Monday, February 22, 2016

"Survivors" 40th Anniversary: Episode 32 ("Reunion")

This is the thirty-second in a series of blog posts dedicated to the 40th anniversary of BBC's "Survivors" television series. "Survivors" followed a core group of characters who managed to survived a devastating viral outbreak -- one which managed to kill off somewhere between 95-99% of humanity. Society has crumbled and now those who remain must relearn the old way if they have any hope of surviving much longer.

Tonight's episode is the midway episode of the final season, titled "Reunion." This is an interesting transition storyline. Not only does one of this program's longest-running characters get a post-Death reunion with a relative, but we also catch up again with Pat and Jack and the children.

Our traveling Survivors discover that Hurbert's friend Walter -- some previously unheard of shepherd -- has fallen off a horse and broken his leg. Fortunately, Walter is aware of a nearby veterinarian who tends to the medical needs of the surrounding people.

Walter is taken to Sloton Spencer, home of Dr. Janet Millon and her companion, Philip. She operates on Walter's leg with the assistance of Jenny and Charles. Charles notes that she's almost like a real doctor. She points out that she is a really doctor. In fact, she's better able to treat people and than pretty much anyone else that Charles and Jenny have met so far!

Later on, we discover that Janet and Philip have it pretty easy. They have plenty of food and booze. They even have hot water for laundry and baths. It's so nice that they will eventually decide to move everyone from Challoner to Sloton Spencer!

Here is one of the chief reasons: Young John! Jenny was looking through a photo album and noticed pictures of John. It turns out that Janet is his mother and she was unable to find him after the Death! Jenny tells Janet that John is back and Challoner, which leads to her decision to go get the kids with Janet and Hubert and then bring everyone back to the estate!

Meanwhile, Charles learned that Greg was literally at Sloton Spencer that morning. He goes off on his own to find Greg and discovers that he's already moved on. This causes him to track down Jenny and the others for the rest of their journey.

Our travelers decide to stay with Seth and phone over to Challoner to let everyone know about John's mother and about the plans to relocate their home. Pet and Jack bring the kids to Seth's home, but not before Pet beaks the news to John:

As you can see, John isn't having any of this. Nobody can figure out why, but John has completely shut down now that he's learned of his mother's survival. I mean, check out this awkward reunion.

The group goes ahead with their plan to move to Sloton Spencer and, soon enough, everyone is back. Though John is still treating his mother like a bunch of smelly fish or something.

At first, they think it's because he's mad that she put down his favorite cows during an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease. But then they remember that Janet had mailed a letter to his grandmother instructing her to keep John away from the estate in order to spare him from witnessing the animals' death. They believe that John misinterpreted Janet's letter to mean that she didn't want him to ever return!

Charles goes out with John and has a bit of a talk with the young boy:

This was just what John needed to hear and pretty soon he's happily reciprocating his mother's hugs!

Once again, I'm getting tired of this never-ending "will we ever find Greg again" sub-plot. I hate to say it, but Greg would have returned to Whitecross or Challiner by now if he was truly motivated to see Jenny or Baby Paul again.

But I do like the idea of more people reconnecting with long-lost relatives. It makes Abby Grants' efforts to find Peter Grant seem much less futile now that we have seen several surviving family groups.

Also, it's interesting to note that Janet and Philip have a working car. That's two cars in two subsequent episodes!

Maybe modern society's rebirth isn't so far-fetched after all!

Next week, we will watch "The Peacemaker."

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