Salamander-Episode 2-Some spoilers-BBC4 or Channel number 107 on Virgin TV Saturdays @9pm in the UK

Salamander Episode 2

So Salamander is shaping up nicely.  I am learning the Flemish words for the days of the week which are shown as the action progresses.  Woensdag being Wednesday and Donderdag is Thursday.  How cool is that?

These words sound reminiscent of Danish and Swedish I think and German too, since Freitag is German for Friday.  Flemish is hard to pick up otherwise so far.  No instant additions such as “Ah” in Swedish for yes which i have secretly adopted. With obviously nobody noticing since they presumably think i am just saying “Ah”.  Oh well.

Still, i digress.  Yes, Paul Geradi, to give him his full name and correct spelling is still on the run.

I could have sworn Geradi had already broken into another car already but no, he drives away from (near) the Monastery in his same car.  Although he starts off in the Opal white van with his not so bezzie friend Karl, the Priest.  I’m confused.

Our stereotypes are shattered as i waver between trusting Karl or not as we discover his past and precisely the function of the Unit P9.

However life at the Monastery seems pretty good,  The Monks get to drink beer, play pool and even have internet.  As we see an interestingly circular snail shaped back to the monitor whilst Geradi logs on.  I couldn’t help thinking this will all be traced and Brother Fraser will be next.  Since he now has the mysterious photograph, obviously war related, dated 1944.

Plus we are introduced to the plotter behind the robbery who reminded me of the head of the A Team back in the day who smiles largely at the mostly silent head bank robber.  Then the plotter places a significant bullet carefully and reverentially in front of a framed photograph.  Yes, that photograph.

We also discover from Mrs Rasenberg who has nicely dispelled the boring lack of gumption so far from Mrs. Geradi, that Salamander is some kind of club.  More details are cut off by the early return of her husband the Senator who shortly goes off for a mysterious meeting with a Salamander tie pin in place.  Just where could he be going?!

Mrs. Rasenberg is going on a quest.  The one Mrs. Geradi should have gone on.  The quest that it looks like Sophie has gone on too. Plus there is a mysterious staring woman lurking behind ever corner watching Mrs. Rasenberg who is instructed to spy on her by Mr. Rasenberg.

It might have been the cut of her dress but i suspected a dalliance between the staring servant and Mr. Rasenberg reflected in a bit of a bump of her tummy.

Still, i like Mrs. Rasenberg and she may well be Geradi’s only hope since things aren’t looking too good.  As not having been questioned at all to find out what Geradi knows, he is blindfolded and taken away.  By the two hapless Ministry of Justice men who we now know to be the deadly Unit P9.

The silent partner of the two Ministry men with black hair is incredibly stylish and spends all day gazing in Stasi like thrall at surveillance screens and taped conversations.  He looks like the hero from a French 1950’s movie.

Meanwhile Sarah,Geradi’s wife, a biblical name, as Mr Persigal muses, mainly shouts a lot down the phone.  Then clamps herself unnervingly quickly to the body of Karl, the Priest who appears at her door.

 Unfortunately i took against Mrs. Geradi, Sarah,right from the beginning although i told myself to give her a chance.  All on the basis of her horrific off colour lipstick.  It looks like i was right all along.

I’m sorry, but that colour, it’s just so wrong.  There are very few women who can carry off red lipstick and Sarah isn’t one of them.  Plus it isn’t even a proper red.  It’s a wrong red.  There, I’ve said it.

So the lines of original expectation are all blurred. Mr. Persigal (who i have decided is Flemish for Mr. Percival ) i originally thought was evil,  is possibly not and may well be dispatched himself.  However he appears to have given orders for Geradi’s demise.

The two Ministry of Justice/ P9 men are appearing almost sympathetic and Karl the Priest is definitely not clear cut in motive.  Will Geradi and the longevity of his enviable blue cardigan survive?

& What exactly is the purpose of Salamander?  Could it be for good, rather than the expected evil presumed?  Is it all to do with World War II?  Salamander could have been formed post war, this would fit with the ages of the members we saw.

It is all tres mysteriuse.

Nb. Belgium, as i wondered last week whether they had a Queen, have in fact a King, King Phillipe he is called.

One small bugbear is the repeated flash up photos on screen reminding us that each large envelope received from the taciturn bank robber comes from the safe.  We know that.

There is also something a little sterile about Salamander, a lack of atmosphere somehow.  I don’t quite know why.  Perhaps it is gathering pace.  I suppose that just watching Geradi drive around and look grumpy a lot of the time palls after a while.

The dialogue is sparse.  The sumptuousness of the rooms and settings fill in a lot of spaces for me.  We shall see.

Another amusing scene with the two Ministry men is when Sarah, pissed off at being followed and the shenanigans with Sophie, gets out of her car and marches angrily towards the two men in their parked car, watching the women as usual.  As Sarah moves towards the men’s car they reverse backwards, then stop.

Looking glumly up at Sarah, the two men sit in silence.  Sarah glowers some more and having stopped too, starts walking angrily towards the car again.  The men reverse backwards a small distance and stop.  so does Sarah, angrily glaring at the men.  The men look back at her.

This procedure is repeated several times, much to my hilarity on watching this slapstick Charlie Chaplinesque scene.

Sarah has gone all lioness, protecting her cub, marching down the parked car like it was a metal predator. Perhaps she has some gumption after all.

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