After the fourth episode hinted at the possible reality that the 7 minors were killed rather than commit suicide, we return to Ad Vitam for the penultimate episode and a deeper understanding around some of the lore and ideas inherent with the show.
The episode starts with a flashback to 10 years ago; a young Virgil is having dinner with his family where they talk to him about his future regeneration. We see in the news that young people are protesting and rioting. Later in the evening, he leaves the house and heads to the stadium where he meets with Nahel. As Nahel greets Virgil, he calls him Caron instead. This is when we realize that Virgil was in fact the Caron Christa had been looking for. From here, other young people appear and Virgil gives them a speech around how they’re going to make the world better thanks to their sacrifice.
One by one, they take out their guns and shoot themselves in the head. However, Virgil hesitates. He then sees Linus on the floor barely alive but still talking. Unable to finish him off, he decides to rush him to hospital where he later lies to the nurse about his involvement in the mass suicide. On his way out, he meets an old man that comforts him when he confides about how it’s his fault they all died. This tragedy then starts a chain of events that lead to the waves of mass suicides previously mentioned in the other episodes.
We cut back to the future after this where we see Virgil and his associate Odessa, showing his youth centre Avenir (which means future in French) to investors. The next morning, he learns about the 7 dead teens on the beach which causes distress for the young people in the youth centre.
Virgil meets with the same old man from the hospital and reveals that he has been having nightmares because of the tragedy too. The old man tells him that he’s not responsible for their death and also that he needs him as he’s going to die tonight. We realize that he’s actually the man that died during the ceremony Christa previously attended in the first episode.
Virgil and Odessa then meet with the investors again who have agreed to follow him in his venture. Afterwards, he confides to Odessa that he’s worried because the cops came to see him at the centre but she quickly reassures him. We then see the party again and the events that lead to the centre being closed. The next day, Ian tells Virgil that they have closed all the centres but he thinks he has found a way to give the police what they want – a list of all the kids.
Later that night, Odessa picks up Virgil in her car. She’s not happy as she wants to know if he has told anyone apart from Ian about her company collecting data on the minors that have attended his centre. As he denies it, we see that Ian is also in the car and as she confronts him, one of the men places a bag over Ian’s head, suffocating him to his death.
The episode then ends with Virgil returning home in his car with Christa hiding in the passenger seat, pointing a gun at the back of his head. She makes him get out of the car, takes him to the stadium where it all started, and shoots him in the head.
As we reach the penultimate episode of this French Sci-fi series, the pace picks up a bit and more answers are revealed. The second half of Ad Vitam has certainly been more exciting as it focuses a lot more intently on the investigation itself. Eeach episode has revealed layers of intricacy and slowly delivered interesting revelations, much to the benefit of the show. Seeing Virgil’s back story and how it ties up with the events so far certainly adds some much-needed clarity here and is one of the rare occasions where a flashback episode doesn’t feel like filler.
The excellent acting and use of the colour blue remain constant throughout the series too and even this late in the game, it’s good to see Ad Vitam sticking to its guns when it comes to the style. With one episode remaining, Ad Vitam balances precariously between ending things on a cliffhanger ready for a possible second season and delivering a finale that answers all the questions raised thus far. For now though, the penultimate episode is a good one, and moves all the pieces in line for the finale.