When it ended just before Christmas last year, Love/Hate season three had provided Irish viewers with some of the best television ever produced by the national broadcaster.
Stuart Carolan had struck gold with his gritty crime drama set on the streets of Dublin. Drawing in viewers in the hundreds of thousands each week, Love/Hate had the perfect formula.
Carolan and his team of writers showed no loyalty to characters and were willing to wield the proverbial axe over any star on the show.
This past Sunday saw the conclusion of season four in the hit drama, and viewers across the country are feeling more than slightly disappointed.
After the colossal conclusion to season three, fans were expecting another major bombshell this time around. Unfortunately, this bombshell never came.
The final episode, as well as the season as whole, is best described as a let-down. The fourth season followed crime boss Nidge, portrayed brilliantly by Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, as he tries to import a major drug shipment through Dublin port.
Throughout the six episodes, audiences watched as the Garda drug squad monitored Nidge and his crew. The stage was set in the final episode for either a major drugs bust which would see Nidge and his “associates” arrested. When the moment came though, the Gardai, lead by Detective Mick Moynihan (Brian F O’Byrne) made their move to early, and could not pin anything to Nidge.
Many characters throughout the season, who had major roles in the previous season, were brought back simply to play bit parts culminating in them being killed off. I’m speaking of course of Dano, played by Jason Barry, and Debbie, played by Susan Loughnane.
In sporting terms, the writers behind season four of Love/Hate bottled it. They had the potential to create something fantastic, but the series went so slowly, and in such an elongated manner, it suggests that it was written just to set up season five.
While Carolan and his writers failed to kill off any major characters, the season finale saw two minor characters meet their maker. Young gun for hire Wayne Cardiff was gunned down by a former friend, while dentist Andrew played by Peter O’Meara was suffocated by Fran (Peter Coonan).
The deaths of these characters almost make much of the season’s events pointless. Wayne (Barry Keoghan) spent the majority of the series attempting to hunt down Nidge in order to kill him. However, almost miraculously, all was forgiven and forgotten between the two after a minor run in with the Gardaí.
O’Meara also had the potential to play a massive role in the outcome of the series, after he agreed to help Moynihan and his drugs squad before being killed by Fran, without the latter even knowing of the dentist’s involvement with Gardaí.
While the final episode did help to increase the mounting tension between Fran and Nidge, the series never reached the anticipated heights it was believed to be capable of.