Even as it enters the realms of big apocalyptic demon carnage, Crazyhead can’t help but surprise and delight with its now-trademark anarchic style.
Over the past six weeks, it’s taken the standard ‘chosen one versus supernatural’ formula and given average genre tropes an injection of tongue in cheek fun.
The demon drama draws to a close in predictable but enjoyable fashion tonight, in an episode that tidies up most of the loose ends whilst offering up a few new threads to follow when Season 2 hits our screens (we hope). Centring on the big Halloween ritual/party Callum’s been plotting for the past six weeks, various plot threads converge in an episode that makes great pains to tidy up in time for future instalments.
Amy and Raquel’s relationship takes centre stage again this week, with further strain being placed on proceedings by the presence of Harry, last week revealed to be demon in disguise. It’s a situation that serves up some great drama, but also some excellent comedy set pieces, including a drugged-up game of Jenga and the world’s slowest race to the rescue in Jake’s car.
Of course, the real moment of triumph is the script’s intense cry of ‘Girl Power’! As poor Raquel learns of Harry’s betrayal and opens the gates of hell in her anguish, it’s Amy who intervenes, with a pep talk more akin to nightclub heartbreak chatter then world saving speech!
It’s probably the most grounded, intelligent and punch-the-air moment of the whole darn show up to this point, and speaks wonders of just how important a show like Crazyhead is – strong female characters facing unspeakable, overwhelming odds with no need for a male saviour at every turn! It’s oh-so rare on British TV nowadays for moments like this, so forgive us if we indulge a bit!
As big finales go, Crazyhead offers little in terms of big revelations beyond what we already know – Callum throws a bash, Raquel is special and holds the key to free demons from hell, people get possessed, end on a triumphant bar fight.
It’s also wrapped up quicker then we’d have expected or preferred. Callum is taken out of the picture with a simple push off a balcony, Mercy gets a serious case of Stockholm syndrome and does a runner, whilst Harry’s betrayal isn’t given much in the way of closure or finality. If the episode had ended there, you’d forgive us for a noticeably more negative review.
Thankfully, writer Howard Overman (Misfits, Merlin) throws in a decent twist to mess with us in the final act, revealing Jake to be possessed in a moment so leftfield it made us jump. The following chase sequence is tense stuff, and Lewis Reeves is perfection as the evil version of Jake.
All this leads to a wonderful scene that brings the whole series full circle, with Amy performing an exorcism on Jake that involves pissing, kissing and a whole lot of awkwardness for all concerned. Plus, Suzanne (Rian Steele) shows up, alive and very worse for wear, in a brief moment that screams ‘SEASON 2! NOW!!!!’
Susan Wokoma, Cara Theobold and Tony Curran are all superb as ever and deliver their finest work on the series in this emotional and satisfying finale (we’ll very much miss the latter should Season 2 fail to resurrect big bad Callum).
Wokoma and Theobold’s chemistry and comic timing onscreen has been consistently brilliant throughout the last six weeks, and we can only hope we see this fab screen duo back on our screens sooner rather than later.
As it stands, Crazyhead may have kept the main plot simple and low key for much of its first season, but coupled with its trademark quick witted droll, inventive yet grounded situations and a cast of characters that felt grounded and real despite the spooky goings-on, it certainly earns its place as one of the best new genre shows we’ve had on British TV for quite some time.
Aired at 9pm on Wednesday 23 November 2016 on E4.
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