Sleep tight big fella
The death of Schmeichel was beautifully done. Ches talking to him while waiting for the vet, telling him how frightened he was, how much he needed his help through the next stage of his life, telling him he loved him. And earlier, Kirk speaking up for Schmeichel’s right to not suffer, saying “I don’t know all the words for the body parts in Latin or owt, but I know a dog who’s had enough when I see one… If he could talk, he’d say Ches dude, no more operations, thanks but no thanks.”
Gary being there for Ches, listening to him talk about Schmeichel – “not an average Great Dane, the Greatest Dane ever”. Gary helping Ches take Schmeichel home from the vet clinic, not questioning or chiding, just helping, and nodding an apology to the vet. Even Katie came through in the crunch. She came back home and just once reminded him of his responsibilities, lack of money etc. Then she shut up and was as supportive as it seems she could be.
Only two things I would have changed. No one, including the vet, mentioned Schmeichel’s age in regard to the wisdom of any operation. Eight is old for a Great Dane. That alone would be cause for concern with surgery or anaethesia. Other than that, the vet’s advice was spot on. Also, I wish Kirk had been there when poor Schmeichel was euthanized. He meant more to Schmeichel and vice versa than Katie. But maybe her presence was meant to show the moving on of Ches’s life with her and not with Schmeichel and Kirk.
The actual death scene was beautifully and sensitively done. At the final shot of Ches’s face, as Schmeichel’s laboured breathing ceased, part of my mind (the part that wasn’t crying) thought where are they going to go now? Commercial break? Can’t go to a noisy or silly scene. Can’t go to a tense dramatic scene either. Got to give time for Schmeichel’s demise to sink in.
Cut to Lloyd
Going to Lloyd, morose in his living room with Steve and a few cans for company, was perfect. Lloyd was emotionally and physically drained, from losing Cheryl and defending her to Karl. Earlier in the cab office, Karl had tried to cheer Lloyd up by saying “a free-loading pole dancer with a kid in tow – you’re well shot of her, man.” I’m with Karl on this, but it wasn’t the time for Lloyd to hear it. And he needed to release his frustration, so he attacked Karl then fired him. Steve separated them and sent Lloyd home.
Steve went around (at Tracy’s suggestion) with some beer to keep him company. Lloyd talked about anything other than Cheryl. He says he overheard Katie say she liked the name James for a boy – James Brown, and she didn’t even know who the child would share a name with. Lloyd said “my cousin married a woman named Cat Stevens.” Steve asks “Did she change her name?” “Why, because Cat Stevens did?” “No, because she got married.” “Dunno but she’ll always be Cat Stevens to me. Then again, so will Cat Stevens.”
After Schmeichel’s death scene, when we go back to Lloyd and Steve, Steve suggests they hit some bars. Lloyd’s up for it. I hope they have a good time and Lloyd sleeps well. He deserves it. And Schmeichel, rest in peace. Sleep tight. You are the Greatest Dane.