Yes, it's some thoughts about the series finale of Ashes to Ashes.
- Well, I don't know who needs a hug more after that, me or Gene Hunt. Both of us, I think. But mainly him!
That was quality drama, that was. Anything that grabs my emotions and yanks them around like that must be doing something right. I think I only had two quibbles, and these were that a) Alex's story feels a bit rushed at the end, and b) Gene's outcome is SO unutterably sad. I shall expand upon these points below, but I'm still processing my thinky thoughts, so I don't know how coherent I'll be!
- A brave choice to have Dead Alex be Dead (and Alive Molly to therefore be motherless), but although I liked the unsentimental approach (Gene not being capable of mushiness), it did seem VERY quick. I suppose that Alex (like Ray, Chris and Shaz before her) was simply being reminded of something she already knew, which makes sense in context, but because most of the focus of the episode was on Gene, it also felt like Alex had a lot of emotional ground to cover in a couple of minutes to order to get to her own ending. I'm not quite sure this was done as effectively as it could have been, but nor can I think of what I'd have done differently. So heigh-ho.
- So Half-Face Copper IS Gene Hunt, and he darn near broke my heart, especially when he was telling his own story in the third person, and Alex did what we were all doing and worked it out.
- Given what we now know about Gene's situation, his extreme disgruntlement at not getting his end away last week starts to seem fairly justified. If THAT is the poor guy's eternal existence, why couldn't Alex have stayed long enough to give him one for the road? I imagine it takes a loooong time to pull in purgatory. Still, at least they had a bit of a kiss-up, but it was more sad than passionate.
Fingers crossed that having a new future-refugee to kick around will soften the blow a little. But will he ever sort himself out enough to walk through the door of the Railways Arms and get a round in? We know only that a new series is about to begin, exclusively broadcast on BBC Purgatory (and thus not accessible on normal cable packages), and probably entitled Loving the Alien or This Is Not America or some other Bowie hit. But until his nice new Mercedes arrives, he's going to be a very Blue
- By the way, congratulations to everyone who had a tenner on "Copper's Limbo" as the ultimate explanation. Of course, the cunning thing about this is that it magically smooths over any inconsistencies, quibbles and plotholes related to timing, historical anachronisms, continuity, hairstyles, you name it. It's a fictional construct of bits of reality stuck together with dreams and wishful thinking. (As are many things in life, I fear.)
- Massive hugs also to Ray, Chris and Shaz, for heartbreaking acting all around. The revelation of their backstories was a masterclass in concise storytelling: I particularly liked the fact that Shaz was from the 1990s: having to deal with unreconstructed chauvinists day in and day out must have been particularly galling to her.
- As for Keats, bloody hell - quite literally! What the devil was he? A scary, cackling, barking, animalistic maniac, that's what. I hope Daniel Mays enjoyed chewing up the set: I'm sure he can have a part in any panto he likes this Christmas. (Well, if nobody minds the fact that a lot of kids would leave the theatre screaming.)
- Alas, the poor Quattro, gunned down in a blaze of glory! We shall mourn its passing, and remember only its screeching handbrake turns.
- I note that last week, Gene referred to leaving Manchester as "When we were evicted from paradise..." I wonder why he was obliged to reconstruct his imaginary world as London? Perhaps it was a directive from Keats and his demonic overlords, who are presumably keen on downward travel of all kinds...
- Despite the encroaching lump in my throat, I confess that my sniffling didn't properly begin until they all walked up to the PUB (I shall call it the PUB because it is the Place of Ultimate Benevolence) and Nelson came out. Then, by the time Shaz confessed her love for Chris, I was unavoidably raising the annual profits of the Kleenex corporation for the duration.
- In conclusion: good television. Darn good television. Goodbye, CID crew, I loved you all like chocolate biscuits and you served me proud.
Now what am I going to watch, eh??
ETA: You might like to know that The Guardian has an interview with one of the A2A creators about the finale and why they made some of the choices they did. Quite interesting stuff.