Review: Indian Summers ‘Episode Four’

The fourth episode of Indian Summers may be the tightest, narratively, so far. Even a grand old bit of musical and somewhat merry amateur dramatics carries a heavy burden of tension. This is sunshine to the face for those that have invested this far. But it is certainly not all fun and frolics.

In perhaps the most distant of the subplots, Cynthia pays host to heart attack victim Armitage who is about to venture back off to Scotland, saying farewell to his nephew Ian and this “stinking pit” in which he has spent forty years. No charm was lost on his near-death experience. Ramu Sood, the man who was seeking the debt, makes Ian an offer that he stay on and run things as his uncle did. Cynthia is certainly not entertaining the idea, all the while breaking the news that his uncle passed away, “So Mr. Sood is a murderer.” Oh come on, not this blind racism again Cynthia.

Having discovered something about Alice, Sarah asks her for tea with their family. Dougie by his very nature engages in non-intrusive discussion, but Sarah continues to portray her insecurities in a publically shaky manner. Walking Alice home (not an act of kindness might I interject), Sarah is up front about finding out Alice’s husband is alive (did Sarah not jump the gun on that one?) and that she just upped and left leaving the husband coming home to an empty house. Sarah casually mentions the repercussions that could have on her brother Ralph’s position. A little bit sinister that, made more so when husband Dougie arrives home to find Sarah sat in the dark waiting for him. Speaking of watching people at night, Alice later spies on Aafrin and Sita and is nearly caught via that darn breaking twig. Aafrin finds the scarf Alice leaves behind, revealing her identity to him.


Madeleine’s brother Eugene, who thinks his sister is being used, demands Ralph declare his intentions to her – partly sibling loyalty but I suspect being sick and tired of hearing them shagging plays a part too. The Viceroy arrives to intercede on matters, Ralph is no doubt relieved of the distraction. When he asks Madeleine to stay on one more night, it is she who suggests it might not be a good idea after all. Ralph’s motives are questionable once again considering the big arrival. Let’s not forget then that it was Cynthia who advised Ralph that, basically, having that beautiful woman on his arm would go a long way to sucking up to the Viceroy.

The Viceroy soon meets Aafrin, for a round of golf no less, the Indian clerk bows but is asked that he can be looked at in the eyes – being that he stood in front of a bullet for the would-be-Viceroy Ralph. However, that evidence (linking the assassin to congress) Aafrin stole from the office is hot property and causing some attention from the authorities. Panicking, Aafrin writes a message to Sooni to destroy the certificate, but he is almost caught by the inquisitive Alice, It is she he asks to help that message get to his sister. He asks her not to read the note, but of course she does. The plot thickens even further when Alice seeks out Sita to deliver the message, but for reasons of she-is-not-supposed-to-be-with-Aafrin, she bottles it – the reception from the family would not be too welcoming.

The certificate is found, then, but Ralph shows us his greatest poker face thus far when he asks Aafrin for advice about Madeleine rather than (yet) addressing the stolen certificate. Having spent the last quarter of the episode in a sweat, Aafrin is relieved to be entrusted with such personal trust by Ralph. The fact he thinks he is off the hook is classic dramatic irony. The bit of solace here may be that Aafrin and Alice are clearly falling in love – I can not remember two people who stared longingly at each other so many times. I, for one, am not complaining.

Episode 4 of Indian Summers aired in the UK on Sunday 8th March at 9pm on Channel 4. Episodes are available on Channel 4 On Demand – details on the website.


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