And so, the finest British comedy of recent times reaches its grand finale.
It’s Jeremy’s 40th birthday, and he is concerned that he can no longer keep up with Joe – the drink, drugs and long nights are taking their toll on him. He’s resorting to ever more extreme measures to stay fit and youthful – sprout sandwiches and drinking from ‘the golden fountain’. Mark’s disgust at Jeremy keeping said drink in a glass in the fridge, and casually sipping it along with his meal is hilarious, and classically Corrigan.
Mark decides to make one last desperate play for April, who has been ignoring his calls. He tracks her down to the travel agency, where she and Angus are booking tickets for a three-month cruise. Can he win her over before she sets off into the sunset? Well, initially it seems he can, after Angus sends some bizarre text messages – but not all is as it seems….
In truth, it’s not a classic episode – there weren’t any truly stand-out lines or scenes, but it’s a good solid 25 minutes, and the story arcs of the season are closed out nicely.
There’s even a brief cameo for Neil Fitzmaurice’s Jeff, a truly brilliant character and performance – his role was pared down after JLB Credit closed down in series six, but in the early series he was pivotal in all of Mark’s lowest moments – so it’s nice to see him given a fitting send-off, as he takes Mark’s job at the bank.
Without wishing to give anything away, the end of the episode is very predictably Peep Show, with both characters in more or less the same situation they were 12 years ago in the first ever episode. Wishful thinking maybe, but there’s nothing that would prevent them coming back for a few episodes more – writers Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong have suggested that perhaps they’d like to revisit the pair in another 10 years, so let’s hope that this won’t be the absolute last we’ll ever see of the pair.
But for now, just enjoy our final outing in the company of two of the finest characters in British comedy history, Mark Corrigan and Jeremy Usbourne.
There have been laughs, there have been tears, there have been snakes, men with ven, three weddings, two funerals, a baby, and, of course, a dead dog in a bin.
The world of British comedy will be that much the poorer without them.
Peep Show series nine, as well as the complete Series 1-9 box set, will be released on DVD on Boxing Day.