The mood of this final episode was definitely one of letting go and moving on, and boy, are we grateful for that. But there’s something distinctly irritating about the way it all rounded off by crediting the entire collision to the work of a tiny wasp getting into Sidney’s car and causing him to swerve. Yes, all those deads and all those intrigues and we’re supposed to be content with the ‘ho ho ho, it was only a mischievous little wasp’ ending.
In a way I’d rather they had just let it rest with the question over what caused the crash. It would have been the braver way to end a drama that was more about questions than answers. That other policeman had the right idea when he said to Stallwood, “We don’t need to know why. I want you to wrap this one up and move on.” But no, they had to go and show us the whole crash over again with the wasp in the frame.
Then, for god’s sake, we had to see a fantasy scenario in which the collision didn’t happen, because said wasp had been fictitiously squashed by Jane in the service station diner. This kind of fantasy sequence was actually quite enjoyable, and it would have been great if it had been woven into the five episodes, Sliding Doors-style. Instead, tacked onto the end of the last episode, it looked very out of place and was only there to appease any emotional reaction about the crash having happened, and about a collision generally being a totally unavoidable bastard of a thing that does happen in the world occasionally.
So was everything tied up in the end? Some stories worked themselves out more satisfactorily than others. The Jane and Richard love affair came to a rather predictable end. Jane came clean with her incredibly blank fiancé Dave, failing to be won over by his romantic entreaty: “Everything’s booked. The registry. The pub.” But silly old mid-life-panicky Richard failed to turn up at the Champagne Bar at St Pancras to whisk Jane off to a new life in Paris. His stoical wife showed up instead, well-versed in letting down her mad husband’s various young lovers, and apparently happy to return to her repressed, loveless life with him. Jane went to Paris on her own. I believe we were supposed to yell “go girl!” or something of that ilk.
Poor Brian Edwards had to confess to his wife that he had in fact killed his mother-in-law by hitting her head repeatedly on the dashboard just after the collision, undoing her seatbelt to make it look like she’d died accidentally, so angry was he that she was taking over their lives. The police were about to question him. I’m quite worried about Brian, actually, now I think about it. Please can we have one more episode? (Joke!)
No, I think we’ve spent more than enough time in the company of these particular characters. John and Ann – yes, I feel happy calling them by their first names now; we’ve been through a lot together – have strolled into the distance and are embarking on a relationship that could have happened a while ago if they’d known Jodie had already come to terms with it, and if they could have all stopped feeling so guilty. I’m glad for them and wish them well, just as long as ITV don’t commission a whole new cop drama based on the two of them. They’re just not interesting enough. If they do, can someone please give Douglas Henshall subtitles? He was barely comprehensible this week, with his growly Scottish burr that hardly incorporates consonants.
Well, we’ve got there, and I can’t say it’s been emotional; considering it dealt with a car crash it could have been far more hard-hitting. It was exasperating, mainly, but with occasional moments of impact.
Do ITV give out prizes to the people who tuned in every night at 9pm? There must be an awful lot of people who’ve stuck with it through the week. Do they get a sort of Christmas bonus for being a jolly hard-working viewer? Nah, didn’t think so. Just being able to watch something else now is prize enough.
Read our review of episode four here.