The Surprise Party
Back in 2018, Sky Atlantic dropped the first season of Save Me and that mix of raw emotion and great storytelling made it one of the best crime dramas of the year. Given the hammer blow ending the first season received, many people questioned whether this one would return for a follow-up, especially given Lennie James’ desire to return.
After his extended run in Fear The Walking Dead, Lennie James and the team behind Save Me return for the aptly titled Save Me Too. With a new mystery to uncover and a lot more emphasis on the characters effected by Nelly’s rage and Jody’s disappearance, the first episode wastes no time getting right to the heart of the drama.
17 months after Nelly’s crusade to find his missing daughter Jody, episode 1 of Save Me Too begins with Nelly in his car, clutching the steering wheel with bloodied knuckles while Grace sits in the backseat.
We then cut back to earlier in the day, with Goz and Nelly together following leads – including Gideon’s wife Jennifer Charles. Threatening to blackmail her, Nelly demands names of those linked with Gideon, which Jennifer hands over on a piece of paper. Nelly manages to find the address but despite phoning the number inside, gets nowhere and begrudgingly leaves after thanking Goz for his help.
He’s not the only one leaving either, as Gideon loads his things in the car and leaves with Jennifer after finding out she was cornered by Nelly. Nelly meanwhile phones Gideon and leaves a message for him while at the school, promising to catch up with him sooner rather than later.
While Tam, Stace and the others prepare for Nelly’s birthday, Claire walks out of her group therapy session, unable to listen any more while Melon and Bernie find out they’re having a girl.
Back home, Nelly practices his best surprise face for his party until he receives a call from a mystery person. The conversation clearly rattles him too and Nelly takes Goz’s car and, unable to say why, hurries out the apartment. With a big chunk of time missing, we cut back to the outside of the pub as Nelly helps Grace out and sneaks in the back doors, through the back entrance where he keeps her safe upstairs.
Claire arrives to wish Nelly a happy birthday before heading inside the pub to join in the festivities. Finishing his cigarette, Nelly heads into The Palm Tree and feigns surprise as the group wish him happy birthday.
While the celebrations go on, Nelly thanks Stace for throwing the party and for one night our main protagonist looks close to having a good time. Unfortunately Stace questions just why Grace is upstairs and shatters that from coming to fruition. Before he can answer though, Claire takes Nelly outside and gives him a bracelet Jody made.
In the morning, DS Shola O’Halloran arrives at the pub asking questions after telling them all Gideon has been killed. Goz begrudgingly gives Nelly an alibi but as the detective leaves, all fingers point to Nelly as the one responsible. Given Nelly was missing for such a long time, was he the one who killed Gideon Charles?
With a big question mark over what happened to Gideon and a lot of the time missing between the afternoon and evening, this second season adds another layer of mystery to the fold in the form of this shocking murder. Quite how everything ties together remains to be seen but Nelly is such an interesting and conflicted character that it’s obvious the title of “Save Me Too” is referring to his mental state.
This changing focus to try and save those left behind in the wake of this tragedy is clear to see and between the believable dialogue and over-use of the colour yellow (which could denote hope in this hopeless situation, something Nelly clings to when he refuses to give up his coat), Save Me Too gets off to a very good start here and keeps things wide open for the season ahead.