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Series / Love/Hate

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The gang. From left to right: Fran, Darren, Nidge and Tommy.

Love/Hate is an Irish drama series broadcast on RTÉ. It centres on a criminal gang in Dublin and their various dealings.

Darren Treacy returns to Dublin after a spell in Spain in hiding to meet up with his brother, Robbie, as he's released from prison. Unfortunately, Robbie catches a fatal dose of 9mm rounds and Darren is determined to find his killer. At the wake, he meets up with his ex-girlfriend, Rosie, and rekindles his relationship with her, despite her being in a relationship with Stumpy and pregnant with his baby. During this time, Nidge proposes to his girlfriend, Trish, and marries her in the series finale, though the wedding reception is nowhere near as smooth as hoped. Darren does eventually discover that John Boy's brother, Hughie did it to save face, Though he accidentally shoots himself before Darren can confront him. Darren himself is shot, ending the series on a cliffhanger.

Series two shows that Darren has physically recovered, but is haunted by nightmares brought on by PTSD, and is now working for a low level loan shark and bootlegger by the name of Fran until he takes pity on one of Fran's debtors and beats one of his attack dogs to death to protect him. Meanwhile, John Boy is becoming increasingly paranoid with the Criminal Assets Bureau on his case constantly, seizing his assets left, right and centre. Desperate to avoid Fran's wrath, Darren seeks help from John Boy to clear his debt, on the condition that Darren does any job he sees fit. Suspecting a rat in his gang, he sends Darren to kill Stumpy, which Darren does willingly. Tired of seeing John Boy abuse his niece (and Tommy's girlfriend) Siobhan being forced to carry packages on flights, Nidge enlists Darren's help to off John Boy and take over his criminal empire. However, Rosie suspects the truth and leaves Darren, knowing that he is nothing but a stone killer.

Series three involves conflict between the gang and the IRA, with Tommy and Darren killing a high-level IRA man after he rapes Siobhan.

The fallout of the events of series 3 lead to Nidge in hiding at the beginning of series 4, spending very little time at home with the IRA still on his trail. Tommy is implied to be suffering brain damage and ends up being a liability on a Tiger kidnapping. Dano and Lizzie are searching for Nidge in revenge, with Lizzie developing into a Dark Action Girl. Meanwhile, the gardai are becoming more prominent in the series as they investigate.

Series 5 follows on soon after series 4 with Nidge taking on a loan from an Irish expat mobster living in Spain and a falling out with a gang of Irish Travellers. Most of the cast either wind up dead, incapacitated or incarcerated by the end.

Nothing to do whatsoever with the 2009 short film.

Love/Hate provides examples of:

  • Affably Evil:
    • Nidge. You see him interacting with his family quite a lot and he deeply cares about them. But, man oh man, does he ever have a nasty streak. He also gets some of the funniest lines.
    • Fran was the comic relief for most of series three, but when the time came to threaten a witness he was so funny saying a line like "your hair will grow back but your face won't". Bonus points for having had sex with her a few episodes beforehand.
  • Anyone Can Die: For a show five seasons long with only six episodes per series (four in series one), there's a high body count. Also, nobody is safe. Of the four main characters who appear in the page image, two are dead, one is in a coma and the other was last seen with a pool cue up his arse.
  • Artistic License – Gun Safety: Hughie manages to shoot himself when he removes the magazine from his pistol, but neglects to clear the round from the chamber.
  • Artistic License – Military: According to Nidge, the U.S. Air Force uses the Glock 17 as its sidearm as part of his Badass Boast for the Glock.
  • Ass Shove: One of the fifth season's closing shots is the brutal aftermath of Fran's shower assault involving a pool cue up someone's arse.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Series one ends with Darren being left for dead by Stumpy, series two has Nidge take over the gang after having John Boy killed, series three ends with Darren's death and series four ends with Nidge getting off on the robbery charge, yet getting himself arrested intentionally by literally pissing off the gardai.
  • Batman Gambit: When Elmo refuses to cooperate with gardai after being arrested for his part in a cash in transit robbery, they release him without charge, much to his exasperation, leading to Nidge suspect that he has ratted them out. To hammer the point home, a team of plainclothes officers spraypaint "ELMO IS A RAT" across the block of flats where Elmo lives, thus creating tension within the gang.
  • Best Served Cold: Nidge advises Noelie to get revenge on Fran, because a prior attempt on Fran's life in prison ended very badly.
  • Binge Montage: Nidge's stag do in Prague is briefly shown to be an orgy of drink and drugs in addition to a trip to the firing range.
  • Body Horror: When Nidge tosses a pipe bomb into Fran's house, Linda is physically (and mentally) scarred. As a result, she slashes her wrists in the bath.
  • Book Ends:
    • Series 1 begins with Bobby being killed in the middle of a phone call with Darren. Series 3 ends with Darren being killed mid phone call with Nidge.
    • Nidge is twice in series referred to as "King Nidge": Once upon taking over the gang, when Darren presents him with a crown and again just before his death, when Trish gets him personalised runners.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Darren is rather fond of dishing these out on hits, particularly in taking out an IRA man in a car and dealing with some witnesses. It's also how he ends up dying.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: When John Boy beats Debbie, she wets herself. John Boy tells her that it won't save her.
  • The Cameo: Keith Duffy of Boyzone fame appears as a gym trainer, who happens to be dealing drugs on the side.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: Whenever Dano gets into the whiskey, he generally has to be carried home.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Git Loughman's fingerbone. After the gang burn and bury his corpse, Fran keeps it for fun at first and then for luck. In series 5, he keeps it in his fridge. Siobhan finds out about it and obtains it to plant in Nidge's house to give the gardai evidence against him. Ultimately, this is a moot point, as Nidge gets killed before he can be arrested.
  • Cliffhanger: The first series finale involves Stumpy shooting Darren and leaving him for dead in the street. It's resolved by way of a Time Skip revealing that he survived.
  • Cold Opening: The show's title sequence appears after a few minutes of screentime and is only a few seconds long.
  • Damn, It Feels Good to Be a Gangster!: Averted. The criminal life is not shown to be a good one despite the large amounts of cash flying around. Anyone who holds the mantle of head of the gang winds up looking over their own shoulder constantly with their paranoia eventually costing them their lives. Anyone else seems to wind up dead, seriously injured or in prison.
  • Deep Cover Agent: Mick tells Ciaran that he's had a man on the inside for a while who he's told nobody about: Ado's darts buddy, Scotty.
  • Depraved Dentist: Andrew is down on his luck and essentially attempts to fleece his customers by recommending they need expensive crowns when not really necessary. He ends up working for Nidge, as he's looking to make a massive profit by smuggling in class A drugs with painkillers.
  • Domestic Abuser:
    • Stumpy beats Rosie so badly that she loses the baby she'd been carrying because he suspects that she's cheating on him with Darren.
    • Darren could count too. While he treats Rosie well, he does Murder the Hypotenuse (albeit under orders from John Boy).
  • Downer Beginning: Robbie's death in the opening scene kicks off the plot of the first series. Things only get worse from there.
  • Downer Ending:
    • The end of series 2. Rosie leaves Darren because of what he's become. Debbie, without John Boy to fund her heroin habit resorts to prostitution.
    • Darren's death in series 3.
    • Tommy winding up in a coma for a second time in series 4.
    • Series 5 probably has the biggest downer ending of all. Fran gets caught and sent back to prison and winds up with a broken pool cue up his arse. Ado and Nadine's relationship is finished. Tommy is still in his coma. Elmo is doing five years for drug possession. The cops have no legitimate evidence on Nidge, so Siobhan tries to plant some. Janet, Siobhan and Nidge all get killed.
  • Dublin Skanger: The show really popularized this trope in Irish media - thick Dublin accents, tracksuit bottoms as default attire, crewcuts as regulation hairstyles and everyone being involved in crime or on drugs. But with plenty of aversions to ground the story (Rosie, Mary, Trish) it's seen as an example of how to do it well.
  • Dynamic Entry: In the closing minutes of the season 5 finale, as a victorious Siobhán, desperate Nidge, and the audience expect the Gardaí to arrive on the scene at any moment. Suddenly Patrick, who had been absent for the whole episode, appears and opens fire, shooting Nidge and Siobhán several times through their torsos. The episode just as suddenly ends on their bloodied bodies as he walks off.
  • Excrement Statement:
    • Fran pisses on the grave of Noelie Hughes' mother, in order to insult Noelie.
    • Nidge to a slab of milk cartons outside a garda station just to piss the gardai off when they have nothing on him on a drug smuggling operation.
  • Eye Scream: Pottsie, last seen being arrested after the gardai raid the hotel room John Boy had his Mooks packing drugs in, is ordered by Nidge to kill Fran in prison. After enlisting a bit of backup, he enters Fran's cell. Unfortunately for him, Fran was well aware that someone would try to kill him and had made a shank out of a toothbrush and a couple of razorblades. In the ensuing fight, Fran stabs Pottsie in the eye.
  • Fan Disservice:
    • The final scene with Fran has him lying naked in a pool of his own blood, gagged and with a pool cue sticking out of his ass.
    • Siobhan and Pauley's sex scene while high on Ecstasy occurs in a filthy pub toilet and is in no way erotic.
  • Fanservice: There's a bit of it around, most notably Darren and Rosie's sex scene.
  • Females Are More Innocent: Considering that the main male characters are all thugs, drug dealers, criminals and terrorists and that the majority of female characters are their wives, girlfriends and daughters, this goes without saying. Lizzie is a subversion.
  • Good Guns, Bad Guns: Inverted with pistols: The Glock 17 and Beretta 92 are mostly seen in the hands of criminals, while the SIG-Sauer P226 is correctly depicted as a police weapon. Played straight with Sawed Off Shotguns and AKs though, the latter of which is only shown to be in possession of the IRA and the former is mostly used for Knee Capping.
  • Giant Mook: Nidge hires a Latvian bodyguard who happens to be a hulking brute of a man, who he uses to intimidate Fran. After the travellers attack him with a machete, Paulie gets him an ex-soldier of believable stature instead.
  • He Knows Too Much: Nidge attempts to take out the man who supplied a pipe bomb for the attack on Linda, as he fears that the information will get back to Fran.
  • The Hero Dies: Double subverted with Darren at the end of series 3. Elmo comes after him on orders from Nidge, but only manages to wound him before his gun jams. Darren grabs his gun to go after Nidge, only to be shot in the back of the head twice by Lizzie.
  • Hollywood Healing:
    • Averted. Series 2 establishes Darren to still have scarring from his gunshot wound at the end of series 1. Aido gets knee-capped at the start of series 3 and spends the rest of the series in a cast. He even notes that he has applied for a disabled parking permit for his car.
    • Elmo gets shot in the abdomen by Darren in series 1. He is let out of the hospital, but is told that he needs to get his wound cleaned regularly and may need a colostomy bag.
  • Hope Spot:
    • Darren and Rosie get back together in series 2 and seem to be ready to live a life together, especially with John Boy out of the way. Rosie then leaves him when she realises that he's killed both John Boy and Stumpy.
    • At one point in series 5, Tommy briefly opens his eyes. He still has not woken from his coma proper.
    • Siobhan manages to get Git Loughman's finger and successfully plants it in Nidge's bathroom cabinet. As she's leaving, Nidge confronts her and she tells him everything and that the gardai are on their way. As she does, Patrick shoots her several times as he guns for Nidge.
  • How We Got Here: The opening episode of series three starts with Nidge, Tommy and Darren standing over a dying Git Loughman. It then cuts back to the events leading up to this.
  • Hypocritical Humour: Hughie says that he hates JP acting like he owns the car dealership(which he does) and claims that he hasn't earned it and is just working off his dad's money. He's also a massive sponge off of John Boy who everyone wants to off(but wont because of John Boy's influence)
  • I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: When Hughie shows his gun off to Potsy, he removes the magazine, but neglects to remove the round from the chamber when he points it to his own head and pulls the trigger.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Nobody in Dublin, barring Darren, Stumpy or possibly Lizzie, can shoot straight. Of particular note is when the IRA kidnap Nidge, armed with Kalashnikovs and are fought off by Darren, only armed with a pistol. Darren doesn't take a scratch and manages a Boom, Headshot! on Lizzie's brother. This comes back to bite him in the ass. Recovering junkie Packie is sent to kill Patrick Ward. His heart not really in it, it gives him a shaky hand. His first shot his Patrick in the chest, but his Bulletproof Vest saves him. When he shrugs this off, Packie begins to flee, firing wildly in Patrick's direction, hoping to score another hit, having been told to Double Tap in the head. Patrick charges him and delivers a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown, but a stray shot hits his son in the head.
  • Important Haircut: Lizzie shaves her head before she shoots Darren.
  • Improbable Infant Survival: While children are fairly safe (so far), Wayne winds up getting blown away by his one time friend. Patrick's ten year old son gets shot but is alive for now.
  • Instant Death Bullet: Averted with Hughie. Even though he manages to shoot himself when failing to clear the chamber of his pistol at point blank range, it takes him about five minutes to die. Played straight with Darren, though that was two bullets.
  • In the Hood: Several characters wear hoodies to hide their identities.
  • The Irish Mob: Most of the main charaters belong to a criminal gang. A rare example actually set in Ireland.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: When Nidge's home is invaded in series 4, he carries one as a defensive weapon. Downplayed in that he's hiding the whole time, as it'd be pretty useless against Lizzie's MP5.
  • Kick the Dog: Despite his letting Hughie die rather than call an ambulance, you might have felt sorry for Elmo. So he broke a bottle over a barman's head when the Barman tried to get him to leave at closing time.
  • Killed Offscreen: Janet. The last time she's seen alive is when four Mooks knock on the door. Judging by the fact that one of them is seen carrying a battery powered grinder and that Janet's body is shown with multiple bruises and slashed knees, it was likely a death that wouldn't have been out of place in a Saw movie.
  • Klingon Promotion: After John Boy's death, Nidge takes control of the gang. This was all part of Nidge's plan to get John Boy out of the way after he forces Siobhan to take large amounts of cash on a flight.
  • Knee Capping: Happens to Aido at the start of series 3, kicking off the storyline. Nidge does this with a Sawed-Off Shotgun to one of John Boy's debtors when he can't/won't pay up.
    • Happens twice in series 4; Once to one of the guys who comes after Fran and is accidentally shot by his buddy and to Dano, who does not survive the encounter.
  • Leave No Witnesses: When Darren performs a hit with a silenced pistol, the target's girlfriend comes to the door after the hit is done. Darren simply shoots her in the head.
  • Lock and Load: The opening scene consists of Nidge learning how to field strip a Glock 17.
  • Male Gaze: Aido's price for a bit of heroin when Debbie is short on cash? A good long look at her ass.
  • Mêlée à Trois: While the earliest seasons concentrate purely on the gang itself, seasons 3 and 4 aim for the conflict between the gang, the IRA and the gardai (though they have only a small role in series 3, not getting any major characters until series 4). Series 5 seems to be going with Nidge's gang vs the gardai vs the travellers and with a rift between Nidge and Fran as well.
  • Miss Kitty: Janet.
  • Molotov Cocktail: A popular weapon among the gangs when it comes to intimidation, usually to someone's car or house.
  • Mister Seahorse: Discussed and defied. Ado has been using other people's urine samples to cheat drug tests. When caught for time, Nadine gives him hers to help him. So, it's a shock to Ado when the doctor tells him that he's pregnant. The doctor, knowing full well what he's done simply snarks at him for it.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Darren kills Stumpy, though not just because of Rosie. John Boy orders him to do it. It's just the fact that Stumpy is Darren's rival for Rosie's affections makes it easier for him. She eventually deduces the truth (along with the fact that he offed John Boy as well) and leaves him for it.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits: Subverted. Darren just scares Tommy when he finds out about his relationship with Mary.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Any time there's any kind of fistfight, it ends up like this. Notably, Darren beats a man for dumping a rubbish bag in his sister's wheelie bin, Tommy beats Git to the point where he breaks his neck, Nidge beats Tommy into a coma with a golf club and John Boy beats a uniformed Corrupt Cop in broad daylight.
  • Not in This for Your Revolution: At first Wayne seems like a loyal IRA member, if a little too young for it, by assisting Lizzie in her pursuit of Nidge. Turns out, though, he's Only in It for the Money and will work for the highest bidder.
  • Oh, Crap!: Nidge's reaction to seeing Lizzie and Wayne making a beeline for his house.
  • Pants-Positive Safety: Pretty much everyone carries their guns this way. Darren, at least, has the good sense not to stuff his down the front of his pants.
  • Peek-a-Boo Corpse: Fran planned to dig up Noelie Hughes' mother's corpse (three months dead) and put her sitting in Noelie's home, waiting for him when he came out of prison. Thankfully, the smell from the coffin puts them off and they abandon this plan.
  • Police Are Useless: Subverted. While it seems that the gang can get away with a lot, there are occasions when the gardai swoop in effectively and efficiently. The gang do tend to get Off on a Technicality most of the time. Inspector Moynihan is an archetypal good cop and weeds out the Dirty Cop very soon after his introduction.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Series 2. Darren is no longer in Fran's debt, due to John Boy paying it off for him, and no longer in John Boy's debt, due to having killed him and has Stumpy out of the way to boot. However, when it looks as if he's going to live Happily Ever After with Rosie, she turns around and dumps him, knowing that he will never truly leave the life of crime behind him as well as what he has done. By series 3, his own sister has disowned him as well, marking his change from Anti-Hero to Villain Protagonist.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Git rapes Siobhan, causing Tommy to beat him to a pulp. Darren finishes him off with a beer keg.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Debbie manages to bluff her way through a customs inspection by placing a massive dildo in her luggage, ensuring that they're too embarrassed to frisk her for the drugs that she has taped to her body.
  • Right Through His Pants: When Nidge and Janet have sex in series 4, they both appear to be mostly fully clothed. Janet is obviously still wearing her underwear as the deed is done.
  • Screwed by the Network: Taken off of Netflix within a few months of debuting.
  • Shooting Gallery: On Nidge's stag do, the gang go to a shooting gallery and fire off a lot of guns.
  • Shoot the Dog: A young boy, who is holding an MP5 for Lizzie opens fire to scare another kid and ends up hitting a cat.
  • Shout-Out: Nidge and Trish's wedding entrance is one to the dance entrance complete with Forever as the music.
  • Shovel Strike: Fran uses one to beat Dean to death when he realises that Dean sold him out to Nidge.
  • Shur Fine Guns: Guns have an alarming tendency to jam at inappropriate moments on this show. Of course, many of the people using them (barring, maybe Nidge) are likely unfamiliar with basic firearm maintenance. Though, it's subverted in series 3, when one guy attempts to kill Darren and his weapon jams. Darren disarms him and keeps the gun, using it to defend himself the next time he gets attacked.
    • Darren is concerned that the IRA are going to provide him with "some piece of shit" before doing a hit for them as a favour. Nidge assures him that the weapon provided is a tested, but never fired Beretta.
    • When Nidge goes after the arms dealer who supplied the pipe bomb used on Fran's house, his Glock is knocked from his hand, hitting the magazine release off a wall. When the weapon fails to fire, Nidge frantically searches for the magazine, clears the misfire, reloads and gets back firing. Of course, his quarry uses this opportunity to escape.
  • Terrorists Without a Cause: Presumably, the dissident Republicans in series 3, since they're based in Dublin and not the north. They come across as little more than another gang.
  • Throw-Away Guns: Darren dumps a pistol in the canal after he makes a hit. Lizzie calls him out on it, as the weapon was belonged to the IRA and was meant to be returned. Fridge Brilliance kicks in when you realise that pistols are something the IRA has always had a shortage of.
  • Villainous Breakdown: John Boy's takes most of series 2.
    • Fran has one that causes him to go Axe-Crazy and stab someone with a broken bottle.
    • Nidge seems to be going through one in series 3 from the stress of dealing with Git's rape of Siobhan, Darren and Tommy's subsequent killing of Git and the gang's disposal of the body, his own No-Holds-Barred Beatdown of Tommy, the guards and the IRA onto them for Git's disappearance, Darren's killing of an innocent witness and going bald.
  • Villain Protagonist: Darren develops into this after Series 2. Nidge is being built up as one also.
  • Would Hit a Girl: John Boy and Stumpy.
  • You Killed My Father: A rare example where the protagonists are responsible. Darren kills Git at the start of series 3, with Dano looking for revenge.
    • You Killed My Brother: Darren's brother is killed in the first episode of the first series, with Darren spending the first series trying to find out who did it. Darren himself ends up shooting Lizzie's brother in self defence, for which Lizzie later kills him.