Well… that was bleak! Last night, Childhood’s End wrapped up it’s three night airing with, The Children. And despite the fact that (remember… these reviews have spoilers… stop now if you don’t want to know what happened, seriously), literally everyone died, I’d say this was still a journey worth taking, if not one I’ll be rewatching when I’m looking for a pick me up.
It’s safe to say that there’s something about Jennifer, especially when children all over the world start chanting her name before showing up at her house in the middle of the night. At this point in the story, Jennifer is a young child despite having only been born at the end of the last episode, but her influence is already obvious from the outset of The Children. Looking back, it’s clear this was the beginning of something of a hive mind, but the creepy factor was in full force, especially since this phenomenon was completely made up of normal, polite looking children… who all seem to be wearing pastels for whatever reason. My one big question as we deal with yet another time jump has to be if Jennifer’s parents are just now realizing how creepy their kid is? Maybe it was getting to New Athens that was the key, reminding them of what life had been before when the world wasn’t populated with bizarre-o people. Unfortunately for the Gregson’s they do still have bizarre-o children there, and they’re all determined to flock toward Jennifer, who doesn’t think of Tom’s mother as her own.
The Gregson family, who were a pretty central focus of this final episode, packed their family up and moved to New Athens, the one city left on Earth that is trying to live like the old ways, hoping the humanity of the city would somehow absorb into Jennifer. Unfortunately, it was too little too late. The first time they tried to go to a family movie night, Karellan showed up to announce that no more children would be born on earth. They had evolved beyond humanity, and it was time for them to literally float off up into space. The adults would be able to live out the rest of their lives on earth, but this is why it would be harder on those with children. Admittedly, the scene of the adults desperate in the streets while the children ascending in a rapture like scene was a creepy one. Very nicely put together.
In other relationship drama, Milo asked his girlfriend to send him with one of the animal shipments going to the Overlords home planet. She wasn’t thrilled, for obvious reasons. But, she eventually conceded and Milo set off into the galaxy. He did say back in the first episode that he’d be the first human to see the Overlord’s world. In other news, isn’t it a little strange that Dr. Boyce never featured back in to any of this, even though it was his ark project that sent Milo off to the great unknown?
Milo wakes up forty years later, which I think was the highlight of the series for me. He met an Overlord whose English was less than fantastic, but who was happy to give out some answers to the big questions we (and Milo) had been wondering about. It turns out that the Overlord’s aren’t malicious or devils at all, and instead they merely serve the Overmind, helping other species to evolve and join a sort of collective consciousness. Kind of neat, unless you’re one of the humans left back on Earth, not able to join the Overmind. Which brings us back to the beginning, with Milo back on Earth only to discover that everyone else has died off. He’s literally the last of humanity, as we saw at the beginning of the first episode. He did have the option to stay with Karellan and jet around the universe (that would have been my choice) but couldn’t bare to live out his life as the last of humanity, and so he went back to experience the planet’s last moments.
In the end, I wish there had been just one more night’s worth of content in order to give us a little more time to wrap our heads around what was going on, and get a little more attached to the characters. But all in all, I enjoyed this three night event and very much hope SyFy will opt to do more like it, tackling projects that were once thought to be unfilmable. For now, we’re left with Childhood’s End and the questions it brought with it. Would humanity have been better off left to it’s own devices? How does religion factor into all of this? Was this three day television event a success? We’d love to hear your thoughts!