Is there any song in existence as instantly feel good as “Come On Eileen” by the Dexy’s Midnight Runners? What a way to start the episode. Hell, what an episode in general. It doesn’t seem like much of a reach to say that the sixth episode “Epiphanies” is Spaced‘s finest installment to date. It has everything that I love about this show: real and lived in dialogue, character moments that aren’t ever saccharine but instead earned, basic sight gags, smash cuts and more Mike!
The episode begins with one of my favorite cold opens with Brian at a pub, drinking to “Come On Eileen” and being pulled into dancing before accidentally knocking a fellow patron’s drink out of his hand and ending up decked out as a result. Brian tries so hard only to be knocked down in the end and it only makes his bewilderment at others all the more amusing.
I’m always left thinking “poor Brian”.
The real meat of the storyline begins when Tim’s friend Tyres (played by a phenomenal Michael Smiley who is uncontainable) stops by their flat to ask them if they’d like to go to a rave with them. Being in a bit of a sore spot the two of them agree, jumping at any chance to get out of the house.
Tim and Daisy aren’t getting along and it’s only made worse when Tim shows more affection to Mike and then even Twist than Daisy. Mike has had a bad day and Tim is cheering him up, like any good friend would, and he’s being courteous to Twist while treating Daisy normally. Like with most of the other things going on in her life, Daisy decides the problem can be fixed by focusing all of her energy on something else entirely. And who can blame her after seeing Tyres’s stellar moves to homeware appliances?
Daisy being Daisy goes all out, decking herself in head to foot black clothing while the rest of her friends take it less seriously (aside from Mike who cleans up nicely into a hot pink, tight tee-shirt). Otherwise they essentially just want to go and have a good time. Brian is only persuaded along after he realizes that if he didn’t he’d be stuck alone with Martha all night. Instead he decides to go and conquer his fear of dancing in public.
The rave scene is perfect. Don’t try and tell me otherwise. It’s easily one of my favorite TV sequences I’ve ever seen.
I’m not necessarily an introvert (I’m far too loud) but call me crazy, I’ve never felt the inclination to go to a rave before or any other type of underground dance party. A lack of rhythmic confidence and general laziness is to blame. However, watching the Spaced gang have a blast even while taking part in the mundanities of coat checks made me want to go to one this very instant. I’d be even more inclined if I was able to keep similar company. Edgar Wright made so many smart decisions while filming this sequence. From shooting the characters from sobriety to getting increasingly more drunk, to making sure there was a constant haze of smoke hanging over head, to the fantastically hammy moments where the characters’ DJ names made the screen abruptly segway into a freeze frame.
To bring the episode full circle we get the charming moment when Brian cannot resist the music any longer and gets up to dance. Only two seconds into enjoying himself he knocks over a man’s drink and anticipates being hit again. This time however the man simply smiles and hugs him, eliminating Brian’s fear. I love the difference between pub culture and rave culture being shown here. One’s a little more antagonistic, one’s a little more free and fun loving. Either, due to what they were taking or the setting it’s nice to see that given focus.
Daisy and Tim get to have a heart to heart after being annoyed with one another for the majority of the episode and again, Simon Pegg and Jessica Hynes nail dialogue between friends. Their drunken professions of love and encouragement and their far fetched plans for the future are things that I personally have either said or heard. It’s a nice moment in a more hectic scene where Pegg and Hynes get to utilize their strong but casual chemistry and just enjoy these characters’ friendship for a moment.
Of course this is all build up for when Tyrse drags the two of them back up onto the dance floor where Mike, decked out in a court jester hat, is leading the crowd in militant inspired dance moves. It’s yet another hilarious layer on the Mike character and the characters’ absolute enthusiasm to seeing him onstage is infectious.
The episode also wins best credit scene where Mike is still dancing in the living room of Daisy and Tims’ flat as the rest of the gang is passed out but still keeping beat. Just fantastic. I love this show.
Allyson Johnson is a twenty something writer and a lover of film and all things pop-culture. She’s a film and television enthusiast and critic over at TheYoungFolks.com who spends too much of her free time on Netflix. Her idols are Jo March, Illana Glazer, and Amy Poehler. Check her out at her twitter @AllysonAJ or at The Young Folks.
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