Thursday, July 10, 2014

In The Flesh - Series 2 Review

It's been nearly a month since BBC3 finished up airing the second series of Dominic Mitchell's successful zombie drama, In The Flesh and it was certainly an interesting second run of episodes for the show. As a slew of new characters arrived on the show, some familiar ones died and other developed in some rather surprising ways too.

Episode 1: Set several months after the events of the first series, the episode opened with the death of a local character before introducing the always lovable Amy back into the mix as she reunited with her moregeous dead BFF Kieren (who was planning to go to France). Of course, Amy wasn't alone as newcomer Simon (Emmett Scanlan) arrived, putting a spin on the liberation of the undead/redeemed as he challenged Kieren's own views on their current predicament. Also introduced in this episode was local MP, Maxine Martin (Wunmi Mosaku) who shared the opposite view and an appalled attitude towards the fragile peace between the partially deceased and the living.

Episode 2: Basically the one where Kieren's hopes of going to France were shattered as Maxine set up a scheme to have the partially deceased do manual labour while she did some investigating about the second rising and a school boy who had a crush on Jem ended up being killed (even further) by her during the episode's end. The undead rave was pretty interesting to look at, though it wasn't onscreen for long and Philip's visiting of an undead brothel was certainly amusing too but I did like the scenes with Kieren and Simon in this one.

Episode 3: This one focused on a love triangle with some of the recurring/guest characters which ended up with the partially deceased member of the triangle going rabid and an uneasy alliance forged between Kieren and Gaz while Jem's guilt saw her coming clean as well. The connection with Kieren and Simon got nicely explored as well in this one with a fan pleasing moment at the end of the episode.

Episode 4: Some exploration into Simon's followers and a disastrous family lunch with Kieren's parents and Gaz were highpoints of the episode but so was Amy learning about Kieren and Simon and Philip being brave enough to deal with the fallout of being named and shamed for visiting undead brothels as well. Maxine also managed to cause more chaos between the villagers of Roarton and the partially deceased as well with her actions.

Episode 5: A fantastic episode for Simon. It was great to get an origin storyline for him as we learned how he became a member of the partially deceased as well as seeing the strained relationship he had with his father. On top of that there was a nice moral dilemma with the Second Rising/Prophet storyline and Simon's feelings for Kieren along with some lovely moments with Amy and Philip where it seemed that the former's strange symptoms all series long were actually leading to something a lot less predictable.

Episode 6: The show's flair for shocking series finale continued with this episode as well as we saw Amy getting stabbed by a rather batshit Maxine, only for two strangers to then dig her up during the closing moments of the episode. Who are they and will BBC3 give us a chance to find out by giving us a third series? They better do. Other than that, the Second Rising stuff was a bit of a bust with Maxine getting it wrong, Simon choosing love over prophecy and Kieren being able to overcome an oblivion pill.

In terms of a second run, this was certainly an interesting slew of episodes. I am hoping though with the various things set up in the finale (we still don't know who's actually leading The Undead Prophet or what those two want with Amy) will be given a chance to be realised onscreen because while BBC3's future ain't good, this show certainly has been and deserves another run more than some of their other ones do.

Rating: 8 out of 10

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