Love and Marriage Series 1 Episode 5 (ITV) Review

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I wasn’t completely sold on Love and Marriage to start with, as I wondered whether all of the family members would be as interesting as each other, but it’s been lovely to watch the show build and build onto itself, allowing each individual storyline to have its space while also developing established threads throughout the series. This week we met the couple we’ve seen the least of – role-swapping parents Michelle and Martin.

With five kids to take care of and Michelle going back to work as a lawyer, newly unemployed Martin has a lot on his plate. He initially seems happy to be a househusband and work on a long-planned career as an author, but live inevitably gets in the way of his lofty goals. The children need constant entertainment and attention and, once that’s under control, Martin starts playing up to the flirtations of a young au pair at Tumble Tots. He wants the attention from a woman who’s not constantly exhausted and nagging, and she wants someone to write her college personal statement for her – so everyone wins.

Meanwhile, it was time for Kevin to face his hearing at the fire station and, as expected, he makes a complete mess out of reading his statement. Sarah tries to step in and explain the out-of-character behaviour of her husband, but actually ends up landing him even deeper in trouble when she accidently reveals he also stole money from the bar. Happily, their naive sincerity charmed the panel and Kevin’s let back into his job under their watchful eye. So there’s at least one happy couple but, the question remains, how many more will survive the series?

Heather and Charlie aren’t looking too good, as she’s still torn between the two men in her life. In normal circumstances, we as the audience would have some reason to dislike Charlie and want Heather to end up with Ash, the father of her baby, but that’s not the case here. While Ash is completely devoted to her and willing to give up fatherhood for the sake of her happiness, Charlie is also going to every effort to make the pregnancy better for Heather. After a brief pep talk from Ken he clears out the games room to make space for a nursery, but something tells me that he might not be needing it.

And then there’s Pauline and Ken, who this week make one last effort to save their marriage by attending couples therapy. It goes horribly wrong, due largely to the therapist they’re assigned, but Ken does manage to finally let some of his emotions out by the end of the episode. Pauline might have dismissed him and run to her date with Peter, but there’s still plenty of unfinished business there. Should she leap into her new life with Peter or try to save the life she felt trapped in for forty years? I know which side I’m on, but I’m less than convinced the writers feel the same way.

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