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[personal profile] jamie_dakin
Yeesh, it's been such a long time since I did a public post, this feels kind of weird.

Tuesday was the hardest, Tuesday was so many different shades of terrible all at once. I knew everyone was seeing it, everyone already knew what I could not.

I was thankful for every work shift I had this week as it spared me from staring numbly at my laptop, counting blue torrent lines.

Dawn broke this morning during my night shift and I was sitting with my feet on the desk, grateful that I live in the Middle East (and that doesn't happen often) because it means I still get to smoke indoors. I don't remember who wrote a fic that had Sam as an ex-smoker who got tired of 'shivering in doorways' but that thought frightened me as much as it had Gene I suppose.

And I couldn’t get rid of that lump in my throat at the idea of coming home to see it. And the thing is.... this finale isn't like other finales. This could end everything. And not in that stupid - oh, this is how the canon says it ends. But really honestly change everything, every single fic ever written may be reduced to ashes, there may be nothing to write about in the future because none of them may have ever existed in the first place.

But it is actually the idea of fic, and the desire to read everything that had been written since the finale, that compelled me to stop behaving like a child and sit down with a bowl, comfort cereal, milk, a full pack of Luckies and an almost full bottle of Diet Coke. And press play.




Let’s get rid of the obvious first.
John Simm is a god amongst men and I am so very happy that I have no acting ambitions whatsoever because watching him in this episode would have crushed any hopes of ever being as talented. I haven’t cried from a television show since…actually I think it was the first time I heard this rendition of Over the Rainbow, playing softly as a certain Dr. Mark Greene left this earth.

The music was excellent, the camerawork superb, Frank Morgan a godsend of a villain and Chris so fucking genuine in his hysteria.

Now then.
WHERE. THE. FUCK was Gene?
Other than looking particularly delicious all decked out in bad boy black, where was The Great and Mighty DCI Gene-sodding-Hunt in all of this?

Where was even one, tiny, moment between them? We weren’t just invested in Sam Tyler or Gene Hunt as individuals, it was their relationship, their partnership, that kept me coming back. Last episode, that palpable relief that washes over Gene when Sam finally believes in his innocence, because as long as Sam believes him, believes in him…

Because you trust me, like I trust you.

Where was that partnership here? Sam’s objective is to destroy Gene yes? Then why was Gene so removed from this episode? Where was the scene illustrating the magnitude of Sam’s sacrifice? That’s just it really, if he wasn’t leaving anything behind what was it that he wanted so desperately to return to?

Because Annie, however lovely and sweet, has never and does not represent 1973. She doesn’t and they’ve never depicted her as such.

But Gene does. Picking 73’ should have meant picking Gene, picking a life alongside this man, his partner, his DCI.

I’ve sort of said this before once but I think it applies here too. Look, I know that in real life, I don’t actually want the characters I slash to get together. I’m a realist, I know the difference between what I want as a fan and what I want as a fan-fantasist.

But here… I’m not talking about sex. It’s not about that. With Gene and Sam it simply isn’t as basic and simple as that compulsion to pretend that the pretty boys we all love are boinking. The kind of intensity that encompasses Gene and Sam’s relationship… I’ve never encountered before, in any media.

This is exactly what I’ve always said about Brokeback. I just can’t be made to care that they’re actually having sex - because I just don’t care about their relationship. I remember sitting there in the theater and thinking – I just don’t believe they’re in love. Hell, most of the movie I could barely convince myself that they like each other, let alone were so in love/lust that they would take apart their lives to be together.

But in a way I was happy I didn’t like Brokeback. Happy that I recognized it as the emotional pornography that it was. No real heart, just a visual stimulatory production.

And I’m not trying to compare Jack and Ennis to Gene and Sam in terms of a sexual relationship. But rather in terms of the intensity of their emotional connection – their Dorothy Factor if you will. In Brokeback when they looked at each, or kissed or even fucked - I just didn't feel anything. Never gave it a second thought.

The way Sam and Gene look at each other at the bar at the end of 1.4? The unbroken eye-contact during Sam’s near execution in 1.6? The subdued thank you after they lock up Harry Wolfe and the trust speech in 2.7? That Gene would forgive Sam anything, everything, acting like a madman, going to Rathbone with the recording of Ray killing a prisoner, holding a gun to his head … that keeps me up at night.

It inspires me, makes me lose focus as work, it makes me write rants like this and forcibly pimp the series to every poor unsuspecting oaf who happens across my path.

So why do this, why end it like this? I mean, Sam committing suicide? Suicide? Even with John Simm acting the fucking shit out of that scene, out of every scene, I couldn’t believe it. [livejournal.com profile] hmpf was absolutely right. The last ten minutes of the finale were very simply put – fanfic.

And poorly written fic at that because I have been reading ‘professional’ fiction since I learned how to read and ‘amateur’ fiction, fan fiction, since I was 12, and I in no way find the former superior to the latter. To go back to Brokeback for a moment - I read Annie Proulx’s short story right before the film version came out, and all I can say is – Nice, but I’ve honestly read better fic.

When Sam kisses Annie at the end, tethers himself to 73' through her, I wanted to cry and not for the right reason. Like the episode mantra - I didn't feel anything, it wasn’t real. And maybe that was the point but if it was I don’t think anyone gets it.

Who knows, maybe that was the point. Sam going back and everyone being all happy-go-lucky about his horrid betrayal. I kept waiting for that moment with Gene, the one the characters deserve - Thanks for saving my life you bastard, lying, double-crossing shit. Now c'mere so I can shag some sense into you.

Hey, if they’re going to end it like fic, can’t it at the very least be slashy?

I’m thinking I’ll erase that last bit but only because sometimes people interpret it incorrectly. I’m not… I’m not saying that I wanted Gene to replace Annie in that scene. I agree that there needed to be a scene illustrating Sam’s joy, that scene that says - this is what I came back for. In fact, keep the Annie snogging, whatever, but they did a great disservice to one of the most brilliant partnerships in television history by denying Sam and Gene their reconciliation.

Which brings me to the next bit. I know they've been hyping Ashes to Ashes to absolute death, but excuse me if it doesn't sound, word for sodding word, like the summary of a painfully classic Mary Sue self-insert. A sassy female detective from the future magically joins Gene and the gang (minus the already established female lead, of course) and she and Gene have this 'connection'. Sorry, but if before the show starts the creators feel compelled to announce – ‘There is going to be sexual tension between the leads’ - chances are that there won't be. AND, what the fuck are they on about, more tension than with Sam?

I don't see the Telegraph and the Independent writing that they believe any other two male characters were the real love story of any other show, much less asking the star actor if he agrees with their theory…

And when the British press and I agree on anything, that’s got to be worth a drink or two.

To be perfectly honest, for the longest time I wondered if Ashes to Ashes wasn't simply a terribly clever PR-bit. Throw the fans off the scent or something. Because if you want to end this after 16 episodes, be artistic and true to your craft and not overstay your welcome, then fine. Do that. Leave us the Gene we loved and remembered and don't forsake him.


But, in the end, it was a lovely episode and still the best goddamn series I think I will ever have the privilege of watching.

I thank all those who survived till the end very kindly and I thank this fandom in general, what a marvelous honor of an experience this has been.

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November 2009

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