Only four episodes into the run and the show is already breaking with expected conventions. First off, it is well established at this stage that Eddie and Fiona share a house and hate one another. In this episode, a misunderstanding causes them to start being nice to one another. The way this totally throws both of them off their game is hilarious to see.

A running gag on the show involves Eddie hearing sexual comments from his bosses secretary that nobody else can hear. It always starts the same way, Eddie asks her a simple question ("How are you today?") and her reply is X-Rated. Except in this episode. He speaks, the camera takes time for a long slow zoom-in and she... says something very ordinary. Genius.

Finally, there is the case-of-the-week. After a bunch of crooks are robbed by five youths in Duran Duran masks ("That explains what they've been up to since the 80's") one of their number takes the law into his own hands, and sets out to retrive part of the loot (two tickets to a very important football match) inflicting a lot of Grievous Bodily Harm in the process. His attacks involve a swift kick between the legs, and he is leaving a trail of injured men and very unhappy girlfriends in his wake. But Eddie and Monty are on his trail...

Everything is quirky: the visuals, the story, the humour and the music.

Episode 5. "Who Wants To Be In A Club That Would Have Me As A Member?" When I think of the Keen Eddie TV series this is the episode that comes to mind. It's my favourite. It's the episode that turned me into a hardcore fan. And it's simply wonderful.

Eddie and Monty investiage bullying at a private school when a boy is left hanging from a bridge (and nearly killed) as a prank. They meet stony faces and brick walls at every turn. Nobody wants to talk about it. Not even the boy who was bullied. He and Eddie becomes great friends and Eddie learns that the boy just wants to fit in, and will do anything to be part of the gang. Eddie digs around and finds out that another boy died five years earlier at the same school. He, too, was trying to be part of the gang.

While the first four episodes were set in the world of London crime and London crimelords (or cartoon versions of same) this episode looks and feels different. But, in changing tone, it creates a stronger sense of time and place than any other episode so far and makes the show all the more likely to acquire a cult following. Which, I understand, it did.

While Eddie is dalign with his 'adopted' teenager, exactly the same thing is happening to his flatmate Fiona. A teenage runaway seeks her our in his time of crisis and she hides him from his crazy family and gives him some solid advice on how to move forward. Fiona is a great character. And the writers always strive to give her solid storylines which balance out whatever is happening to Eddie. It also gives the viewer a chance to see the nice side of her, since all her scenes with Eddie highlight their bickering and considerable sexual chemistry.

Speaking of sexual chemisty, this episode contains another wonderful Miss Moneypenny scene. Eddie and Monty meet her as she steps into a lift. Eddie asks his usual question and - of course - gets another XXX answer. Waiting for these moments is one of the joys of this show. This time out, Eddie thinks for a second that Monty heard it, too. But, alas, it was only for his ears. Again.

SPOILER: In the end of the episode the boy that Eddie was trying to help has opted to keep quite about who was responsible for the prank that could have cost him his life and Eddie has to leave without a case to prosecute. It's a downbeat ending. But the only ending that would make sense. Had the show gone in any other direction I would have had no respect for it. The fact that they ended the story in this way turned me into a fan for life.

Episode 6. "Sucker Punch" The case-of-the-week is crap. Eddie and the team are trying to find an underground fighting club and they keep chasing/meeting a fighter and trying to convince him into helping them. This happens over and over (and Eddie keeps getting knocked out, which is funny) until the guy eventually decides to help them and then pursue his dream of a life in the theatre. Usually the cases/stories on Keen Eddie are strong and have depth. This one isn't and doesn't.

But that's not important this time out...

Most of the episode is actually devoted to Eddie and Fiona. Fiona, you see, is moving to New York to be with her idiot boyfriend Nigel (Theo Fraser Steele) and Eddie and she will never have to see one another again. Each declares that this makes them happy, but we can see (thanks to great performances from Mark Valley and Sienna Miller) that it actually makes them sad. Honest-to-goodness... sad. And it's not just the typical TV romantic tension either. You can see that they are each bewildered by their feelings for one another. He doesn't just fancy her, he likes her. And vice versa. And it's really rather sweet. There's one long scene, in particular, which isn't trying to be funny. It's just about how they can't say what they are thinking, so they just keep looking at one another.

As wonderful as all the Eddie/Fiona stuff is, the highpoint of the episode is the Miss Moneypenny scene. Once again she gives a sexual answer to one of Eddie's innocent questions (he is the only one to hear it, of course) and I thought my TV was going to melt from the heat. Seriously. I watched this with two other men and we were all gob-smacked. Why would anyone ever need to watch porn? Just watch Rachael Buckley on Keen Eddie! Grrrrowl!

Keen Eddie

Episode 7. "Black Like Me" In it's short run, Keen Eddie told many memorable stories and this is one of the very best. In the aftermath of a violent jewellery heist Eddie and Monty get a confession from a man they suspect could not be guilty. He's not. Turns out that he is willing to take the fall for a woman who lives close to him. A woman he loves. It was her boyfriend that committed the crime but she's afraid of him and says that he'll take her down as an accomplice if he gets arrested. So her friend (who is in love with her) is going to take the fall and get her off the hook. She says she'll find a way to ditch her scary boyfriend and wait for her "hero" to get out of prison.

And that's it. There's lot of other stuff, too, and most of it is funny and inventive, but this episode is about the love story. Is she lying? How far will he go for her? It's great stuff. A reminder that Keen Eddie isn't just a wacky, stylish comedy-drama but also a damn fine police show with some great stories to tell. Eddie Arlett is a great character. He makes a connection with people and he tries to help those who cross his path. The guest cast is fantastic: Ray Fearon will break your heart as the man in love, and Kirsty Mitchell is beautiful enough to make you think anyone would go to jail for her. Her performance is such that you never know when she is lying and when she is telling the truth. Great stuff.

Episode 8. "Inciting Incident" Another of the very best episodes. This one has a great story. I watched this with two people: one a huge fan of the show and the other someone who had never seen it before and both were glued to the screen. It's a bloody great story, this.

A man gets photos of him with a woman who is not his wife. There is no ransom demand, and the photos are fake (he says). Soon his wife has thrown him out and he has lot his job. And he claims to know nothing about why this is happening. Even when Eddie and Monty find the guy responsible they are no closer to knowing what is going on. Since the victim has never seen him before.

It's great, just great. A story about minor incidents that can change/ruin lives and grudges that can last for decades. Like all the really great Keen Eddie episodes, it is funny and original and very deep.

Episode 9. "Achtung Baby" A so-so case-of-the-week but a terrific performance from Josie Lawrence as a famous (and very lonely) singer who has been targeted by a crazy fan. Miss Moneypenny doesn't appear (Boo! Hiss!) but there is abundant chemistry between Mark Valley and Lawrence, plus Valley's scenes with Sienna Miller are smokin', too. This outing deviates from formula by bringing Fiona into the police story. The crazy killer goes after her when Eddie gets too close to the famous singer and the scenes where Eddie gets a phone from his own house and rushes back to see if Fiona is still alive are the scariest the show ever did. It also shows us (as if we did not know) that Eddie is very fond of his annoying housemate. Fiona's reaction is hilarious: yelling and screaming at Eddie, and everyone. Very funny and very in character.

But this is the episode belongs to Josie Lawrence. I've been a huge fan for years and this is her at her best. She effortlessly carries off the fake accent, the singing, the comedy and the loneliness. Even though her character is over-the-top and crazy, Lawrence makes her sadness very real. And this is what the show is, too. Over-the-top and crazy, but - behind it all - everything is very real.

Best scene? Eddie finds the famous singer in his hotel bed and freak out. But, once he realises that her obsession with him is motivated by loneliness, he lies down and lets her stay beside him. Once again, I have to reflect that Eddie is a great character. He makes a connection with people and he tries to help those that cross his path. Any wonder that we fans love him so much?

Episode 10. "The Amazing Larry Dunn" is another Keen Eddie classic. Larry Dunn was a famous child star. He could remember anything. But he was beaten on national TV and his career fell apart. His father turned on him and declared that Larry lacked courage. We meet him many years later, when a bunch of crooks cross his path. Larry has a big book on bank alarms systems. So Larry destroys the book (which he has committed to memory) and forces his way into the gang. It's a wonderful story, with Julian Kerridge giving a great performance as Larry. Keen Eddie had a wacky, crazy style but it told wonderful human stories. And this was one.

Rachael Buckley returns to the show and Miss Moneypenny/Carol Ross shoots another sexual zinger at Eddie as she takes the elevator. As usual Eddie is dazed and confused and his partner - Monty - is not aware that anything has happened.

Also worth noting for hardcore fans: Eddie and Fiona don't fight in this episode. They are on friendly terms from start to finish.

Finally, Eddie trots out his "I'm Eddie, how do you like me so far?" opening line. That's another classic right there.

Episode 11. "Sticky Fingers" The Keen Eddie TV show may have had a short life but it left a legacy of some truly great stories. And this is one of them. The great Ron Moody guests as an aging pick-pocket who is trying to stop his son from falling into a life of crime, a life for which he is just not suited (cos he's stupid!). Moody is marvellous to watch. He conveys love/affection/disapproval/cunning with mere looks and glances. Often he conveys all of them with the same glance!

It's a really great story. As the son falls in with a dangerous gang, the pick-pocket reaches out to Eddie for help. This is another strength of this wonderful series. Eddie connects with people. They connect with him. And, in this episode, he does what he can to help the old man safeguard the future of his son. The ending (where the father takes the fall for the son) is both clever and heartbreaking. Typical Keen Eddie.

While all of this is going on, the subplot is hilarious: Eddie's police partner joins a sex addicts group and (chickening out at the last minute) pretends to be Eddie instead. With a fake American accent and everything! All developments in this storyline are wonderful and the episode ends on a high note as Eddie is cornered in a lift by one of the sex addicts (who he has never met before) and she proceeds to engage in her sex-in-a-lift fantasy.

Miss Moneypenny, meanwhile, has another hilarious cameo telling Eddie what she plans to do with him over the week-end and Fiona (who doesn't get much screen-time this week) spends the episode being nice to Eddie. Even flirting with him a little when he's feeling a big blue. A really wonderful scene. It's amazing how much the Eddie/Fiona relationship has grown. From open-animosity to barely-concealed affection.

Episode 12. "Eddie Loves Baseball" Below average. There are some good ideas in here, but none of it ties together very well. It's starts off very strong. A man witnesses a crime. And when he IDs a suspect it turns out to be a national hero: a famous footballer on the verge of a big game. Our man then becomes the victim of a public hate campaign and he loses his wife and his job in rapid succession. All good so far. However, at the midpoint of the story we learn that it's actually a kidnapping story, and the footballer's child is missing. The last half of the episode is then devoted to finding the child and the eye-witness gets lost in the shuffle. We come back to him at the end, again, but he's not made any great difference to the story. So why do we care? We don't.

Even the 'Miss Moneypenny' scene is a bit of a bust. It's a full-on fantasy sequence, complete with sexy outfit and OTT moaning. Now, while the sight of Rachael Buckley faking an orgasm is enough to put a smile on my face any day of the week it's just wrong for the tone of the scenes between her and Eddie. They work best as subtle asides: things that Eddie may, or may not, have heard. There is a mystery to them. This sequence is just a full-on male fantasy. There's nothing funny or interesting about this. It's just Eddie looking at her and imagining her in another setting. Funnier/Better when she's the one in control and Eddie is suffering from whiplash. With a "What the-?" look on his face.

The episode is not a total washout, however. The Eddie/Fiona scenes are wonderful. She takes a week off work to devote to 'me time' and make herself happy. The final scene of the episode finds Fiona in tears. She confesses that she doesn't know how to be happy. Eddie gives her some words of comfort. It's evident that he cares. And she's glad of the friendship/comfort. The camera pulls away as they are holding hands. Lovely.

Episode 13. "Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité" Keen Eddie ends with another good story and another great episode.

Anton. This one is the story on Anton. A dangerous gangster. Who has had all his charts done, and believes in them. Believes in fate. So he is giving himself up to the police. And going to prison. Because the charts have told him it is to be that way. And he totally accepts that. But there are conditions. A woman from his past has to have dinner with him first. Or her boyfriend will die. Eddie must find a way to protect the lovers and convince the gangster that he is misreading his fate/destiny...

Along the way we get told what Eddie fate/destiny is, and who his true love is. And, in the closing seconds we learn that that person is... Fiona.

Sienna Miller

Ah, Fiona. Wonderful Fiona (Sienna Miller). So cute. And her chemistry with Eddie. Amazing. Their friendship is one of the key appeals of this series. They started as enemies, but they got under each other's skin week-after-week and - in the final scene - when we see them walk down the street together we know that they will be lovers someday, because they clearly love one another. I loved, loved seeing that relationship grow.

I miss this show so much. I watch it every couple of years. Now, sadly, I have to wait a while again until I forget various details and can enjoy it 'fresh' again.


Anonymous said...

hi there, great post!

do u know where to get the episodes with the original soundtrack?


RikerDonegal said...


I can't think of anyplace, sadly. The DVDs had the new music and anyplace I've seen the show online, it has been DVDrips :(

Ignoring Friday Night Lights renders the Emmy's meaningless.

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