As this season has progressed, The Eddy has started to play a bit like a David Simon show, specifically the great, under-seen Treme. Stylistically, they’re miles apart and The Eddy is much smaller in scope, but the comparison is there in the use of real musicians, off-the-beaten-track locations in a much-photographed city, and especially the web of characters that suggests how everything in the city is connected. The third episode planted the seed that Amira’s brother Paplar is bad news and here we find out just how bad. What’s more, we see the ripples of his actions. The stolen sound system equipment leads to Sim turning into an accidental gun-runner and Julie’s expulsion. But it also brings Julie and Sim closer together, creates a memorable night of music, and (presumably) raises enough funds to send Sim’s grandmother to Mecca. The city takes but sometimes it gives back.
As the title suggests, this is Sim’s spotlight episode, one that not only reiterates what a good kid he is but how hard he’s had to work to be a good kid. His parents aren’t in the picture and his brother Tarif is often elsewhere, so it’s mostly been his grandmother who’s raised him. He’s grateful for it, too, even more now that he realizes she’s dying. Sending her on a last-chance trip to Mecca won’t be easy, but he’ll do his best to get it done.
That means demanding a healthy share of money from the charity cover, assuming he can return their PA equipment. It also means putting up with Julie, who tags along despite his attempts to ditch her as he does a shady favor for Paplar. Just how shady, however, he doesn’t realize until too late, leading to a tense scene in which he and Julie try their best to act normal as the police roll up alongside them. They’re saved by some emergency elsewhere, but not before Sim gets the business end of Paplar’s fist for his troubles.
Plan B: Steal the equipment from Julie’s school. This goes about as well as expected, but along the way Sim offers a half-hearted argument that the song he’s written — the one he sent to Julie and Julie’s listened to enough to know by heart — isn’t about her. The flirtations intensify in other ways, too. Sim puts on a costume and pretends to be Romeo. Julie makes a joke about offering a security guard a blowjob the mocks offense when he seems to believe her, saying, “Jesus Christ, you think I try to sleep with everybody. Just you, buddy.” The Sim/Julie relationship (Simulie? Jimlie?) that looked like it had no future not so long ago now appears to be back on, very much so at the end of the episode when they kiss — unwittingly in full view of Elliot, whose face strikes a mix of amusement and worry.
Of course, Elliot has other matters to worry about already. Even Julie getting expelled, again, from the international school doesn’t crack his top five concerns. Number one, of course, would be Zivko’s demand that he find the counterfeit cash, a quest for which Zivko’s boss is losing patience. He begins the episode showing up at the Eddy at 5 a.m. looking like he’s done ten rounds with a heavyweight. He ends the episode dead in the street outside the club, with no suspects or witnesses in sight, an unmistakable message that his time is running out.
But even before that dire warning, Elliot’s urgency has mounted. He’s open about what’s going on with Maja and he’s ’fessed up to Amira about it too, enlisting her in a search for the cash. But his best plan, apart from scouring the books for evidence of when Farid started to rely on dirty money, is to tear apart his office like Gene Hackman in The Conversation. He’s about as successful as Hackman in the attempt.
Elliot’s also trying to fill the hole left by Kat’s firing and it’s just not working out. He recruits an ace drummer who’s all wrong for the sort of music the band plays, and they reject him like a body rejecting a transplanted organ. Then they reject Elliot, walking away after an ugly fight. “Where were you when I found you?” he asks Jude and the others. Then it gets even uglier as he alludes to Jude’s recent brush with falling off the wagon. And like that, the band splits. Then, like that, he gets them back together by telling the truth. They knew his story about Kat was bullshit, but when they learn the truth they get it. It’s almost as if all the preceding talk about the band being family was actually true and all he had to do was be honest with them. But is it too late? Maybe not for the band, but it might be for him.
This is, in some ways, the lightest episode The Eddy has produced, though that’s a relative term for an episode that ends with a corpse and includes multiple fights, both physical and verbal. But it also keeps returning to the idea that music is a way out for these characters, illustrating it instead of just saying it. For Sim, that escape might not last much longer than one night’s performance, but it’s something. And maybe the next performance will take him even farther, and the one after that, farther still. Or maybe, since the stakes are mounting as the end of the season looms, it’ll all go up in flames.
• While the crime plot has more or less served as The Eddy’s rhythm track, it feels like rhythm is intensifying and starting to take over the series. You can blow off gangsters and ignore the police up to a point. But when the bodies start showing up on your doorstep, that gets harder to sustain.
• Sim’s song: it’s pretty good! But I kind of feel bad for the rest of that benefit concert which apparently still didn’t happen? Also, asking that much of a cut seems like a lot, even if it gets his grandmother to Mecca. But nothing in the city comes cheap, does it?