'The Smoke': Episode 8 SPOILER Discussion Thread - Jamie Bamber News
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'The Smoke': Episode 8 SPOILER Discussion Thread
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(c) Des Willie / Sky 1

The finale is here! and I have had such a miserable April so far I still haven't had a chance to comment on Ep. 7!  But it's all good... You folks get started without me on the finale chatter.   GO!!!

Come on, show, Kev has been properly put through the ringer. Semi-happy ending AT LEAST. ;)




SPOILERS BELOOOOOOWWWW!!!   and FIRE!   More FIRE!

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From: genesgal Date: April 10th, 2014 10:37 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Kev didn't die... Was almost a relief to get to the credits!

The whole shutting the door on Gog and letting him die... A nice plot for series two ( please let it happen) you know that that is going to come back and haunt Kev!

The Campervan.. So sweet.. Laughed out loud at the handle coming off.

Poor Billy and the bird..

Apart from being on the edge of my seat hoping Kev wouldn't die , it wasn't as emotional as I feared. My nerves are fried though. Been dreading today's ep

Gog was vile wasn't he.. Peeing in the hole Rosa dug to plant the tree. Poor woman.. She lost everything because of him.

I thought that water looked cold in the clip I saw.. Knew it would be Southend of Sarffend as a Londoner would pronounce it. My hubby used to live there many years ago!

Glad Sky are retweeting the heck out of every comment.

Jamie's tweet about hoping there's another series. Wouldn't he know if he was still under contract?. Wish they would just say yes or no and put us out of our misery!
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: April 11th, 2014 06:14 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Back with actual commentary on the ep (LOTS) once I have time this weekend. ;) But for now...

Jamie's tweet about hoping there's another series. Wouldn't he know if he was still under contract?. Wish they would just say yes or no and put us out of our misery!

The network ultimately has the right to make the announcement whether or not a new series has been commissioned. Even if it's already been commissioned and Jamie and the cast have been notified, they wouldn't be at liberty to say anything on Twitter or anywhere else until Sky decide it's time to issue a press release. We just have to sit tight and wait, and keep encouraging people to show support for more episodes.

(FYI there was a Broadcast Now article that ran today which pointed out that the show delivered good enough ratings to be considered a hit, even if it didn't become an immediate pop culture touchstone. Frankly, few shows do though, particularly when international distrib deals are still in the works. So it's not exactly a slight.)
anteros_lmc From: anteros_lmc Date: April 11th, 2014 10:35 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Sorry you've had such a crappy month :( I haven't had a chance to watch this episode yet either, but I did watch the previous one and was on the edge of me seat the whole time!

Interesting about the viewing figures. I was going to ask about that, though I have absolutely no idea what would constitute successful viewing figures for a show like this. Good to hear its been considered a hit. It's certainly generated plenty of social media attention!
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: April 13th, 2014 09:11 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Thanks hon. {{{{}}}} And I think for Sky, and a home grown show at that, it's a hit; had it been on the BBC or another of the big networks there, with the numbers it got, not so much. But hopefully there's enough interest in extending the story to do another eight at least.
From: genesgal Date: April 11th, 2014 07:30 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Someone has asked Jamie when they'll know if there's to be a 2nd series, he said " next 2 weeks" !

I hope Lucy has already started writing just incase.

The bad thing for Jamie is that if most of the filming (if it's to be this year ) will be during term time so I he'll be away from his family for ages. Really tough for all of them., but I suppose that's the pitfall of having any job that's not 9-5:(

I think filming last year started in earnest 13th April last year, they'll certainly miss miss that start date but then they don't have to start from scratch this time ( please let there be a this time!)

Woke up to a tweet reply from Jamie... Nice way to start the day :)
anteros_lmc From: anteros_lmc Date: April 12th, 2014 12:27 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Finally watched it! Quick comment though as it's silly o'clock here & I have to get up hideously early tomorrow.

Loved the way it ended. Thought LK drew enough of the threads together to provide a satisfying conclusion while still leaving enough hanging for a possible second season.

Surprisingly, I was almost sorry to see Mal go, it felt that his character was finally starting to come together in this episode.

Best bit had to be the van though. OMG the van!! We have a van. That made me very happy :}

Not sure what to say about Kev and Trish and Dennis, so much going on there. They've all got some road ahead of them.

All the cast were superb, but Rosa deserves a special hat tip. Jamie, JW and TE all excelled themselves. Brilliant stuff. More coherent comments later I hope.
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: April 13th, 2014 09:20 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Best bit had to be the van though. OMG the van!! We have a van. That made me very happy :}

In a finale that had a lot more heart-wrenching moments than light ones, all the ones with the van were not only light but bang-on. If you wanted to get symbolic about it, it's not a bad metaphor for Kev and Trish's relationship... yeah, it's pretty banged up and it needs some fixing, but it's loaded with promise. :)
asta77 From: asta77 Date: April 13th, 2014 02:38 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Can I continue to complain about the random appearances of Head!Shrink? Well, I'm going to anyway. ;) Given the mixed emotions Kev was dealing with in regards to his choice to leave Gog to die and believing he took the van, when it was actually one of the fire trucks, without question he has psychological issues he's not dealt with. My assumption is Head!Shrink was to show us throughout the previous seven episodes something was wrong, and, yeah, she did to an extent. But when she's MIA for entire episodes or pops up briefly and randomly it does not work as a plot device. And shouldn't she have appeared again at the beach? Or was she replaced by a vehicle? :p

I am curious if, in a second series, we pick up with Kev in therapy, knowing he has a problem and dealing with it, or we get more hallucinations as he continues to try and cover and be in denial. I really hope it's the former.

As for his choice to allow Gog to die, I'm torn. There was a nice parallel between Kev and Rosa and their inability, no matter how much they try to show the world they have moved on, to deal with the destruction and pain one man has caused them. Moments after Kev tells Dennis he's not turning him in because, if Rosa can put the past behind her and move forward, so can he, he sees she is still in the throws of her grief. And it's because of the grief that neither has truly dealt with they make the choices they do. (Though, as a mother who lost a child, wouldn't Rosa have made sure Emily wasn't home? I don't think she could have lived with herself if Emily had died.)

And even if it was Gog (who I do think could have been written a bit more subtly at times) and we know he likely would have continued to hurt more people, I hate that Dennis was put in a position to leave someone behind to die again. Though, it does set up a nice bit of role reversal in which he's left to judge Kev and his actions and he's keeping Kev's secret.

On a superficial note: Shirtless Jamie Bamber. Twice. :) And Trish not wearing matching underwear. Because how many TV shows and films ALWAYS show the actresses in matching underwear. How realistic is that ?! ;)
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: April 13th, 2014 09:17 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
But when she's MIA for entire episodes or pops up briefly and randomly it does not work as a plot device. And shouldn't she have appeared again at the beach?

I don't know if I would have written her into the beach scene as at that point, I think Kev was actively trying to shut out all of his trauma and focus on Trish coming, and on the setting and on having hope for the future. But I do agree that one of the reasons she didn't quite work is the points at which she appears. She actually turned up consistently in the second half of the series, but I still feel like having at least one more scene perhaps around Episode 3 where she chats briefly with Kev (probably about his finding out about Mal and Trish), and we're still under the impression that she's real... that might have solidified the entire character better.

You know, I didn't even think about that but that's a fair point about Emily. Thing is, I was operating under the assumption that Rosa was just so far gone she wasn't even considering things like that in that moment. If she had been herself, she probably would have thought about it... but she really wasn't.

And Trish not wearing matching underwear. Because how many TV shows and films ALWAYS show the actresses in matching underwear. How realistic is that ?! ;)

Haha! Yup. Points, show, for undergarment realism. ;)
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: April 13th, 2014 08:57 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Flippin' hell, man.

Definitely a sense that this finale resolves a majority of plot threads, but yet still leaves crucial material to be mined in a second series if we get one. And I do love that about it. But good lord, what material to leave unresolved. (The tone of the episode feels like resolution, resolution, resolution, SHITSTORM OH GOD OH NO FFFFFUUUUUU..., resolution.)

I don't know why it didn't occur to me before that Trish might have just been brought to another hospital; sure it does happen quite often in big accidents, when they're sending out first responders from everwhere within a certain radius. 'Course, we were pretty confident she wasn't dead, weren't we? ;) I did rather love Julia saying she told Kev to come later and Trish immediately insisting he come NOW. And coughing and spluttering and ruining a make-up snog in her scuzzy jim jams. Oh how I love you, Whittaker. She's just the best.

Admired the fact that the show stuck to its guns and sent Mal packing, rather than a sudden change of heart in the finale where he stays; sure, there's room there for a reversal in a second series or at the very least we probably haven't seen the last of him. But it's true to the nature of this show for some things to remain broken; you pick up the pieces and you move on, but if fences are to be mended it's bit by bit, not all at once. Today's bit, it was giving Mal a lift in the back of a shitty camper van, and having a few laughs on the way.

BTW, Billy's kinda-crap but it had a good ending limerick about Mal was perfect. As was one of my favorite Madness tracks playing at the barbecue, and the fact that no one wanted to drink Billy's "amazing" cocktail and everyone just wants beers. And Big Al's ukelele. More shows need a ukelele now and then.

The Ziggy/Rob bit at first seemed really out of left field, as though it was the beginning of a plot thread that should have come about waaaaaay earlier in the season. As it played out though, it made sense in that it's more about Ziggy once again trying to reconcile the affection she has for her world away from home vs. figuring out her place in that home. There's a lot more story there, too, which I so hope we get to see. Ditto Little Al, who presumably will have different struggles to negotiate trying to make his family responsibilities work, too. And I wonder, since all we really got about Rob this series was second-hand information about how he has a pretty stable home life and lots of kids, if the wheels will come off and there will be something of a reversal for him in a potenial Series 2.

Everything about the tree planting sequence was difficult to watch, particularly because it was foreshadowed last week in Rosa's line about forgiving. It really does still bother me that we don't know many details about whatever else Gog has done in the past that made everyone on that estate so terrified they wouldn't speak up. Granted there is room for the implication that, in general, no one cares enough about their neighbors to do the right thing when tragedy happens, and that's pretty upsetting too.
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: April 13th, 2014 09:00 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
(continued)

So then... Kev. God dammit. :( We discussed this a little back when it was definitively revealed that Pauline wasn't real, but moving forward if there's a second series it is absolutely clear now... he needs an actual psychologist. He needs HELP. I don't think he's crazy, and I think a lot of the decisions he's made when he was lucid the past few eps (esp. with Trish) were sound, but he's still got a hefty dose of PTSD that he needs to sort out. Jamie is so completely heartbreaking and wonderful in that moment just after Kev realizes he's taken the fire engine instead... on the phone to Trish, and the look on his face and catch in his voice, and he's confused and scared but he thinks he's got a handle on it. Shouldn't he have a handle on it? Everything's alright... it's over. Isn't it?

I'm actually quite impressed that, given how she was really only introduced in the last two episodes, the parallel between Rosa and Kev being so damaged that they ultimately, though without premeditation, come together to rid themselves of their demon in the most extreme way... it's strongly written, and also really really disturbing. On the surface there IS so much joy and hope in that last scene with Kev and Trish at the beach, such that it's kind of a gut-punch the way Trish initially says Kev is scaring her but then her anxiety melts away and she just assumes he's being daft because he's so happy he's finally going to get on with his life... well, yes. But at what cost? (I wouldn't bet against Pauline turning up again, although I'd probably bet more on us seeing gruesome burn-scarred Gog as the monkey on his back next series, too. Kev was actually right about being a good man, and not a heartless thug; he's going to try and move forward but that guilt will eat away at him.)

And dammit, all that we'd achieved between Kev and Dennis and it gets shot to hell. (Note, again, how when he's panicky and shouty Kev goes right back to calling him Asbo at the end there.) This is our big mystery, our big emotional thread of a second series if we get one: If either Rosa's or Kev's involvement in this fire comes to light, what will Dennis do? Now that he has been accepted into White Watch's ranks, he doesn't really need the Guv in his corner advocating that he be treated like a member of the family. Given what Kev's just done, the image Dennis has built of him as a role model in his head has been knocked down several pegs. (Mind you, I do see a way for LK to write this such that the relationship will be repaired, if/when Dennis realizes exactly how intense Kev's PTSD is.)

So much wonderful writing, despite some choices that I think don't work as well as they were intended and several characterizations that need more context. But I've enjoyed this series SO much. Really hoping we get to see more of it, and that we can actually see Jamie really negotiate Kev's way out of darkness. (It'll be a bit of a crusher if we're left with him still somewhat adrift. But at least he has Trish. <3 *sniffle*)
anteros_lmc From: anteros_lmc Date: April 13th, 2014 09:45 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I did rather love Julia saying she told Kev to come later and Trish immediately insisting he come NOW. And coughing and spluttering and ruining a make-up snog in her scuzzy jim jams. Oh how I love you, Whittaker. She's just the best.
I loved that scene too! When Trish started coughing and spluttering and Kev half laughed and said "Are you all right?" It was just perfect!

we don't know many details about whatever else Gog has done in the past that made everyone on that estate so terrified they wouldn't speak up
I agree. I can't help agreeing that Gog was a bit underwritten. Sam Gittens was excellent, but he wasn't given much to go on.

Note, again, how when he's panicky and shouty Kev goes right back to calling him Asbo at the end there.
I noticed that too. There's so much to pick up there. I really hope there will be another series so that LK can explore that relationship.

Hope your crappy month is over and this month will be a better one for you :}
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