Previously on Indian Summers: Ralph promoted Aafrin as a sort of thank you for taking that bullet. In return, Aafrin gave false testimony that the shooter called Ralph a white devil before pulling the trigger. He then stole the only hard evidence they had against the shooter, for some reason. Sarah started looking into Alice’s background, and Cynthia just got weird about Ian’s uncle’s heart attack, blaming the whole thing on Sood.
A filthy, ragged woman wearing the same bracelet Adam sports washes her face in a pool in the woods, then looks up at the trees.
Adam suddenly wakes from a nightmare.
British people stroll and take tea on the main street when their attention is caught by the slow progress of the Viceroy’s car, carrying the man himself. They all bow and curtsey to him, as if he’s royalty, which I guess he sort of is, in India. He arrives at the Viceregal Lodge and everyone bows and salutes there too. He asks where Ralph is. Not in.
A servant goes to Ralph’s bedroom and finds Madeline asleep in the bed and Ralph peeing in the chamberpot. Not the most auspicious start. And how late did Ralph sleep in? Everyone else was at the office or taking tea, which is a late-afternoon treat. He quickly gets dressed and orders up some coffee, because the Viceroy’s coming for a visit. He goes outside and runs into Eugene, who informs him that he and Madeline are leaving for home that day. He demands to know what Ralph’s intentions towards Madeline are, just as she comes out onto the porch and learns of her brother’s plans. She’s not on board, but Eugene starts pushing Ralph to say something to convince them to stay. The Viceroy’s arriving, so all Ralph says is for them to have a pleasant trip. Madeline looks like she’s been slapped. Ralph goes to greet the Viceroy.
Books arrive at Aafrin’s. Study materials for his ICS exam, courtesy of Ralph, who also invites Aafrin to Viceregal Lodge for some sport. Or ‘sport’, it’s not entirely clear. Before he goes, Aafrin takes a look at the paper he stole.
The Superintendent delivers the report into Mohan’s death to Ralph. It basically says we have no idea why he did what he did. Superintendent complains about the evidence having gone missing and turns over a list of people who were at the coroner’s that day.
Sarah gets a response from her snooping friend back home and reads it excitedly, because God knows this woman has NOTHING else in her life. She goes outside and tells Doug she’s going to have Alice over for tea the next day, if he’d care to join them.
Ian goes to the club, where his uncle’s lying in a chair convalescing while some poor servant has to stand holding an umbrella over his precious head. Uncle croaks that he needs to get home to Fife. Cynthia reassures him that everything’s already arranged for the trip and sends him on his way.
Ralph is teaching Aafrin to play golf. It’s not going well. Maybe Aafrin’s distracted by the unbearable awfulness of Ralph’s golfing outfit. It’s bad even by golf outfit standards. The Viceroy arrives and Ralph introduces Aafrin, who bows low. The Viceroy says that any man who stands before a bullet can look him in the eye, so Aafrin slowly rises. The Viceroy reaches for a club and gets ready to join the game. While they’re out on the green, the Viceroy tells Ralph he heard he’s got a girlfriend. Ralph unenthusiastically suggests a meet and greet.
Madeline tearfully packs while Eugene pushily tells her there’s no time for tears, they have a train to catch. She refuses to be bullied into rushing. Eugene gives her the ‘won’t buy the cow’ speech and warns her that Ralph’s using her and will dump her when he gets bored. She claims not to care and goes to the window, where she waves at Ralph, who’s chilling on the lawn with an Indian kid. She goes down to see him and he asks if she’ll stay one more night to meet the Viceroy. She says it’s not a great idea, but when Ralph says the Viceroy asked specifically to meet her, she’s won over, because she thinks Ralph told him about her. She agrees to stay.
Aafrin demonstrates his golf swing for his parents while getting fitted for a new suit. Sooni gives him some attitude from the corner and is ignored by everyone, because his parents are too excited about their son having actually met the Viceroy.
Alice attends the tea at Sarah’s and Doug’s and Sarah starts railing about her son wanting to go to his father’s school, when he really needs to be back in England, not amongst a bunch of ‘blackie whites’ who came from God knows where. I’ll bet Alice is really happy she accepted this invitation now. Doug asks Alice what her experience was, being sent back to England. Sarah tries to push the idea that she was home, and that’s the most important thing. Alice says it didn’t really feel like home. She asks what Matthew wants and Sarah says it’s not up to him, before offering to walk Alice home.
Ralph and the Viceroy pluck game birds and talk about the Viceroy’s recent trip back to London. Whitehall is drawing up plans for a provincial assembly in India, no doubt hoping that throwing people a bone will quiet all the independence talk. Ralph suggests they look to the leader of the ‘untouchables’, who isn’t a fan of Ghandi’s, so might be won to their side.
On the walk home, Sarah tries to play the ‘what if you had a friend who suddenly turned up in India with her kid, lying about her husband being dead?’ game. Subtle, Sarah. Sarah knows that Alice just packed up the kid and took off, and what would happen if ‘someone’ just happened to put the story about? Alice asks Sarah what she wants. ‘To help, silly!’ Sarah replies brightly. Why are so many of these people so incredibly creepy?
Cynthia and Ian glare at Sood while the man assesses Ian’s uncle’s unkempt land and starts getting to work on it. Cynthia sniffs at the fact the man doesn’t have a bruise on him (doubtful, considering how violently Ian’s uncle attacked him), while Ian’s poor uncle is on his way back to Fife. Yeah, poor guy. Cynthia goes on to say they’re going to fight this and get Ian’s land back. Why the hell is she so invested in this? What did Sood do to her? This seems so out of left field. Did Sood kill her husband or something? Ian doesn’t even care about getting the land back.
Doug goes to bed that night and finds Sarah waiting for him, so they can have some of the most awkward sex I’ve ever seen on TV. Leena, meanwhile, stays up all hours tutoring Adam. And Sarah goes to the cemetery to spy on Aafrin and his girlfriend making out. Again, why is everyone so creepy and strange? A noise startles her and she runs, dropping her shawl, which Aafrin finds.
Leena goes outside and looks around. The woman from the very beginning is lurking in the bushes, but she remains unseen.
Time for the Viceroy’s party. The man of the hour arrives at Ralph’s, where everyone else is already gathered. Madeline’s nervous, Ralph reassures her everything will be fine. He presents Alice and then Madeline, who curtsies. The Viceroy says he’s heard a lot about her. ‘Can’t think why,’ Madeline fishes. The Vicereine likes her gossip, it seems. Aafrin arrives just after the Viceroy, which I’m pretty sure is a no-no, and Keane immediately makes fun of his suit. Aafrin and Alice stare at each other…creepily. Ralph welcomes him warmly and gets him a drink.
Ian’s got a drunken bonfire going at his uncle’s place. Sood comes over and Ian promises he’ll be off Sood’s land by morning. ‘If you wish,’ Sood says calmly. Ian accuses him of having trapped his uncle in a debt. Sood refuses to even dignify that one and simply says he’s come to make Ian an offer, but if he doesn’t wish to hear it, he’ll go. He turns to leave, and Ian asks what he could possibly offer.
Ralph’s guests start in on dinner. It’s the game birds he and the Viceroy were plucking earlier. Aafrin gets a bit of shot in his. In our house, whoever finds the shot first is the winner, so well done, Aafrin. Alice tells him, probably unnecessarily, not to eat that. Madeline brings up Aafrin’s bravery in saving Ralph’s life and Aafrin says it was totally unintentional. Everyone finds that hilarious. Alice asks about his family and he says they were originally from Bombay. Ralph is called away but stops by Aafrin’s seat to ask for a word after dinner. The Superintendent has come with a list of the houses to be searched that night and Keane tells Aafrin what’s going on and Aafrin almost immediately shits himself. He gets up hurriedly and excuses himself, going into an adjoining room to write Sooni a note, telling her to get rid of the evidence he stole. Alice comes in and asks if he’s ok. He presses the note into her palm and asks her to take it to his girlfriend to pass to his sister. She agrees. Aafrin returns to dinner, and she slips out a side door and rushes to the cemetery.
Keane presses Aafrin into service acting the part of the ‘murderous Sepoys’ in some song, which will save Keane ‘from having to black up for once.’ Sigh. I can’t even with these people anymore.
The Superintendent and his men ride through the streets, eyeing people. Alice, meanwhile, pauses in her urgent task to read Aafrin’s note, which he specifically asked her not to do.
Doug’s and Sarah’s home is searched, for some reason.
Alice finally gets to thecemetery and hands over the note. Wait, if Aafrin knew he had to go to this dinner tonight, why did he have Sita waiting for him as usual? Did he think dinner was going to end earlier? Sita tells Alice she can’t go to Aafrin’s house because his family hates her. Yeah, did that not occur to him? Alice insists, and then notes the name on the gravestone, so that may or may not become important later. Sita takes the note and leaves.
Back at Ralph’s, the Viceroy sings a song about, presumably, the Sepoy rebellion, while Ralph and Aafrin pretend to sword fight with umbrellas. Aafrin looks terrified. It’s not actually a sword, Aafrin. Ralph urges him to try a little harder and Keane calls for more sound and fury, briefly demonstrating before being called back to the piano to continue playing.
Sita makes her way through the streets of the Indian quarter, finally arriving at Aafrin’s. But then she loses her nerve and takes off.
Alice returns home and slips into the room. Nobody comments on the fact that she’s been missing for a while. She nods to Aafrin.
Aafrin’s home is being searched. The paper is found.
Ian arrives at the club, having been summoned by Cynthia, and tells her that Sood has offered to keep Ian on as the manager of his uncle’s former estate, making Armitage tea just as before. Cynthia immediately dismisses the idea, because it’s outrageous that Ian should stay on as an Indian’s subordinate, and that’s just not how things are done. Ian looks rather deflated but he agrees. She then passes on a telegram, informing him of his uncle’s death on the train to the coast. No big surprise there. She tells him how sorry she is, calls for brandy, and hugs him, then says that this makes Sood a murderer. What? Seriously, WHAT IS THIS WOMAN’S PROBLEM? First, Cynthia, you don’t seem to know what the word ‘murder’ means. Second, your issues with Sood are just bizarre and I’m over it. God, this storyline is stupid.
Ralph sends the Viceroy home at the end of the evening. Before he goes, the Viceroy says he’s glad to be back, because London’s depressing, with beggars all over and everyone all pessimistic and miserable. Ralph and Aafrin see him off. The Viceroy calls Ralph a good man, just like his father. The Superintendent arrives and has a word with Ralph, who shakes his hand and goes back to Aafrin, inviting him back inside.
In his study, he invites Aafrin to sit, pours him a drink, and pretty much asks him for relationship advice. Aafrin, confused, says Madeline’s a fine woman and then brings up the Superintendent’s quick word. Ralph says that they were after something, but they didn’t find it and brings things back to Madeline. Why on earth is Ralph asking someone he barely knows something so personal? Does he not have any real friends? This is so strange. Apparently Aafrin thinks so too, but Ralph seems to think that Aafrin having saved his life means they’re besties now.
Sita looks at the note she never delivered, while Aafrin looks in the little box where he’d hidden the evidence. Of course, it’s not there now. He’s relieved, and lies back in bed, where he sniffs Alice’s shawl and flashes back on some memories of her.
Ralph takes Madeline out for an early-morning ride and, presumably, proposes.
Adam wakes in a terror again and goes out to the woods, where he finds the woman from earlier. He calls her mother and she hugs him close.
Guys, I may have to call time on this show. It’s just not working for me. We’re nearly halfway through and I honestly don’t care about anyone or anything that’s happening here. Doug’s troubled marriage? Cynthia’s bizarre vendetta against Sood? Ralph’s waffling? Aafrin’s…whatever? Yeah, don’t care. I realise I may be in the minority here, since the critics seem to adore this, but I only find it pretty to look at, not particularly engaging, and I’ve got other shows I’m turning to just now, so this might be it. We’ll see, if this week’s episode is amazing I’ll stick with it, but if not, well, I’m signing off.