Val Falvey TD – Episode 2 Review

Posted on December 3, 2009

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Despite a current addiction and subsequent “catching up” operation of recent American series Lie To Me, I took some time out of consciously lusting over Tim Roth to take a look at the second episode of Val Falvey T.D. in the hope that there had been some improvement.

Episode 2, Scent of a Woman is more of the same. The main plot revolves around an unpleasant smell that has been disrupting the local people. On investigation, we find ourselves back at the swimming cap factory from the first episode. In a subplot, Val ventures to a meeting in Dublin which bears the resemblance of an hour in detention with a half blind, half deaf teacher who pretends not to notice that no-one’s doing what they should be.

After this Val teams up with Diamond (Simon Delaney) and has a cigarette in the toilet, like a secondary school scamp. The real problem comes when Val is tricked into taking an IQ test because we all know and understand that anything which signals levels of intelligence are something that politicians naturally avoid like the plague (or reasonably priced transportation).

The family relationships of the Falveys is still volatile but not really given enough screen time to simmer (or possibly fester). We also can see hints of Pat having a crush on Val’s wife which may escalate later in the series.

But once again, it is Pat, the side kick who is the more interesting character of the piece. Continuously quoting Shakespeare, babysitting a dog which he refers to as “a bit like a small horse”, he’s the father figure to Ardal O’Hanlon’s Val, who is still just playing Fr Dougal McGuire in a slightly different uniform.

In a way, this episode is an improvement on the previous instalment – the plots are clearer and splitting Val and Pat up helps to clarify things a bit, but we still feel as though it is Pat who’s holding the main plot while Val is just making a nuisance of himself in the sub. The action still seems cramped into its 25 minute runtime and one has to wonder if the writer took on too many subplots to deal with them efficiently.

Like the first episode there are dashes of humour throughout, mainly from the two locals that reprise their small roles from the first episode. Simon Delaney, someone who excelled in Batchelor’s Walk is, in my opinion wasted in a role that could have been played by any college first year, even if they weren’t an actor.

The episode sets up a predictable enough story arc through Closkey, the factory owner, and Clinch, a local councillor, with a foreboding tone surrounding Val’s dodgy dealings with the former.

Perhaps this newfound direction for the series will help it progress but in terms of the quality and the comedy, my verdict of the first episode still applies.

Now please excuse me while I return to Lie To Me. It’s much better.

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Posted in: Reviews