I’m always interested in how big series choose to end series, and with Vigil we had a really divisive ending.
After all the hairum-scarum thrills at the end of episode five, the scene was set for some truly good stuff. Except it never quite panned out that way, instead choosing to go down a road that didn’t agree with many. You could argue that the subdued ending was brave and bold, but many would counter that argument by calling it a bit of damp squib.
Amy was trapped inside the missile chute, looking for all the world that she would perish in the same way she almost did with her partner in that sinking car several years ago. It was thanks to Prentice that she didn’t. He paid for it with his life.
A shame, because Prentice was a genuinely interesting character – and redemption was ultimate in the end.
However, we had no time to brood because Vigil looked to be heading towards a watery grave, sinking as she was thanks to more of Doward’s sabotage (something to do with valves apparently). Burke and co were desperately trying to get the comms online, Dr Tiffany was trying to save Glover’s life, and Doward was chasing Amy around the sub like a crazed character from a slasher movie. And, of course, Newsome was barking orders and looking tense.
And it was brilliant. Once again, fantastically directed and edited, ramping up the tension. For 20 minutes or so it was genuinely breathtaking in its relentlessness.
And then it stopped.
For the final act, there was no real tension at all. A lucklustre interview scene with Doward back on dry-land, some touching make-up scenes with Amy and Kirsten, and then… a then some rather sombre, portentious and leaden posturing between MP Patrick Cruden and Admiral Shaw. The former wanted to ban Trident and saw this incident with the out-dated Vigil as a prime way to do it while Shaw thought this incident showed exactky why the UK’s nuclear deterrent should be kept. His final press conference blamed the Russians for the trawler accident, tensions were maintained as was the status quo.
I maintain that it was a brave ending. Character arcs needed to be tied up and it devoted that final act to do so. In many cases, we’d get a final scene. Here we got a whole act.
But it was such a juxtaposition between the visceral scenes onboard the panic-stricken sub and the character drama at the end I can understand why people were angry.
But you have to admit that flaws aside, Vigil really did aim for the jugular and provided those visceral thrills with aplomb. Add in some good performances (especially from Rose Leslie as Kirsten Longacre), some clever use of suspense devices and plot structure, and there was a lot to like in this series.
It didn’t quite catch fire for me, but it was a very entertaining six hours of television.
READ MORE: OUR EPISODE ONE REVIEW
READ MORE: OUR EPISODE TWO REVIEW
READ MORE: OUR EPISODE THREE REVIEW
READ MORE: OUR EPISODE FOUR REVIEW
READ MORE: OUR EPISODE FIVE REVIEW