Ricky Gervais’ attempt to merge comedy with the seriousness of mental health issues is just about well-measured as his character Tony begins to spiral out of control in After Life Episode 2.
This recap of After Life Episode 2 contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
It’s worth warning that at the start of After Life Episode 2 Tony (Ricky Gervais) is thinking about making a suicide attempt in the bath, but in a moment of clarity, his dog walks into the bathroom. Given that 13 Reasons Why needed to place prior warnings due to the controversy, this scene may make you feel a little unease. This scene, in particular, shows that Gervais himself is taking the theme of the series to the limits; it’s not just about comedy, Tony is a real case study.
After Life Episode 2 shows Tony with a real problem; despite his deceased wife telling him to not spiral out of control, to enjoy the sunny days and not to dwell, he gets caught up on the fact that he cannot sleep. He decides to converse with the paper-boy, who is a drug addict. He pays him to come to his house later so he can smoke heroin.
But there appears to be some light beaming through the character while he visits his wife’s grave. He sees another woman talking to a gravestone, and despite his beliefs, he goes along with it. At work, he’s given a hilarious assignment to write a piece on a man who can play two flutes by sticking them up his nose. Tony sarcastically states that he is glad he didn’t kill himself now to witness this wonder.
But perhaps the most revealing breakthrough is when he’s speaking to Sandy in the office, the new starter he’s meant to be training up. The two have a genuine conversation, and she appears to like his dry humor, even if he does push the limits by grabbing his other colleague’s neck fat.
After Life Episode 2 ends with Tony looking after his boss Matt’s (Tom Basden) son. He gets annoyed at the cafe he takes him to because the waitress refuses to serve him children fish fingers and beans because he’s an adult. Tony decides to order two orders for the kid and quickly shoves the food into his mouth while looking at the waitress. He soon goes home, returns the kid to Matt and smokes some heroin, dreaming of his wife while falling asleep.
You can check out our recap of the third episode by clicking these words.
Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.