And... breathe. The finale of Love/Hate was expected to become the most watched TV show of the year, and for all those tuning in, it didn’t disappoint.
The sixth episode of the fourth season of the acclaimed drama came to a dramatic end, with crime boss Nidge still at large and untouched by gardaí, while some of his accomplices ended up either dead or in Garda custody.
In a classic ‘cops and robbers’ denouement, Det Insp Mick Moynihan watched on surveillance cameras as his sting to catch Nidge with his hands on a massive drug importation fell asunder due to fate — primarily, Nidge’s accomplice Tommy collapsing just before the shipment was due to arrive. It meant the police had to swoop earlier than planned, leading to arrests and hospital treatment for Tommy, but allowing Nidge to escape.
Before all that, there had been carnage in the criminal underworld, with Nidge first having Wayne killed, before then realising that Andrew had been passing information to the gardaí.
This in turn to lead to Andrew’s gruesome death, being suffocated with a plastic bag — a scene which Peter O’Meara, who plays Andrew, admitted was “the most terrifying scene I have performed”.
“Reading the final script I was shocked,” he said. “Such a brutal horrifying death unlike anything we’ve seen in television drama before. I felt a great sadness turning the final page. I don’t think Andrew deserved to die.
“We were very careful in rehearsal and even though my brain knew I was perfectly safe — no matter how you prepare for it — two guys holding you down covering your face feels scary. During one particular take it felt so real and so terrifying I had to stop, go outside and calm myself down. I really didn’t want to do another take but we had to.”
Describing his character as a “typical Celtic Tiger middle-class guy who has fallen down the rabbit hole of his own greed”, he said: “I play a tragic figure with a tragic ending. It wasn’t easy but it was a lot of fun to do.”
Barry Keoghan, who played Wayne, admitted he was sad to leave the show.
However, he said of his character’s demise: “It was no shock. I think Stuart [Carolan, the show’s writer] is a doing brilliant job here showing that these characters in reality are in a very dangerous game. So I knew Wayne couldn’t continue doing what he was doing and getting away with it.”
Speculation is already rife as to where Nidge will pitch up in the next season, with indications that the character may continue running his drugs empire from the Spanish costas.
All eyes today will be trained on the viewing figures for last night’s finale, with some expecting it to outstrip the viewing figures for The Late Late Toy Show, traditionally the most viewed programme of the year.
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