In You, Me and the Apocalypse: What Happens to Idiots, it is only at the end of the episode that we find out what does happen to them. As the show opens, Leanne and Rhonda are in Arkansas, hiding in a boat with the tattooed supremacist pointing a gun at the owner’s bollocks. He lies to this verse’s version of Tommy Lee Jones (as in The Fugitive) which is, in this post apocalyptic world, a black female cop standing on a bridge. This could be seen as a homage of sorts to the 1993 Harrison Ford vehicle.
A few short states over, Virginia, Rhonda’s son Spike is still Ariel’s prisoner and the kid learns the hard way, at the beginning of the episode and later, that Ariel is not all he claimed to be. Father Jude is forced to have the Church’s “spin doctor” Father Christophe (Anthony Howell) become part of his small team to search out the messiah.
Jamie finds the Scottish sanitarium where his birth mother is being held and after a little creative thinking, he and Dave get in. Sister Celine (Gaia Scodellaro) is quite taken with the new priest but this soon changes when Father Jude (Rob Lowe) talks another false messiah out of taking his own life.
Meanwhile, Leanne (played with nothing less than sheer brilliance by Megan Mullally) and Rhonda (Jenna Fischer) end up at the “Blue Alligator” where the first order of their stay is a shower, for the librarian.
Ariel learns that the comet is real, Jude climbs up to speak with the poor man who plans to jump at 5 pm and the Sister realizes that there is much more to the priest than she initially thought. Father Jude risks his life to speak to the “jumper” without having any idea of what to do. As this drama plays out, the actions shifts to Rhonda, Jamie and Ariel and back again.
Back at the Blue Alligator as Rhonda asks about razors for her “Sasquatch legs” Leanne questions whether the place still has the “dirty channels” on TV. They then spy a man peeking in the bathroom window.
Leanne chases the man down, who turns out to be a teenage boy and he lies to Rhonda about calling the cops. After asking about the adult channels, “Channel 60 through 84…So I hear,” Leanne goes to take care of her feminine release issues.
Back to Father Jude and the jumper; he reveals a very poignant backstory to the “messiah” and apart from stopping the man from jumping in front of the world to his death, Jude also turns Sister Celine into a fan. The sister also realizes that Father Christophe is a phony out for his own glory.
Ironically, after Jude saves the “false messiah” the man then “saves” Jude as he helps the priest to get off the tower.
Jamie (Mathew Baynton) and Dave (Joel Frye) get into the sanitarium after Jamie steals a guard’s entry badge at the pub. The two find “Mary” and as Jamie questions his mum, Dave finds a receipt for Mary’s room and care. It is paid by Claire Rooney, which Dave discovers is an anagram for Ariel Conroy.
Dave: “See? I told you all those years of watching Countdown would pay off.”
Sidenote: Although it goes without saying that we know the real reason Dave was tuning into Countdown; Carol Vorderman…
As the two begin to sneak out with Mary a doctor comes into the common room and Jamie pretends to be from the agency. A comic interlude takes place with the doctor, a guard, Dave, Jamie and a medical suppository.
Rhonda bonds with the teenager over a video game and she reveals a touching backstory about how she and Spike got so close. After losing the game, the police arrive under US Marshall Tess Carter (Nina Sosanya) and the cops order the librarian to give herself up as they already have Leanne.
Rhonda comes out with a gun pointed at the teen’s head and gets Leanne released. Leanne quickly takes control of the situation and is clearly having the time of her life. All the cops are put in their vehicles; in the trunk, and Carter is taken away with Rhonda and Leanne.
Leanne: “We’re gonna play a little game called: ‘Leanne says.'”
As she puts the police in the vehicles Leanne spouts a constant stream of one-liners that are truly hilarious.
Behind all the action, are Sutton’s agents who take a blood sample from Jude. Ariel’s assistant, Molby (Bruce Mackinnon) learns not only about the comet being real, but about the existence of the bunker under Slough. Molby also learns about who is responsible for filling the bunker with 15 survivors.
The assistant excitedly explains to Ariel that Spike’s uncle, Scotty McNeil is one of two men behind the plan. Molby is so euphoric over this discovery that, despite being an Atheist, declares that “there just might be a God.”
After his assistant passes on the information, Ariel goes to release Spike (Fabian McCallum). Molby starts naming a long list of family members he wants to save. As they reach Spike’s room, Ariel shoots his former assistant in the head, rather messily, and informs his teenage captor:
“This is what happens to idiots, Spike. Don’t be an idiot.”
Once again, all the players appear to be connected to one another. Although the Scotty/Spike connection is not as “convoluted” as the other character tie-ins and threads in this black comedy. Still, we can suspend our disbelief rather easily as each person in this series plays their roles with truth and the threads are all very well done.
You, Me and the Apocalypse has its comedy in the writing and the storyline.
This episode; What Happens to Idiots, allows Leanne (Mullally) and Father Jude (Lowe) to rock it to the rafters with Mullally just edging past Lowe with most memorable comedic moment. Lowe’s Jude, however, wins the “bringing a tear to the eye” contest easily.
Although one did expect, at any moment for Jude to confess to Celine that his “backstory” was made up. This did not happen and another mystery has been added to the mix when it is revealed that Sutton (Dame Diana Rigg) wants her minions to collect blood and not the individual.
Ariel’s killing of Molby wins the “We could see that one coming” award of the episode.
You, Me and the Apocalypse airs Thursdays on NBC, tune in for a blackly comic look at the end of the world.