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S01.E08: Episode 8 2017.10.24

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Eunice goes rogue.  Leslie shows his true colors.  James and Alyssa plan their escape but may be out of time.

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i'm in that just-finished-binging phase where my thinking hasn't quite yet solidified.

so for now, two things come to mind about this finale:

one is that even as i was aware that this series was riffing on many sources (especially films) that have a darker tone, even as i remembered the title of the show, even as i knew that it was probably against the grain of where the show had been leading the entire time -- i still wanted a happier ending than the one we got.  it fit the story, made logical sense, offered the character of james somewhat of a redemption arc -- going from contemplating killing alyssa to sacrificing himself for her, and yet, the emotional side of me overwhelmed the critical side and i hoped that somehow these two crazy kids would get away and have a chance to make it work out between them.

 

the other things is, relatedly, i have read rumors that this series might be given a greenlight for another season, which has led me to fantasize that the shot we hear in the closing moment has missed james, or just, like, hit his arm or calf or something non-life threatening, and he lives and the series continues.

 

that said, the storyline i would be equally if not more excited to see play out for longer is the one between the two women police officers.  i love both actresses and their dynamic was gold throughout.

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Other than delight once I realized that was Asha--sorry, Yara--Greyjoy onscreen, I give this series a solid meh. The actors were good, but overall, it just seemed like a hodge podge of every "I'm an angsty, edgy teen" film I've ever seen.

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5 hours ago, veronicalodge44 said:

the other things is, relatedly, i have read rumors that this series might be given a greenlight for another season, which has led me to fantasize that the shot we hear in the closing moment has missed james, or just, like, hit his arm or calf or something non-life threatening, and he lives and the series continues.

Realistically it probably missed. In tv and movies it often seems easy to shoot someone from a distance, but I've read that it's not so easy in real life. We already saw that the first shot missed and James ran further away by the time of the second shot so it's very likely that it also missed. And even if he was hit it is very likely that it was not fatal.

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I wasn't sure if people would binge this all in one sitting like I did, given the series' relatively short run time, or not.  Either way, we can discuss the season as a whole as much as the final episode here.

I'm seeing a lot of speculation too that this may get another season when it doesn't seem like they were initially thinking in that direction.  That ending gunshot and cut to black is just ambiguous enough that they've left themselves some room, although I'm not sure how they wrangle the characters out of the mess they're in.  As an American, I don't know enough about the British legal system to do more than guess that even with both surviving they're probably looking at some good amount of time for at the very least manslaughter, armed robbery, and stealing at least one car.  That the two detectives made a point of mentioning that all of these crimes happened before James turned 18 feels like it may make the difference in his final resolution, although again I'm just guessing.  17-year-olds get charged as adults and do adult time all the time here.

Isn't it funny how a story that started out with this kid very flatly telling us he kills cats had us rooting for him to get away to start over somewhere and for it to all work by the end?  I wasn't expecting that or to like this as much as I did.  I think part of why it works it because it knows we've seen these stories a million times before and plays off of that with a wink, with Alyssa commenting at one point that if this was a movie they'd probably be American characters and their big makeover to disguise themselves only resulting in them looking every bit like half the movie characters we have seen in these kinds of stories.  A good soundtrack doesn't hurt either.

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Poor Phil. I have felt bad for him since the first episode. Sure, he tells dad jokes and he isn't the most sensitive guy, but he's not a bad guy. He clearly loved his wife who then committed suicide and he's been trying to raise a kid who he doesn't relate to at all.

Loved the sunset at the beach (but I love the beach and sunsets so I'm biased). Part of me was glad that they didn't have sex, but after seeing the way the season ended now I kind of wish that they had. Poor Alyssa though. She was still so traumatized by what had happened to her, which is totally understandable.

I'm glad that James told Alyssa about his mom's suicide and that she immediately told him that it wasn't his fault. I think he had been carrying that guilt for so long and blaming himself for not stopping her when realistically there was nothing he could have done to save her.

I knew Leslie couldn't be trusted but man, calling the cops on your own kid for the reward money? Harsh. I had a feeling that he wasn't the one sending her birthday cards when she mentioned it in the previous episode and he stared at the card like he'd never seen it. Gwen was not a great mother, but I understand why she sent those cards from Leslie every year. She was just trying to make Alyssa feel loved.

One of the reasons that this show worked for me was the gradual transformation we saw of James. In the first episode, he told us that he killed his neighbor's cat and numerous other animals. By the end of the previous episode, he couldn't bring himself to kill a puppy to put it out of its misery. His slow growth is something that had to happen over the course of time or it wouldn't be as believable. The fact that his plan in the first episode was to kill Alyssa and the season ended with him sacrificing himself to completely absolve her was not surprising but it was still a satisfying (if melancholy) ending. If they end up doing a second season, they can easily get away with the shot missing him. We saw that he was pretty far down the beach so it's totally believable that they missed him completely or hit him somewhere other than center mass.

Heh, Leslie completely disregarding Eunice's instructions to leave the knife in his leg and then swooning made me laugh.

Lastly, the music supervisor deserves a high five - so many great songs!

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 What an awesome show. So glad I watched.  Binged to the end. Don't think they should do a season 2 but will definitely watch. 

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On 1/9/2018 at 2:12 AM, paulvdb said:

Realistically it probably missed. In tv and movies it often seems easy to shoot someone from a distance, but I've read that it's not so easy in real life. We already saw that the first shot missed and James ran further away by the time of the second shot so it's very likely that it also missed. And even if he was hit it is very likely that it was not fatal.

I thought the gunshot at the end was the shotgun though and not a handgun. It sounded different to me. I thought James shot himself (he was running with the shotgun in his hand still).

 

I thought overall it was decent but not amazing or anything. I think I would have actually preferred if the guy they killed wasn't completely awful so it was a bit more morally questionable.

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James narrated the whole story in the past tense, right?  Like he was telling someone how it all went down.

Who is he telling the story to after the fact if he's dead?

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My son told me it was based on a graphic novel, which I don't particularly like but what the heck. Snow day, stuck inside, try something new.  I have to say I was drawn in immediately and except for brief breaks to stretch I binged the whole series this morning.   The characters evolved into truly likable people in the end, and  of course I was rooting for the "us against the world" scenario.  If it comes back for another season, I'll watch, if not, I'll use my imagination to stay in touch with Alyssa and James.  At the very least, I'm convinced to give graphic novels another look.

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In most shows the actors are clearly not teens, but I kept thinking the characters were 14-15 because the actors look so young. In reality they're both in their 20s. 

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As the parent to teens, I was gutted by this final episode. It was heartbreaking to see Alyssa completely broken and raw and James realizing he had no exit ramp. I just wanted to wrap them both up in hugs and love them.

I assumed the gunshot was James killing himself. 

 

I hope there’s no second season. 

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On 1/18/2018 at 11:41 PM, JustaPerson said:

In most shows the actors are clearly not teens, but I kept thinking the characters were 14-15 because the actors look so young. In reality they're both in their 20s. 

British shows are usually much, much better with casting either real teens or people that look unquestionably look like teenagers. The fact that they both looked like kids really added to the heartbreak, in my opinion.

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I just binged this series last night.  I'm still not sure how much I liked the series.  I think the performances were really good but it still didn't totally click with me and it may be because of the ending.  I like that he knocked her out to prevent her from doing anything to get herself into more trouble and to set her up to be absolved of all crimes but I didn't like the gunshot and fade to black.  It feels a little bit like Schrodinger's Cat and I'd rather the creators picked an end result.

Count me in the camp of thinking he's still alive because killing himself would be selfish (by traumatizing her the way he was by his mom) and the cops killing him would be unnecessary when he had literally nowhere to run to -- he's running in broad daylight on a shore miles away from the nearest city, town or escape route. 

I'd have loved another 3-4 episodes in this season because I liked watching them change in each other's company but I can't see a second season working.  (I don't see what journey they could take that was interesting for itself, did justice to their growth over these episodes, and wasn't a downer of them getting worse together rather than better -- 2 out of the 3 maybe but I can't envision all 3 together.) 

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On 4/9/2018 at 5:06 PM, rab01 said:

Count me in the camp of thinking he's still alive because killing himself would be selfish (by traumatizing her the way he was by his mom) and the cops killing him would be unnecessary when he had literally nowhere to run to -- he's running in broad daylight on a shore miles away from the nearest city, town or escape route. 

Yes on both counts. That's exactly what I was thinking. 

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Just binged this. What a surprisingly good show; it was not what I expected (and was dreading) at all. 

My expectations: some tedious teen angst involving too-cool-for-school precocious twats. 

The reality: A darkly humorous, bittersweet gem of a series. 

Edited by Pindrop.
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