★★★★ (out of five)
VIEWERS were given little closure in the season finale of RTE’s Love/Hate, which concluded with a gripping cliffhanger last night.
Relentless in its tragedies, the episode hurled us into the drama from the outset - with Rosie returning from hospital after losing her baby, Nidge and Trish’s wedding threatened by the ongoing gang feud and tensions spiralling as Mary discovers Robbie’s gun in her home.
The final instalment begins with a moving speech and excellent performance from Ruth Negga, as Rosie confesses her feelings about her miscarriage and decides to move to London.
But this is the only moment of quiet contemplation we are allowed as the action swiftly erupts into a cacophony of aggression resulting in several unexpected deaths.
Tom Vaughan-Lawlor’s Nidge becomes an ever more crucial character. His development in this episode reveals his smiles, nicety and naïveté as his method for achieving his ends.
Jon Boy calls him ‘the weasel’ and audiences may start to wonder whether he will play a more pivotal role in series to come.
Inevitably, tensions escalate at Nidge and Trish’s wedding.
The cheery montage of the bridesmaids and happy couple dancing down the aisle comes to a swift halt as Jon Boy and Hughie turn up drunk and ‘uninvited’, succeeding in ruining the event for everyone.
However, the wedding is disappointing as it does not deliver the spectacle its audience may desire. The excitement refuses to surpass sinister glares from Hughie and Jon Boy from across the room and their revealing that Nidge slept with a prostitute in Prague.
It is the moments after the wedding which prove more thrilling, as two unexpected shootings take place. Viewers may even have been tempted to rewind and relive the action of the first gunshot - in disbelief that a character could be so moronic!
As the episode drew to its close we were reminded once again that we are in Ireland, where respect for the dead is vital and the final shooting is therefore inevitable, confirming the season’s cyclical nature.