After the fun and games with the wedding, it’s on to the final episode in this run.
The usual opening bit happens at an old prison – it’s now a museum, and a tour guide asks if anyone would like to experience being locked in a condemned cell for a bit. A young man volunteers, he’s left for a while, horrible screams are heard, and he’s gone…
At the ARC, Connor can’t resist showing Abby his top-secret-do-not-tell-anyone lab, and demonstrates his newest toy – a device which can calculate the date at the other end of an anomaly. Philip (still being nicely sinister) turns up and makes it quite clear that when he told Connor not to tell anyone about the lab, he actually meant it, and that includes Abby, right?
Then we get the usual anomaly alert, and the team head off to the prison, where things start to get confusing. There’s no anomaly in the cell where the young man disappeared, but there is one in another part of the building. Connor’s new toy claims that the date at the other end is 1870 or thereabouts, which is just about right for Emily to get back to when she came from.
Things get even more confusing when the locked anomaly opens itself, closes, then opens again. Things get more confusing again when out of the anomaly comes one of those lovely Terror Birds, which are quite definitely not from 1870.
Things get a bit worrying when the locking device totally fails to lock the anomaly.
Meanwhile, Ethan is using a wind-up radio to track anomalies, which is a good trick.
Then another anomaly opens, out of which comes another Terror Bird and Danny Quinn, who we last saw in the distant past at the end of the last series. Just for laughs, this anomaly is not detected at the ARC.
Connor does some clever stuff with radio frequencies to make Ethan’s radio scream, which encourages Ethan to come out of hiding and generally start shooting at everyone.
Lots of the usual chasing follows. Connor and Abby go for the bird, Becker and Matt go after Ethan, leaving a slightly dazed Danny by the anomaly.
Danny bashes the bird when it gets a bit close, and it’s at this point that we find out that “Ethan” isn’t Ethan’s name at all and that he’s really Patrick, Danny’s brother, who disappeared into an anomaly years before. Once he’s dragged back to the ARC, he reveals that all his general unpleasantness has been directed towards punishing Danny for not rescuing him. Matt’s quite disappointed, as he’d thought that Ethan was more than likely the person he was looking for who would be responsible for the whatever it is that’s going to create the rather messy future world.
At the prison, lots of small anomalies open. Loads of them.
Philip introduces himself to Danny. Danny tells him that his name was all over a document that the late unlamented Helen Cutter had in her possession. Now that can’t be a good thing…
The mystery of the multiple anomalies is solved when Connor points two closing devices at the original one – it splits into two, and all the extra ones close. Apparently two opened at exactly the same place, which caused the oddness. Connor’s time thingy confirms that one of the anomalies goes back to 1870, and the other one is where the birds came from.
Ethan, err, Patrick, having admitted to Danny that he’s a mass killer, manages to jump both Danny and a guard, grabs Emily and zaps Becker. He then heads off to the prison where he opens the anomaly to the distant past, pausing only to leave Emily chained up as a snack for the bird. Emily manages to grab Danny’s bashing stick and clobbers the bird, just as the rest of the gang arrive.
Danny decides he has to follow his crazy brother, but before he goes, he warns Matt about Philip’s links to Helen.
Matt tells Emily that he is, as we should have worked out by now, from a devastated future world which was destroyed by “something mankind did”. Something to do with the anomalies. But Emily decides to return to 1870 anyway.
Back at the ARC, Connor does some calculating and realises something Very Disturbing. The anomalies are becoming more and more frequent, growing in power, and this will lead to Very Bad Things Indeed. He chases after Philip, stopping his car as it’s about to leave the premises. He tells Philip what he’s discovered, and fails to notice Philip’s expression, which sort of hints that he knows exactly what’s going on, and that he’s probably not all that concerned about it. Telling Connor that they need to keep this between themselves for the moment, he takes him away.
And that was it.
I was wondering if the Emily/Ethan thing was going to continue into the next series, but it probably made more sense this way, as indeed did revealing what Matt’s purpose is. Ending the run with a single cliffhanger worked well for me.
Primeval continues to be good Saturday evening fun – some good story lines, nifty monsters and a nice feeling that it’s not taking itself too seriously.
The next six (I think) episodes will be shown on Watch (digital channel available on Sky and Virgin) in May, followed by a showing on ITV later in the year. Watch are also showing reruns of earlier episodes.
 You can actually do this, if you set it up right.