THE DEEP (BBC) “The Last Breath” Review

The Deep

THE DEEP ends with episode 5, ‘The Last Breath’, and not a moment too soon. It’s not just bad, it’s also incredibly anticlimactic. I’ll try to make some sense of events. Don’t hold out hope for coherence. At this point my brain is staging a strike.

Okay, so to sum up what exactly happened, in case you got lost partway through (like me): The Volos and it’s shiny radar beam was supposed to kill the lava bugs, thereby destroying a chance for clean, renewable energy, leaving them free to sell the oil under the Arctic. Hatsuto was actually on the Russian side all along (he kills Lowe with a non-frozen gun), which makes his search for a shoal-Hermes correlation over the past 4 weeks completely pointless.

Then a Texan turns up and lo (pardon the pun) and behold, we find out that the US oil companies are in cahoots with the Russians. Oh, and they also own the Orpheus, thereby making the entire crew employees of an oil firm.

Not-so-sinister Raymond was also an employee (and therefore really WAS sinister); he tries to help Zubov fry the Orpheus crew with the radar beam, but Clem appears and stops him. And then they both get fried when the radar beam starts.

Did I forget to mention that Clem surfaced in the Volos moon pool? No, I don’t know how that happened either.

Back home, Scarlet’s grandmother reveals she used a decoy computer in her plan to throw off the mysterious men in the not-so-subtle-car. Again I ask, have these people not heard of backing up files? Get an external hard drive, Grandma. It’ll save you the headache the next time your family gets itself into this situation.

On the Volos: Vincent and Svetlana kiss and he goes off to overload the Volos nuclear reactor, while she tries to escape in the Volos submersible. Vincent gives Zubov the worst final monologue in television history (apparently he was ill as a teenager, between 12 and 14, even though 12 isn’t really a teenager, is it?), and then the Volos explodes.

(A little earlier) On the Orpheus, Catherine stabilizes the lava bug samples – but not before Samson takes a sneaky sample and freeze dries it. Because they can’t de-pressurise while he does this, the Orpheus has to try and shimmy out from the Volos, which is about to move directly above them. Why they can’t just go UP without de-pressurising is never explained.

Then the radar beam hits them and no one gets Maddyfied – go figure – but Frances dies. Samson resuscitates her and within minutes she’s up and about saving their lives, because the air supply has stopped and she knows just the button to push to restart the neonox The others wake up – they’d been passed out for minutes because of this lack of air – and are fine and dandy. They surface. You would think that waking up to find the Volos gone would be a bit of a surprise. As in a complete ‘OMG WTF’ moment (let’s face it, that’s the mental level Frances is working on at all times). Apparently not. And there’s no debris or effects of radiation or anything as they pass through the area it just exploded in. I’ll admit, I know nothing about nuclear reactions underwater, but surely there should have been something?

Crazy Texan finds them and tells them that they’ll have to give a sanctioned version of events to the media and their loved ones. He destroys the main sample of lava bugs. The evil oil consortiums have won, apparently. Frances only has one request: that Arkady is allowed to come home with them.

Svetlana is dead in the Russian submersible, by the way.

On a ship headed home, Fransom get it on and reveal the freeze dried sample of lava bugs. Were we actually supposed to root for Franson? Samson, the guy who cheated on his wife, and Frances, the inept submarine captain who’s screwing with her married co-worker?

Catherine goes home and has to let Scarlet know that Clem died saving her. Scarlet reveals that she never really believed her mother was alive. It’s kind of obvious she wants her dad back. Sorry, kiddo, you’re stuck with Catherine and your grandmother. Maybe you can help them pick out that external hard drive. And let’s face it, if your dad survived he would probably have nose-bled all over the shop. Or not, you know, given how that plotline was dropped completely before he got fried.

They don’t bother telling us what happened to Arkady, sadly. He was the only one of this godforsaken crew I actually gave a damn about by the end.

In summary: we’re left with a Brit, an Irish, a Croatian and a Russian, all of whom were screwed over in an American and Russian plan to destroy clean fuel and let oil prevail. There’s a possibility Samson will manage to sequence the genome for the lava bugs and that, along with Catherine’s research and Frances proposed new submarine, it will help them get clean fuel to the masses. Will they succeed?

With any luck, we’ll never, ever find out.

What did you think of The Deep? Is there a single person out there who actually enjoyed it? If you did, please let me know why. I’m desperate to know how this series was greenlighted.