Between Episode 5 review: End Of The Rope

Netflix's sci-fi series Between reaches new lows in its fifth and penultimate episode. Here's Mark's review...

This review contains spoilers.

1.5 End Of The Rope 

The quality of the writing and performing demonstrate no ambitions to improve in the penultimate Between. If it wasn’t already, the game is up in episode 5.

And by that I mean that the show entirely throws off any premise of being ‘science fiction’, because instead what it turns out to be is a cheap, cliché-riddled and uninteresting show about teenage angst. But what really shocks me is the lack of variation between the characters, because other than their appearance it would be hard to separate them based purely on their ability to make poor choices or how generally deluded they are.

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It starts with Pat doing the right thing, by doing the wrong thing, sending Wiley to get medical supplies while holding her baby hostage. Why didn’t she take the sick child with her, so Chuck could see what they wanted it for?

Wiley is pretty useless in this task, because, having been told she couldn’t have any meds at the store, she makes zero attempt to find them elsewhere, even though Gord has plenty at the farm. But then he’s got his own problems with sick cows (a metaphor…perhaps), and passes up a romantic encounter with a religious obsessive to have another, with a devout zealot. I guess it was the lace hat that swung it for him.

Meanwhile Adam still thinks he’s on CSI, and so goes to the prison which he expects to be open for him to wander around. It is, but only because Ellen opens them. Amazing how he doesn’t hear the electronic locks opening for him, isn’t it?

Adam also makes poor decisions, but the unrelenting King of that land is Chuck, who, in quick succession, denies meds to a dying child and packs two of his friends off in an aircraft that is then shot down with a missile. I really hope he learns a good life lesson out of these things, I really do.

By the end we’re supposed to feel sorry for him, because Pat can’t drive and hold a conversation at the same time, and runs down poor Amanda over after Chuck was horrible to her. If I had any emotional connection to these characters I’d be sad, but my first thought is that Chuck should change his family name from Lotts to Lott, given he’s the only one left, other than the dog.

If anything, I felt bad for Krystal Nausbaum who plays Amanda, because it’s tough enough being a disabled actress without being given the lines and function that she’s been saddled with here.

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But at least Chuck realises that he’s utterly useless, where others still have the notion that they’re doing just fine, irrespective of how badly they mess up. Is the message here that American kids have lots of confidence, but not one ounce of sense in their thick skulls? It genuinely might be, but that’s hardly worth building a show around, is it?

It ends with Adam, who is the stupidest smart person in Pretty Lake, eventually running into Ellen (the firth columnist and observer in the Prison), who quite rightly wants to shoot him dead.

She’s only stopped by a character we’ve not met before, Adam’s father, who turns up and then disappointed me massively by not mentioning that his son really needs to see a hair stylist. Maybe he will next week.

There is so much wrong in this show it’s becoming pointless pointing out all the silliness, so I’m going to cut this short and save some vitriol for the finale. As for finale predictions: Chuck, by accident, will do the right thing for the wrong reason; Gord will become the Preacher, so he can hang around with religious chicks; and, Adam will do something clever with a computer that would only happen on a really badly written TV show.

Thankfully, there is only one more of these to go, and unless someone at Netflix sees things very differently to us, no more to follow.

Read Mark’s review of the previous episode, Crossing Lines, here.

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