In another dramatic episode, tensions are higher than ever and with all these twists and turns, Rae just doesn't seem to be able to catch a break.
*Warning: This review contains spoilers!*
In it’s penultimate episode, the third and final series of My Mad Fat Diary is showing no plans to slow down when it comes to drama. Indeed, it would seem that Rae (Sharon Rooney) just can’t catch a break.
Following the last episode‘s dramatic conclusion, Rae is struggling to cope. Her best friend Chloe (Jodie Comer) is in hospital, unconscious after being injured in the car crash. To make things worse, Chloe’s parents blame Rae for their daughter’s accident and will therefore not allow Rae to come and visit her. Rae desperately looks for ways to help her friend, before deciding to make a mixtape – citing music as the only true salvation in such despairing times (As Rae so aptly describes it: “When life is shit, turn to music. When life is scrape it off the walls shit, turn to Stephen Patrick Morrissey“) However, when Rae tries to bring the mixtape to her friend, Chloe’s mum (Debra Stephenson) dismisses her from the hospital, anguished that Chloe cannot sit the exams that she had been working so hard to revise for.
More trouble follows, when Rae’s washed up father (Keith Allen) comes into the record shop where she works. Frustrated that she cannot apologise to Chloe, and even more overwhelmed by her continuing romantic troubles with Finn (Nico Mirallegro), Rae rants at her Dad, desperately asking why she is like him in the fact that she seems to “fuck up everything [she]touches.” This rant – which included the accusation that he never truly apologised to her Mum (Claire Rushbrook) for abandoning them – seems to affect her Dad so much that he gatecrashes her Mum’s 40th birthday party. Singing a cringe-fuelled rendition of Elton John’s ‘Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word’, Rae’s Dad puts a dampener on the celebrations, turning Rae’s life at home into something of a hellish tirade.
Rae also makes a well-meaning but dumbfounded decision while sitting for her own sociology exam, when she decides to take the paper in Chloe’s place. Obviously, as her form tutor says upon hearing what she’s done “it never would have worked out.” Rae’s Mum makes an impassioned plea for her daughter to be able to take the exam again though, revealing in the process that her new husband Karim has been fired from his job as a lollipop man.
After all this heartache, a silver lining does faintly appear, when Rae finally gets to speak to Chloe after the accident. With the support of her therapist Kester (Ian Hart), Rae manages to sneak into Chloe’s hospital room and apologise, leading the pair to have an emotional heart-to-heart. When her mum tries to intervene, Chloe shuts her down, putting her friendship with Rae above all else.
Of course, this small shred of happiness doesn’t last. Fuelled by the rekindled affection she shared with Chloe, Rae rushes back to Finn’s – proudly declaring that she loves him and that she won’t let anything get in the way of that ever again. However, in a shocking twist of character, it is revealed that Rae’s Bristol friend, Katie Springer (Faye Marsay) is in Finn’s flat, hiding guiltily in his bedroom. Before we (or indeed Rae) can find out the full context of this secret meeting, Rae runs off, desperate to see Kester. However, Kester is not at his place of work – with a nurse mysteriously stating that he hasn’t worked there “for months”. In a moment of complete despair and frustration, Rae breaks down and self-harms for a second time, missing her all important English Literature exam in the process.
The final scenes are obviously very affecting, but the drama is so rife within this episode that it makes it difficult to really ‘enjoy it’, per say. The scene in which Rae chooses to fluff up her own exam is also painful to watch, just because of how unbelievably stupid it seems. With the final episode looming ever closer, here’s hoping that Rae will finally manage to gather the strength to build herself back up, before something else arrives to knock her down.
My Mad Fat Diary is broadcast on E4 on Mondays at 10pm. Catch up on 40D.