I was full of nothing but praise for BBC2’s latest dark comedy Stag. Will the second episode live up to the first?
By now I’m pretty used to seeing the team of them doing silly things. We left them in the Game Keepers house being confronted by him in Episode 1 and in Episode 2 they are spending their evening barricading themselves into the house whilst the Game Keeper goes off to find his missing dog.
Well by all I mean Tim, Johnners, Ledge and the Mexican. Cosmo actually decides the best thing for it is leaving the cabin, you know, the cabin with Aitken tied up dead in the kitchen that belongs to the Game Keeper who said he’d “sort them out” when he gets back. So whilst the others decide to play Home Alone with the Game Keeper, Cosmo ends up falling down another hole.
We also get another friend to join the gang in Christoph, the guy they basically replaced with Ian.
It was simply one of the best things I’ve seen in a long time. It was just really good. The cast work so well together and the comedy was so subtle that at times it took me a second to realise that I was laughing at something whilst sat at the edge of my seat screaming at someone not to do something.
They keep you guessing too. Very obviously it looks like the Game Keeper is the culprit at the beginning but later on you are pretty sure its the psychopathic Christoph who force feeds drugs to Ian and starts kicking a off his face Johnners whilst being upset that he’s always left out of everything.
In the end you still have no clue who it is and yet STILL you never question why someone would want to kill a group of people that includes Ledge.
Whilst the main group provided lots of laughs Cosmo (Rufus Jones) and the Game Keeper (James Cosmo) made me cry. Their scenes together were just sad, you get a quick glimpse of two very lonely individuals who bonded over trying to save a dog. When the Game Keeper walks into his house just to have it explode (thanks to Christoph leaving all his gas turned on) it genuinely brought a tear to my eye. I’m a big fan of James Cosmo anyway but in such a small space of time they managed to create such a great relationship that it was just heart breaking to see it all end.
Tim continued to be the voice of reason during the whole episode. The fact that Jim Howick has managed to make his character blend into the group whilst also being like a nagging voice at the back of their minds is marvellous. Its like he’s the Jiminy Cricket of the group. You have a feeling nothing bad could happen to him, or at least I guess you hope it doesn’t because its obvious whoever is doing this is holding a grudge against the others and Tim is just innocent.
So guesses on who the killer is?
Me and Luc have been Skyping each other about it and the best idea we’ve come up with is Wendy. Its someone that Christoph knows, Wendy was the only person who volunteered to go look for Aitken, we only saw his legs and have only identified him through his wallet which could mean just about anything. Its obviously not going to be one of the people they pissed off in the pub, though they could still come into play (it doesn’t look like they will) and it wouldn’t surprise me if Shearsmith’s character comes back. Plus the guy shooting at them in this episode was kind of small, then again that means nothing, we’re measuring him (or I guess her as Christoph said he’d seen them last at a wedding not a Stag night or anything so it could be just about anyone) up against a head buried in the ground.
I love that it hasn’t given anything away. Even when it looked to be the Game Keeper I didn’t think it was the Game Keeper. Then again did we get a explanation to why Aitken was hanging up in his house? I think I missed anyone even bothering to ask the man with the loaded gun about their dead friend.
Episode 3 is going to be a good one.