You Me and the Apocalypse is a black comedy. Up to this point the one-off series (in the UK at any rate) has focussed on the comedy with the darker elements either glossed over or tinged with humor. In 24 Hours to Go It is as though the show is taking a break from the humor and allowing a word from the sponsor; death.
Overall the episode was fairly grim with a look at how the world would react at the apocalypse. Jude’s murder, obviously done by Father Christophe at the orders of the Cardinal, is called a suicide and the clergy cannot wait to put him in the ground at Rome. Celine takes the body back to Slough so Jude can be buried near his family.
Sutton learns of Jamie and Ariel blackmails his grandmother. Everyone begins the episode in celebration believing that the Saviour program worked. General Gaines shoots the president the moment they arrive at the Genesis bunker and allows the poppet the US leader brought in place of the first lady to escape.
Rhonda has been sentenced to death and amazingly, Leanne (Megan Mullally) is brought in and placed in the cell next to the librarian. The white supremacist provides the comedic highlight of this more somber episode as the guards have her cuffed up like Hannibal Lector. (She later wolfs down her last meal telling the guard that she is going to “poop like you’ve never seen” when she dies.)
General Gaines tells the world that Saviour failed and that he will die with them.
Celebrations turn to hysteria and panic, except in the Slough pub where Jude’s wake is held. This is England and the group decide to have a knees-up to see out the end of the world. Celine goes along with this.
Later, after imbibing too many shots, Celine heads to the loo (restroom) to throw up. There she sees God (June Whitfield) who tells her that Jude is in heaven and that he says hello. God also reveals that she still needs Celine and that she is:
“part of my plan. Always have been and always will be.”
Sidenote: It is fitting that June Whitfield was chosen to be God, the woman is an institution in England. June has been a household name since 1953, where she became known for working on radio. American audiences may not “get it” but this reviewer was excited to see the performer and (to be honest) June’s portrayal brought a little tear.
Ariel kidnaps Jamie right after he meets Sutton (Diana Rigg) and gets the invite to her “family” bunker. The evil twin puts Jamie in his bank vault and then impersonates his good twin to take Layla and Frankie to the bunker and leave Jamie to die.
Jamie’s mum (played so wonderfully by another English treasure Pauline Quirke) is completely fooled by Ariel, as is Dave (her new fiancee) and all three indulge in a group hug while Ariel cringes.
Spike shames Scotty and Gaines into rescuing Rhonda. Gaines bullies his way onto the military base where she is being held. The general provides another comic moment when he threatens to go Mount Vesuvius all over a prison guard:
“Is that what you want? You want me to erupt and spray my hold molten lava upon you? Is that what you really want? To be my Pompeii?”
(Easily the most sexual threat in the history of television.)
He succeeds in getting Scotty’s sister out but she then demands the release of Leanne. The guard gets suspicious and pulls his gun, Scotty leaps in front of his spouse and is shot. Gaines kills the guard and Leanne gets out.
This leads to a running gun battle between the remaining military and the rescue team, which now has a wounded Scott, along with Rhonda and Leanne. Rhonda’s friend is pretty formidable taking out soldiers while still cuffed and she is last seen disappearing around a corner in her Hannibal Lector chains.
Celine goes back to the church and is once more Sister Celine. She tells Jude that soon she will be with him.
You, Me and the Apocalypse has saved its darker moments for near the end. This penultimate episode was less about the laughs, although the black humor is still there, and more about bringing everyone together for the end.
The death of Jude is still a shocker and so too is the possible death of Jamie in that bank vault. Although it appears that Jamie will survive and it is him doing the narration at the start of each episode.
We know that he makes it out of the vault because of his attire while watching the end of the world “on telly.” Pink shorts and a blue vest (t-shirt) is what our narrator is wearing, the same clothes Jamie had on in the vault.
The last episode will show who made it to the bunker and who did not. There have been teasing little glimpses through out the series. We’ve seen Rhonda, Frankie and Gaines as well as Jamie, but there are still others who have not been seen.
You, Me and the Apocalypse suffered from a loss of viewers in the UK where it originally aired and one wonders it that was down to Jude Laws’ character being killed off. It could well be that the the finale will carry on with the grim tone and lose most of its comic flavor which could well be the real reason the show was not brought back.
The season finale airs next Thursday on NBC.