This review contains spoilers.
So we’ve finally reached the end of Bedlam’s issue-ridden second series, and this finale leaves us with plenty of exciting things to look forward to (should there be a third series), as well as some troublesome things to leave right where they are. Possibly as a reaction to the negative comments the show received this time last year, a lot of questions are answered and plot lines finished, with everything from who Eve is to Warren and Kate’s stories wrapped up quite nicely.
But there’s no nice ribbon and bow to tie everything together, as the show has a nice, juicy cliffhanger to carry it into the future, and the episode was surprisingly confident in how it combined the two elements. Providing the cast return next time and there’s no mass exit to explain away laboriously, we’re left with Ellie, Max, Dan and Keira as a team of four, all deeply involved with Bedlam or the people in it, and all in on the secrets of its corridors.
As with last year’s final episode, there’s a merciful lack of a ‘case of the week’ structure, and Ellie and Max embark on a deeply personal investigation into both of their pasts. We start the episode with Ellie heading for the hills, having had enough drama at Bedlam Heights to last her a lifetime. She makes a good go for the door, too, but her affection for Max overrides any impulse to leave. He’s seeing his deceased father in various creepy ways, and wants Ellie to find out what he wants. Convinced he had something to do with the asylum, despite the fact that he died in an accident 15 years ago, Max’s childlike desperation is endearing, and finally lends some development to his character.
The big bad that’s been haunting the first two series is finally named as Joseph Bell and, from what we know, he’s the worst of the worst from the asylum’s collection of evil bastards. Warren, having been involved in ‘killing’ him back in the day, instantly knows that he was behind Kate’s murder, and doesn’t react too well. Dan and Keira think that Warren has just snapped under pressure and offed his own daughter, and thus refrain from calling the police, which would be far too sensible. As we’re on the subject, what exactly is Keira’s purpose? If she returns next year, I hope we get some personality applied, as right now she’s pretty undefined.
As Max and Ellie find their way into the dark tunnels of Bedlam, truths finally start coming out and it becomes clear that Max’s father was just a ploy to draw Ellie back into Joseph’s clutches. The storyline is beyond creepy, and another instance of needing to call the police, as we’re unsure whether Joseph is a ghost, human, or something else entirely. Ellie discovers that it was her, as Eve, who originally killed her captor, and that Warren helped her escape from the asylum. We also find out, with a passing remark, that she is Jed’s sister, so that leaves the door open for more of his story to crop up.
Leaving Warren to wrap things up after escaping for a second time, Ellie, Max and the others are shocked to find him being wheeled out by the paramedics instead of Joseph. Holding a suicide note he wrote earlier, outsiders won’t suspect any foul play, but the remaining group of four know better. It’s an interesting way to leave things, and a neat way to get rid of the last remaining series one character, and the dynamic between the characters apparent in the last scene is a promising indication of what could be should the show return. A major problem this year, in my opinion, was the lack of camaraderie between characters, a departure from the first group, and that can easily be remedied at this point.
The biggest cliffhanger, however, was Ellie’s somehow not aborted baby, which annoys me no end. This foetus has played with my emotions this year, from joy that a female character can have casual sex without dire consequences, to crushing disappointment that this wasn’t the case, to confusion and relief when she announced her choice to abort. Now, it looks as if the abortion either didn’t ‘take’, or this is a brand new baby brought on by her subsequent ordeal. If Joseph was her father, then this is beyond weird, and very unlikely. That means that it’s Dan’s child, which re-evokes the love triangle that’s been pestering too much of this series.
There have been many things about Bedlam series two that I’ve enjoyed, but it was also a series that, while remedying many of the flaws of its presiding run, also added more onto the heap. Lacy Turner is a talented actress doing her best with a difficult character, and in the end, that’s all the actors can really do. There’s a lot to love about Bedlam as a concept, and sometimes it hits the notes just right, but it’s also fatally inconsistent. As a fan, I can see how easily these problems could be overcome, and this finale seems to know it too. If it should return, let’s hope it returns at its best.
Read our review of last week’s episode, here.
Follow our Twitter feed for faster news and bad jokes right here. And be our Facebook chum here.