As long as there is life, there is happiness” – Pierre
Warning: Contains Major Spoilers
Well now, what an ending were treated to. The first parts were brilliantly done, with all of the panic and looting on the streets leading to the burning of Moscow and the smoke rising up over the evening sky. On a similar note, the cinematography in this episode was wonderful, with its beautiful shots of rain falling on a lake, the wind blowing the fog and a single fly on a window among the more noticeable examples. Also through all of this, the music, as always, was perfect.
Pierre’s story arc came to a satisfying conclusion as he realised how wrong he was about Napoleon; this character catharsis was very engaging and Paul Dano’s performance in this episode was note perfect! It was also interesting to see Adrian Rawlings make an appearance in this episode, the third instance of an actor from “Dickensian” making an appearance.
I guess that we have to talk about the character deaths because there were just so many of them! The most shocking of which was undoubtedly Ilya’s son; the battle scene where he is shot while on his horse was perfectly done and it was indeed shocking and affecting. The aftermath of these losses was also suitably dealt with; seeing Stephen Rea’s character mourn for the loss of both of his children was touching and continued the theme of old adversaries uniting during troubling times.
And, making it six for six, I will now talk about Tuppence Middleton; her scene at the ballroom, rejected by Boris and Anna Pavlova et al was well done indeed. I was actually reminded a lot of the end of “Cruel Intentions”, quite appropriate since I did compare her to Sarah Michelle Gellar in my Episode Four review. I guess you could say that this scene was comeuppance for Tuppence! That’s right folks, you heard it here first! On a more serious note though, Helene’s eventual fate was indeed shocking and the accompanying music definitely let us feel sympathy for her and sorrow for her loss.
One minor qualm I had about this episode was Andrei’s death scene; it was indeed melancholy and heartfelt and the idea of his life, Lise in particular, flashing before his eyes was well used. However, I have to admit that I found it slightly underwhelming and felt that it could have been given a touch more pomp and circumstance. Having said this, I realise that if they had been more dramatic and emotional with it, I would be complaining that there’s too much mush and sentiment; you just can’t win with me! The brief call-back to the popular Andrei/Natasha ballroom scene was very cleverly used as well.
So all in all, this was a superb ending; dramatic and emotional in equal measure. It was always interesting and engaging and the characters’ storylines were brought to a satisfactory climax.
So I guess that’s it. Stay tuned for my final thoughts and rating of the whole series, where I will be saying a proper goodbye to the series!