Monday, December 5, 2011

The Fades, Season 1, Episode 6: Season Finale

So, the people have left town in fear, Paul has super powers an refuses to walk in Neil’s increasingly more extreme footsteps while Neil has jumped off the deep end and kidnapped Mac to make Paul obey
Starting with the Evil Fades, with everyone leaving town they’re having a problem with food supply – no fresh humans to snack on. But John, leader of the Fades is focused on Paul whose super shiny powers remain the only way to kill them. John’s unwilling to move on until Paul is dead, butchered and his body parts scattered

Meanwhile Paul is still having his apocalyptic ash dreams – that now include his own death by stabbing. Only this time he has some more information – the ashy death dream is today. Paul and his angelic side-kick Alice are running through the empty streets, dodging past the Fades looking for them. Random body parts and corpses scatter the deserted streets. It has an almost Walking Dead feel to it – and the same amount of menace and tension without the oozy make up.

Unfortunately Alice still has bad amounts of Neil disease – forget the little people, don’t be distracted, the family don’t matter etc etc. The Angelics really need to deal with that. But an encounter with the Fades and Paul’s unwillingness to blast them into itty bitty pieces results in them discovering the blast ray is actually multi-purpose and also can open the Ascension point.

For those who haven’t kept up – Ascension is what the Fades should be doing rather than hanging around, getting all icky then eating people but it was sadly broken (the theory is by World War 2) and needs fixing to get the Fades where they belong

Meanwhile Paul’s mum and sister Anna and girlfriend Jay haven’t left and are still hanging around waiting for Paul. Not the wisest of moves, especially with the Fades surrounding the house. Anna keeps trying to get them away while heir mum keeps insisting she can’t abandon her son. Again, I’m glad to see Anna speaking up, pointing out that she’s her daughter as well.

Mac and Neil are continuing the kidnap tour – and Mac is keeping up his usual skilful level of amusing and witty babble and banter including drawing Neil into a discussion as to who is more like Jesus Christ. It’s slowly driving Neil up the wall (which is extremely amusing to see) while he tries to contact Paul.  Neil goes well and truly off the deep end and kidnaps them all – holding Jay at gunpoint to try and force Paul to go around killing the Fades. He doesn’t listen, is completely lost to reason – and shoots Jay

Ok, sigh moment. This is the second time Jay has been kidnapped to get at Paul. I really dislike this trope of female love interests having no role except to be victimised in order to get at their men. That is the only role Jay has served in this series – in 6 episodes she has beenvictimised twice both to get at Paul

Neil now has an ultimatum to Paul – kill John or he will kill Paul’s family. Leaving Alice to beg him not to, to fix ascension (harking back to the “family isn’t important now” speech she had earlier)
Speaking of the family – Mac’s father Detective Armstrong finds Paul’s mum tied up and she tells him about Neil. While Mac and Anna, in a storage container, have a beautiful scene together… only to be found by Fades (Paul’s old therapist)

And on to the distraction characters, we also drop in on Ghost!Sarah (who, as you recall, has a new diet plan of human flesh, nomnom) and her husband Mark who really needs to find some point in this story C’mon, it’s the last episode. Anyway they have sex but Ghost!Sarah has a problem – she wants to eat him (no, not a euphemism) which naturally causes some consternation.  I’m not sure what role they’re supposed to serve – a humanising element? But the villains and protagonists in this series are very human already

Rather upset that she nearly snacked on her dearly beloved, Sarah goes to confront John, the Fade leader, asking him what she is and what he’s done to which John replies with the charming Biblical story of Sodom and how he’s creating a new nation which requires a little unfortunate bloodshed – this is the evil villain self-justification clause.

Of course, with Sarah on his side John gets the benefit of her own special kind of fluffy positive thinking – it doesn’t matter, everything’s dead, everything’s ash, there’s no hope. Cheerful sort. In her fatalism, Sarah, for some reason feels compelled to protect John, albeit rather ineffectually
Paul and Neil find John  and have a gun fight and limerick match. There then follows several rhetoric battles – Sarah vs Alice, Neil vs John – debate time! Moral viewpoints! Philosophies and tragic stories – go! Actually that sounds kind of dull and though I’m vaguely amused at the dramatic show down being an exchange of impassioned speeches, it’s pretty tense, a good way to finish off the world and fill in any gaps – and have an epic battle – even if it is with words

Paul, affected by the epic speeches, tells them both to go screw themselves and goes to open Ascension – and grabs Sarah along the way “what’s the point of seeing the future if you can’t change it?” Something Paul has done in the past.

Paul goes to the shopping centre where Sarah died, where theseries started the first sealed Ascension point - and blasts it open – unleashing an ash cloud (yes the cloud from the vision). We have a dramatic show down with john – john shooting, attacking and ebating Paul while Paul doesn’t fight back but heads upstairs to fully open Ascension. Paul’s vision almost comes true – John almost kills him… but this time Sarah changes the future. And Paul gets his wings, John briefly realises that when  your enemy has wings and a halo it’s a bad sign…

And we have Ascension.

All in all? This ending was epic. Really epic.

In all, the Fades season 1 has been a truly excellent, nuanced, fascinating and tense series even with an apparent shoe-string budget. It’s a quality programme and I dearly hope there’s a season 2. Story, world, concept, and truly incredible acting – this series is a keeper.