Frankie Series 1 Episode 3 (BBC) Review

Frankie has been seeming like a stranger and stranger commission for the BBC in the three weeks since it premiered, shedding an alarming amount of viewers for each episode while the riskier option, at least on paper, The Fall, has been a huge success on BBC2. What’s wrong with Frankie? Nothing, as such, but it’s becoming clear that it just has nothing to say about anything – only skimming the surface of potentially topical issues to do with the health service and nurses’ place within it.

This week saw the fallout from her assisted suicide case, which could have been an interesting debate about the validity of such things in certain situations, but instead just focused on Frankie’s desire to clear her name. There’s nothing wrong with that, either, since it is essentially a drama about one character, but there seemed to be so much potential in this storyline when it was brought up last week. It’s a shame that the show seems unwilling to comment on anything further than the effect it has on our heroine.

So we’re left dealing with her personal problems again, and we’re evidently supposed to hate both Ian and Paula. The latter does a great job of removing all audience sympathy this week as she goes after Ian despite thinly veiled judgement from her co-workers. How will this pseudo love square end? I really don’t know, but it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere particularly interesting right now. We all know that Frankie will end up with Andy – who this week had to deal with the jealous husband of a stroke victim – so everything else seems a bit fruitless.

The cases are still mildly diverting, with the teenage brother of a cancer sufferer this week running away from home with a bag of painkillers, but the drama side of Frankie still isn’t very engaging. A promising supporting character was introduced in this episode, however, and his presence did help to flesh out the office environment. In one hour, we got to know him much more than the other nurses Frankie works with, so I’m hoping he doesn’t just disappear next week. I still have hope for this show, which I’m giving more of a chance just because Eve Myles is in it, but I’m also praying that the second half will improve.

What did you think of the episode? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.