The Full Monty – Season 1 Episode 7 “No Man Left Behind” Recap & Review

No Man Left Behind

Episode 7 of The Full Monty begins in the woods. Jean and Dilip’s sordid affair is exposed, at least in Dave’s eyes, during a race course activity for the children. It happens when Dilip calls her “Jeanie,” Dave’s pet name for Jean. He calls Gaz for emotional support with a cake.

Horse, meanwhile, has been admitted to a hospital. Dennis, Lomper, and Sang-Chol have prepared food for him. Horse is badly malnourished and needs surgical intervention with the installation of a pacemaker. But he is currently too fragile, physically, for that operation.

Gaz encourages Dave to be sure before he accuses Jean of the affair. In order to do that, he takes Dave to Dilip’s house. Gaz calls Destiny and informs her of the situation. He was supposed to pick her up from Hetty’s place but cannot do it now. The news is relayed to Hetty, who is immediately interested in this and heads out. Dilip has no qualms about accepting his affair when confronted by Dave and Gaz.

Hetty, with her mother Margaret, and Dave, Gaz and Dilip, head to the one place they suspect Jean has gone to find peace. The former duo is the first to arrive. Hetty is livid with Jean for going after her “romantic interest.” Jean argues that she isn’t “Dilip’s type anyway.” Meanwhile, Margaret has taken off. She has dementia which means it is too dangerous for her to venture alone. They follow her trail and continue their bickering. The trio also reaches the parking lot outside the camping trail and Dave spots Hetty and Jean’s cars. It is revealed that Jean and Dave installed a bench in memory of their seven-month-old son Michael following his death. Jean never told Dilip about him and he expresses his condolences.

Destiny, who has a big audition the next day to possibly get into college, is not serious about what she has to do. She struggles with the idea of joining college, believing someone from her background isn’t made for it. To take her mind off it and create more trouble, Destiny gets off in the middle of their route and Cal and Tabani follow suit.

During Jean and Hetty’s fighting, they confess their true feelings to each other. Hetty is still upset over being sacked and sees it as a betrayal of their friendship. Jean calls out Hetty’s delusion that her life is miserable due to Jean’s interventions. They both come to terms with their shortfalls and even find Margaret, who got lost. But they cannot find their way back and wander around the forest. The trio of men embark on a search for the ladies.

Destiny has taken her friends to a private school, which is closed for the day. Essentially, what they do is break and enter. Destiny doesn’t seem to care about what they are doing. Tabani does not partake in Destiny and Cal’s shenanigans.

While looking after the others, Dilip slips and twists his ankle down a slope. He asks for Dave’s help, who is understandably unmoved at first. He asks about Dilip and Jean’s “plan” for the future. Dilip tells him about the Cornwall job and the fact that there is no concrete plan yet. He profusely apologises and being the kind man Dave is, he helps Dilip up to his feet.

Margaret reveals that she had an affair with her husband’s brother as well. Hetty and Jean then talk about their personal struggles. Each expresses their wishes to be in the other’s shoes at different times in their lives. When Jean lost Michael, she wanted Hetty’s life, because it was full and had the touch of family. Hetty wanted Jean’s career and charms. But they do concede that the issues they had have shaped their identities. Jean regrets her affair and proclaims that she doesn’t even love Dilip. She was angry and sad after Michael, during which time Dave completely shut himself off. Due to this, she found herself another avenue of happiness.

Tabani discovers a richly assembled music room and invites Destiny to play. That is when she unexpectedly kisses Tabani and expresses her love, in front of Cal. The police apprehend the trio as they try to escape. In the police lockup, Destiny and Tabani make things official. They need to leave the lockup as Destiny has her audition at 12.

All the adults in the forest make their way to their cars in the morning. Dave once again establishes his desire not to talk to Jean about the affair or anything else. Gaz uses his charms to help Hetty get Margaret in the car. Dilip and Jean get in together. She breaks up with him in the car and explains her reasons.

Elsewhere, Horse overhears the nurses and doctor talking about no free beds in the hospital. When one of them calls him frail, Horse silently gets up and takes off on his own. He struggles to walk but does so until his final breath. He has a cardiac arrest and the memory we saw at the beginning of the episode – him playing with his family on the beach – flashes before his eyes.

The Episode Review

Episode 7 ends with a tragedy that built up silently all along. The urgency showed in the previous episode to expedite Horse’s arc and establish a stronger critique of the social systems that fail men like Horse every day. But there is nothing that changes. The cycle repeats itself; only the victims’ faces and names change.

Emotional confrontation was the central theme of the episode. A lot of suppressed issues came to the surface including Destiny’s disenchantment with her status. Although Dave and Jean’s arc was simplified, the honesty in the performances was once again heart-winning. This was the best episode in terms of writing, staging, and pacing in this season. Here is hoping that we end on a high with the finale.

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