Outrageous, melodramatic, utterly addictive, Doctor Foster surpassed even its own schlocky standards with a humdinger of a penultimate episode which saw Gemma seek to take Simon’s life away from him – in every sense possible.
Suranne Jones’ brilliant doc conspired to see him lose not just his new wife and young child. The last we saw she was driving towards him full pelt on a quiet suburban road intent on, what? Killing him? Will she swerve out of the way? Or career into him? We’ll find out in the next episode, of course, by which time we may finally have caught our breath.
Blimey. The final, heart-stopping sequence began with slippery Simon on the doorstep of his fancy glass-laden home, his wife (Jodie Comer’s Kate) and young child Amelie having deserted him; he had no cash in his account, no car to drive. Hell, Kate’s vengeful parents would have even taken the clothes off his back if they could have been bothered.
And it was all down to Gemma who managed to pull off a daring, and rather formidably implausible, coup by telling Gemma about Simon’s infidelity and then persuading Kate that he was still obsessed with his ex-wife.
Initially, Gemma lured Kate to the hotel she and son Tom were staying at by means of an elaborate ruse: paying an estate agent to let her have a “snoop” (the agent’s words) and to leave the address of her hotel lying around.
Somehow she counted on Kate being as obsessive as her – takes one to know one, I guess. She also got Anna to tell her about Simon’s infidelity. As a way of getting an audience with Kate it was as weirdly complicated as it was compelling.
When she got to speak to her a second time, Gemma constructed a bizarre argument woven around things he said at her wedding, the way she posed for him, their shared love of boots and tight-fitting jeans (hardly uncommon) and the food they ate.
“Thai food is our food,” said Gemma, a little crazedly, ignoring, well, the people of Thailand (population 69 million) and those of us who are partial to a regular Pad Thai or Moo Nam Tok of a Saturday night.
She also told Kate about the music they had sex to, essentially rubbing his new wife’s nose into the intimate things she shared with Simon (and which presumably would apply to anyone who has been married before). But it seemed to do the trick on Kate who apparently swallowed the story whole, convinced that he remains fixated on his ex and that once a lying cheater, Simon will always be a lying cheater.
Gemma’s thesis that Simon is the one who still can’t let go (of her) felt a tad preposterous. Didn’t her behaviour demonstrate that she is clearly the one with closure issues? But Kate bought it.
Clearly, of course, Simon’s infidelity hardened Kate’s heart in the first place, though she seemed minded to forgive him at first. But even when he did stop lying, his explanation and attempt to win Kate’s affections back seemed a little too, er, Simon-ish for comfort.
“Your body’s better…you smell better,” he said.
My, he really is shallow as a puddle this one, and perhaps deserves everything he gets.
So where do we go now? As Simon was staggering along the road, heading to speak to Tom, he seemed to have lost it all. But there may be even worse to come on the road as Gemma is seen swerving… towards her ex?
She can’t run him over, surely? Is she capable of murder? So many questions, the next of which must be: is it actually possible to feel sorry for Simon? I’ll definitely be tuning in for answers next week…
This article was originally published in September 2017