Episode 203 of Netflix’s After Life has the Gazette in danger, Pat finds love.
Previously on After Life, Tony (Ricky Gervais) seemed to have renewed stability in his outlook, but supernatural mumbo-jumbo got on his nerves at a Yoga session, which he was asked to attend by his brother-in-law and boss, Matt (Tom Basden).
Also, Postman Pat (Joe Wilkinson) expressed interest in Tony’s friend, Roxy (Roisin Conaty), who happens to be a prostitute. Tony seems to doubt Pat can acquire a girlfriend but arranges a date for them anyway.
How awkward is Pat? In the last episode, Pat took a shower in his house. Now, in episode 203, he asks Pat to stop crouching down to eat food in his garden. However, by the episode’s end, the two agree to go on a second date. All awkwardness aside, Pat doesn’t seem like a bad guy overall. In fact, Roxy seems to find him charming and funny, in his own unique way (which would be unpalatable to many others).
After Life: Sandy’s birthday
While Sandy (Mandeep Dhillon) has been in every episode of “After Life, this episode focuses more attention on her than other ones. However, it all ties into greater themes of feeling isolated. For example, Tony also meets his nephew, George (Tommy Finnegan), who asks if his mom and dad are getting a divorce. Tony attempts to address the issue with humor, noting how, if they do get divorced, George can always play them against each other in a competition to give him the best presents.
Well, that theme of superficial joy ties together with Sandy’s birthday, which seems to be a somber occasion. Not only is Sandy getting older, but she seems to feel unaccomplished. On the bright side, Sandy later confides that her favorite job is at the Tambury Gazette. It does, after all, involve some weird people, such as James (Ethan Lawrence), who now works at the paper after they covered him playing the nose flute.
Then there are moderately funny debates between Tony and Kath (Diane Morgan), over things like horoscopes and the paranormal. Ultimately, Sandy’s birthday ends up with a little cake fight, instigated by Tony, as a way to cheer her up. This is after she says she feels stupid for telling Tony to be happy.
Jealous of Simon?
Tony returns to visit his dad (David Bradley) in the nursing home. However, it seems he’s more interested in seeing Emma (Ashley Jensen) and feeding his building dislike of her new love interest, Simon (Bill Ward). This time Tony dismisses Simon as doing a “sensitive man routine.” However, Emma responds that, when with Tony, she felt like the other woman, always taking second place to his memories of Lisa (Kerry Godliman).
Tony definitely recognizes loneliness when he sees it. When Tony and Lenny (Tony Way) interview a woman who can speak to cats, he instantly knows that she is lonely, just wanting to get her husband, daughter, and cat mentioned in the paper. (Notably, some have tried to debunk the “crazy cat lady” stereotype — and let’s be real: Sometimes dog owners can get obsessive with their pets, too In fact, After Life itself suggests that Tony’s dog gave him a reason to live.
Can Tony save the paper?
This episode has a bit of a bombshell moment: Paul (Peter Egan), the owner of the Tambury Gazette, wants to scrap the paper and sell the building. This prompts Matt to apologize that the Gazette is not making enough money. Then, because Sandy said it’s her favorite job, Tony actually promises to save the company (which may be easier said than done).
They hold an initial strategy meeting. Kath says they “have to go more tabloid,” including celebrity gossip and paranormal, weird stuff. This leads to another paranormal debate between Tony and Kath, and then the aforementioned cake fight. Still, it’s a pretty big turning point for After Life story-wise.
A night out
Although Roxy and Pat had a good night out, it isn’t that way for everyone. Tony reluctantly joins Matt for a drink at the bar, partly inspired by his lousy therapist (Paul Kaye) slimily urging him to have a one night stand. The therapist is actually at the bar, along with his lewd pals, Ratty (Andrew Brooke), and The Nonce (Tom Bennett).
Due to their bad advice, Matt tries to “chat up” some ladies at their table, being awkward as hell in the process (mentioning how Tony’s wife died of cancer and that he’s on the verge of a divorce). To make things even worse for Tony, Emma and Simon are there as well. Sparks may fly for Tony, but not the romantic kind.
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