The Fades Episode Five Review

Evacuation stations

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Writer: Jack Thorne
Director: Tom Shankland

The One Where: Paul recovers from resurrection, and the Fades feeding frenzy goes in to overdrive.

Verdict: It had to happen, and this week it did: the secret war between the Fades and the Angelics finally spilled over into the real world, and the results were spectacular.

What started out as a few isolated missing people as the Fades munched their way to corporeality became a fully-fledged crisis this episode, finally forcing Mac’s dad to acknowledge the truth: time to run. Using the school as an emergency centre made the scale of the thing relatable – you know you’re in trouble when education takes a back seat to trying to track down half the local population – and served the duel purpose of revealing just far along John’s scheme has come.

The identikit school corridors were also the unlikely setting for a heart-thumping run around as Paul and his posse attempted to escape. Anna finally came good, using her mega-bitch abilities to stove in scouse Steve’s head at a crucial moment, although if you didn’t laugh at Mac’s attempt to tool up (grabbing two ring binders, what a chap) then it’s quite possible your sense of humour has shrivelled up and died.

Death isn’t too much of a problem nowadays though. Just look at Sarah: with the help of Neil (poor, lonely Neil, bless him) she’s gobbled her pound of man-flesh and made her way back to the land of the living. Her transformation was easily the most graphic yet, the gruesome effects showing in graphic detail that it’s not much fun trying to come back from the other side. In fact, from Sarah’s transformation to Paul’s Fade-felling powers, all the effects this week were right out of the top drawer, proving that a little cash can go a long way when it has to.

The whiz-bang explosions, whizzing bullets and grisly close-ups weren’t the best of this week’s episode though, not by a long shot. Paul and Mac’s matching pyjamas, Mac finally reaching second (or is it third, I never know) base with Anna, Doctor Tremlett’s shock turn (how long has he been one of them, damn it!), there were plenty to choose from. But the real highlight came right at the close, with Paul confronting John. Paul’s reluctance to kill is the exact reason it has to be him that faces down the Fade threat, even though he’s every bit as scared as anyone else.

We know now that Paul really is special, and not just because he can shoot lightning bolts from his hands and come back from the dead (although that all helps). He wants to go further than any other Angelic and fix ascension, something that the increasingly desperate Neil couldn’t imagine. With the town now evacuated and Paul ready for the fight, the stage is set for a finale of biblical proportions. Next Wednesday can’t come quickly enough.

Geek off: Mac’s cunning method of checking Paul was in his right mind – by playing spot the plot-hole – was spot on. Mac the movie doctor was right to proclaim a clean bill of health.

Best line:
Paul’s mum (to Paul): “I don’t know whether to be scared for you, or scared of you.”

Rob Power

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