There was shock among viewers last night as main character Lance was brutally killed off in Episode Six of Cucumber
The show began ominously, with a plate reading 'Lance Edward Sullivan 1966-2015' before devoting the entire episode to running through all the major events of his life; from his birth, to how he slowly came out to his family, to losing a lover to AIDS, and settling in Manchester before meeting Henry.
When the episode finally catches up to present day, Lance goes on a fateful date with his divorced workmate Daniel, and after the pair get physical, Daniel's aggression becomes uncontrollable, and he kills Lance with one blow to the head with a golf club. The episode ends with a remarkably produced scene in which Lance's life flashes before his eyes; from the most important bits, to the most mundane, all soundtracked by a 1960s Eurovision song.
Though Lance's relationship with Daniel had appeared odd throughout, in recent episodes Daniel's increasingly sexual behaviour towards Lance rose in equal measure to his rejection and mocking - implying he was confused and troubled about his sexuality; aware of it, but unable to face the reality. Such incidences of homophobic violence, or indeed 'gay panic' as is more apt in this case, remain all too common in Britain. Discussing the murder in an extensive interview with Radio Times
, Russell T Davies remarked on how fundamental the death had been in his construction of the show, adding, "These nights happen. They will happen this weekend. Be careful."
Fans took to Twitter to express shock at the sudden, dark twist in the story line, though most people praised Davies for tackling the issue, and presenting it in such a compelling way.
Some people expressed their upset that the show had taken such a tragic turn, however:
The death of Lance will leave Henry in an unfortunate position for the remaining two episodes of Cucumber
. Although the pair had separated, both pretended they were happy in their new respective relationships, but it was implied that Henry regretted leaving Lance; something he now doesn't have the option of reversing.
Many fans also remarked on the touching inclusion of Hazel - the beloved Queer As Folk
character - who reappeared as a ghost to Lance on Canal Street warning him that he was in danger, though he ignored her concerns.
is available on 4oD, and the next episode screens next Thursday at 9pm on Channel 4.