Still, hope springs eternal. This week, surrealism!
In fairness to Sinbad, the trick they’re pulling here is not new. The old “destroy whole show, reveal it was a meaningful hallucination” gimmick has been done before and worked okay. For example, Doctor Who series 5 episode Amy’s Choice was the same routine.
Of course, this being Sinbad, they do it half-arsed. Rather than investing in proper weirdness so we can have some novelty fun (again, see Amy’s Choice), they play it dead straight until the final ten minutes. And although I got some cathartic pleasure from seeing the whole cast slaughtered, I also stopped taking any of it seriously as soon as the first fatality hit.
We’re told Anwar needs to stay with Sinbad because it’s “important”, although obviously no further details. It’s hard to get moany about this, considering:
- Shows like Merlin and Doctor Who have been doing “it’s important but I cannot say why” premonitions for ages.
- At least it gives him a motivation to stay with Sinbad, which I’ve been complaining about since episode one.
And, to give them credit, Anwar and the random God act consistently, and although the plot is convoluted and over-dramatic, it makes some degree of sense.
Sinbad: Tragic Moron
On the other hand, it also requires the cast suddenly act like amoral bastards to make Anwar feel left out, so he can learn his lesson about courage and belonging. So… this one just about holds together in itself, but not really when compared to the rest of the series. And in case I haven’t been clear enough, the whole enterprise remains clunky and charmless, which is why I’m not forgiving these minor flaws as easily as I might in other similar shows.
Oh, and Sinbad giving the “I won’t lose anyone else!” speech sounds silly, considering the cast member he “lost” last week went in a completely voluntary, non-tragic way. Clearly whoever’s in charge of script continuity was asleep.
Anyway. This was not as painfully incompetent as recent Sinbad episodes, I wasn’t bored and it just about makes sense, in a melodramatic TV-logic way. Oh, and after I mocked the terrible fight scene last week, I will give them credit for a decent, well-filmed, weighty final battle sequence this time, even if it was ultimately all meaningless. Well done, guys. Continue this upswing and you might achieve “okay-ish” by the series finale.