Review: Indian Summers ‘Episode Five’

Have I mentioned how lavishly shot this show is? Indian Summers is so beautiful to just sit and watch, I find myself staring. We would long for the pace to pick up a bit more were it not for enticing colors and gliding scope of the camera enticing us with every scene. We know the score now, tensions and longings are higher, yet getting closer, and perhaps good things do come to those that wait.

Some good news, Alice and Leena seem to be getting on well, or at least far better than they were last time. Sarah, meanwhile, is being mysterious again, asking Alice for a favour as a “friend” – we and Alice both know this is not really a friendship is it when Sarah is far from subtle in threats to reveal what she knows about Alice’s husband. Later, while the adrenaline is flying, Alice tells Aafrin she read the note meant for his sister Sooni, and puts it out there may have attempted to force her to perform an act that would have gone against her brother. Is she that skeptical or is this some form or reverse psychology, hard-to-get play?


Aafrin asks Sita if she gave the letter to Sooni, who rightly denied it, but Sita merely claims his sister may be playing tricks with him rather than admit that she did not pass it on. She doesn’t know Sooni and her sense of humour in such matters very well, clearly. As his mother and sister discuss his life as he grooms himself, there is an incredible shot as we pull away from Aafrin, he is framed smaller and smaller from inside the mirror. Seconds later he snaps at his family, and leaves. A swift, snippet of pure cinematic drama, that comes and is gone like the wind.

Ralph is struggling to try and give Indian people a voice (yeah right) without being too successful at not making them sound like a minority, coming across a little patronising in fact. His plans later disappoint the Viceroy, who does not want any aggravation. On the bright side, Ralph and Madeleine are engaged, the moment this is spoken of he kisses his sister Alice while twirling a strand of her hair. Am I supposed to think that is weird.? Madeleine certainly does. Maybe not as weird as the engaged couple turning up for their own party dressed as Marie Antoinette and the French King Louie.

Back to the mystical portion of the narrative, little boy Adam’s mother turns up, glimpsed upon in the last episode, she appears desperately to plead with him about his father (so who could that be?). At one point, Dougie (no, he’s not likely the father before you ask) finds them and escorts the boy away. Dougie leaves, and turns yards away to look back, Leena watching him from a window. Their romance is indeed stretching a distance.

What else? Having inherited his uncles land management, Ian is getting some stick and frowns from Cynthia, and this makes him question Mr Sood’s intentions, who says his means are based on business. Little Adam and his mother turns up again later on, and Ralph seems quick to advise they stay away.

At the half-way point of the drama series (or at least this first season), we know our characters and have a fairly strong idea of their varied desires and means of getting them. Only it feels like at episode five we are not far enough into it as we would like. We kind of long for some violence and romance. But alas, it is still brewing. As the rain starts to fall on cue, Alice and Aafrin finally find themselves somewhere secluded enough to share that kiss we have craved all along. Here we go then.

Episode 5 of Indian Summers aired in the UK on Sunday 15th March at 9pm on Channel 4. Episodes are available on Channel 4 On Demand – details on the website.



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