Setting Up Season 2
After last week’s shocking plot reveals, The Capture returns today with an anticlimactic finale that fails to really resolve anything and sets everything up for a second season that may or may not arrive. BBC’s espionage thriller has been a real sleeper hit and like many other people, episode 5 really solidified this show as one of the better BBC dramas put out recently. Unfortunately, the finale undoes some of that good work, with an hour of twists and contrived plot developments that does little other than set the foundation for a second season.
The episode begins with Shaun awakening from a deep sleep, having had flashbacks to his time in Afghanistan. While the team reassure Faizel that their plan will work, Rachel reassures Shaun that he’s not to blame for what’s happened to him. Back at the office, Danny and Gemma discuss their next steps before Jessica, his American superior, arrives to ask Frank who the mole is. Begrudgingly, he tells her about Eli but goes on to say Shaun will be “coming out of the woodwork” some time soon.
As Shaun sits down infront of the TV and watches the news, he sees Correction weaving its deception once again as he’s pictured abducting his daughter from school. Clenching his teeth, Shaun bolts while Abigail phones Rachel and tells her what’s happened. We don’t get long to wait for Shaun either, as he walks infront of the cameras and antagonizes the authorities he knows are watching him. To complicate matters, Rachel steps infront of the cameras too, prompting her to sit down face to face with Frank and have a conversation about what to do next. As Danny and Gemma arrive, she fires off a whole list of demands before revealing that she has footage of Hannah Roberts stepping on the bus. She tells them it’ll be sent around to key players in Britain unless she’s reinstated and Shaun’s daughter is released.
Danny tells the others in private he wants to talk to Rachel alone, mainly because he wants her to join the cause. Before they can decide what to do however, Frank receives word that Shaun is back on the cameras again. As it happens, Shaun heads straight for Charlie and beats him to a pulp before Gemma shows up and offers him a trade. Shaun reluctantly agrees and follows her into a safe-house holding his daughter. It’s here we flash back and see the truth from the Middle East. Shaun told the man to get back before a gunshot ricochets through the air. Composing himself, he speaks to his daughter about Afghanistan as she sits next to him and listens. It’s here they have an intimate father/daughter moment as they’re given some time alone.
Danny, meanwhile, heads back in and speaks to Rachel, attempting to recruit her to the cause. She refuses, of course, and goes on to tell him she actually liked him as things get heated between them. Unable to get through to her, Gemma decides to take the reigns and convince her. Meanwhile, Charlie finds himself in a spot of trouble after believing he’s being taken to hospital. Instead, the paramedics cart him off to Frank.
As the time turns 1pm, Frank and Gemma release Rachel from her room and take her down to show off their operation. It’s here she also sees Charlie in one of the rooms on the verge of being interrogated and, presumably, beaten as she hurries outside and away from the building. It’s here she sees firsthand that Shaun has been broken as he sits with Nadia and admits to the Hannah Roberts murder.
We then flash back once again and see what led to that moment. Frank talks to Shaun personally as Jaycee is returned to her Mother. He’s handed a tablet and shown some of the material they’re working on for Correction. His heart sinks as he realizes that everything in the room has been completely set-up. While we’re not explicitly told, some of the revealing footage, involving him playing with his daughter and them sitting together, could easily be manipulated and haunt his entire family.
This, to me at least, can be interpreted two ways – either he sexually and physically assaults his daughter thanks to Correction, or is made out to be a lunatic and plays catch with himself whilst imagining his daughter there. Either way, they’ve got him in a far worse position than with Hannah Roberts, one that seemingly there’s no way out of it. This is what leads him into the interview room to admit the crimes to prevent an even worse Correction from leaking to the press.
We then jump forward 3 days to find Shaun in court pleading guilty to manslaughter for killing Hannah. Gemma sits with Rachel in the aftermath and attempts, once again, to recruit Rachel to her cause. She goes on to tell her that Faizel’s Correction was necessary given he was selling goods. Correction is truth re-enacted, Gemma goes on to say, before telling her she’s a lot smarter than Hannah Roberts and would be a good fit for their operation.
Back in the basement, Frank is duped by the interview room footage as he realizes Eli is gone, having been taken by Jessica. In her car, they discuss the implications of Correction before Frank realizes that he’s being watched. Meanwhile, we catch up with Shaun in prison where his ex visits and tells him that Rachel disclosed the truth to her about everything. She asks why he pleaded guilty and he remains silent, unable to tell her the truth, before going on to ask whether she knew what happened in Helmand. As things get emotional, she tells him she believes and hands over a souvenir for him to take to his cell.
Rachel hides a sim card inside a picture frame before taking off, leaving her sister while Shaun returns to his cell with a picture of Jaycee and her Mum to pin up on the wall. As Shaun settles in for the evening, Rachel heads purposefully back to the police station where she confronts Gemma and Danny, telling them she wants to join their cause, where we leave the episode.
It’s difficult to know where to start with the finale. Before I dive in, I’ll preface that I’ve enjoyed watching The Capture over the last five weeks and for that alone, the show has kept me gripped and conjured up some very good drama. Unfortunately, this anticlimactic, second-season-baiting finale does little to really buck the trend of BBC dramas ending poorly. I hoped that The Capture would be the first to actually deliver a compelling finish but aside from some nicely worked, thought provocative themes about being unable to beat the system, The Capture does little else here other than lay foundations for more of The Capture to follow.
It’s obvious DS Rachel will be going undercover and if Danny and Gemma both fail to see this it undermines the purpose of these people being one step ahead, especially given the security cameras are watching everyone 24/7. The questionable inclusion of Gemma’s speech about Correction being a tool to “reveal the hidden truth” undermines the entire purpose of Hannah’s video too, given we’ve already learnt that Shaun isn’t a violent guy toward women. That’s before even mentioning the outsmarting-the-mastermind trope pulled by Jessica toward the end with Frank. All of this culminates in a finale that somehow drops The Capture from being one of the smartest written shows of the year to just another crime drama.
It pains me to write it too, especially given how invested I’ve been in this show but even with a second season, this sequel-baiting finale feels like a bit of a kick in the teeth. It’s something Netflix have been fond of doing too recently but instead of dropping a season in one go like them and seeing this for ourselves, The Capture’s six week run leaves a bitter taste in the mouth for everyone expecting a more conclusive finish.
A shame, for sure, but The Capture ends not with a bang, nor an almighty roar. Instead, it ends with numerous unanswered questions, inevitable frustration from its fans and big question marks over its future. While it’s certainly not a bad ending per-se, and there’s enough intrigue and thematic content here to get you thinking, the finale also fails to live up to expectations, making it one of the bigger missed opportunities of the year.
Expect A Full Season Write Up When This Season Concludes!