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TV REVIEW: Did You Survive The Last Weekend?

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By the finale of this intense three-parter, leads Rupert Penry-Jones and Shaun Evans had done enough over the preceding two weeks to make us suitably curious as to who would survive their idyllic country weekend, with all its claustrophobic, competitive undercurrents, and who was doomed to perish.

the last weekend
Ian with his one true love Daisy, who failed to recognise the depth of his feelings

For their final romp through the Suffolk countryside, the scriptwriters got a bit carried away bringing things to a crashing, almost gothic finale. Whereas before, we’d had Ian’s subtle shifts between reliable observer and paranoid participant, this week found everyone shouting, more wine being drunk, and unstable Ollie getting reckless with a sword and a steering wheel.

the last weekend
Ian had become an unreliable narrator, and Ollie was just unstable

The production designers had a field day, painting a contrast between the soft dappled yellows of a day at the beach, and the grey, dank surroundings of Ian’s solitary, resentful musings. The only things missing from this theatrical spectacle were Toto and the curled-up slippers of the Wicked Witch of the East.

But this all added to the cartoony feel of the final half-hour as the seeds of doubt and battle between Ian and Ollie came to a surreal finale in the sea, and these two Rodin-esque figures fought their last contest – suitably naked of course, as is invariably included in any Penry-Jones contract.

the last weekend
Ollie and Ian - competitive to the end

But that wasn’t even the end of it bizarrely, with the (anti-) climax happening instead back on the polished porch of Daisy’s spotless townhouse, miles away from the high country grasses of all the preceding narrative.

Ian’s hopes and delusions were, despite all the evidence, strangely never shattered – what were instead were any hopes we’d had for a satisfying plot twist that might have stopped this Last Weekend just becoming, instead, a very long one.

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