He’s been tied up in the boot of a car by a Romanian gangster, and while the rest of his crew run around trying to save him, that leaves Adrian Lester free to direct his first episode.
With all the camera gimmicks that are Hustle’s calling card, it’s not the kind of series many rookie directors would get to cut their teeth on.
But, just as with his long-cons, he’s got a solid team in place to back him up.
In other hands, this script could easily have been spun out into a full-length feature film.
Here the first act is dispensed with in just a couple of minutes by a quick, but memorable explanation from Ash.
The object the grifters must find to get Mickey back is a stolen Picasso.
And considering that a Picasso and a Mondrian (also referred to in this episode) really were nicked from the National Gallery in Athens less than a fortnight ago, perhaps Greek police should be watching tonight’s goings-on with special interest.
They’ll discover a lot of fun to be had with guest stars including Bill Bailey and Martin Kemp, who seem to be enjoying themselves hugely.
But the acting honours must go to Sheila Hancock. She’s wonderful here as a dotty art forger called Dolly who takes a shine to the decorative young Sean (Matt Di Angelo).
The hustlers are certain that as a Picasso expert, she must know who has stolen the missing painting. “What’s the word on the street?” they demand.
“Do I look like Huggy Bear?” she quickly shoots back.