Viewers were enthralled by Channel 5’s new drama Penance after it debuted last night.
Starring Julie Graham, the thriller focuses on grieving mother Rosalie Douglas as she copes with the death of her son Rob, who died in Thailand, and fights her attraction to a much younger man, Jed, who looks just like him.
In last night’s first offering, Rosalie was overtaken by lust-filled dreams about Jed (Nico Mirallegro), a mysterious and seemingly perfect young gardener who she met at a grief counselling group session.
Viewers felt Jed had something to do with Rob’s death, but her dreams about the younger man, which were numerous and intense, caught viewers’ attention.
‘Even though nothing really happened, apart from a bunch of sex dreams, Penance was weirdly compelling,’ one wrote.
Channel 5’s new thriller Penance, starring Julie Graham (pictured) as Rosalie Douglas, got people talking last night after the show’s main character experienced numerous lust-filled dreams about a much younger man
In the show, Jed was introduced at a grief counselling meeting, where both Rosalie and her teenage daughter Maddie (Tallulah Greive) bonded with him, and the mother spontaneously invited him for dinner.
Maddie had been acting up following the death of her brother, turning to alcohol and drugs to cope, and Rosalie hoped that teetotal gardener Jed would be a good influence on her grief-stricken teen.
However, things turned steamier when both Maddie and Rosalie started to lust over Jed, and the grieving mother was struck by uncontrollable dreams.
It didn’t help that Rosalie and her husband Luke (Neil Morrissey) were having troubles, due to the death of their son and a previous affair with a woman named Wendy.
Viewers were particularly enthusiastic a about the performance of Nico Mirallegro, who plays the mysterious love interest (pictured)
While the show is only on its first episode, viewers really liked its plot, and felt it was a compelling watch
In no less than three dream scenes, Rosalie’s mind drifted to Jed as she imagined her being kissed and much more while sleeping.
Things went from fantasy to reality, however, when the mother had one of these sex-dreams while away with Jed at the family cottage.
The young man had offered to come with Rosalie to the cottage after its alarm mysteriously went off, but a power shortage forced them to stay overnight.
Possessed by one of her dreams, Rosalie was suddenly woken up by Jed, who had heard her calling his name in the night. Embarrassed, Rosalie threw him out of her room.
At the end of the show, having had repeated impure thoughts about Jed, Rosalie went to church and prayed to god to give her strength to fight her lust (pictured)
That’s when the mysterious man revealed his attraction for the mother the next day, saying he ‘thought about her too.’
While she rejected his advances and made it clear she did not want to start a relationship with him, Rosalie could not help but still dream about Jed.
Things were complicated by the fact that Maddie had grown close to the young man, and had gotten herself in trouble with drug dealers, who had had asked to deal at school, and did not take kindly to her suddenly stopping.
After their impromptu cottage getaway, Jed and Rosalie got home to a gang of teen girls threatening Maddie, one holding a knife to her throat.
Channel 5 viewers were hooked to the sexy new drama after its first episode premiered last night
This propelled Jed to become even more important to the Douglas family, and left Rosalie to struggle with her feelings more deeply than before.
Eventually, towards the end of last night’s episode, Jed made his feelings clear to Rosalie by offering her a necklace and kissing her. Choosing reason over lust, the grieving mother refused the present.
However, after a failed attempt to patch things up with her cheating husband, Rosalie got home to find Jed had threatened to leave town – and Maddie – and slipped the necklace between Rosalie’s sheets.
The episode culminated with Rosalie praying to God to give her the strength to be strong and ignore the obvious attraction she felt toward Jed, but being once more overcome with lustful thoughts about the gardener.
Throughout the episode, Rosalie (pictured) fought her attraction for the much younger man Jed
Viewers said they already were hooked on the sexy show, praising the ‘intense’ watch.
‘Penance is a smoldering and intense watch,’ one said.
‘Thought Penance was really good tonight. Great cast, and a good bit of lust. This mature woman, younger man thing is OK actually,’ another said.
However, those watching with relatives were in for some uncomfortable moments.
‘Watching with my 23yr old & everytime she has a dream we both grab our phones and ignore,’ one wrote.
In spite of the sexy scenes, some managed to keep focus on the plot:
‘Oh, this is all one big set-up and he had something to do with her son’s death in Thailand,’ one mused.