Between: Don’t Look Back – Season 2 Finale (Review)

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The season two finale of Between Don’t Look Back” has a very cynical feel to it. The message being that medicine and cures for pandemic viruses is big money for the one’s holding the cure. However, the winners, Horatio Pharmaceutical,  may have shot themselves  in the foot with Liam Cullen’s miracle cure.

Between ends on a downbeat note, initially.  Many of the Pretty Lake denizens have died, Samantha and Gord were both shot to death.  Tracey opts to stay behind facing, what seems to be, a death of starvation. Mark gives up his injection for Wiley.

A small handful of the survivors are extracted.  Ronnie, Jennie, Franny, Chuck, Wiley, Harrison, Stacey, Lamar and a couple of others all make it out. (Somewhat mysteriously, none of the other’s – part of Renee’s survivalist camp – disappear when the testing at Horatio Labs takes place.)

The small group almost leave without Wiley and her baby Jason but a last minute reprieve gets all the injected out except for Tracey to stayed behind for the kids. The “cured” members of Pretty Lake are then put through extensive trials to see how good the miracle drug is.

Meanwhile, the PM continues with her plans of mass genocide;  killing all  those still alive behind the fence.  Adam has believed this to be the plan all along and he contacts Daisy. He tells her to release the data revealing all that the government have done, including their first attempted mass murder of the children in Pretty Lake.

The first strike against Pretty Lake is underway but the military commander halts the proceedings.  He tells a subordinate that he would rather be tried for treason than war crimes.  The minister is furious. She calls Dexter and blames him before shooting herself.

Between finally has a sort of happy ending for all those trapped behind the fence.  Communications have been re-established and food as well as medicine is being brought in.

Six month’s later, just as Horatio is about to give the approved cure to the kids in Pretty Lake,a customer drops dead in the supermarket where Wiley and Adam are shopping. Horatio have released the virus and they have the only cure.

Here is the cynical ending that was expected. Crane and his avaricious nature have followed true to form. This “pandemic” will ensure that his company make a fortune inoculating the terrified populace. Liam Cullen’s cure will save the world and make Dexter and his company as rich as Croesus.

There is, however, a sting in the tail for the pharmaceutical company. The tests against those who had Cullen’s cure were extensive and proved that this small group self-healed at an incredible rate of speed. They could almost be termed invulnerable.

Wiley’s tumor is destroyed, Renee fights off the virus and heals from what should have been a fatal gunshot wound.  Chuck survives  a devastating head wound and  Harrison’s diabetes is cured.  In essence, Cullen’s cure has not just  cancelled out the virus,  it seems he has invented an immortality drug.

It  may not necessarily stop aging but it does seem to cure all known ills and a lot of “causes” of death.  It this is true, Crane’s drug company, in rushing to release the virus,  has doomed itself in the long run. Once the population gets the inoculations their need for medication and  other pharmaceutical supples will dwindle to nothing.

Horatio may increase their coffers a thousand-fold now but ultimately the company will  go broke when all the new “superhuman’s” stop needing their products. Irony, thy name is Dexter Crane.

Between may not be  back for a third season.  The release of the virus into the general population takes the action from Pretty Lake.  The only real way the show could carry on would be if Horatio manages to blame Adam and Wiley (and the rest of the survivors)  for the outbreak. This would necessitate their running and hiding from a furious public.

Overall, the season finale felt rushed and a tad convoluted.  The show finished with a huge cliffhanger and in so doing has taken the focus off of Pretty Lake.  Between has been entertaining and despite the loss of focus toward the end was certainly well worth watching.

What do you think of the finale? Where you surprise at Dexter’s actions? Answers in the comment section below, please and thank you.

CAST:

Guest starring Mercedes Morris as Renee, Pascale Langdale as Dexter Crane and Rosemary Dunsmore as the prime minister. Between Tumblr page header

Between: Extraction – Pressure (Review)

Adam, Wiley and Jason

Gord dies as a result of last week’s shooting.  Adam becomes strident in his mistrust of Liam and Chuck has a major meltdown.  Ronnie stages a coup out at the survivalist camp and Franny is hellbent on revenge.  Between’s “Extraction”  is quite dark this week. In spite of Wiley’s amusing attempt at banter with Liam,  the pressure has become intense.

Adam comes back to the group after finding Liam’s name on the dead prison officer’s sat phone.  Waving his gun about and repeatedly demanding that Liam tell them the truth, he becomes a major annoyance.

(While he is supposed to be the good guy in this scenario, as opposed to his evil dad, Adam come across as shrill and irritating. He is, after all, immune to the virus.  His almost hysterical accusations and demands on Liam are just annoying. Wiley obviously thinks so as well.)

Wiley finally steps in and tells him that the only choice  they have is between Liam Cullen (Steven Grayhmand death.  Adam backs down and now Cullen has to find a 22 year old to try the cure on.  It is time crucial as Adam turning on the sat phone alerted the Horatio drug corporation. The next step is to evacuate Liam and kill the remaining survivors of Pretty Lake.

Liam and Wiley search records for possible 22 year old survivors. The first one  they find is already dead.  Renee Foley is now the only 22 year-old that the virus has not killed yet. Their next move is to find the young woman and inject her with the cure.

At the survivalist camp Ronnie catches Renee with her secret food stash. He locks her in with her hoarded food and begins orchestrating her removal as leader.  He is still haunted by Pat (Jim Watson) and later has a fight with his dead brother.  

(Sidenote: The most amusing moment of the episode has Pat telling Ronnie that he will stay there and see that Renee does not escape.)

(Sidenote number two: Ronnie gets the best line of the episode.  After telling Renee he is hurt that she did not tell him it was her 22 birthday, he tells her he got the perfect gift.  “What’s that,” she asks. “Tuesday,” he replies. In other words, a chance to live another day via Liam’s drug.)

Franny learns that Renee shot and killed Gord. She gets a gun, and Harrison,  and heads to the survivalist compound to kill Foley.  Mark also heads out to the camp to kill Renee.  Everyone arrives at roughly the same time.

Ronnie  ousts Renee and as Mark readies himself to shoot, he sees Franny and Harrison. He fires his gun in the air and stops Gord’s sister from committing murder. Renee’s former  followers begin shooting at the woods. Wiley, Liam and Renee use the distraction to escape.

Back at the lab, Renee gets her injection.  Later Franny, Harrison and Tracy get theirs.  Franny stops by Gord’s body to grieve. She sees Renee and points a gun at her.  They struggle and Franny shoots Renee. The young woman falls to the floor.  Franny drops her gun and walks away.

Ronnie settles in at the camp in his new role as leader and Wiley finds Renee.  Liam goes to his extraction but he does not leave Pretty Lake.  Adam takes his place leaving Cullen locked in the trunk of his car.

Adam may be annoying, with his immunity, but he is now he attempting to “set things right.”  It may be too late if Renee dies though.

The population of Pretty Lake in Between has gotten smaller. That combined with the limited amount of inoculations available means that very few are going to live if things go south.   Adam’s leaving could have  disastrous consequences for  the survivors if he is caught.

As it stands, he could already have signed Liam’s death warrant.

Between is streaming on Netflix with all six episodes available to watch at once. Binge the lot or space them out. Either way stop by to see who lives and who dies.

CAST:

Between First Season Ends: Renewal?

Still from Between
Between, the Canadian series which was essentially a riff on the old New Zealand kid’s TV show The Tribe, has finished, the first season ended after it’s “ordered” six episodes and there is no news of renewal…yet. Starring Jennette McCurdy, Jesse Carere, Ryan Allen and Justin Kelly, the show follows the trials of under-22s in Pretty Lake who have survived a viral attack killing off everyone over the age of 21.

The town is broken down into the rich kid, the poor ones and the in-betweens, which includes the smarter-than-smart MIT accepted wunderkind Adam (Carere) and the teen mom, Wiley (McCurdy). The series started with a bit of a whimper. Although it has to be said that the deaths of the “grown-ups” impressed. A sudden coughing attack and then thick blood drooling from the mouth and…death. Quick, disturbing and set up in such a way that one knew the younger denizens of the town were completely freaked out by the sight and suddenness of their parents, teachers, and so on expiring so fast and inexplicably.

The first episode of Between had McCurdy’s character acting like another variation of Ellen Page’s Juno in the film of the same name, but that soon changed after it was revealed that Wiley’s “baby father” was the rich guy who owns most of the town and whose son, Chuck steps up to take charge after all the older citizens die.

The Creekers, born on the wrong side of the tracks and who are still living there, fight Chuck every step of the way and provide a lot of conflict for the rich kid who is trying to keep things together. There were some things about the show that grated.

For instance, the seemingly obligatory “mentally challenged” sibling, who is doomed to die, the drug addict brother who wants to be good, even if he does almost rape a girl, and the crazy smart teen prodigy who helps to figure things out. The entire plot does make one think of cult favorite The Tribe but the setting and the characters are wildly different. The change of locale along with the increased sophistication of the kids in the show made the whole thing refreshing although woefully slow.

For a season which was only going to consist of six episodes the very fact that things do not really “take off” till episode five shows either complete faith that there will be a season two, or that the show’s producers were not aware that the pacing was snail paced and annoying. Netflix does not have the problem of most networks, their rating system does not dictate whether they cancel a series or not, at least it certainly appears that way.

The show suffered a bit from clunky acting and storylines that were a little predictable. There were issues of events that were illogical and potholes that one could drive a lorry through…

But…

The pickup of action in episode five and six; the series finale, and the improvement in the performances made the show feel like it was finally sailing instead of tacking. This illusion of smoothness, versus fighting the tide, makes the short six episode season seem unfair and a tad annoying.

There is no word, not that this reviewer can find, on whether the show will be renewed or not. Entertainment review site Rotten Tomatoes slaughtered the series and on IMDb the rating of Between is a paltry 5.5.

Followers on Twitter, @betweenseries numbers 2858 and the show’s Facebook page has under 6,300 likes. The series may well vanish without a trace with fan numbers this low. If Between does hang on for another season, it will be a miracle as well as very annoying when one compares it to other, vastly superior, Canadian export The Lottery where Marley Shelton tried to save an infertile world inspire of a corrupt and evil government.

The six season series can still be seen on Netflix.

Between: War (recap and review)

Jennette McCurdy in Between as Wiley
Last week’s episode, End of the Rope raised the stakes and really put things on the boil for the characters of Between and this week in War, they continue to show just how bad things can get in the beleaguered community of young survivors.

Adam’s father wakes him up in the prison to take him to safety. Pat is eaten up with guilt over killing Amanda and Chuck arms his lads with the intent of arresting the Creekers for his sister’s death. Gord tells Hannah she should have let him know she was married and the Mennonite girl returns to her community. Wiley wants to talk to Chuck and Pat’s sister tells her it is a very bad idea.

Chuck and his police force head to the Creeker residence and the family is not there. They find the car, that Pat struck Amanda with. Frances talks Gord into taking the milk into town for Melissa and the kids she looks after.

Adam’s father tries to take him to the tunnel that he used to get into Pretty Lake. The boy learns that not only is there no cure but that his dad worked on the virus. His father tells Adam that he is not immune and that there is no protection against it. Samantha tells Chuck that she knows the Creekers were responsible for Amanda’s death and tells the boy that Pat is there having confessed.

Adam and his continue to talk. Soldiers arrive and Adam’s dad says that they are early and that the military will kill the kids to prevent the spread of the virus. The soldiers, he says, do not know that their masks will not protect them and they believe they are inoculating the children to save them, not kill them. He coughs up blood and dies. Afterward, Adam stands by a door and looks ready to leave Pretty Lake.

Ronnie, Wiley and baby Jason, along with Tracey show up to save Pat. As things spiral out of control, Chuck takes aim at the elder Creeker to shoot him, Wiley jumps in the way demanding that she be killed for Amanda’s death as well. Gord and Melissa show up and big sister forces Wiley to tell Chuck who Jason’s father is and it is revealed that Chuck’s dad is the father. Jason is his brother.

The soldiers rush to “round up a 1,000 kids” and give them the injections. The group at the church; Chuck and the rest, begin to break up when Adam arrives. He tells them that the soldiers outside are there to kill them all. Chuck argues that it cannot be true and Adam points out the lack of communication with the outside world, no television, land-lines or cell phone signals. He also reminds them of the plane being shot down. The government, Adam says, are cleaning up their mess.

After striking Adam, the soldiers are overpowered and Wiley says that if Adam is wrong, “We’re all screwed.” All the kids are being taken to the prison of their shots and Wiley learns that Adam came back to save the kids. Gord and Adam dress up in the soldiers uniforms to escort the group to the prison and stop the soldiers from injecting the kids and wait for them to die. Mark says he can help them get to the control room at the prison as he was an inmate.

While Gord and his group head for the prison, Melissa and Wiley clear the air about the baby and their relationship. Two more soldiers appear and take them to the prison. The plan seems to be working as Gord and the guys follow Mark to the control room. Meanwhile the soldiers are injecting the smaller children.

As Wiley and Melissa are being transported, the soldier driving begins to choke and he dies. The van crashes. The guys are caught out by two other soldiers and the group split up after overpowering the duo. Adam makes it to the control room and as he begins to lock the prison down, his father turns up, not dead after all.

When questioned about it, Adam’s father explains that they are the only two who are immune to the virus as he used his own DNA to make the stuff. It was never meant to be used but Art Carey “went rogue” and infected the town of Pretty Lake. Adam has to shoot his father to save the remaining kids.

The rest of the show is a race between soldiers dying and kids being murdered and a huge dose of irony.

By the end of Between the price of survival has been dear. Two main characters die and there are a couple of heart-stopping moments when it looks like Frances will be killed as well. Rather interestingly, the whole idea behind the virus is population control, similar to the back story behind another Canadian series, The Lottery.

Adam learns that not only can father’s lie, but that governments do as well. Dad may have come back to get the boy, but at the price of killing the rest of the kids in Pretty Lake and the government knows this is happening. The cell phones come back on so the prime minister can tell the kids about the injections. Like the short lived Canadian series The Lottery, the underlying message of Between is that government’s lie and that we are all expendable for the greater good.

The episode War continues to show just how bad things can get in the contaminated area. This Netflix series has turned the corner from a slow uninteresting start to a show that should not be missed. Jennette McCurdy has grown into her character, Jesse Carere has made Adam believable and the rest of the cast are rocking their roles out of the park. Between should be re-named Unmissable.

Between: End of the Rope (recap and review)

Publicity poster for Between
Between, the Netflix Canadian answer to The Tribe has finally gotten past its slow and illogical beginnings in End of the Rope. Taking until episode five to get things moving may not have been the best game plan in the world, but at long last the show has picked up pace and gotten interesting with a few twists thrown in for good measure. The show tried to invigorate its plot and action last week when Ronnie attempted to rape Wiley while under the influence of booze and Oxy.

It looks like the new mother’s decision to stay with the Creeker’s for a break was not the best of all ideas. The only member of the ostracized family who thinks clearly is the sister, apparently, as later Pat decides that holding Wiley and, the newly named baby, Jason hostage in order to get antibiotics for Annie is the way to go. Ronnie is going through withdrawal on top of suffering from a major headache after sis smacked him with the business end of shovel in mid “Wiley attack.”

Gord is called to town after Vince, one of Chuck’s hockey team “cops,” gets very ill; vomiting, running a fever and unable to move. The “country doc” says the boy has a burst appendix and Chuck says he will fly him over the fence for treatment. Gord warns against this action saying that authorities outside the fence will shoot the plane down. Kevin, another hockey cop, says his grandpa taught him a little about flying and he will take Vince.

Later the lads stand and watch as the plane makes its hesitant takeoff and within seconds of becoming airborne the aircraft is shot down with a rocket. Chuck and Gord have a fight after this and the boy in charge orders Gord to stay of it. Amanda discovers Jack missing and goes to find him. She finds Harrison’s (the diabetic boy who stole the car in last week’s show) sister with the dog.

Adam searches Art Carey’s house and finds that the man had access to the Pretty Lake prison and has a key card to room 14. He goes to investigate. Once inside the prison, the woman prison guard locks him in and confronts Adam with a shotgun. He runs and she shoots at the boy chasing him through the facility.

Ronnie, who earlier flushed all the Oxy down the toilet, starts to lose it because Jason will not stop screaming. Amanda sees Jack run off and goes chasing after him. Wiley and Pat go back to get some antibiotics and bump into Melissa at the drugstore. After some harsh words they get the drugs and are driving back to the Creeker home. While discussing Ronnie, the Amanda runs in front of the vehicle and is run down. She dies and Pat tells Wiley they have to get out of there.

Hannah, the Mennonite girl who went to school with Gord, treats his wounds after his fight with Chuck and moves in with him and his sister. Earlier she took some oil for the milk cows to treat their mastitis and when a bearded mennonite shows up, Gord thinks he want the liniment back, but it turns out that Hannah is married and he wants her back.

Ronnie goes after the baby and his sister with a knife and comes close to killing himself. Adam almost dies and is saved by the last person he expects to see behind the fence. Things in Pretty Lake have “gone South” with the force of an avalanche. Three, or more, dead and it looks like their problems are far from over. Jennette McCurdy is picking up as Wiley and the rest of the cast are getting into their characters and becoming that little bit more believable. Well done Between, you have upped the game and made the show more enjoyable because of it. Keep it up.