*Warning: contains spoilers for Channel 4’s Adult Material episode four*
Adult Material creator Lucy Kirkwood has explained the porn drama’s bittersweet ending, which saw Jolene Dollar (Hayley Squires) lose her court case against porn producer Caroll (Rupert Everett), but reconcile with her daughter, and her husband Rich (Joe Dempsie).
Viewers will remember that the first scene of Adult Material episode one saw Jolene sat in her pink convertible during a car wash, filming herself while pretending to orgasm for her legions of online fans. However, the last scene of Adult Material saw her having respectful, tender sex with Rich – effectively bookending the drama with one fake orgasm, and a second, real one.
“I’m really glad you noticed that, the orgasm bookending,” Kirkwood told RadioTimes.com in an exclusive interview. Speaking about Rich and his reconciliation with Jolene, she continued: “[Rich] looks like a really great guy, but some of the ways he behaves… you know, the suggestion that she should go into escorting – he’d obviously be very happy not to work, and to just live off her earnings. And, you know, [they are two] people who resolve those things by the end. She’d still be working in an industry I wouldn’t want my daughter to work in, but I think, between them, they’re going to have a much healthier marriage, and a much healthier life together.”
Earlier in the season Jolene revealed that porn kingpin Tom Pain (Julian Ovenden) had raped her when she was younger – a secret that her ally Stella Maitland (Kerry Godliman) later brings up in court in a last ditch attempt to win their case, ambushing Jolene.
Following the court case, Jolene is ordered to pay £40,000 – and decides to earn the cash by doing an on-camera sex scene with none other than Tom Pain.
However, she manages to take control of the situation, by asking her porn star friend Sabelle (Timmika Ramsay) to direct, and by setting the scene in a court room, in a tongue-in-cheek reference to her legal troubles (“Taking the law into her own a**”).
Kirkwood explained that while Tom Pain is never “punished” for his actions – providing a more “realistic” ending – she believes that the character’s comeuppance is “coming”.
“Tom Pain is someone whose entire persona is built around exerting control over other people, so I do hope that he’s punished for that eventually in some way. But I think it’s realistic. We’re not quite there, at the end of where we leave the story, but I think it’s coming,” she said.