Oh my God! Billy and Lee bliss out in the church. Lying in the aisle, propped up by the ends of pews. All in the name of pain relief, at least for Billy. For Lee, it’s just Monday. ‘Smack. Horse. Heroin.”
“This must be what heaven feels like,” Lee says in dreamy awe. It’s not the first time he has experienced this. So imagine what it must feel like for Billy. Billy the Vicar, in the church, meeting what may become his new god. What an incredibly powerful image.
I immediately thought of Trainspotting, a great movie from 1996. “Take the best orgasm you’ve ever had, multiply it by a thousand, and you’re still nowhere near it.” That’s how Mark Renton, the film’s protagonist, describes heroin.
That explains the lure of heroin. He also shows the reality of chasing that lure. Renton lives in absolute squalor, with junkie friends who look as bad as he does. There is nothing transcendental about their lives, actions or thoughts.
The way they live shows the real price of heroin. But they also give the reasons they choose it. Both for that über-orgasm, or “heaven”, and because they prefer it to the options they see. “Life” as they see it defined for them.
Billy should have watched Trainspotting. No matter the pain he’s in, he might then have resisted Lee’s offer. Yes, it does relieve the pain – and then there’s a great big “But…”
A fabulously beautiful and chilling scene, immediately followed in the next episode by a more depressing and squalid one. Billy and Lee, passed out, amid a mess of beer cans and leftover food in Billy’s living room. That’s beginning to look more like the Trainspotting guys.
The Heaven/Hell equation begins to go the other way. And, probably like Billy, we didn’t have to wait long. However, according to Bluenose Corrie, the scene in the church provoked 82 complaints immediately after it aired. Misguided complaints, I think. But then I think Trainspotting is the best “Just Say No” message ever made.