The one thing you can say about this show is that it has consistently ignored all boundaries and has no shame. It makes for some very inventive and surprising stories. It also provides more than a few cringe-worthy moments.
The other main consistency of the series is character growth. While every character is on the edge of any bounds of normality, they each remain true to their framework, while also making us care for them, no matter the depths of their depravity or bone-headed actions.
In its final series, the insanity of the world continues to ramp up and struggles to find a new level of stability with a populace of weird, and unwanted powers. And our newest gang, introduced in the previous series, take ownership to bring the fractured story of a mercurial, power-inducing storm to a close.
At the top of the heap, like Sheehan (Mortal Instruments) before him, Gilgun (Lockout) takes a repugnant human being and makes him likable. He, in fact, does double duty playing two characters, managing to keep them distinct, but clearly related.
Filling out the group is a solid ensemble. O’Keefe (Peaky Blinders, Lip Service) has a quiet, stand-out role as the outsider this series, with a particularly challenging character. Crome (Murder: Joint Enterprise, Hit & Miss) expands her character in nice and unexpected ways. McMullen (Shameless) gives us a painfully inept young man, with no sense of self-worth or social sensibility. And Stokoe (Hollow) gets to play a tough guy as well as a pushover, giving the group a little cover when they need it. And, as the longest surviving parole officer, Dooley (The Woman in Black) puts together the most bizarre overseer they’ve managed yet.
In the supporting cast, Kendrick (Game of Thrones, Being Human) and Bracken (Being Human) add some new elements and bring in some recognizable faces to the mix. Sheen (Another Year) provides a lovely old woman with an interesting version of The Sight. And a host of other power-laden detritus of humanity fill in the gaps.
The series has an overall arc (basically: What makes a hero?), but it is broken into two mini arcs of the first 3 series and the final 2. The two chunks are some of the most unique, brave, and twisted storytelling you may ever see. And, despite how many standard deviations they stray from societal norm and accepted taste, thanks to the writers, directors, and actors, there is a base truth that makes them sympathetic and believable. It is the ultimate “outsiders” story. I’ve been pushing people at this show for years. The finale didn’t change that opinion. It wasn’t a mind-blowing finale, but it was a fair and satisfying one–when you live on the edge, just how far can you go for a finale?
Creator and writer, Overman (Dirk Gently, Merlin) won many awards for the series and is still producing material. His currently running Atlantis has turned out to be surprisingly entertaining (if not of the same twisted character). His is a name I’ll be looking for in future.