Thursday, 28 March 2013

Review: Survivors 2.5

Sarah makes the choice to maintain quarantine and
sacrifice herself.
Survivors - Series Two, Episode Five
Written 23/2/13

The character of Sarah was always one that, in the first series, I found innately annoying. Her experiences in the second series, despite playing on many "weak woman" stereotypes, did improve her character. This development gets its payoff in this rather well-done final story for her, as well as providing a moment of quiet before we storm towards the mythos-filled finale and that dreaded cliffhanger. The episode's main theme seemed to be depression and death, which is a wonderful thing to fill my Saturday afternoon with, but we'll roll with it.
     After saving two people on the street from a bunch of bandits, the gang is led back to a free commune, where people work the land. Tom gets jealous when bisexual Anya has the hots for the commune's organiser, leading him to admit his love for her. Sarah goes off for a walk and ends up trapped in a house wherin live three people who have become exposed to a new, more advanced strain of the virus capable of killing those previously immune. She chooses to sacrifice herself by shutting up the house, enforcing quarantine. Greg and Abby go to Greg's house, where he finds the postcard we saw in his flashback. The postcard contains co-ordinates to an airfield, where the two find a businessman claiming that the postcards were sent to the "chosen few", who would be whisked away to a safe haven. Sarah dies and Abby returns to burn the house down, with the group now heading off to the Scientist's Compound in order to seek a vaccine to the new strain. There they find only Whitakker, who has taken Peter.
     Sarah's act of bravery in the house provided a touching moment for both her and Al, two characters who in the previous series hadn't really been up to much. The only problem wiht that part of the storyline is that it was fighting with the other side, with Greg and Abby actually advancing some of the mysteries introduced in the premier and getting us closer to the finale. Atfer the last few episodes of running around the countryside shooting things, it felt rather sedated.
Greg and Abby find the postcard.
     2.5 was all about getting things ready for next week, and it did that in a way which upped the stakes in a way which felt sublte and nuanced. Sarah didn't exactly go out with a bang, but it was certainly a loss that we felt, as Al's single source of character development disappeared in front of our eyes. The build-up of mythos surrounding the mysterious postcards is feeling a little too late, but hopefully it'll all smooth itself out as we head into Survivors unintentional final hour.


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