Pete’s depression takes centre stage in a moving Cold Feet episode two

In an emotional second visit to the gang of Manchester friends, John Thomson’s character finally opens up to his troubles

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* Warning: this contains spoilers about Cold Feet episode 2 *

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The clues were there in the opening episode of Cold Feet, and tonight it came into the open: Pete is depressed.

Cold Feet’s likeable trier played by John Thomson has been down in the dumps ever since we returned to the gang.

And tonight his best mate Adam (James Nesbitt) suddenly clocked it. “Pete’s depressed,” he said in a moment of revelation at the close.

Cut to a night-time visit from the jovial Northern Irishman and the sight of Pete sitting in the dark, gloom written all over his face. Adam can often get things very badly wrong – but he was spot on this time.

It was a finely-judged end to tonight’s episode, where the good fortune of all the Cold Feeters was evident, with one obvious exception.

Adam has found a gorgeous new wife, and things were even looking up for David (Robert Bathurst), striking lucky with Adam’s father-in-law, smoothie chops millionaire Eddie Zubayr (Art Malik).

Eddie Z in turn has the hots for Karen (Hermione Norris). Even Jenny, Pete’s wife, seemed to be having a fun old time of it flirting with some mystery cad at work while poor Pete was at home, in the dark, staring at the TV.

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Pete has been juggling two jobs – first as a taxi driver and also with some low-paid work paying visits to the elderly (tonight we met one of his clients, a slightly crabby man called Harry played by James Bolam). Pete couldn’t even make Adam’s wedding celebration, instead dropping David off (who didn’t even pay at first) before disappearing into the night alone.

Earlier in the episode, Pete couldn’t even benefit from a free ticket to Old Trafford to see his beloved Manchester United. The tickets that David had got off the Internet were dodgy; Pete and Adam were denied entry.

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Still, help was at hand. Not only did Adam suddenly realise what was up at the end, Pete’s wife Jenny turned down the attentions of her new admirer and came home to her husband, who burst into tears.

This is writer Mike Bullen’s skill, weaving the serious and troubling through his usually light and upbeat world. Cold Feet has a canny knack of maintaining a happy-go-lucky tone without ever becoming shallow.

Still, it may not be entirely plain sailing for the other Cold Feeters in future episodes either.

David’s marriage to Robyn (Lucy Robinson) is clearly on the rocks. Adam didn’t seem entirely convinced by his decision to wed again (and does he fancy his landlady Tina, played by Leanne Best?) And Karen has agreed to help David by taking her ex’s speeding points, a criminal offence which seems destined to bite both of them at some point down the line…

We shouldn’t put the hankies away just yet.

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Cold Feet continues on ITV on Monday nights at 9pm