Containment – Season 1 Episode 13
“Path to Paradise”
THE LAST EPISODE
WE made it. We finally made it! There was a time I wasn’t sure there would ever be an end, with it seemingly dragging on for a bit, despite it’s relatively short 13 episode span, but here we are. Journeys, relationships; we’ve all had them. But none more than the characters in this series. This particular episode, with it being the last, ties up all those loose, raggedy-ass ends.
A super speedy recap: Jana and crew are in the tunnels as the government attempt to collapse the escape routes, prompting Teresa & family to return to the surface; Lex is ‘lightly’ questioned for his role in the escapee being Murder Death Killed (got a bit lost here as I struggled to recollect what happened last week); oh yeah, and Cannerts tries to save the brother from the Paisley gang.
This episode had a great opening, quickly reminding us of the predicament faced by our unlucky characters. With Cannerts using Thomas’s blood to inject into the Illing brother, Jake questions the need to use Thomas to save a gang member. When it fails we recall the threat made last week: if the brother dies, so does everyone else. When the concoction from Cannerts fails to cure the brother ultimately killing him, Cannerts is attacked. It takes Jake to come in and tell him they are in the same boat having both lost loved ones, and that they need to keep going so they can get a cure made. That seems to work. That gang member is incredibly unpredictable, as I expected more of a fight, but then, how can you fight with Jake? That’s rhetorical by the way!
Cannerts and Jake realising that the death of the gang member has been distinctly different to the others means we are one step closer to a cure! Hurrah! Jake then spends a while getting some volunteers to screen blood, only possible after a heart-felt megaphone announcement reciting the names of those who have passed. Naturally has memorised all of the victims he has cremated and jarred being the sensitive and caring gent that he is, . Quite a nice moment allowing us to see that Jake really is the true focus of the show.
It was a really nice touch to have the Paisley bandits approach the blood screening with a defensive Jake on guard only to throw their jackets to the ground and submit themselves for screening. Lovely gang members looking out for their community.
Very quickly we find out that a person carries the antibody! Another hurrah! And he is a Holy Father no less. “There can be miracles when you believe” Houston & Carey, 1998.
The shot of the three together resembles some sort of Holy Trinity imaging, the pure-at-heart Warrior, the faithful Believer, and the persistent Scientist. Three is a magic number.
Cut to Bert & Lovely Wife. Realising they are quite unwell, they decide to take matters into their own hands and split their bottle of good wine they’ve been saving. It’s very romantic. And then we see Bert putting a mysterious white powder into one of the glasses. With Lovely Wife asking if he did it, he asks if it’s what she wants. A nice comment here on euthanasia. With Lovely Wife in a lot of pain, and with no meds she has recognized things will only get worse, and my heart is a little bit glad knowing she won’t be struggling. Poor Lovely Wife. After getting Bert to tell her some nice stories from their dancing days, he leans in and tells her. They’ll be going on this journey together. So romantic. Nice to see this couple get more screen play. They are so lovely.
In other news, Lex is being questioned by some new superior guy, before approaching Lommers. We get a hint of unease from the public as Lommers watches the news, who are beginning to take apart her character. Lommers lets Lex go to the tunnels to warn those down there of the danger. Little does he know that Jana is down there.
The enjoyable part of this narrative lies in the not knowing. Do they go with a frustrating narrative where we see Lex down there and NOT cross paths with Jana, maybe while she’s in another part of the tunnel? (think Buried ending), or, do we see them reunited? Hmm. They kept me guessing.
Lex now has an hour to get into the tunnels; the guys are closer to a cure; & Teresa and Xander are playing shop in the old grocers.
Can we jump to the ending? Ok, good.
Ok, so Lommers has just called time on Lex who is still in the tunnels. He found Jana. And now is torn between his dooty (sorry, I mean duty) and his love. It doesn’t take much for us to figure it out, so even after a heated exchange when Jana and Lex meet, we know what’s going to happen. We know he isn’t going back. With Lex giving something to his dad to give to Leo (who he found somehow), we know before Lex does what his decision is. Still, the show tries to tease us, but it doesn’t really work. Despite the predictability of it all let’s be happy for Lex for making love his priority.
With this happening, the story jumps back to Lommers, who continues to track the news. A sudden news break indicates that Leo Greene has successfully beaten Lommers with audio clips of Lommers admitting guilt for the outbreak making it on to the TV. Finally we know that Lex isn’t that dumb and recorded the meeting. Well played Lex.
This episode ends with Jake. He’s come a long way, and now has even come to terms with the loss of Katie, after the breathing space of one episode, just in time for the lovely montage of happiness of everyone getting their lives in order. Releasing her ashes from the hospital roof (I’m sure it’s what she would have wanted), he tells the sky he loves her. Aww.
I have a major bugbear about the last 5 or so minutes of the episode. I understand that Jake is our main character but did he really have to narrate the last scenes? I don’t get it. Why is there a sudden shift in the narrative perspective? It jars so much with everything else and completely shuts me off as a viewer. Jake approaching the audience with a narrator’s authority of what’s been learnt, how they have all grown and changed in the cordon is something I’m sorry I can’t describe.
And what was with that awful music?
In fact, don’t answer that.
A satisfactory ending. Characters reuniting, Lommers being ‘outed’ and a potential cure, and the community team building exercise lets us know they’ll all be ok.
But one cannot get past the narrative shift at the end. Am I glad I watched the show? Yes. But it’s the kind of show I’d rather binge watch, to avoid forgetting certain characters and plot lines. Knowing that this has now launched on UK channels, my suggestion: series link and binge it on a weekend when you’re hungover to hell and you can wrap up in your blanket with all your snacks close to hand.
PS- just got a text letting me know Jake (AKA Chris Wood) will be appearing in the new season of Supergirl. Guess you’ll catch me watching that.
- It coming to an end
- the cure being kind of found
- Lex & Jana reuniting
- Teresa and Xander making it home
- the Paisley Gang turning into fine, upstanding citizens
- Lommers getting what we are sure will be her comeuppance
- that crazy last minute narration, seriously, who chose that?
- the warm, fuzzy, happy ending