This week: Mark throws the dinner party to end all dinner parties, Jez’s relationships reach new heights of complexity, and the return of April, Mark’s perfect woman, from way back in series two, in 2004.
He’s tracked her down online to a book signing – ‘Corrigan and Google, the maverick detectives, who just won’t give up’. Now a successful academic historian, it seems that perhaps true love and happiness might finally be on the cards for Mark – until he discovers April is already married.
Through a series of unfortunate events, Mark ends up having to throw a farcical dinner party for April and her husband, Angus, serving a delicious meal of mashed baked beans, pasta, eggs and lettuce, washed down with a rum, water and vinegar cocktail. I lost it at the cheese course, where he resorted to squashing Dairylea triangles into a mozzarella-ish ball, and drawing blue lines with a felt-tip onto a piece of cheddar to create stilton.
Jeremy has now started sleeping with Megan as well as Joe, so when they both turn up at the flat, and are coerced into attending Mark’s dinner party, Jeremy also begins to panic as his plans start unravelling. The combination of the both of them desperately trying not to have their schemes uncovered results in the most intense and hilariously uncomfortable dinner party imaginable – it even makes the Christmas Dinner scene in season seven look bearable.
The season so far has been marked by a heightened level of energy and general ‘wackiness’, which carries on in this episode, possibly one of the most chaotic and fast-paced episodes of the entire 9 series. It will probably annoy a few purists, as the set-ups become ever more far-fetched, but I can forgive it if the lines are as funny as these – Jeremy’s explanation of his new sexual status, and Mark’s discomfort as he tries to eat his yoghurt was fantastic.
It was also nice to see the return of April, and offers a faint hope that Mark might even get something resembling a happy ending. It would also be great to see a few more obscure characters from the show’s rich history popping up one last time – big mad Andy, Jeff, Elena, Big Suze, all of them paying their last respects as the El Dude brothers sail off in the sunset.
Peep Show goes out at 22.00 on Channel 4 on Wednesdays.