The final episodes of The Feed bring nightmare fuel. Ben’s assistant Natalie (Anneika Rose) finds a Taker in her home but survives the nonviolent encounter. There’s the haunting image of a masked man (Hello, Mr. Robot) who sprays a video where two people fight to the death. “This was my wife last night,” he says, as her brains are bashed out across the Feed.
“What are you doing, where are you going?” The Feed asks its audience. Its characters pretend to know the answer to this question.
Meredith (Michelle Fairley) flees to President Quan for asylum after learning that her company doesn’t care about the victims of the “sleep virus,” an outbreak that’s responsible for hundreds of murders (this show has a gigantic body count if you think about it). She ends up in the middle of a coup, with the President’s sister taking over in violent fashion. Meredith bargains to create Feed tech for the new administration, in return for safety. As long as the Feed doesn’t crash, that sounds like a plan.
But before she leaves, she attempts to make Ben (Jeremy Neumark Jones) fess up to his deceptions. He’s admitted to planting the Virtual Companion app that caused Gil (Chris Reilly) to be imprisoned, yet acts like it’s not a big deal. Ben sucks. One complaint—we don’t see Miyu (Jing Lusi) for the rest of the series. Strange, especially once we learn that Gil dies from an inmate attack. Does she even know? Anyway, once Ben learns he caused the man’s death, he seeks out his biological father at a fishing wharf. He uses his persuasive powers to help sell fish to impress his “dad,” but that turns sour after he gets drunk. He calls the barkeep a “filthy lagger,” which infuriates everyone. Tom (Guy Burnet) arrives to save him from a beating and more general hate.
Tom discovered a secret lab in his father’s mundles located somewhere in their parent’s garden maze, and he needs Ben’s side of a deleted memory to find the entrance. Their union leads to an underground facility, with secrets aplenty, but the visit is cut short with a distress call from Kate (Nina Toussaint-White), who also went into hiding.
Her sister Martha (Carlyss Peeer) flew in to escort her, but guess what? This is Bad Martha. So bad that she turns into an axe-wielding killer, demanding Kate give up Tom’s location. The scene goes full Shining as Martha kills a supply man who tries to help, then hacks at a door while Martha tries to escape with baby Beau. There’s a maze in this episode, as well.
Tom also saves Evelyn (Clare-Hope Ashitey). Now that she’s lost Max (Osy Ikhile) IRL, “D” hijacks the Virtual Companion she’s been sleeping with. But then he arrives in person to make an offer: if Evie gives her body to his wife, Stephanie (who’s “in the dark” presently), he’ll let her see Max again. This way both lovers will get what they want, yeah? That’s a big no from Evie, and “D” is soon chained up in a bathtub. She takes total control here, promising to make D’s existence a living Hell for what he’s done to her.
Poor Danny (Shaquille Ali-Yebuah) is in his own Feed-centric Hell. He goes to Jonah (Laurie Kynaston) for help when he learns that mate Cass was caged with other “twitchers.” She faked a Taker possession on the Feed, a joke that clearly backfired. He finagles his way into the holding pens, where he’s promptly disconnected from the Feed and roughed up by guards. But he does find Cass, who’s in a vegetative state.
Which is when things go bananas. The new Feed admins try to squeeze info from the hundreds of imprisoned Takers using a high-frequency blast. This results in numerous bloody ears and noses until one Taker steps up to spill the beans. Except he offers a stiff elbow to a guard, and Sue Cole (Tanya Moodie) cries, “Kill them all!” In the words of Kim Petras, this is a mass-acre. Cass is shot dead, and Danny collapses with her body in his arms. But Danny’s suffering is just beginning as his sleeping mum back home (T’Nia Miller) dies in her sleep, now possessed.
Eventually, we learn that the “dead” originate from Lawrence’s secret version of SAVEYOU, which not only stored mundles, but emotions and thoughts — entire people, basically. Originally in the thousands, the subjects encrypted themselves in the program, then began replicating their “father’s work.” The Takers are up to 4 million and counting. It’s a replicant kind of question: are they human? Do they deserve to exist, or are they just tech?
Everything builds to a confrontation between Tom and Ben. Kate survives Bad Martha, but while Tom’s attending to her, Ben drives away with wounded Martha and Beau. Why? Because “You’re not important, but you could be,” Martha tells him, revealing that his older brother was “enhanced” as an infant. Therefore, Ben concludes, this is why Ben sucks and why Tom’s better than Ben.
With Hatfield DNA, Ben can have the same procedure, so he lures his brother back to the lab. Bad Martha dies before she can harm Beau, but Ben takes that mantle forcing Tom into a holding chair. He connects him to the same program that serves as the containment for millions of Takers.
This is what “D,” or Darrien Charles wants, of course. The dead want bodies. Tom becomes a conduit, releasing the millions, which in effect causes the possession death of millions in turn. At the same time, Evie, who secretly plucked D’s wife, Stephanie, from the program, faces off with this man who killed her fiancé. After a failed attempt at stopping the Takers via deletion, Evie lights Stephanie’s flash drive existence on fire, inches away from D’s face. He promises to kill her, sobbing.
Tom survives. He springs out of the chair, and throttles Ben, but then goes weirdly calm. He takes his child, leaves his idiot brother behind. He’s going to find Kate, and then they’re going to leave the country. “What are you doing, where are you going?” Ben screams after him.
This numb ending leaves almost every character in limbo. Yes, millions died and were replaced by the dead, but we don’t see it, beyond a few eyeball close-ups. I’m not sure if the impact was as brutal as it could’ve been.
Ben was doomed to repeat himself, but his destination is ultimately disappointing. The show spent so much time making us hate the character but instead of rising to proper villain status, he ends up as pathetic as he started. Perhaps that’s the point, the standstill of “evil,” but did we really have to sit through the abuse of his wife, not to mention Gil, to reach this failure?
I find myself most concerned about Danny, who lost Cass, and his mother. Not to mention his innocence. Maybe Jonah will help him past this mess. Maybe the world will find its feet again, now that the Feed is down for the count, its god Lawrence (David Thewlis) fallen? Perhaps Tom was right to be calm, to go forward, not backwards.