Easy going English eccentrics, The Durrells, find that their idyll; the island of Corfu is inundated with bugs. This is forcing the family and their friends to have to wear protective head gear, as they come to attend a party for the youngest member of the family Gerald (Milo Parker), now having to take place indoors.
Louisa (Keely Hawes) is being emotional, full of happy memories about her beloved nature loving last son. The rest of the family Larry (Josh O’Connor), Leslie (Callum Woodhouse) and Margot (Daisy Waterstone) however, are all worried their mother is not accepting the fact their brother Gerald has entered puberty; he’s growing up.
They also think he’s well beyond ‘pass the parcel’ as a party game, however she’s not to be deterred from her path when planning and throwing a ‘memorable’ party for her ‘twelve’ year old son.
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In iTV’s The Durrells in Corfu Season 3: Episode 6, Gerald’s hormones are raging. He does not want the sort of ‘lively’ kid’s party his mother is producing for him, after all he’s turning 13 and moving into adulthood, even if his mother wants to deny it.
Larry is busy trying to help her understand, telling her he thinks his younger brother may be missing his animals, so she brings some indoors in case it helps. After all, Louisa just wants Gerald to have ‘fun’!
Lugaretzia (Anna Savva) the maid is wearing a ‘red scarf’ in celebration, while putting up with a donkey, birds and goats in the kitchen.
Margot’s beau Zoltan (Merch Husey) is helping to serve the food… while family favourite Spiros (Alexis Georgoulis) seems to have has lost his mojo. Louisa finds out he has ‘bad things’ happening, although she’s not sure at first what that means.
Professor Theo (Yorgos Karamihos) is banging on about the theories of Charles Darwin to Gerald, who tells him he is far from interested in a man with an old white beard. He is also far more than embarrassed his mother has all the old folk attending’, ‘apple bobbing’.
Leslie invites them to have a ‘ride through the bugs’ as his contribution although cannot understand why they are reluctant to be outdoors.
All they have to do is wear protective headgear after all.
Leslie is all at sixes and sevens and a loss, until Daphne (Elli Tringou), the young woman who is expecting his baby arrives. Perhaps love is in the air after all.
Meanwhile Gerald is confiding in his professor Theo that he’s having ‘erotic dreams’, although he won’t elaborate on what he means and Dr Theo looks puzzled.
His mother elaborates on how Gerald is still the ‘baby’ of the family, and will remain that way eternally while he shrinks more quickly than a violet.
Then Larry steps forward to offer his insights into his brother until it all just gets far too much for Gerald, who loudly corrects his mother who claims he was 12 today.
He tells her in fact he’s turning 13, but that she won’t let him ‘grow up’, throwing a tantrum in front of all their guests and then storming off to sulk in his room, refusing her permission to enter.
Louisa fails to understand until Larry explains how and why they are all ‘moving’ away from her and how it’s time for her to let go their hands.
It is Spiros who comes to be a miserable ‘son of a bitch’ with Gerald to keep him company, singing a mournful song overflowing with sorrow! He’s surprised when Gerry kicks him out.
Dr Theo comes to tell his favourite pupil that the embarrassment he’s feeling is temporary, while a mother’s love for her son is eternal.
Dr Florence Petridis (Lucy Black) is telling Louisa, that Gerald may be the youngest, but he has been the most emotionally mature in her family of children for a while and now her friend needs to recognise it.
So, proving how quickly adaptable she is Louisa decides to bring him his first ‘shandy’. Meanwhile all the adult guests happily play all the children’s games she has planned with great enthusiasm.
Leslie and Daphne are talking ‘babies’, while Louisa gets busy pairing Gerald off with a girl much older than himself much to his chagrin. He’s waiting for the love of his life to arrive; she’s late.
In the meantime there is certainly a lot of weird stuff going down at this party, including Dr Petridis (Alexis Conran) being besieged by the locals, who want a free diagnosis for a variety of embarrassing ailments, all given in the ‘hall cupboard’.
Margo as always, has much to contribute and is happy the two men of her life, Zoltan (Merch Husey) and Pavlos the Monk are there.
Spiro is now singing sorrowful songs to Larry, who is less than enthusiastic, but endures as he doesn’t want to appear rude. He tries to have his friend sing a cheery song, while Spiros unloads the story about his misery on his ‘friend’.
It appears his wife has left him and Larry goes to make Louisa aware of the unhappy event, asking her to talk to Spiro soon.
Gerald’s new girlfriend Galini (Olivia Lebedeva-Alexopoulou) finally arrives and his mood immediately changes. She coaxes him out of his room and they join the conga line of fun that has formed.
As night approaches everyone is still there, but they are now all relaxing and very subdued. Everyone is changing keenly Margot observes, and then they realise it’s time for everyone to go home.
At least at night the bugs have abated to a point, while Louisa is left quietly rocking the families adoring pet sloth Frank in her arms.
Gerald comes to thank his mother Louisa for his party and they at last have a heart to heart. He reads her his poem, now complete, about the ‘warm nest of love’ she provides. She’s all overcome. It certainly seems Larry’s prediction Gerald will be a good writer when he grows up, may just come true.
After all, didn’t he write this series!
The unhappy Spiros comes back to share and unload his misery to Louisa; he believes his wife has left him because he spends far too much time with other people, including you he says to her.
He’s also ashamed, but is glad to have told her. She reassures him her home and in the bosom of her family, is a place where he can always be happy.
Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle, 2018