Plenty of emotions and the importance of “letting go” brings a meaningful ending to The Irregulars season 1 — audiences will be buoyed that episode 8 gave the characters purpose and a reasoned objective to fight.
This recap of Netflix’s The Irregulars season 1, episode 8, “Chapter Eight: The Ecstasy of Life” — the ending explained — contains spoilers.
With London ascending into chaos, episode 8 begins with the Linen Man preparing to control the Rip, while Sherlock Holmes stands idly by. Sherlock wants Linen Man to keep his side of the bargain. Meanwhile, Jessie realises that the Linen Man went into her mind. Bea knows that her mother knew that she wasn’t coming back — she wasn’t old enough to remember, and the sad memory is toiling with her emotions and making her feel anguish — there’s plenty of emotions in the ending of The Irregulars season 1 – episode 8 brings a cinematic, end-of-the-world feel for the audience.
John Watson tells the kids to be prepared
John Watson warns that with the Rip widening, London will be filled with monsters. He opens up a cabinet of weapons so that they can defend themselves. He asks all the kids to stick together. As they prepare, Linen Man starts his Incantation with the Rip. A blast of energy can be seen in London’s sky coming from the Rip. There’s so much anticipation that has been bubbled up from the start of the series.
The mission starts, but Bea is struggling with the emotional memories
Bea, Watson and the others head to Aldgate – Inner Circle Line. However, the entrance is blocked, so the gang have to head down into the sewers. As they navigate through the sewers, Bea hears whispers; she sees another memory — Sister Anna is talking to John Watson, stating that the children are not her responsibility. The nun asks Bea to be very brave; in the present day, Bea is in emotional turmoil again and screams. Meanwhile, Sherlock warns the Linen Man that the gang are here.
The Linen Man induces nightmares
Episode 8 appreciates the power of the mind, as Linen Man terrorises the gang to try and stop their plans to close the Rip.
The tunnel starts collapsing, so John Watson asks the gang to move quicker. Suddenly, the group are split up. The Linen Man induces nightmares to confuse them all. Linen Man finds Jessie, and he grabs her, so they enter memories once again. In a twist, Jessie tells him that these are his memories. Meanwhile, John Watson tells Bea to fight the memories and tries to convince her that they are not real; Leopold believes he is dying and gushing blood; Billy believes he’s been hunted down by Vic Collins.
There’s plenty of anxiety that is panicking the kids.
Jessie uses the Linen Man’s nightmares against him
Jessie tells the Linen Man that this is a memory of him and his best friend and that he was jealous of the girl he was dating — the Linen Man broke his best friend, and Jessie remarks, “the first of many”. She believes the Linen Man can feel pain if he reminds him of all the people he tortured. Suddenly, Linen Man is overcome with memories and guilt, and falls off the edge of a tunnel platform and severely hurts himself. The induced nightmares stop, and the gang recover.
The Linen Man has a few words left regarding the Rip
But nothing is ever simple in finales, and the ending of The Irregulars season 1 proves that notion.
There’s still the Rip to deal with, but as the gang head through the tunnels, it collapses. Bea and John Watson are split from Billy, Spike and Leopold; Billy has broken his leg to worsen the situation. Bea tells the others to return to the cellar, and she asks Billy to promise her that they will keep each other safe. Billy gives a reluctant “yeah”, realising that he must leave Bea behind in a pivotal moment.
Bea and John Watson find Jessie, who is looking at the dying Linen Man — he tells them that if they try to close the Rip, it will kill them like it did Jessie’s mother. Jessie does not care. Linen Man continues and explains that when he went into Arthur’s mind, he saw who opened it — he believes she knows who did. Jessie runs off and heads towards the Rip. Bea, John Watson, Jessie and Sherlock all look at it with awe.
The return of Alice
And then arrives the most significant twist of the series. It’s predictable, but it’s the emotions of the situation that’s important.
Suddenly, a hand comes from the Rip, and Alice comes out of it. She’s so happy to see her children and offers her hand; Bea and Jessie hug her — they are finally with her mother. Alice admires her children and states how much she missed them. Alice then sees Sherlock, and jokingly calls him old. He tells her that he let her down and couldn’t look after the girls. He apologises. She learns that her daughters were in the workhouse, and Alice is furious, but she tells her daughters that she isn’t going away.
But, their mother’s return comes at a cost, which brings the most painful part of the finale — Jessie then asks a vital question — “why are you opening the Rip, Mum?”.
London in chaos
One of the reasons why The Irregulars season 1, episode 8 splits up the gang is to make the audience understand the impact the Rip is having; the chaos feels smaller in the tunnels.
Spike, Billy and Leopold make it back; Billy is struggling, but he believes they should have stayed. The chaos in London gets worse. Suddenly, a monster chases Sister Anna, so Spike helps her. They end up in their cellar and are armed with weapons, ready to fight as monsters smash on the cellar door. However, Sister Anna starts praying; the Rip feeds off prayers, and Leopold tries to stop her, but she says “amen”. The Nun turns into a monster.
Alice’s reasons for opening The Rip
Episode 8 then becomes about the importance of grieving; it’s a salient message that really supports the ending and solidifies a strong closing chapter.
Alice explains to her daughters that the reason she had to open the Rip is so she could see them again, and once it’s fully open, she’ll be free. She raises how she’s been alone on the other side for 15 years. Jessie expresses how she always wanted to be held by her mother again, but the Rip makes monsters out of people. Alice tells Jessie that the Rip is temporary and that it will widen so far that the barrier between the worlds will collapse. John Watson gets emotional and corrects her; if the barrier collapses, the world will be consumed by the other side — it will mean the end of the world. Alice tells him that she came from a dimension where spirits wait and cannot move on — purgatory. She believes it will be the end of death — “no more death means no more grief”. Jessie wants to close the Rip, but Bea tells her she can’t let her.
Save the family or save the world?
Jessie and Bea fight each other in front of the Rip as it collapses — Jessie tries another way to get through to her sister and enters her memories. She wants to show her the best ones, so she realises that life is worth living — this brings an emotional juncture as both girls realise the importance of sisterhood and the value of living. Bea keeps being stubborn, but Jessie keeps showing more, from spending time with friends and being in bed with Leopold. Bea tries to resist again, so Jessie shows her one more important memory — they are children in a monastery after their mother died, getting temporarily looked after by nuns. It’s terrible conditions, but young Bea gets up and takes care of baby Jessie — she loved her. Jessie reminds her that life brought her a sister, and it’s worth fighting for. This is a grab-the-tissues moment.
Grieving is important
And with a life worth living, and the message reaching the audience as directly as possible, this spurs on a turn of events.
Bea asks her mother to let go — she explains that it wasn’t grief that hurt them but that they didn’t grieve — the character symbolises how important it is for people to go through that grieving process when you lose a loved one. She hugs her mother, and tells her goodbye, and promises Alice that they will be together again one day. Sherlock agrees with his daughters because it’s not about the parents anymore. He asks her to go back. Jessie heads towards the Rip and puts her hands in it — she lets out a painful scream as she begins to close it.
Closing the Rip / John has to choose
As the Rip starts to close, Alice tells her girls that she loves and then disappears. Jessie sobs as she continues to close it. Sherlock tells John Watson that he’s been a better friend than him and thanks him before walking to the Rip himself. He puts his hand in the Rip to help Jessie. John Watson asks Sherlock to let go, but Bea asks John to save Jessie instead. The story goes full circle for John Watson; the last time this happened with the Rip, John chose Sherlock Holmes over Alice. This time, John lets go of Sherlock and helps Bea grab Jessie. She’s freed, but Alice and Sherlock Holmes are gone.
Meanwhile, above ground in London, Sister Anna starts killing people. Spike shoots at her, but it has no effect. All three boys struggle against her, but Anna returns to her normal self when the Rip is closed.
Gone but not forgotten
With the dramatics over, the finale of season 1 brings a soft closure.
It dawns on Bea, Jessie and John Watson that Sherlock and Alice are gone. The story progresses to Sherlock and Alice’s funeral. They recognise that Alice and Sherlock love each other but couldn’t exist apart. Later on, Bea and the gang enjoy fish and chips, drink beer and remember Alice and Sherlock.
Leopold has to leave
Bea has gone through such a painful journey; the lead character has had to endure the loss of her parents, a life of hardship, and the cruelties of evil, and episode 8 delivers her one more blow to make our hearts bleed.
Leopold lands some news on Bea; he needs to go back to the palace as he promised his mother — he’s travelling to Europe. He explains how being a Royal Family member means certain expectations, including “who he will be with”. Bea is devastated, and Leopold reveals the woman he’s been arranged to be with is called Helena. Leopold then confesses that he’s completely in love with Bea, so that it’s a problem. He agreed to it because it was the only way he could get Billy out of prison — he’s made a noble sacrifice. If he doesn’t go, they might imprison Billy again. Leopold has proven himself to be “one of them”, so Bea understands the situation and they kiss each other with sadness in their eyes.
Spikes worst thought
Jessie and Spike spend time together; Jessie asks what Spike saw when the Linen Man touched him. Spike admits he saw her everywhere and that she was hurt — that was his worst thing. Jessie snuggles up to him, realising that he loves her.
If we cast our eyes to most of this series, Bea and John Watson did not see eye-to-eye; the ending of The Irregulars season 1 reveals how grief can bring people together in the most warming way possible.
Realising that she isn’t the only one grieving, Bea visits John Watson and offers him fish and chips. They talk about tattoos, and when John challenges her to get a tattoo herself, Bea shows that she already has one, which means he has to get one. John refuses to get one, and Bea laughs.
Bea asks John, “how do you stop loving someone?”. John tells her, “you don’t”. Bea sobs, and John struggles to contain himself. But then he shows a rare moment of affection and puts a hand on her shoulder. He tells her he isn’t going anywhere to close season 1.
Plenty of emotions and the importance of “letting go” brings a meaningful ending to The Irregulars season 1 — audiences will be buoyed that episode 8 gave the characters purpose and a reasoned objective to fight. The Netflix series brought such a significant finale that we would not be surprised if season 2 were commissioned.