Clique’s finale returns to its roots, devoting its final episode to friendship, in a satisfying conclusion to an impressive debut series.
Despite being a key element in the previous two weeks, a lot of the mystery of Solasta was left to be tied up in the background or simply for viewers to form their own opinions – did Alistair remain in prison? What happened to Steiner?
Considering the nature of this series, focusing heavily on the shutdown of that murky world and its financial misdeeds would have felt outlandish and out of place. This has always been a series anchored by friendship. Whereas Rory stressed caution in unveiling the inner workings of Solasta to Holly, our tenacious heroine only had eyes for saving best friend Georgia from the same fate that had claimed Fay.
Appropriately, the finale focused on that Holly-Georgia friendship which has driven much of the series, as well as Holly and Millie. Indeed, the mysterious Rachel Maddox was not Rachel Maddox at all. She was Millie. Millie, a friend from Holly’s troubled past alluded to from the sparing, though effective, series of flashbacks.
The finale essentially had Holly choose between her past and present, forced to battle past her own self-hatred and overcome her guilt.
Synnøve Karlsen has been a revelation in the lead role, once again mastering the material she was handed
Clique has come an impressively long way from the arguably cliched introductions it opened with six weeks ago, with Holly the perfect example of this. Synnøve Karlsen has been a revelation in the lead role, once again mastering the material she was handed and she’s surely set for a very bright future.
She convincingly delivered a broken Holly during the episode’s opening exchanges, defiantly chose Georgia over Rachel with the former’s life on the line and all in all has continuously been an engaging, likeable, flawed, rich and interesting lead. A large part of the success of the series is surely owed to the depth to Holly and the quality of Karlsen’s performance.
As for the central conflict running through the episode and indeed, the series, it’s arguably Clique’s most chilling element yet. Before we begin, for all intensive purposes we’ll call Rachel/Millie, Rachel.
There was a wonderful mirroring between the respective friendships. Both Rachel and Georgia needed saving. One wanted a partner in crime. One was blinded by ambition and stuck in an increasingly dark world. Holly was left in the middle, flailing around trying to save one, while being chased by the other.
Rachel, played with delightful creepiness by namesake Rachel Hurd-Wood, came to life during last week’s episode and stepped it up a notch here. She enjoyed how it felt to take a life – Lisa, Fay and Rory. In the past, “powerful” Holly appeared a kindred spirit for troubled Rachel as she said, she no longer felt alone in the world. There’s something both chilling and heartbreaking about that.
The flashforward laid a series of breadcrumbs to tease a potential second series
The episode played out as a game of wits. We were kept on the edge of our seat as Rachel pushed Holly towards killing Georgia, freeing her of her troubled best friend, albeit in a different way to Rachel. Brittain kept us waiting until Holly dragged Georgia over the cliff with her, before saving her a second time as Rachel strove to finish the job herself.
The flashforward laid a series of breadcrumbs to tease a potential second series, such as Rachel now in some sort of facility visited by Holly, the future of Jude’s teaching career – Jude, who forever tenacious proved to be an unsung hero of the finale, as well as what the future holds for Holly and Georgia, who appear to be on better ground.
Also, what of Elizabeth? It can be said that Elizabeth is a character in need of greater exploration, with her book of notes on various university individuals and her admission of what she knows about Jude by all accounts pretty dark.
Overall, Clique tied up the majority of its loose ends and appropriately devoted its focus in a solid series finale. While the episode perhaps didn’t feel as sleek as its predecessors, there’s no doubting it’s capped an impressive series which is both well worth a watch, and deserving of a second series.