As we hit the half-way mark with Perpetual Grace, LTD, we are left with not one, but two cliff-hangers.
Firstly, Sheriff Walker spends a lot of time with Uncle Dave but misses the most obvious of clues that the Paul Allen Brown he has been speaking to, isn’t actually Paul Allen Brown, in classic pantomime readiness, he’s behind you.
Uncle Dave provides Walker with some letters he and Paul shared. In one of which Paul writes, “I’m going to make a little girl disappear”. Naturally, Walker reads this as bad news, not the magic that we are led to believe it is.
Walker gets an arrest warrant for Paul Allen Brown and, on checking the GPS tracker, finds he is in Mexico. Which is indeed where James is, along with Glenn and New Leaf.
Pa meanwhile, is still on the hunt for some leverage against Hector and follows his children to their school where it just so happens to be Father’s Day.
Pa enters and gives an impassioned speech, some brilliant acting from Kingsley, that results in him convincing the two, pretty clueless boys, that he’s their real father, and they should come away with him now.
They do so, and we are left with cliff-hanger number one; as Hector’s wife comes home, Father’s Day present in hand, she’s faced with Pa…
Cliff-hanger number two sees James in a motel. He’s just gone to his room after divulging to New Leaf how he ended up becoming embroiled in all this, queue a funny black and white flashback where he drives through the window of a car dealership, in his car.
Whilst in his room we see the Mexican police receive the notice that Paul Allen Brown should be arrested, and that he’s in their country, they set off, and we end with him surrounded…
After the previous two episodes, which felt a bit of a trudge at times, I’m pleased that Episode 5 has picked things back up again. It’s a shame that some characters, who were used so much in previous episodes, are reduced to little more than the occasional flash of screen time, such as Glenn Pirdoo, but we’re on the right track.
The classroom speech by Ben Kingsley is brilliantly written and Kingsley performs it wonderfully, how he keeps a straight face through some of it I’ll never know.
Things move on, more questions are raised and we are building to the final run-in.
Our cliff-hangers are resolved; New Leaf is arrested, after agreeing to take the tag from James earlier, he also learns that his parents have passed away. The second cliff-hanger is longer and more convoluted.
Kingsley continues to impress in his role as Pa. He’s funny whilst taking the piss out of Hector’s novel he’s trying to write, whilst holding Hector’s wife and kids hostage. Hector arrives home, informs Pa he’s the only one who knows where his wife is and the two leave.
They head out to the desert where Hector has buried Ma alive. The air-hole, that doubled as a marker, he left her has gone though, and the pair face a race against time to dig her up and save her.
We learn more about the previously introduced Scotty Sholes, the custodian of Pa and Ma’s fortune, or rather, Perpetual Grace, LTD’s fortune.
She gets married to a man who has just, as of 1pm, completed his conversion therapy course, to not be gay. Unsurprisingly, he still very much is.
She wants out, she wants to move on with things and is good with numbers. She’s been looking into the figures from Pa and Ma’s personal accounts, and things look interesting.
Rumbling on along with all of this, something I’ve neglected to mention thus far as I wasn’t totally sure when or how it would drop in, is that whilst in Hector’s prison, Pa beats someone to death with a shoe.
This someone has a mother, obviously, and she isn’t happy, obviously, and she also happens to be quite well connected with some types who, do things away from the law shall we say.
These three cartel women are heading out to find the dub Englishman, Pa, when they happen across two people stood in the middle of the road on a dusty highway. They stop, not having much choice, and Pa pulls his gun.
Whilst some of the humour has been knocked out of Perpetual Grace, LTD in these latter episodes, the slapstick of Hector passing out because he’s unfit not really filling the gap, the show is still brilliant.
Kingsley continues to impress, taking centre stage in this and the previous episode, more so than previously. It’s a well written piece of work as you see all these setups begin to start to come together, however there are a hell of a lot of coincidences, too many to be comfortable.
We are sad to report that there will be no more Perpetual Grace, LTD. The show was never picked up for a second season, in truth, it never made it out of America it seems. This is a real shame, though it does make me want to watch Conrad’s previous show, Patriot.
THE QUICK SELL
On Father's Day in Mexico, Pa follows Hector's sons into their classroom, and James guides Glenn out of the desert.