“War and Peace” Episode Five


Well before the episode, the continuity announcer said that we were in for “the bloodiest battle yet” and we were certainly given just that, though in a different way then I guess we were expecting. Obviously the most unique element of the finale was the involvement of Pierre running around the battlefield like a kid on work experience, constantly begging people’s pardons, promising not to get in the way and even getting up late and almost missing the goshdarn battle! This dark comedy definitely gave us a very different kind of battle scene and the ongoing theme of old adversaries (Anatole and Andrei, Dolokhov and Pierre) uniting under harsh times was very well executed. In addition, the scene set on the eve of battle was very engaging, with Andrei revealing why he fell for Natasha in the first place.

The standout scene in this episode though has to be the surrender of Andrei’s town. The music was brilliantly used to suggest impending doom and the build up of the choral music leading to the eventual reveal of the town on fire was very engaging indeed; the previous scene involving Andrei and his father was also very dramatic and well executed. And throughout all of this Jessie Buckley, with her Billie Piper smile, confidently carried the storyline with strength and integrity. Oh, and Jim Broadbent went out in a blaze of glory.

Tuppence Middleton. Well, I can’t write a WAP review without mentioning her, can I?

Also, was that Fenella Woolgar in a brief scene with Pierre? Did I miss her in a previous episode? Well, if that was her, I hope that we see her again in the last instalment.

So in summary, this is a very refreshing return to form after last week’s mush and crying. There are solid performances, excellent, exciting battle scenes and a most hissable instance of ear-pulling, courtesy of Monsieur Bonaparte!

Verdict: A-

(Again, this is the second time I’ve had to write this, due to the inexplicable deletion of my first published review. If this review isn’t that good, there’s the reason!)


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