In this concluding chapter: Becky (Olivia Cooke) is still reaching for high status despite her failures; Rawdon (Tom Bateman) is relocated to the Ivory Coast after another confrontation with Lord Steyne (Anthony Head); and Amelia (Claudia Jessie) plans to remarry, which the unrequited Dobbin (Johnny Flynn) catches wind of and leaves India at once.
There’s a certain air of winding down in this finale. Becky’s plots grow stale to everyone around her – well, everybody except Jos Sedley (David Fynn), who’s promptly and predictably taken advantage of. But this hour really belongs to Dobbin as he delivers a cold and thrilling speech to the now-irritating Amelia, who’s gone back to trusting Becky again. This is, without doubt, the most satisfying and eloquent speech of the series.
And yet, it’s reversed and resolved within 15 minutes. This may be a criticism directed more towards Thackeray’s original novel rather than series-writer Gwyneth Hughes’s adaptation, but the pursuit of a happy ending (more or less) is a frustrating one. Dobbin finally had the opportunity to rid himself of a love that’s plagued him for 13 years, and decides not to in favour of a woman who can’t love him the same way. It’s easy to feel sorry for the both of them.
Becky is also exceedingly hard to pin down. This is part of the fun of the series, of course, but we can never trust her actions – even when she might be legitimate. How are we meant to feel about her actions toward the end? Is she still playing her limitless game of status? However, her confusing personality is precisely the reason why we’ve consumed every episode from week to week. She even surprises her author. Despite the end being underwhelming, as most endings are, the face of Olivia Cooke as Becky Sharp will continue to linger. It was a fun ride.
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On 07 Oct 18, 9:00 PM – 10:15 PM