Have we talked about how adorable Mathew Baynton is? I don't want you to think this burgeoning celebrity crush is swaying my reviews, but if you didn't swoon at least a little bit when Jamie finally met Frankie, I have to question whether or not you have a heart at all. On the other hand, have we talked about how terrifying Mathew Baynton is? Ariel is getting darker and more unpredictable by the minute, and if you weren't at least a little bit crushed when Ariel kidnapped Frankie, I would have to imagine there is a ball of literal ice where your heart should be.
While Baynton's impressive dual performance as both the protagonist and Big Bad of You, Me and the Apocalypse has anchored the show thus far, it's Kyle Soller as Scotty who steals the show in this episode, even as he juggles at least one story line that has worn a little thin.
First, as always, a check in at the bunker: Spike made it inside, but he's covered with blood.
It's the day that Operation Saviour (yes, with the "u" — although it is launching from Washington, D.C., the show spells it this way) is launching as humanity's last-ditch effort to save itself. Scotty is so heartbroken about Gaines abandoning him that he's almost unable to concentrate on the task at hand, and then U.S. Marshal Tess Carter apprehends him for placing a fake 9-1-1 call. While in jail, an interaction with a Russian cellmate leads Scotty to realize that there is a fatal error in the Operation Saviour missile's coding. He knows if he doesn't get back to the Pentagon soon, the mission will fail, but Tess won't let him leave unless he gives up his sister's location. Scotty is loath to turn Rhonda in — she's on her way to the hospital to see her husband, Rajesh, for the last time — but he knows this is humanity's last hope.
The back and forth between Rhonda and the law has come to be my least favorite aspect of YMATA. Tess's single-minded pursuit of Rhonda seems to come only out of story requirements, rather than any specific characteristics she's demonstrated. And with messiahs, murderers, and the honest-to-God Apocalypse all in the mix, this cat-and-mouse game just feels small. Even so, I was rooting for Rhonda, who was unfortunately captured at the exact moment before she could reunite with Rajesh.
Even though he's the hero of the hour for spotting the flaw in the coding, Scotty is distraught over his betrayal. Gaines extends an olive branch by arranging for Rhonda and Rajesh to get a moment to say good-bye before Rhonda goes back to prison. Gaines and Scotty seem to reconcile, but it's bittersweet.
In Malta, Celine and Jude are investigating claims that the Messiah — or rather, messiahs, a couple named Arless and Ruth who go by "Ruthless" — live on an island from which none of their disciples have returned. In order to get to this island, though, Celine and Jude will have to get married, a prospect which neither of them actually seem to hate. They do get married, and the kiss is intense — all these episodes of mounting sexual tension between them did not disappoint. Once on the island, they realize that Ruthless aren't messiahs; they're just the leaders of a free-love swingers society. No one's returned because they're having too much fun in what appears to be a very unclean pool.
Celine and Jude make their giggly escape, but will have to camp on the dock overnight to wait for the ferry. Celine notices a billboard with the exact four horses that Frankie described to her, and thinks it may be a sign that God approves of her and Jude breaking their vows. When Jude asks for a sign of his own and fireworks appear overhead, they give in to their attraction and spend the night together.
Back in England, Jamie and Ariel are both on the hunt for Frankie and Layla/Hawkwind. Ariel and Sutton's assistant, Larsson, set out to kidnap Frankie, but Ariel manages to ditch her on the side of the road so he can keep Frankie as a bargaining chip for himself. Somewhat less violently, Jamie asks around to see if anyone has seen Frankie or Layla. Luckily, someone recognizes her as having been arrested that morning, so Jamie and Dave head to the courthouse.
Frankie immediately spots Jamie and recognizes him as her dad. As I mentioned above, it is heart-meltingly adorable. Jamie bails Layla — who is now going by "Sophie Colton" — out of jail, and Layla takes Jamie and Dave back to the houseboat where she and Frankie have been living. Once there, Jamie lays out what he knows, and she tells Frankie to play outside with Dave while she explains the truth.
Layla's real name is Hawkwind, and she grew up on the commune with Ariel. She ran away with him as soon as she turned 18, but Ariel always had a chip on his shoulder about Jamie, whom their mother always talked about as being the Messiah. To combat these feelings of jealousy, Ariel created a game he called "Doofus," in which he remotely messed with Jamie's life. He changed Jamie's exam results and sent him fake rejection letters from universities. He realized Jamie didn't have a girlfriend, so he created "Layla," then arranged for a meet-cute with Hawkwind. When Hawkwind actually fell in love with Jamie and realized she preferred being "Layla", she broke up with Ariel, but Ariel showed up on their honeymoon and threatened them both. Having recently learned she was pregnant, Hawkwind decided to run away to protect both Jamie and the baby.
When they get back to the houseboat, they find Dave knocked out and Frankie gone. He was taken by Ariel, who informs Sutton he'll need a plus one in the bunker — he's bringing Hawkwind too.
Oh, and we still don't know if Operation Saviour is going to work. I guess that's a pretty big deal, too.
At this point, knowing that the show has already aired in the U.K., it's proving a challenge to not just binge the whole thing. The bigger You, Me and the Apocalypse gets, the more I enjoy it. I can't wait to see what happens once Rhonda is extracted from this back-and-forth with Tess and brought back into the family fold. With only three episodes left, it seems loose ends are finally being tied up — but it's gotten so fun that I'm not sure if I'll be ready to let go.