Sian Gibson and Paul Coleman’s six-episode comedy series Power of Parker released its first season, starring Conleth Hill, Gibson, and Rosie Cavaliero. Hill stars as the eponymous Parker, who pulls a lot of tricks to keep his life running smoothly until his luck runs out and he faces the consequences of his actions. Martin Parker, a charismatic man who’s very concerned about his social image, isn’t exactly the hero of this story, given his actions. Here’s a detailed look into his character to understand if he undergoes redemption in the end or not.
Martin Parker was selfish, for lack of a better word. For the last 25 years of his marriage, he’s lived a dual life. Meanwhile, Martin has had an affair for so long that when the events of the show start, his mistress is planning their 25th anniversary. The worst of it all was that Martin kept his affair within his extended family and, for 25 years, slept with his wife’s sister, Katherine, behind Diane’s back. This is perhaps the worst kind of cheating because not only does a significant other break the trust of someone who has loved them with every fiber of their being for two and a half decades, but they also do so with their spouse’s sister. Since this is a comedy, the revelation of this major plot point and the moment when the sisters find out that they’ve shared beds with the same man and their consequent fight are played off as hilarious incidents. However, the painful thing is that it’s a very plausible event that might’ve happened in several households, which were never the same afterwards.
Blissfully unaware of the entente that’s forming between his wife and his girlfriend behind his back to take him down, Martin has another trouble brewing. To keep up with his lavish lifestyle, which included providing accommodation and expenses for his girlfriend Katherine, Martin had taken a lot of loans from shady individuals, who were just three kids, with the oldest not being more than 19. As his dues went up, so did Martin’s, but he only had himself to blame. Nobody had dared him to live beyond his means and drive around the town in a top-down crimson Benz, but while trying to keep up with his ruse of being an important man, he spent a lot of money that he didn’t have. Now that the lenders were knocking and his father’s business was failing to return profits, Martin took out all the anger on the wrong person.
Alan, the accountant for Parker’s Electricals, had been unable to keep the accounts balanced, and now Martin wouldn’t even get a loan. Angered, he decided to fire Alan as a way to express his frustration, but all that was achieved was that Martin lost the only remaining person who could’ve saved the ship from sinking. Instead, the businessman gained an enemy whose sole goal now was to see Martin crash and burn, and he was willing to feed Diane and Kath important information regarding the company’s shareholding to achieve the same. The two women were told that they could easily take over Martin’s business because they’d been named shareholders, and that’s what the women planned. Realizing that a time of comeuppance had come for Martin, who’d betrayed his wife and unceremoniously dumped his girlfriend when he could no longer deal with the expenses, the women decided to take the only thing Martin valued: his business.
However, Martin hadn’t let go of his attitude yet, and when the girls’ father and his father-in-law, Dougie, came to his store to have a go at Martin, the younger man laid his older counterpart flat on the ground. What could’ve gone a lot differently if Martin hadn’t been all the time earning him yet another hater who’d come to scoff at him and cheer at his downfall in a couple of days, when Martin would hit rock bottom? He had only one straw that he could hang onto at this point, and that was finding a job as the treasurer of the rotary club, using the secretary and his friend Sandy. Unfortunately, when Martin’s wife got drunk and spilled all about their financial downfall, Martin lost the opportunity even before it was handed to him. The final embarrassment came his way when, in the bank, all his secrets were laid bare by his wife and his girlfriend, and his image as the ‘upstanding citizen’ came down like an avalanche, and Martin had only himself to blame.
That night, before the Slater Brothers came to destroy his store and quite possibly end his life, Martin was sitting at his desk as all the failures in his life swirled back and forth in his mind. He flipped around the lighter fluid tellingly in his hand as the Slaters started smashing things in the store. Moments before, he’d opened the shareholder file and found a note from Kath where she apologized for taking his business from him, and then he found the file marked ‘insurance.’ It was obvious that his next move would be to send the fax of the papers to Diane Parker, the mother of his children and his wife for 25 years, before he made good use of the lighter fluid. The decision to burn down Parker’s Electricals couldn’t have been easy in the slightest for Martin, who was an egotistical and arrogant man. Too worried about maintaining his position in society, he refused a lot of tasks that he considered beneath him; he ended up committing insurance fraud by purposefully setting fire to his own store.
After three months, Diane was the new owner of the Parkers’ Electricals, and noticed how it was named Parkers’ instead of Parker’s as Martin went by. Diane made the store a family thing because her children and her father joined her as employees in the store, while Martin kept his business solely to himself. Meanwhile, Kath opened the door to find Martin standing before her, ready to settle with her. Kath had always been the woman he’d truly loved, but he’d not been able to act on it because of his duties as a husband. But when Diane divorced her cheating husband, this freed Martin up to follow his heart, as he’d once argued that people don’t choose who they fall in love with. Martin had married Diane but fallen in love with Kath, and after 25 years of keeping things hushed, he’d finally act on the promises he’d made her now that he didn’t have the business to think about.
Martin received his long-warranting comeuppance when he was forced to burn down the store that he’d loved, and he bequeathed his house and the insurance money for the store to his wife, Diane. He’d abandoned all the things he’d been chasing in life, and now he was finally free to be with the woman he loved. However, was he a good man? He’d committed insurance fraud and probably pulled some shady tricks to remain afloat for three months. Martin was a changed man, for sure, but was it for the better? Only Power of Parker Season 2 will tell.