Andy and Elena bring Sam home safely at the start of Last Light episode 5. They put him to bed and suddenly, Laura’s iPad rings with a video call. It is Laura herself, forced to read a message to Toby under duress.
Karl has informed Andy and the MI6 that he has a list of demands and all of them must be fulfilled. If they aren’t, Laura will be killed. They have about 18 hours before the zero hour. Andy gets another call from Karl the next morning but it is a recorded message and can’t be traced. He has asked Andy to meet him at a spot and come alone. Karl explains to Laura his mission and briefs her about her father’s proclivities when they were young. He then gives a worn-out lecture on how the world has been destroyed and how only radical action – forceful in nature – can redeem it for future generations.
Andy is followed by a team of MI6 agents. The instructions take him to a pub that he and Karl used to frequent as college students. Bill, the bartender, hands him a beer and an earpiece that he can use to communicate with Karl. The old friends talk again. Andy says Karl has gone mad but the ball is in his court. He is given instructions by Karl to lose the trail of the agents and reach a spot where his men will bring him to Karl. The terrorist also hacks into MI6’s surveillance networks, making it harder for them to catch Andy’s drift. As planned, Andy loses the trail of the agents and a boat takes him across the lake towards Karl’s location.
One of the agents gets Ash’s address and Cameron decides to send a team to his house for clues. When they reach his house, they find a basement with environmental awareness posters and data points. It shows his association with the AW and how the operation was carried out on his part. One of the agents also notices a football team’s poster on the wall, Thetford FC. They deduce that Karl’s location might be the Thetford Industrial Estate, which has been abandoned for a long time. Cameron gives the orders to put a plan into action.
Karl greets an upset Andy. He instantly demands to see his daughter to which Karl responds calmly, saying she is okay. The reason why he brought Andy here is to preclude him from working on a solution to the bacteria, something that only a handful of people in the world can do.
Almost five hours are still left until the zero hour kicks in, post which, the fossil fuel economy will be finished as the world knows it. Laura is indeed fine but Andy is shocked to see a full-fledged training camp being set up in the woods. Karl has indeed planned it on a big scale and has expanded his organization considerably. He keeps reminding Andy of the fact that it is “their” efforts that have counted so far.
Laura starts recording for a live stream, where Andy and Karl have a fistfight about their past. Karl says it was Andy’s idea to weaponize the bacteria, as opposed to what he said earlier. Andy was the radical one in their youth and wanted to force the world’s hands into making a change.
It seems like Laura is turning against Andy when she picks up Karl’s gun against Andy but eventually it is revealed that she was only feigning it to deceive his men. Elena comes downstairs to see the flag of Thetford FC being displayed on a laptop. When the agent says they have gone to Thetford in New Cross, Elena corrects them and says the correct place is actually Thetford Forest, where Andy and Karl used to go as students to relax.
The MI6 team instantly changes its location to the woods. Although Andy concurs with Laura and Karl that the world’s resources are indeed being depleted at a faster rate than being replenished, this is not the way to bring about change. Laura and Andy make a run for it. They are able to hide momentarily from Karl and his men. But Andy says they need a diversion and hence leaves Laura to go and confront Karl. At the edge of the mountain, Karl and Andy again have a fistfight, only this time to be interrupted by the MI6 agents. Karl shoots and kills himself, living up to this word of “even being prepared to die for the cause”. He was successfully able to create a diversion long enough for zero hour to kick in.
Zero hour means that the spread of the bacteria now is irreversible. Karl’s plan was indeed successful. In a voice-over, Andy explains the aftermath of the fossil economy being destroyed.
This tectonic moment should have marked the end of the world, and it did for a while. Society was thrown into chaos and people reverted to their base instincts of looting and killing to hoard as much as they could. But there is nothing like a crisis that can unite people. They all came together to fight this new challenge with joined hands. The collective wisdom of the people saved them from a new dark age. The season ends with Sam seeing up at the sky and calling a flock of birds flying together in aesthetic patterns “beautiful”, indicating his surgery went well and that he can finally see.
The Episode Review
This has to be one of the most disappointing finales I have seen in recent times. All the subplots and loose ends of the story unraveled instead of coming together. The sole purpose of the final episode felt like wrapping things up in just under the prescribed limit of forty-three minutes.
Lob-sided writing brought about its downfall, giving an unsatisfying end to an extremely uneven season. When we first started watching the show, the term “plausibility” seemed relevant. By the time we reached the end, it had gone out the window. Creators and writers thought literally anything could fly in an apocalyptic, sci-fi film. An ambiguous and sweeping remark “together, we can do anything” was plastered to give the series relevance and significance.
There was no real buildup towards this point. It worked more as the story of a man trying to get his family to safety and the members of the family doing the same. The jarring turns in tone completely took away the chance for the series to make the emotional core about one single thing. That is exactly what the finale is about; everything and nothing. There is a sense of deep disappointment in how the storyline for the finale was devised. More to come in the season review… which will not mince words!