Episode 5 of After Life Season 3 begins with Tony and Lenny reflecting on how unfair life is. Specifically, how an old lady has been conned by a man posing as a salesman. Despite the “Made In Britain” tattoo across his forehead, this poor lady is none the wiser, admitting she had £500 saved up in her biscuit tin… which he’s stolen.
On the way back to the office from her house, Tony stops by a charity shop and picks up a chess set, intending to play with his “dad” at the care home. The thing is, it’s also Emma’s birthday, which surprises Tony when he finds out. Having not actually bought her anything, he decides to do the next best thing – and take her out for drinks.
Meanwhile, the meeting for the Tambury Fair continues. Things immediately take a turn for the worst when Ken admits he’s got James a gig on The Undateables. The thing is, he needs to pretend to be disabled to get it.
James obviously isn’t happy and makes his feelings felt, while Colleen quietly writes everything down. When Brian volunteers himself to be on the show, laughs ensue.
At the Tambury Gazette, Tony is encouraged to take out the life insurance money he’s been sitting on. Even if he doesn’t spend it, as long as he’s got it then the greedy insurance companies won’t have it, which is infinitely better.
June and Anne both give him some sound advice about this, encouraging him to find something that will help make him genuinely happy.
Tony heads out playing squash with Matt but things take a nasty turn when the latter clutches his chest in pain. Suspecting a heart attack, he’s rushed to hospital.
When he regains consciousness, Matt bemoans his bad luck and how he could have a weaker heart than Tony. The thing is, it all comes down to mindset and Tony can sense that Matt is keeping everything pent-up inside, which is doing him no favours.
Tony encourages him to stop worrying though. He also takes a dig at Matt’s sporting prowess. He even calls him a woman too, continuing the hilarious rapport between the two.
Tony eventually heads out for a drink with Emma. She breaks everything down, knowing that Tony is still in love with Lisa and things between them may not work out the way she wants. Tony admits he wants her to be happy, which only makes things easier for Emma to admit she bumped into an old flame earlier in the episode, Jack.
Tony encourages the pair to hook up; he wants her to be happy, which the pair toast to inside this quiet, depressing pub as the episode comes to a close.
The Episode Review
After Life returns with another chapter that echoes a more reflective state for all of our characters. James starts to question his life, and whether he’ll ever become an actor, while Tony tries to find his purpose post-Lisa. Of course, that’s easier said than done and it certainly leaves him in a difficult spot, unsure what to do with his life.
The subplots involving Brian and Pat has fallen flat this season though, while Coleen has disappeared into the shadows for much of this season, despite what looked to be a bright opening.
Kath however, has had a nice arc, while Tony’s closer bond with Matthew allows for a much more intimate and touching one to ones between the pair to ensue. This has arguably been one of the better parts of this third season so far.
Either way though, everything is set up nicely for a conclusive third season to bow things out on a high.