Bullet in the head
Romeo’s blood runs cold as he records Neo the executioner in murderous action.
Scandal! Weekdays e.tv (*194) 19:30
Tuesday 18 April starts like any other day at The Newtownian hotel for mischief-maker Romeo (Hungani Ndlovu). “It’s a typical day of him being bored, looking for something to do,” says Hungani. “And he finds it when he sees Yvonne (Kgomotso Christopher) busy at the reception with Timothy (Charlie Bouguenon). After Timothy is basically like, ‘Talk to the hand,’ Romeo thinks that he might as well follow Yvonne to see what she’s up to. He tails Yvonne all the way to the warehouse and he sneaks around to the back to try see what she’s going to do.” But Romeo should really think a bit more about that saying “curiosity killed the cat”…
Always up for a little blackmail, Romeo whips out his phone and starts recording the juicy scene laid out in front of him – a tense confrontation between Neo (Jerry Mofokeng Wa Makhetha), Yvonne and a man tied to a chair with
a bag over his head. While Romeo has heard plenty about Neo being a gangster, he’s seen him waving a gun before at Yvonne’s failed wedding to Damon on Thursday 9 February. So the sight of Neo ranting with a firearm in his hand doesn’t faze Romeo. That comfortable illusion is stripped the moment that the trigger is pulled and the traitor in Neo’s nest takes a bullet to the head.
SHOCK & FEAR
“I don’t think that he expects it to go that far,” Hungani reveals. “I think he is expecting Neo to taunt Yvonne and the guy who’s tied up. But once the gunshot goes off and the body falls to the ground, it’s like a slap in the face. He realises that he’s actually messing around with the big dogs.” Romeo immediately bolts for his car. “He is in a massive, massive panic state as soon as he gets into the car. With all that he’s done before to Neo, he’s now basically placing himself in that position [to be shot]. Now he knows that if he pushes Neo too far, he could be shot dead. He’s been messing around with a cold-hearted gangster and not just an ‘eccentric’ gangster.” It like finding out that the maraca instrument you’ve been shaking is really a hand- grenade.
MAKE YOUR MOVE
Now that Romeo can see the monster’s true face, his whole situation seems far more threatening. “It feels like Neo has been wanting to take over in the business of the hotel. Now Romeo’s worried that if things don’t go Neo’s way, he may just kill both of them – Romeo and his mother – so that he can continue to do whatever he wants. It makes him think twice about the button that he has to press and it’s like walking on thin ice. “As soon as Romeo gets into the car, you see him struggling to breathe and not knowing what to do, whether he should call the cops,” says Hungani. But would trusting Neo’s son Lerumo (Tshepo Mosese) or any of his colleagues with his evidence against Neo be all that smart? “It’s almost like he has the upperhand but he can’t really use it. Romeo just wants to get rid of Neo.”
THE ENEMY OF MY ENEMY
With the cops out of the question, Romeo decides on Thursday 20 April that he needs a partner: someone who survived the warehouse shooting. “Ultimately Romeo still knows that this partner can, at any point in time, turn their back on him. That’s how the person who got shot died.” He could be right. Early in the week of 24 April, it looks like Romeo’s worst fears have been realised as he receives a rough summons from Neo. “It’s the moment when you are called to the principal’s office – you basically already know why you’re being called,” says Hungani. “He immediately thinks, ‘Neo knows’. His life is over… and I guess the rest is history,” Hungani teases.
Neo gets down to business while Yvonne watches nervously.
Romeo gets an eyeful of serious trouble.