The opening scene of Indian Summers has a rather dreamy sequence featuring Madeleine dancing. Over-lit and blurred in parts, it remains a fabulous looking sequence even if I was not entirely sure at first what it meant. The actress that plays Madeleine actually looks very much like she belongs in that early century era. The story of Eugene and Madeleine’s financial woes is swamped immediately when she wakes to find her brother dead. That was sudden.
Turns out to be malaria. Ralph ponders the death, perhaps again showing he may actually care for Madeleine, and questions why this happened and if Eugene even knew of his condition. Cynthia is her usual compassionate self about the whole human loss affair. I say compassionate with sarcasm, I clearly mean she is heartless. She later encourages the grieving Madeleine to fly back home to the States. I say encourages, Cynthia just wants rid of her. When Ralph questions Cynthia’s motive, she retorts with the “Well did you love her?” line. They lock horns again when Ralph digs up the past, putting the pieces together and realizing how much of a huge part she played in Ralph and Jaya’s separation. She is clutching at straws now in an attempt to dig her way out of this. We, the audience, have despised her and been onto her from the start, and it’s about time Ralph and others cottoned on.
Ralph sees Adam in the garden at one point, and though the boy allows him to approach this time, the note he hands him is blunt and to the point about his devil father and dead mother. Ralph and Alice get a little bit closer to uncovering their own secrets with one another when she comes clean that it was she that did the deserting from her marriage rather than her husband leaving as Ralph believed.
Oh, and the Nawab is coming for supper, a royal fellow whose importance the show fails to fully explain. But he still he seems to be prestigious enough for the “No Indians or Dogs” sign to be taken down from the club. He has dogs (or puppies as he refers to them), but not sure if that is just a coincidence. Cynthia later makes a joke about this very link, simultaneously I muttered “racist cow” to myself. This Nawab seems a little distractingly extravagant too. Do you remember those old Forrero Rocher adverts? Never mind.
Aafrin and Sita give back each others love letters. May not seem much in today’s Internet-fuelled world we live in, but those letters are sacred, open declarations of love and relations. A huge deal. Their lovely, if rather sad, moment is intruded by Sita’s vocal displeasure that Aafrin appears to have himself a “little English missy.” Sergeant Singh is still snooping around and has Aafrin meet up with Nalini (the freedom fighter who was arrested with Sooni – remember?), and she stressed her urgent intentions about ending the British rule of India. To ease the tensions of such conflicts, Aafrin later finds a cosy little shed where he and Alice can make out and have sex finally.
What else? Sarah is watching from afar as her husband Dougie enjoys himself at the school with Leena. He is pulling her from the ground in a kids game by her hand, and although perfectly innocent, we know Sarah is right to be upset. She later bumps into Alice, whom she seems to blame somewhat for her husband’s love affair with Leena – that she egged them on. Ralph settles a few scores by offering schooling for Matthew, Dougie and Sarah’s son. Later, Ralph tells an upset Madeleine that he loves her and that he does not say it enough. “You have not said it at all,” she replies. “I am saying it now,” he declares. We want to believe him, even in the middle of all his other messy scheming. Is he a good guy after all?
Episode 9 of Indian Summers aired in the UK on Sunday 12th April at 9pm on Channel 4. Episodes are available on Channel 4 On Demand – details are on the website.