Previously on Hard Sun, “The Sun, The Moon, The Truth”
“One Thousand, Eight Hundred Days” begins where we left off last week. Hicks is running from the MI5 guys, they easily catch him, and he’s tortured by Grace Morrigan, who is demanding the flash drive. She doesn’t believe he doesn’t know where it is and has Hicks’s wife kidnapped. Just when we are about to have confirmation Grace isn’t above ordering the execution of a pregnant woman, Renko pops up on Facebook Live talking about Hard Sun. As this was going down my first thought was Grace must not be very good at her job if she thinks Hicks and Renko get along. They just met and Renko literally kicked his ass. Hopefully this is an example of a consistent theme throughout the series where everyone underestimates Renko — that would be interesting.
Grace has wasted her time trying to get info out of Charlie he doesn’t have, and this leads to the world finding out about Hard Sun. And we all know what happens next, it’s buried under a pile of “Fake News” accusations.
The episode flashes forward four weeks to Hicks and Renko back on their detective beat as if nothing has happened. Apparently Renko was right: to avoid being killed they needed to put the truth of Hard Sun out into the world.
What I Didn’t Like
The majority of the episode focuses on a crime that Renko and Hicks solve. I was bothered by this storyline. Chris Chapel is angry because his ex-wife is involved with her boss so he kills the man after making him watch as Chris rapes and kills his wife. Then Chris kills his ex’s entire family and kidnaps their children. This ties into Hard Sun because Chris believes it’s not just a conspiracy theory, and it sets him on this destructive path and not his toxic masculinity.
What I Liked
The episode was beautifully shot, showing circles in nature and architecture including some gorgeous circular staircases. The camera also plays with nature and artificial light, casting light and shadows to remind you of impending disaster.
Several times DCI Hicks complains to Renko that she is the only person he can be truthful with, and this is downright hilarious as he has been lying to everyone he loves long before Hard Sun came along.
Grace Morrigan pops up throughout the episode. I assume she is on a whisper campaign to leverage Renko and Hicks and ultimately get the Hard Sun flash drive whilst keeping them quiet. The best part of these scenes is when she visits Mari Butler, Charlie’s former partner’s wife and Charlie’s mistress. Grace gives Mari a message to relay to Charlie.
“Renko knows what you did to Alex Butler and why.”
The tension this sets up for the rest of the episode is flat out delicious. Hicks is trapped. Now the only person he thought he could have a fairly honest discussion with is out to get him.
At the apex of the show, there is a pivotal scene where the Chris Chapel is about to kill Renko. Renko looks at Hicks, who Chapel can’t see, and appears to signal that Hicks should let her get killed. I am not sure yet what to make of this. Does Renko have a death wish? Thus far she has been presented as a survivor. Hicks could let her die and have one problem solved, but instead he saves her. Maybe this is a signal that he is innocent in Alex Butler’s death.
What I Need to Know
Do we know if Hard Sun is a foregone conclusion, or do we have hope for humanity? This is crucial. If there is no chance to avoid the extinction level event, how long will anyone on this show care about doing their jobs? Let’s assume that The Powers That Be (TPTB) are all rich and mostly male (i.e. the current status quo of 2018). If humanity is going down, how much effort will they be putting into keeping things moving along? It’s not a leap to think they would be phoning it in, and looking to enjoy their riches while they can. How hands-on are they at this point?
I would love this show to end with some quality realism. Imagine, in a flashback one minute before the opening scene of the series, we learn Grace has just earned a promotion to the highest levels of MI5 only to have the oligarchs and power brokers of the world email the Hard Sun Powerpoint. They abscond to a private island that has been wiped off GPS to party while the world ends. Grace, a highly educated black woman who has built her life as a career public servant, is left to try and keep society functioning for as long as possible. That’s an ending I can believe.
This week the show ends on a cliffhanger: DCS Roland Bell tells Renko he has proof Hicks killed his partner.