The Full Monty – Season 1 Episode 3 “La Vie En Rose” Recap & Review

La Vie En Rose

Episode 3 of The Full Monty begins with that typical image of our gang sitting together in the cafe. They vocalize together to the classic “Figaro Aria” as they wait for a confirmation on Horse’s disability benefits appointment. He has to go in for an assessment for the benefits to continue but the office is some distance away from his place in Castleford. He has to make the journey there himself, which is typical of England’s dire public health system that systemically neglects the poor and old.

Gaz starts to take an interest in Anthony, one of the patients at the facility undergoing treatment for schizophrenia. Gaz’s fellow nurse tells him that they purposely overdose the patients to make the staff’s job easier. The facility is understaffed and underpaid.

Meanwhile, Dean is still not talking to Dave.

Dennis has renamed his cafe “La Grand Pain,” which might become controversial with some people.

Gaz peeps at Anthony’s aesthetic paintings of ants and instantly recognizes them from somewhere. It turns out that Anthony is a street graffiti artist who has done picturesque murals all around the city. Gaz takes him to each one of them and asks how he did them. Anthony blames the meds for taking away his creative fire as he can longer do the murals with the meds.

Cal and Tabina go to Hetty’s and encourage her to help Destiny get into the music school Hetty mentioned before. Hetty shoos them away, citing her retirement, though she is genuinely piqued by their suggestion. She takes an old casio to Destiny’s house and announces her intention to help Destiny get into college.

Gaz masterminds a plan to break Anthony out of the facility by “tapering” his meds. To learn exactly how that happens, Gaz goes to a self-help group and pretends he has a mental condition. He keeps taking 10% off Anthony’s dosages to taper the meds and get him in a state where he can draw again.

Meanwhile, Lomper swallows his pride and asks Guy for 30k pounds and he happily helps Lomper out.

Hetty organizes a tasteful rendition of a song to get back at Jean. The headmistress isn’t pleased but Hetty has got her revenge. We see Dilip pushing Jean to make their relationship official but she plays it down due to her marriage.

Quite shockingly, Gaz’s plan works. Anthony is placed at a rental apartment that will keep him warm and provide food; the bare minimum. But the plan comes at a price.

Even though Gaz asks Anthony to keep taking his meds, Anthony doesn’t listen to him. He stops taking the meds and the effects show on him. But before we get to that, the episode throws another dilemma toward us. Dave and Jean’s marriage has had a complete breakdown. The former gets into an argument with Gaz after Gaz apologizes to Dave for “tolerating him all these years.”

Jean has a brazen meetup with Dilip, who offers her a job. He is moving away to work on a startup. The financial package is lucrative but most importantly, Dilip expresses his “love” to Jean. She doesn’t say anything and walks away from the car.

The next morning, Anthony gets up on the top of the building and threatens to jump. His schizophrenic episodes are back. Gaz calmly gets to the roof and convinces him to get down. Anthony is taken back to the facility. Gaz is fired from his job. But before leaving, he professes to Anthony that he didn’t help him get a 10% commission off his art as his manager.

Gaz went to an art dealer the very same day he saw Ant’s murals. The dealer told him they weren’t worth as much money. Gaz wanted to help Ant out, showing his humanity and correcting his mistakes from the past. He has never taken responsibility for anything in his life and it is high time he does.

The episode ends with a montage showing our guys living their lives. Dave has found a way to walk the dog on the treadmill; Dennis is under the impression his cafe is running well; Horse trudges on alone on his daily walk, and Lomper mysteriously gets on a cruise for somewhere, telling Dennis he is going to a funeral.

The Episode Review

The episode brought out Gaz’s humanity and provided an epiphany for him. His arc with Anthony, like Dave’s emerging bond with Dean, felt a little rushed. But given the format the makers are going for, it is excusable. The storyline had part of the desired effect, although it wasn’t wholesome. Hetty’s revenge choir was a nice element of the storytelling – a sort of venting in the rawest of forms. Let’s hope that doesn’t get too overused though.

Episode 3 brought forth no surprises and continued with the soft, mellow tone that the makers have gone with. The Full Monty is at least consistent in how it unfolds and there are very few deviations.

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You can read our full season review of The Full Monty here
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