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Dublin: 11 °C Saturday 25 October, 2014

Lessons from Love/Hate: Fish tanks, Bambi eyes and bad parenting

Includes the most sinister pigeons in Irish TV history. (Spoiler alert)

LAST NIGHT BROUGHT sofa-dwellers the second episode of RTÉ’s increasingly excellent Love/Hate.

The first of the series was critically acclaimed for its portrayal of IRA boss Git getting hit in the head with a keg (among other things).

So what did we learn from episode two?

1. There ain’t no party like a gangster party

The lads throw a party in the brothel to celebrate… something. When you’re a gangster, you don’t need an excuse.

And it looked amazing. Even the guy on the right is wearing suspenders! (OK, it’s a leg brace. But you wouldn’t put it past him.)

2. These are the most sinister pigeons in Irish television history

IRA man Git may be dead. But his pigeons live on. And they are SO SINISTER.

Even Git’s wife looks at them suspiciously:

3. Matching leopard-print duvet/underwear sets are now a thing

As worn by Debbie in the brothel. Coming soon to a Dunnes near you.

4. The drugs DO work

Nidge needs something to get him through the meeting with Git’s very, very angry son Dano. Darren comes up with the goods. “After these, he could saw you in half and you’d still be laughing.”

Nidge takes a double dose for good measure. Which may be why he makes this face while talking to Dano:

5. Dano is rarely a happy man

And he’s particularly miffed with Nidge now his father has gone AWOL.

“I can have you out back in the shed and cut your bollocks off with a broken bottle.”

So, er, seen any good films lately?

6. Gangsters make great parents (#1)

Elmo rolling a few fat ones in bed. ‘Here, hold the baby while I skin up, will you?’

7. Gangsters make great parents (#2)

When the IRA guy who kneecapped one of Nidge’s gang goes to say hello to his ma, this is what he sees:

Then she gives her young squeeze a nice stroke on the head.

8. Gangsters are very sleepy people (#1)

Nidge falls asleep at the wheel and gets in trouble.

That airbag looks lovely and soft. Might just rest here for a while. Could this be a symbol of him losing his grasp on the gang’s leadership? Literally… falling asleep at the wheel?

Yes, we think it could.

9. Killers come in all shapes and sizes

“I’m in fucking heels here!” says the teenage sister of the IRA guy. She looks ridiculous, but she’s got a gun.

Even assassins have shoe problems.

10. Nobody in Love/Hate land owns a smartphone

Darren checking when his teenage IRA accomplice is going to arrive to help kill Elmo:

And this guy is a high-rolling criminal? Er, 2003 called – they want their status symbol back.

11. When Darren gives you the Bambi eyes, you’re in SERIOUS trouble

Here he is, telling Elmo to send his cousin to certain death. Swoon.

12. Fishtanks are an essential gangster accessory

Like every gangster in every movie, ever. It’s basically the first thing you buy after completing your first deal/heist/contract killing: a big tank of fish for your office.

We’ll be damned if this doesn’t become a metaphor for something in a later episode. Perhaps it could get smashed, for a close-up shot of a fish flapping out its last moments on the ground? Just saying.

13. Interior design is a priority in gangland

Here’s Nidge’s gaff, where he makes the big decisions surrounded by tasteful colours from the DFS autumn/winter collection.

14. Gangsters are very sleepy people (#2)

This time it’s Dano having forty winks. Which luckily gives Nidge the opportunity to drive him home and try it on with his wife, who seems to wear only underwear and a dressing gown at all times.

15. Here’s the episode’s final shot

Bambi eyes to the power of ten. Someone else is in big, big trouble.

More: Love/Hate episode 1… in diggers, kegs and tweets>

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