|Written by||Russell T Davies|
|Directed by||David Evans|
Episode Two is the second episode of Cucumber, aired 29 January 2015 on Channel 4.
Henry begins his new life, but Freddie marks out the battle lines – can they ever be friends, let alone anything more? Lance tries to work out where Henry’s gone and enlists Cleo’s help, but only Cliff is devious enough to work out the truth – and when Henry’s workplace becomes a battleground, the stakes are raised higher than ever.
The episode starts with Henry shopping and watching happy couples engaging with one another. The voiceover tells us of the 'Henry Test'; a test Henry himself created, in which an ostensibly happy couple exchange mobile phones and check the 20 texts. He encourages the viewer to take part; "Think you're happy? Then pick up their phone, I dare you."
At the flat, Henry receives a call from his colleague about the suicide he had a hand in and decides not to go to work. Bored and alone, he goes on a shopping spree and furnishes the flat, with a new TV; and an excessive amount of food and booze.
Dean and Scotty are impressed with Henry's generosity, but Freddie remains cold; demanding information about the rent. While he is worried the landlord may be money laundering, Henry explains that this would be ridiculous, considering the small sums changing hands. Clearly unhappy with being corrected, Freddie launches into a mocking rant about Henry's obvious crush, meant to embarrass him, but storms out when realising he is only succeeding in fuelling it.
Meanwhile, Henry's sister Cleo approaches Lance to find out what happened, and where her brother is; while she's there, Henry turns up, takes his car, and drives away laughing maniacally. Infuriated, Lance reveals the truth about Henry's reluctance to have penetrative sex, in front of Cleo and Henry's nephew, Adam.
At his place of work, Lance approaches a new driver, Daniel, and arranges a date for the drink Daniel had suggested previously. While Lance and Daniel discuss their previous relationships, Cleo tries to understand Henry's reluctance to have sex - with almost no input from him whatsoever. Daniel shows himself to be both volatile and mercurial in nature but offers to teach Lance to swim, thus continuing their budding friendship.
At work, Henry is confronted by the widow of the man whose suicide he had a part in. She falsely accuses him of racism, and he is suspended by his company. Returning to the flat, Henry finds a party in full swing; attended by his friend Cliff Costello, a solicitor who managed to find Henry's new address. Henry has planned to meet Lance, so Cliff stays at the loft, with Freddie for the company.
Meeting Lance at a hotel, Henry discovers that he too is drawing battle lines, unwilling to play the game; Henry initiates the "Henry's Test" and discovers a shirtless photograph sent from Daniel to Lance. Lance sees a picture of Freddie, sent by Cliff, and an intense argument ensues. Henry storms out, but not before telling Lance he knows he will wait for him, whether he wants to or not because that's the sort of person he is.
Henry comes home to find Cliff asleep but finds Freddie awake. Freddie tries to warn him nothing will happen between, but at Henry's insistence, concedes there is always a chance. Henry celebrates.
- Vincent Franklin as Henry Best
- Cyril Nri as Lance Sullivan
- Julie Hesmondhalgh as Cleo Whitaker
- Freddie Fox as Freddie Baxter
- Fisayo Akinade as Dean Monroe
- James Murray as Daniel Coltrane
- Ceallach Spellman as Adam Whitaker
- Con O'Neill as Cliff Costello