With the events now over and the clean up still ongoing, Legasov has lied to the IAEA in Vienna but he still has a chance to tell the truth at a trial put on to punish Dyatlov, Bryukhanov and Fomin.
Whilst dramatically the finale wasn’t up there with the rest of the season it had a different purpose.
We joined the night of the explosion after it had already happened, what led up to it had never been shown and with Legasov’s testimony we were able to learn what happened leading up to the explosion. So whilst the human side of it was missing a little, our emotions already having been killed by the fates of those we were seeing in the episode, it was such a intriguing episode to watch.
It was also, for lack of better words, a nice way to tie it all together.
We got to see how Bryukhanov just didn’t listen, didn’t care and went about his business as usual but were also given the fact we easily forget which is that he was always doing what he did based on facts that should have been true. They weren’t true but Bryukhanov didn’t know that.
What the episode did then was show that he was probably not a very nice person but he wasn’t a nice person in the same way anyone who runs any kind of operation isn’t. He didn’t go out of his way to hurt others and what we saw at the beginning of the series actually was more of him being in denial then anything else. Of course he kept telling them the Core shouldn’t have exploded so he kept sending people to their death to check on it that is because he didn’t know the rods he had just stuck into the reactor were made of graphite and therefore instead of shutting down and doing what it was meant to be doing he had turned the entire thing into a nuclear bomb.
I think it went a long way to humanize at least his character.
You don’t have to be nice but being a bit of a horrible boss isn’t the same as being evil.
It also had to tie up how Legasov went from heading all these things to help stop Chernobyl being a worse incident to killing himself in 1988.
This episode was mainly Jared Harris speaking and he held my attention every step of the way. Much of what we had to hear in the trial was scientific and whilst the show had done a good job of giving us enough information that we didn’t get lost it would have been easy to make Legasov’s testimony extremely boring. It wasn’t though and I felt like every second he talked, every cut away to Shcherbina and Khomyuk, just made you even more invested in what he was saying waiting for the moment you knew was coming.
The moment he finally told the truth.
It was a really good ending to a really amazing series and whilst there was nothing particularly dramatic about any of it, nothing over the top happened and we didn’t see anyone die or any arguments or blow ups, it managed to make you hang on every tiny second of the episode hoping to finally understand what happened, why it happened and how it was let to happen.
There isn’t really much more that can be said about the Chernobyl accident but it makes you want them to make more shows like it. Shows that actually focus on the human side of tragedies. I guess it might not be the most accurate of shows but it has garnered a interest in something that effected so many in a much different way then I guess Chernobyl had before. No one is talking about it because of legends of zombies and mutants, horror movies or how nice it would be to go there to take photos of a giant part of history that has now been taken over by earth. People are now talking about Chernobyl as something that happened, a historical event that impacted so many lives. People, at least for a little bit, care about this in a way that people just don’t usually care about things like this.
It would be nice to see other things handled like this.