Well it's back, and we couldn't be happier. Yes the season premiere of the fourth season of Love/Hate aired last night on RTÉ One and it was a cracker.
There were many question going into this season from season three. How would Darren's murder affect his 'friends'? Did Tommy recover from the hiding Nidge gave him? What lengths is Dano willing to go to get his vengeance on Nidge for his dad's death? Here's our recap.
Tommy's out of hospital but...
After a pretty shocking opening scene where we see a teenager shooting a cat with an automatic weapon, and Darren's body inside a morgue while Nidge visits his grave, Tommy is seen lying asleep in bed, with Siobháin at his side. All looks rosey until we see blood seeping from Tommy's ear. Straight away it shows that Tommy hasn't fully recovered, and probably won't.
The plot of this episode begins to unfurl now as we see Nidge, Fran, Ado and Elmo in Nadine's house planning some sort of "tiger" kidnapping of a cash-in-transit driver. When one of their drivers pulls out sick, Nidge then decides to call on Tommy to replace him, despite protest from Fran.
Speaking to Tommy in his apartment doesn't quell any doubts for Nidge however, as he spots the blood trickling from his ear. Even from the way he speaks he doesn't seem all there.
Everyone's growing their hair out...
We next see Lizzie (Darren's killer) collecting that gun from the teenager at the beginning of the episode, though she's obviously opted against retaining the Sinéad O'Connor hairdo. As well as Tommy opting for a longer, trendier look, Dano has dusted off the Shockwaves with his newer longer look.
At the brazzers Nidge gives us a lesson on the human skull and tells a continuously sceptical Fran that the plate in Tommy's skull acts as a makeshift bulletproof helmet of sorts, though this has yet to confirmed by any licenced brain surgeons.
Fran has gone from hilarious to terrifying rather quickly...
Part two begins with Nidge looking from his car as the boys take a family hostage. While most of the boys opt for your standard balaclava disguise, Fran goes for a more Saw-like get-up. With the family held at gunpoint in the living room, Tommy takes the eldest girl upstairs to go toilet, before inexplicably removing his itchy balaclava, revealing his face to the girl. They then separate the three girls from the father who remains in the house.
The plan is for the husband to show the photo of his family held at gunpoint to his buddy, and for Nidge's crew to steal what money (€800,000) they would be transferring. It's not unlike something you'd play in Grand Theft Auto V.
Tommy seriously drops the ball here and he inexplicably allows the eldest girl to sneak past him as he's meant to be watching her as she goes toilet again. A glossy-eyed Tommy just looks on in wonderment as if nothing's awry. Unfortunately for the girl Fran sees her and catches before she can properly escape. That was close.
This is our first glimpse of Nidge's wife Trish as she's buying clothes for the two boys (she too has decided to go for more hair). Outside though we see Lizzie's teenage gunman lurking about, doing exactly what Dano wanted, hoping to find Nidge by stalking his wife.
Grand Theft Auto: Dublin City
Nidge and Elmo are now following the apparent Centrum cash-in-transit van as the man they blackmailed shows his co-worker the photo of his family and asks for his help. Little does he know that his so-called "friend" is actually working for Nidge and trying to convince him to just give them the money. All that glitters is not gold though as he opts against the advice and calls it in (notifies the gardaí) leaving Nidge and Elmo no choice but to take the money there and then, with the gardaí en route.
After their (rather easy) getaway with only one car in pursuit, the boys switch the cash briefcases into another vehicle before burning out the getaway van along with Fran's horrifying mask (Hallowe'en outfit sorted so).
Don't f*ck with Janet...
Back at Nidge HQ, the lads catch a break when a businessman (dentist to be precise) not only gets sick on one of the girls, but then hits Janet as she tries to take his money to pay for the dry cleaning bills for the carpet. Cue Nidge and generic henchman who 'proposition' Jason ("That's a dog's naaaaaame..") with a "tax" that we later learn is trafficking drugs through his dental practice. Happy days. "I think we have something, Fran, I think we have something."
Mad Tommy now transitions into Creepy Tommy by visiting the toilet girl he helped kidnap earlier, "just wanted to see if she was alright". This is our first introduction to D.I. Mick Moynihan, who will prove to be the man who seeks to take down Nidge's organisation once and for all. Arresting Tommy here is certainly a step in the right direction.
Who loves orange soda? Tommy does...
Ye. Ye. Ye. Tommy is a husk of what he was at this stage. He speaks like a child at times, and your sympathy goes out to him as he is clearly brain-damaged. D.I. Moynihan brings in Siobháin and tries to convince her to aid him in bringing down Nidge, in exchange for Moynihan telling a judge that Tommy was led astray, saving him some jail time.
Siobháin then visits Tommy in his cell as he sleeps. It somewhat pulls at the heart-strings as we now know Tommy is not Tommy anymore, not really. It doesn't help either that Johnny Cash's 'First Time I Ever Saw Your Face' is playing out the episode either as Nidge is back at Darren's grave, ending this marvellous episode where it began.
This episode is high on action and low on laughs and showed us that the honeymoon period is well and truly over for Nidge, Fran and the boys, especially now with the Special Branch gaining a realistic foothold, having arrested a mentally unstable Tommy. A two-pronged assault on the gang is on the cards as Tommy and Siobháin's potential corroboration with D.I. Moynihan threatens to bring down the empire on one side, while Dano's pending vengeance on Nidge is an unknown quantity for the lads on the other.
Roll on Sunday night.