Although this episode had its moments, it is still far from the Royle Family at its best. Firstly, it's sad that another great character has been killed off, but what really didn't ring true was that the Royle's themselves seemed hardly bothered that Mary was no longer around, and this was strange given the way every character, including those peripheral to Nana's life, became so involved in Nana's final days. Mary and Barbara were good friends, and Barbara would have felt the loss of her neighbour and confidante much more than was shown. Cheryl's character also didn't show much of the pain she would have undoubtedly been feeling. Her lines when she was telling Anthony about "the machine being switched off" and referring, in fact, to the hospital vending machine, was just a tired joke centred around her weight and obsession with food, and just not authentic when spoken by an only child who had recently lost her mother.
Aside from that, something I have a lot of difficulty with is the fact that character continuity has gone badly awry. In the case of Dave, who started off as a typical street-wise working-class bloke, always joking with Jim and making fun of Barbara's less than acute intelligence, it's bizarre that he has descended into being an absolute imbecile. The Dave of old would never have announced his visits to the toilet, nor would he have been so dense that he never understands what anyone is talking about, and has become a complete simpleton. I just don't understand how that was allowed to happen, and it's not as if it makes for an improved character, it doesn't. It's also never explained how Anthony went from being jobless and seemingly without prospects to a job which appears to have placed him in an elevated social position. Having said that, I'm glad that they brought Anthony back for this episode as he is definitely one of the better characters and Ralf Little acts the part very well.