Review: The Out-Laws (S1 E3/9), Friday 29th July, More4

Screen Shot 2016-07-31 at 19.57.17And so this Belgian dark crime comedy continues, but the real breakthrough is that I’ve figured out how More4 is numbering the episodes. A few people have asked why there have been discrepancies, and it’s been frustrating (I care about such details). So, originally in Belgium there were 10 episodes of The Out-Laws, but in the UK More4 is showing eight. Why? The British channel tagged the first two episodes (shown in one feature-length wodge) as episode one, so even though we should be onto episode four, we’re not – we’re on episode three. Thankfully that wasn’t the most interesting thing about episode three.

Regular readers (and watchers of the show) will know by now that The Out-Laws follows a tight structure: a bit of stuff in the present day, then some rewind stuff that shows the Goethals sisters’ attempts to off The Prick (the loathsome husband of Goedele Goethels). In between, there’s invariably a family get-together, there’s another sister that becomes embroiled in the plot, a scene in The Prick’s office, where he carries out a particularly bad taste practical joke on one unlucky enemy, and, of course, the failed attempt on his life. All were present and correct in this third episode.

We saw Bekka – the youngest of the Goethels sisters – get a knock-back when the loan she thought she had secured from Goedele and The Prick for her burgeoning massage business by kyboshed by, yes, The Prick, who was apoplectic with rage when Goedele asked him if Bekka could have the loan. He less than politely told his wife that a loan to her sister was out of the question.

This incited Bekka to join with her sisters to plot his downfall. The attempt on his life at the end of the episode – this time by trying to electrocute The Prick in his bathtub – once again failed, but the bickering between the sisters in the lead-up to their carefully planned, well, plan was genuinely funny. It was pure farce, in every sense of the word.

There was another family scene around a dinner table (this time at Easter) where The Prick found out that Veerle was continuing to see her lover, Ben, behind her husband’s back. He put more pressure on. Again, this pushed Veerle to the brink and only made her more determined to get rid of him.

So all in all another good episode, but one thing was starting to nag at me – we’re four installments of the story in (even though More4 says there has only been three) and the structure is starting to grate a little and wear a bit thin. I think the series needs to be injected with something; to be turned on its head and provide a shock or two. It feels like it’s starting to repeat itself a little bit.

We’re hitting the half-way stage next week and now, with all the sisters now onboard, I’m hoping for some upping of the ante or a slight change in direction, or The Out-Laws, as enjoyable as it is, may start to get a little stale.

Paul Hirons

For our episode one review, go here

Four our episode two review, go here


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