“Resonance” brought Press to a satisfying conclusion as everyone was forced to confront who they really are.
This recap of Press Season 1, Episode 6, “Resonance”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
“Resonance”, the satisfying if rather outlandish season finale of Press, saw virtually its entire cast come to terms with who they really are — and, I suppose, who their colleagues and rivals are, too. The show has always been about the morally and ethically opposed Holly Evans (Charlotte Evans) and Duncan Allen (Ben Chaplin), and Press Episode 6 remains so, but their rivalrous reporting sucks in various others for various reasons, and everyone is forced to reconcile their personal beliefs with their professional ambitions.
The Herald, then, has become an ad-heavy free paper, but it plans to run a front-page exposé of Duncan and a tell-all piece about the British government’s unsanctioned mass surveillance program. The former of those threatens Duncan’s access to his son, Fred (Benjamin Campbell), since it’ll make public his affair with a prostitute and give Duncan’s ex-wife Sarah (Natasha Little) and her new billionaire boyfriend Max (Matt Rippy) all the justification they need to whisk Fred away from him indefinitely. The latter threatens Duncan’s career. As George Emmerson (David Suchet) makes clear, if he doesn’t stop The Herald from running the story he’ll be fired. If he does, however, he’ll be promoted, and with that promotion will come a peerless legal defense for him to fight for custody of Freddy.
Luckily for Duncan, the ever-snakey Ed (Paapa Essiedu) ends up having a convenient drink with Leona (Ellie Kendrick) and, rifling through her purse, discovers the location of the resonance whistleblower who The Herald are hiding until they can spirit him out of the country. That gives Duncan leverage over Holly; if she doesn’t pull the story, he’ll tip the police off to the spy’s location and he’ll be arrested under the Official Secrets Act. Holly, though, believes there’s enough of a real journalist still left in Duncan that he won’t allow the truth to be suppressed — he can go out with whatever remains of his pride intact, getting to tell one last story of his own before he goes.
Press Episode 6 makes it look like he might. But a surprise call from Freddy, desperate to be taken away from his mum and her horrible new fella, convinces Duncan to instead run a front-page story declaring Holly an “Enemy of the People”. He gets his promotion, and in a deeply satisfying scene sends Max a copy of The Post with a secret message coded into the write-up on page 5: “Lawyer Up”. Leopards can’t change their spots.