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The Fades Episode Three TV Review

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Desperate measures

1.03

Writer: Jack Thorne

Director: Farren Blackburn

The One Where: Paul’s powers start cropping up at inconvenient moments, his friendship with Mac is tested and the Fades continue evolving.

Verdict: Blimey. I most certainly wasn’t expecting that. Flattening your lead character with a truck three episodes in is brave to say the least, and although we’ve all seen the out-of-the-blue car accident before, it didn’t stop Paul’s being any less of a jolt. And what a week it’s been for the Angelic upstart, who managed to lose his virginity, capture a Fade, jack in therapy and discover a few new super powers while suffering apocalyptic visions at an alarming frequency.

That The Fades managed to fit all of this in without sacrificing its cinematic poise or losing focus on any of the plotlines is testament to just how good an episode this was. Perfectly paced, full of incident and packing a hefty emotional wallop, after a wobble last week The Fades returned with its best episode thus far.

Showcasing some fine Jack Thorne scriptwriting , this episode went a long way towards justifying all the hype around The Fades . The humour was ever-present, but was counterbalanced by some moments of real horror, drama and poignancy. Mac in particular felt much more like a fully realised character this week than simply a reference-spouting shell. The debacle that was Mac’s 17 th birthday gave Daniel Kaluuya a chance to really shine, and the tenderness between Mac and Paul was played just right.

It seems a shame that Paul doesn’t involve Mac more in the world of the Angelics. He could certainly do with someone on his side when dealing with Neil. With all the phone calls and weighty advice, Neil is becoming the father figure Paul could probably do without, but even then it’s hard to dislike the embattled Angelic. He's got an air of vulnerability that made Helen’s ascension incredibly moving, and his sliced stomach served as a wince-inducing reminder of the threat the Fades pose.

The Fades themselves, and the final reveal that the chap in Paul’s visions is actually the mega-Fade who had been re-generating in a blood and gristle cocoon, look like they’re building up for some serious action. There are plenty of questions that still need to be answered, but things seem to be gathering momentum nicely.

It’s a shame the same can’t be said for Mac’s dad’s case. He knows how desperate his situation is, and although arresting Mark is clearly not the way to go, his job is on the line so you can hardly blame him. The interplay between his work, Mac’s home life and Mark’s quest to find out what happened to Sarah works as an essential real-world counterweight to all the supernatural shenanigans. Here’s hoping Paul doesn’t try the mouth-shutting thing on Mac Senior though, or he’ll have more than a few dead folks to deal with. I’ve heard the Met don’t take too kindly to that sort of thing…

Geek off: It’s all very well getting the girl of your dreams, but when she says her favourite film is Twilight and has the cheek to mention it in the same sentence as Star Wars , it’s surely time to re-evaluate the relationship…

Best line:

Jay: “Anything to be frightened of?”

Paul: “I grow wings when I ejaculate.”

Rob Power


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