Review: Indian Summers ‘Episode Seven’

The latest chapter in Channel 4’s exotic drama Indian Summers opens with Indian children discovering the dead body of drowned Jaya (in case you were not entirely sure last episode). It turns out she was also stabbed. Soon after the body is found, Dougie says he recognizes her, and that Ralph was seen with her some time before. Ralph has hesitations about identifying the body which has many old scars.

“She has been through the wars.” he is told. Ralph is grieving on a personal level here. And poor Adam too, as he is consoled by Leena when he hears of the horrid news.

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Supporting player suddenly turned lead, Ian believes it was the girl who worked on his tea estate, and he heads for the police to give over the information. One thing I will say here is that the show’s narrative progression has not efficiently made it clear that this woman who worked in the fields, who stole a dress from Mr. Sood’s house, is in fact Jaya. I’m betting I am not the only one who might have not seen that. Anyway, Mr. Sood is soon visited by the police (off-camera) and is an immediate suspect for the murder. He and Ian fight about this soon enough. Mr. Sood intends to flee but is instead later imprisoned – looks like his apparent “confession” was more like a severe beating. Ian goes back to the police to say he was Mr. Sood’s alibi, but it seems to fall on deaf ears.

The Viceroy, Cynthia, Eugene, and others are rehearsing for a play, The Importance of Being Earnest to be exact, and it is fair to say it does not go particularly well. It also appears other locals are taking part, including Alison, Sarah, and Madeleine. Nothing but trouble that play it seems. Eugene confronts Cynthia later, showing his disgust that she has little time for him because of his confession that his family’s finances are not as good as people think. Pretty rotten in fact. Cynthia scoffs, and corrects him, she is being this way because she thinks he is not a very good actor.

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Ralph confides in Cynthia, saying about Jaya that he could have lost everything back then and was for a while willing to do so. When Cynthia thinks he is assuming she might have killed Jaya, she just laughs, relieved that she now knows Ralph did not do it. What a bizarre relationship this is but a very effective scene, given Ralph’s outburst earlier regarding the play clashing with the hunger strike Gandhi would start as part of his protest.

Ralph’s heavy financial interest in Adam’s school starts to arouse suspicion with both Alison and Leena putting two and two together. Leena presses Dougie for what he knows or assumes and also asks the boy about his father. Meanwhile, Aafrin is fairly cruel to Alison, blaming her for the police attention he is getting. He refuses at this moment to believe that Sita did not pass on his note. His sister Sooni is also not willing to help him with this as she feels his lack of loyalty to their greater cause warrants more direct attention.

The drama, or primarily the secrets and lies, are now beginning to spill all over the place. And what a mess we could have. Indian Summers continues to pick up pace and to soak up our gradual interest in these characters. Sure, some more than others, but we are more eager than ever to find out where this will go next.

Episode 7 of Indian Summers aired in the UK on Sunday 29th March at 9pm on Channel 4. Episodes are available on Channel 4 On Demand – details are on the website.

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