Years and Years: Episode 5
July 23, 2019 9:03 AM - Season 1, Episode 5 - Subscribe

A new Britain begins to take shape with Viv Rook as prime minister; Edith tries to investigate mysterious stories about The Disappeared, while Rosie finds her estate fenced off by the privatized police; Stephen takes a job with his old friend Woody.
posted by DirtyOldTown (9 comments total)
Stephen is such a spineless broken person, I hate how he refuses to take any responsibility for the choices that led him to where he is now.
posted by Faintdreams at 9:07 AM on July 23, 2019 [2 favorites]

My partner and I were fully and completely convinced that seeing Viktor's name on the rolls was going to be the moment that finally tapped into Stephen's common decency. He would say, OK, here is where I draw the line.

And... The opposite happened.

It's looking Bethany may be the key the end of this story, with all of her machine parts enabling her to also be a deus ex machina.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:35 AM on July 23, 2019 [1 favorite]

The moment with Steven and the computer was well played indeed. I had the same feelng as you, DoT - this is Steve's redemption moment - but that expectation was thwarted in a way that only brought us further down into the sense that the world can no longer be counted on as a place where decent alues prevail.

Bethany's powers are interesting. But I agreed with something my husband says - if she just gets superhuman powers and solves things/manages things to resolution, deus ex machina style, that's actually a very disappointing end narrative. What I realized in watching this episode is that she's had that stuff installed at government expense, and don't forget it can "predict" her thoughts. The government may be able to be connected to what she see and does. At a certain point in the action I'm imagining that there could be a battle inside her head for who is in control.
posted by Miko at 3:26 PM on July 23, 2019 [2 favorites]

This is so well done, but I'm going to be glad when it's over. It's just too scary and way too possible.

I thought the high point of this episode was Rory Kinnear, when Stephen was trying to get himself to say yes to Woody. Just perfect acting.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 6:46 AM on July 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

Watching through this did some serious violence to my balance of mind. The stuff with Rook mugging for the cameras is just terrifyingly close to reality.

Less scarily, but also interestingly, is how it illustrates how real life could smoothly change into the setting of Shadowrun.
posted by entity447b at 3:12 PM on July 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

My two favorite moments were Steven in the bar begging for a job, and Viv telling Steven she can't stop being Prime Minister because they will kill her. They what? They who? Who knows? Was Viv ever really in charge? Was she ever really sane? The Russians are making the camps necessary, but when Steven tells Viv that she tells him not to be so naive.
posted by xammerboy at 9:31 PM on July 28, 2019 [4 favorites]

Emma Thompson's acting in this is phenomenal. The way she is in front of the crowds, the way she was in that private moment with Steven, the way she was in the room of businessmen trying to sell them on the idea that she needed them to buy. Each is very different and totally spot on. If I had been casting director, I would not in a million years have picked Emma Thompson for this role. I've never seen her in anything like it. But now I can't imagine anyone else. She's hammy without being too over the top. She's charismatic without being smarmy. What a revelation.
posted by mosessis at 7:54 PM on August 7, 2019 [3 favorites]

I mean, I've always loved her and loved most of what she's been in. This is just taking that to new unimagined levels.
posted by mosessis at 7:54 PM on August 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

The scene where they close access to "criminal" neighborhoods was chilling — because it's being proposed for real in Rio de Janeiro.
posted by Tom-B at 5:42 PM on October 19, 2019

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