4. Everything Put Together Falls Apart
I’m happy to admit that The Deep has got better and much less predictable in the third, and now in the fourth episode. And this latest episode, Everything Put Together Falls Apart, could be a stark warning for the final part of this show next week. But it’s more about the secret lava bugs that Catherine discovered while on the Volos.
They’re incredibly efficient hydrogen generators, but they also make nitric acid in their spare time, corroding any equipment that they come into contact with. Except the lack of research that the writers did for this show comes and bites them again, because they’ve told us that the subs are made of titanium, which is highly resistant to oxidising acids over a wide range of concentrations and temperatures. Oops.
But then the whole explanation about how much they pressurise the moon pool so that Clem can use the mini-sub was entirely illogical, because they’d have had to pressure it from the surface, not at 2000 feet underwater to go down another 6000 feet.
My mistake here is to try and apply common sense to the show, because it’s not really about that, I’m now beginning to understand. In fact, this whole episode is about shifting allegiances after Captain Zubov of the Volos (who is also confusingly called ‘Samson’) tries to have the crew of the Orpheus shot. I’ve never met one person in my life called Samson, so how can this show have two in a cast of less than twelve?
In what was a nice switch of direction, Svetlana, Raymond and the dying Vincent are left on the Volos, while Frances becomes oddly in charge and takes everyone else off in the Orpheus. That includes Arkady, who smartly decides he likes the orange sub more than he does the big one controlled by a psychopath.
The best parts of this middle section were the scenes with James Nesbitt and Orla Brady (Clem and Catherine), where he begins to realise that he came looking for a woman he didn’t actually know. Given what they gave him to do in the previous episodes, I was beginning to wonder why Nesbitt had been hired, but he does conflict very well in these scenes.
And then, when the narrative was flowing reasonably well, they introduce an entirely obvious McGuffin where the mini sub won’t work correctly. Thus, Clem is forced to be dangled under the Orpheus like a yoyo to get this sample that everybody but him has decided is so important. He does the job, but nobody notices that the moon pool is now flooded and he can’t get back onboard. But then if he could, he’d take weeks to decompress if he could return, so perhaps it’s better that he dies quickly, I say.
That only leaves Clem’s apparent demise as the last point I’d like to cover, because it didn’t really seem to make any sense. Why would his mini-sub crack when it was under less pressure going up than when it was at its deepest point? And the fact we didn’t see it actually implode I viewed with massive suspicion. I can’t imagine what convoluted excuse they’ll create to bring him back, but it looks on the cards.
Just one week from now The Last Breath will signify the end of the voyage for The Deep, and all I can say is if they resurrect Clem, I’ll be very annoyed, given the elaborate set of circumstances they constructed to kill him this week.
So far to my count they’ve borrowed bits from Ice Station Zebra, The Abyss, Gray Lady Down and K19: The Widowmaker, so I’m curious what will be the inspiration for the final part? My money is on The Hunt For Red October, with James Nesbitt playing Captain Ramius.
Or will we discover that Captain Zubov has a huge Wurlitzer nuclear-powered organ on the Volos, for his Bach renditions inspired by Nemo? Whatever the answer, I actually can’t wait…
Read our review of The Deep episode 3: Ghosts Of The Deep here.
The Deep is airing on BBC1 Tuesdays at 9pm.