In the Flesh Series 2 Episode 6 Review

In the Flesh

As an argument for why BBC Three should survive, this second series of In the Flesh was a triumph. Keeping those elements that got it noticed in the first place but improving on those things that weren’t quite right last year, this six-episode run has been a wonderful demonstration of what YA horror/fantasy should be – with depictions of death and intolerance, love, relationships, and brief glimpses of a better future all mixed in with fashionable zombies (the genre, not the actual zombies) and an uncomfortable look at modern-day Britain.

The countless properties that have failed at this proves how hard it is to get right, but In the Flesh has happened upon something quite special – the perfect time and subject matter alongside a brilliant cast and a television schedule almost completely unpopulated by quality dramas aimed at the young. Skins and Misfits are long gone, as is BBC Three’s similarly unloved, yet absolutely brilliant The Fades – this is a show that needs to survive, and having it cut down due to its channel’s budget being taken away would be a crying shame.

This finale paid off everything that came before while somehow also leaving everything open for a potential third series to arrive in the future. Kieran remains in Roarton despite its flaws, and it even looks as though he and Simon might make a go of things despite the set of angry mobs coming after them. They don’t just have to worry about the prejudiced humans attacking out of ignorance, because now even the PDS sufferers perceive Simon as a traitor and Kieran as a sacrifice that needs to happen. We didn’t get to see a second rising, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be one.

The big consequence of Maxine’s crazy efforts to resurrect her brother, though, was the death of actual-first-risen Amy. As soon as she started to enjoy that weird twist of fate, excited to be the first PDS sufferer to experience humanity again, I knew she was a goner. No one is allowed to be that happy on a show like this, and it was both frustrating and heartbreaking to see her go out right at that most blissful moment. What it’ll potentially do for Phillip, however, is a different matter and, even if those final few moments weren’t teasing her return, I’m excited for what’s to come for him.

The result of this was that Kieran’s storyline stopped being the focus yet again. Rather than be like last year’s finale pushing his plight to the forefront, this year has peppered his triumphs and failures throughout the year (with the standout moment still being that Sunday lunch). Gary hasn’t been a character we’ve been made to particularly care for, and so his attack comes off as more mechanical than anything; something that needed to happen to economically finish off Jem and Kieran’s arc as well as the matter of Blue Oblivion.

But that doesn’t mean that the moment he manages to resist his rotter instincts wasn’t powerful, and this finale was littered with excellent moments. The sight of Kieran exhibiting the same symptoms as Amy, without the knowledge of what it means is going to be the biggest point of annoyance if we never see these characters again, but if we only get these nine great hours of In the Flesh, then who are we really to grumble? The series delivered on its promise and more, so a third run would just be a lovely bonus.

What did you think of the episode, and the series? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.