That drive to do something hangs over the whole series. It started with the not-so-widowed Georgia (Kate Beckinsale) seeing her husband's orange hat on TV and flying to the DRC to find him. For much of the series, she’s kept to her own limited motivations.
But after Will's revelations in episode 7, these efforts are shredded in front of her. All that work, all that danger, all that death – all, it seems, for nothing. But Georgia needs something else to fix, a new purpose. After her experiences during this span of time, she now wants to solve a bigger puzzle: the Congo.
General Azikiwe (Babs Olusanmokum)
This falls into some dodgy White Saviour territory, which, for a while, The Widow managed to skirt. Georgia's focus was her husband, until she met the child soldier Adidja (Shalom Nyandiko) and felt a responsibility for her.
In episode 8, she wants to help those affected by Flight 19, starting with General Azikiwe (Babs Olusanmokum) and his corruptive influence. She manages to round up the Congolese families of the victims and join together in protest, which they’d given up on doing themselves. It only takes a white Brit to ignite the people and change their difficult predicament, one that's taken 7 episodes to fully explain.
Georgia is awkward to watch in these moments, though it’s clear the Williamses don’t think the Western world is a shining example to everyone else – especially when considering this episode's provocative opening. But still, it’s hard to believe the Congo’s problems will be solved by someone who doesn’t even speak the language.
The Widow ends on a forcefully happy note
But The Widow can’t be easily condemned. The Williams' character-work is still unparalleled, the flashbacks impeccably achieved – unfolding like a milieu of emotion and motivation, reaching for people rather than plot. During the last episode, the regular format is subverted – shifting the story into jarring flash-forwards involving a lost dog and a horny Welshman (Gareth David-Jones).
It has a Lost-like structure (there’s even a plane crash), in which the constant reverse and acceleration through time beautifully builds the players in the story. But there’s just a few too many, with forgotten storylines brushed away as if they'd never existed.
The end of The Widow shortchanges the long journey it took to get there. Nobody’s really learned anything, and the series ends on a forcefully happy note. The opening montage clearly wants to show the dreadful world we live in, but the rest of the episode doesn't fulfil that promise. In fact, the finale is slightly tarnished by Georgia’s new sense of purpose. The journey was better than the destination.
|What||The Widow episode 8 review|
30 Apr 19 – 30 Apr 20, 9:00 PM – 10:00 PM