“The Ensuite” asks how many bathrooms is too many as Karl gets a glimpse of the life he wants — or does he?
This recap of Sick of It Season 2, Episode 2, “The Ensuite”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
Will Smith once said that we spend money we haven’t earned on things we don’t need to impress people we don’t like, and Sick of It Season 2, Episode 2 is about that kind of thing. But Karl isn’t trying to impress other people; he’s trying to delude himself. Since he’s on the edge anyway, it doesn’t take much to convince him that a significantly better, more glamorous life is just around the corner, but what is he willing to betray in order to get it?
It starts, as many things do, with needing the toilet. He can’t go at home because Norma (Sondra James) is taking forever and he needs to get to work, but the toilet at work is a disgrace and people are still queueing for it; one of his colleagues has even taken to relieving himself into a hot water bottle and tipping the contents down the sink. Is this where Karl is going to be for the rest of his life?
According to the next scene in “The Ensuite”, apparently not, as Karl introduces Norma to his new luxury BMW which he’s leasing for £500 a month. To cover the payments he’s taken a job as a private driver for wealthy clientele, and his plan is, eventually, to get his own place since he clearly isn’t needed anymore.
Karl’s high-profile client in Sick of It Season 2, Episode 2 is Mr. Sharma (Silas Carson), a philandering businessman who barely notices Karl is there unless he’s failing to open his door for him. This isn’t a crowd that Karl is used to, and even his swanky leather driving gloves — his inner-self: “You look like Alvin Stardust!” — don’t help him fit in. While he’s waiting for Mr. Sharma to conduct his enigmatic business, he goes for a tour around a swanky app-controlled apartment and fronts like he plans to move there. Looking out of the window, he spies Mr. Sharma waiting by the car, a reality check in a fancy suit.
Unable to take out his frustrations on his new employer, whom he refers to as “Sir”, he instead takes them out on Norma and Ruby (Marama Corlett) for messing about in the car and delving in all the compartments. Mr. Sharma calls and asks for a pickup and he immediately deposits them at a bus stop, ferrying Mrs. Sharma (Manjinder Virk) and her pooch on a shopping trip so she can be outfitted for an upper-crust fundraiser out in the country. A bit later, he picks up the dog’s mess with his driving glove.
Feeling himself and his higher wage, Karl takes Norma a gift in “The Ensuite”, but it hardly softens the blow of him missing Norma’s concert so that he can take Mr. Sharma to the fundraiser — even if his kindly benefactor has paid for him to stay there. When they get there, though, he realizes that his room isn’t there at all; it’s at a rundown motel where he bathes in car shampoo until Mr. Sharma calls for another pick-up, this time for him and his mistress, who spend the night in Karl’s room while he sleeps in the BMW.
To end Sick of It Season 2, Episode 2, Karl wakes up in his car and relieves himself in his flask, only to be greeted by another call from Mr. Sharma demanding he pull the car right up to the motel room door, so he doesn’t have to walk through the rain. The grass, Karl realizes, isn’t always greener, and he happily drives away, leaving Mr. Sharma and his money behind.
Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.