Season 1, Episode 5
THE FADES S01 E05: Getting all Freaky Deaky
This review contains massive spoilers, including the images. You have been warned!
“Paul, the boy that was and now is.”
To quote Mac, it’s been “a tumultuous time.” Paul has just miraculously returned from the dead unscathed, while John and his growing army of Reborns are busy killing and eating humans like there was no tomorrow. Which, if Paul’s apocalyptic dreams are true, there just might not be for humanity.
The number of townspeople gone inexplicably missing has increased so rapidly that the police are at their wits’ end. A Missing Persons Crisis Center is set up at the high school, which would be a good idea except for the fact that the Fades are using the school’s boiler room as their secret lair and rebirthing facility. If only someone could tell the authorities that it’s the Fades who are killing and eating people so as to allow their rebirth in evil and immortal form. Oh gosh, no, that all sounds a bit nuts, doesn’t it? Having such a conversation that would surely guarantee an immediate appointment with a psychiatrist. Too bad the local shrink is now one of the Reborns, too.
Seeing our two undead psychopaths John and Natalie lovingly bonding over his latest kill is perversely touching, and had me flashing back to the best days of Spike and Drusilla. Later in the episode when underground tremors shook the town I was reminded of yet another Buffyverse creation, the Hellmouth. What’s shaking, guys?
“Having one of our team on theirs.”
Fade Sarah’s plan to infiltrate the Bad Guys by drinking blood only results in making her uncontrollably ravenous, and this driving hunger draws her to John’s secret lair. There she gets a taste of her first dead human (un)happy meal. “Urges are okay. They’re human,” encourages John, as he coolly prompts her to chow down on flesh.
Once back in Neil’s bathtub, Sarah completes her cocooning and rebirths in naked, slimy undead fashion. She’s now both dead AND alive, and her first instinct is to head straight home and have a surprise reunion with her hubby Mark. Oh dear, you just know this can’t end well.
“My boyfriend’s dead?!” “Surely more important is the fact that he’s a zombie?”
Anna’s missing boyfriend turns out to be not so missing after all. The Scooby gang, err…Paul, Mac, Jay and Anna, with mum Meg in tow, find Steve volunteering at the Crisis Centre. But this not the good news it seems, for Steve has succumbed to the dark side and now wants only to EAT them. In fact, dozens of reborn Fades have infiltrated the Centre and are running things to their own little agenda. Even Paul’s ex-therapist Dr. Tremlett is a Reborn, with a “counseling service” in the gym which really just a cold storage locker for captured human snacks.
“I’m a freak. But I’m YOUR freak, remember?”
While twin sister Anna comes into her own and lays out Steve with a fire extinguisher, Jay gets snatched. With his girlfriend in danger, Paul gets madder than mad and attempts to punch Steve, but ends up putting his fist through Steve’s stomach. Steve promptly goes supernova, and explodes in a hail of blood and fleshy bits. To the Angelics, it looks like Paul has found his perfect calling.
“I don’t know whether to be scared FOR you or scared OF you.”
In discovering that the reborn “immortals” can be killed after all, Paul finally steps up to the plate and unleashes his first official heavenly fireball at Human Enemy #1 John. But he hits an intervening Natalie instead, and she explodes in front of a room full of shocked human volunteers including his speechless mum. Time to the hell out of Dodge, folks.
“Paul, the boy that was and now is.”
Now that each side has its own official “Chosen One”, the battle seems to be officially on, but since no one can tell the difference between ordinary humans and Reborns, Paul stubbornly decides that the Angelics need to find a better plan to prevent Armageddon than simply killing everyone in sight, and rejects Neil’s call for all out slaughter. With John hungering for Paul’s blood, especially now that the bad guy’s sweetheart Natalie is well and truly dead, it looks like episode six will be one final kick ass showdown between Good and Evil. Hopefully the BBC will see fit to renew this intriguing new series and let the fight continue for another season!
Good versus evil, love conquers all, coming of age, finding strength from within; these classic themes are handled with such ingenuity and finesse that THE FADES positively outshines everything else in the same genre currently on television. The best possible ending for the finale next week would be a cliffhanger that leaves the door open for more of the same marvelous writing and direction. The good news is that THE FADES’ executive producer Caroline Skinner has said that the production and writing team already has the next two seasons of the show planned out. With reports of an extremely positive response for series one from critics and viewers on both sides of the pond, I will be amazed if this little piece of Heaven vs. Hell is not renewed for another season.