The third episode of It's a Sin aired on Friday night – and it proved to be an emotional watch for viewers at home.
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As friends Ritchie, Roscoe, Colin and Jill continued to live, work and party in the shadow of the AIDS pandemic, tragedy struck in the most unexpected way, leaving many viewers in tears. Warning: spoilers ahead…
WATCH: Have you been watching the Channel 4 drama?
At the beginning of the episode, Saville Row apprentice Colin collapses in a fit while at work. While it is initially thought that he has epilepsy, he's later diagnosed with AIDS and is hospitalised. His condition steadily worsens and at the end of the episode, Jill gets the devastating news from Colin's mum that he has passed away at just 24 years old.
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Fans of the show were both shocked and devastated at the dramatic turn of events and flocked to Twitter to mourn the beloved character. One person wrote: "Heartbreaking watching episode three of #ItsASin. Outstanding performances - such an important chapter of history told so beautifully - absolutely the best series in years."
A second added: "I haven't cried so hard at a TV programme in years. I was still sobbing after it had finished," while another wrote: "The last part of episode three is, without doubt, one of the most powerful and important parts of any TV dramas in recent years."
Episode three told Colin's heartbreaking AIDS story
"Colin broke my heart last night, so sweet and wholesome, it was such a cruel way to go," another viewer wrote. Referring to Colin's mistreatment in hospital which saw him be held in unlawful isolation, they continued: "I am horrified at the cold and barbaric way the men affected by the illness were treated, no humanity at all. #ItsASin really has been a harrowing but important education for me."
Meanwhile, actor Callum Scott Howells played tribute to the character as his final episode in the show aired. Sharing a photo himself in costume as Colin, he wrote: "Love you gang #La," alongside a heart emoji.
Viewers were left heartbroken at the episode
Speaking about his character's storyline with Channel 4, he said: "I think this is what will humanise the AIDS epidemic. I really hope people look at this show the same way they look at other iconic dramas that explore massive historic events.
"I feel like it's vital, I think, and who better to write it than Russell T Davies, someone who knew so many people who are affected by it, the parents and the families too."
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