Welcome to the revelation. CONTAINS DETAILED SPOILERS!
Writer Paul Mousley
Director Mark Everest
THE ONE WHERE Danny returns, amidst a tsunami of revelations about multiplying anomalies, Ethan’s identity, Matt’s mission, and Philip’s past association with Helen Cutter.
VERDICT The revelations come thick and fast in an episode that caps off series four in fine fashion. Once again, the monsters could be any monsters; it really didn’t matter what came through the anomaly as long as it was big and dangerous and roared. It’s a bit of a shame that the show now treats each monster-of-the-week in such a perfunctory, interchangeable manner, but when there’s as much going in the arc plot as there is here, you don’t really need them to be much more than a plot device.
Danny’s back and in cracking form, and the fact that Ethan is his brother suddenly seems so, so obvious; having Danny out of the action for much of the series was a handy piece of misdirection, as it was easy to forget the reason why he wanted to join the ARC in the first place. After Jenny returned to whack a giant pooch last week, Danny gets to wallop a giant dodo with a stick called Molly this week. Dinosaurs take note – returning cast members will always win in a fight.
The prison setting was a great location and the multiple anomalies made the A-plot more intriguing. The idea that two anomalies opening up in the same place creates satellite anomalies, and the fact that two anomalies opening in the same place (cue big flashing neon light) CANNOT BE A COINCIDENCE, hints pretty heavily where the show will be going next series.
The thought that Philip and Helen Cutter are somehow connected in some dodgy fashion makes sense, but it remains a rather chilling discovery. Connor’s sudden diagnosis about the anomalies leading to the end of the world seems a little sudden and lacking in dramatic clout, though. Sure, the revelation itself is pretty bloody major; it’s just that discovering it by looking through a few notes isn’t the most exciting solution to necessary exposition ever.
The direction was once again outstanding, from some exciting action set-pieces to the wonderful shot of Emily vanishing into the anomaly. Not too sure why there were a load of sheets hanging up to dry in a room in a disused prison, but the big bird sequence that took place in there was top notch. The scripts this series may sometimes have felt a little workmanlike, but the directors have been working overtime to make the show look great.
A fine series finale, and even though there wasn’t a cliffhanger as such, there are enough dangling threads to make sure you’ll be back for series five.
MONSTERS OF THE WEEK Phorusrhacidae (a close relation, clearly, to the Phorusrhacos in Ray Harryhausen’s Mysterious Island ).
PHASERS TO STUN Matt’s dinoblasters seemed to be having trouble knocking the big birds unconscious, which at first seemed a little odd at first, since (according to episode 4.0) they are supposed to be capable of taking out a T-Rex. Then it all became clear: the guys only had their guns on the lowest setting, just in case an old cast member stumbled out of an anomaly and they accidentally shot him. It was also amusing to hear Becker make a rueful comment about how Matt likes to shoot people, a reference to episode 4.01 when Matt demonstrates the guns by blasting Becker.
REVELATIONS Ethan is Danny’s brother; Matt’s from a post-anomalytic future; Philip and Helen Cutter were once in cahoots; the anomalies are multiplying at a dangerous rate; Jess is a Cyberwoman. (We’ve made one up…)
WE WANT ABBY BACK Well, Hannah Spearitt gets to smile a bit more this episode, but once again, she’s really little more than a Becker with love bumps. Come on – give her a decent plotline!
Connor: “It leads to the Victorian era. What do you think’s gonna come through? Olivertwistosaurus?”