Chernobyl Season Finale, Episode 5: Vichnaya Pamyat

cdrivecdrive Houston, TX
Chernobyl
Season Finale
“Vichnaya Pamyat”

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Comments

  • This episode really makes you hate Dyatlov.
    Flukesladylarsen
  • JaimieTJaimieT Atlanta, GA
    1. The courtroom scene stands among the best bits of writing I've ever seen. There were a few somewhat subtle things that made it compelling, and maybe I'll write something up later. I've written enough fiction to be amazed that someone ever thought of one tweak in particular.

    2. It would be regrettably simplistic for anyone to think Legasov's speech on truth was about the Soviet Union.

    3. Scientists are amazing! Scientists, scientists, heroes, true warriors, scientists, underappreciated scientists, HER DOCTORS WERE WRONG.
    jbryant27FreddyHatorianFlukesAussieGregladylarsenMarcirkcrawfFreiberg
  •  I sat in silence for a good 5 minutes after the last caption just thinking and taking in everything I just watched. Powerful, moving, and incredibly sad. 
    jbryant27FreddyAussieGregladylarsen
  • cdrivecdrive Houston, TX
    edited June 4
    You scientists and your idiot obsession with Reason! What does it matter when the bullet hits your skull why!?

    Why worry about something that isnt going to happen....oh that’s perfect. They should print it on our money. 

    Well done at the end there with real footage of our characters. And a nice acknowledgement of all those scientists who embodied Ulana.

    Calling it now - back to back Baldies Jared Harris! 
    FreddyMichellebbordCapeGabeFlukesMarcirkcrawfFreiberg
  • jbryant27jbryant27 Waxahachie, TX
    That ending was powerful. "Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth. Sooner or later, that debt is paid."
    cdriveCapeGabeFlukesAussieGreg
  • FreddyFreddy Denton, Texas
    "Dude... We might just tank HBO with this horseshit..." -first Double D

    "You didn't watch the Chernobyl finale screener yet, have you?" -second Double D
    cdrivegguenot
  • Damn near perfect episode 
    Freddy
  • calebthrowercalebthrower South Carolina
    Truly fantastic
  • FreddyFreddy Denton, Texas
    edited June 4
    gguenot said:
    Damn near perfect episode 
    Ain't that the damn truth. Godfather level quality.

    I want a screen print of Lasagnalov standing next to the model of the power plant.
    gguenot
  • This easily cracks my top 15 favorite individual episodes of tv ever. It was so good I almost would recommend it as a standalone viewing. 

    FreddyAussieGreg
  • cdrivecdrive Houston, TX
    edited June 4
    THIS GUY!!



  • I'm such a sucker for text over real-life footage as a coda.

    Jared Harris is so good in this. I like the way he stacks his placards before presenting similarly to his tapes in the first episode.

    What a great series.
    Underwoodcdrive
  • HatorianHatorian Dagobah
    This deserves its place at the top of TV. The last episode was the best and capped off the greatest 5 hours of television ever. 

    The scene with Boris in the garden was amazing. 

    Im an insequential man....

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=2QjecrtLvWI

    So fucking good. Then the ending with the texts about the truth just left me speechless. 
    Flukes
  • That was amazing and sad.  Started listening to the HBO podcast this morning and found out that the trial scene was dramatic license, but that doesn't matter to me.  This was some powerful storytelling, and the real footage at the end had me crying.
    AussieGregcdrive
  • I have put this in my top three of something created for television with Band of Brothers and From the Earth to the Moon.

    It was amazing from start to finish. All the actors were phenomenal with Skarsgård and Harris delivering outstanding performances.

    Also a shout out for HBO's podcast with the showrunner. I liked him pointing out all the dramatic license taken and why. I think they were all good choices.

    Having prompted me to watch many Chernobyl documentaries on YouTube I think they did a great job of getting so much of what happened into the show.

    One of my favorite interesting tidbit I heard on the podcast was the time scale on the early episodes. The first one is in minutes, the second hours, the third in months.

    Here is to hoping that HBO continues with this quality of shows and don't go for the quantity over quality with the new people in charge.
    GiovanniMarcirkcrawfTeresa from Concord
  • cdrivecdrive Houston, TX
    edited June 4
    I'm such a sucker for text over real-life footage as a coda.


    Oh me too man.  And that chanting...so beautiful and moving. Solemn and ethereal.  Turns out that music at the end is called "Vichnaya Pamyat", same as the title of the finale.... It means "Memory Eternal" and is sung at the end of funerals and memorial services in that Russia, Ukraine, Belarus area.  I don't think you could ask for a more perfect, more respectful ending.  
    gguenotjohnnytruant
  • JaimieTJaimieT Atlanta, GA
    edited June 4
    JaimieT said:
    1. The courtroom scene stands among the best bits of writing I've ever seen. There were a few somewhat subtle things that made it compelling, and maybe I'll write something up later. I've written enough fiction to be amazed that someone ever thought of one tweak in particular.

    Apologies if any of this is said in the podcast. I'm savoring the podcast, going slow.

    First of all, the less somewhat subtle thing. That is, presenting the Chernobyl disaster as a balancing act gone wrong. Maybe that's exactly how it works, but nothing I've read on Chernobyl presented it in that way, so either great work hunting down that explanation or great work inventing it and framing it in those terms, because it works perfectly explaining one of the main themes in the show, as delivered by Legasov: "Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth. Soon or later, that debt is paid." At Chernobyl, they could have paid that red tile debt by adding more blue tiles to the board. Instead the debt was paid by an explosion. When pressure builds, you either get rid of that pressure or things explode. The same for lies. And the Soviet Union exploded.

    Secondly, the more somewhat subtle thing involved Shcherbina speaking to Legasov. If they had only had the courtroom scene as an answer to Khomyuk's urging that Legasov tell the truth, that would have been enough. If they had only had Shcherbina sit in the courtroom as a kind of moral support and resolving of the tension between Legasov and Shcherbina, that would have been enough. If they had only had Shcherbina give Legasov a pep talk about how Legasov is more persuasive than he thinks, that would have been enough. Courtroom scenes of all kinds face a tension problem and this is commonly how writers resolve it, by having some fairly standard character drama happening in the wings.

    Not Chernobyl. Let's go back to the beginning of the episode.

    Khomyuk tells Legasov he matters, that his voice is important. Legasov doesn't believe her, belittles himself. The courtroom scene starts. A plot reason is given to cut the courtroom scene in half, which avoids the drag of many courtroom scenes, keeps the momentum going. Shcherbina and Legasov have a conversation we've craved for a while, where instead of Shcherbina giving Legasov a pep talk as we might expect, the opposite occurs. Legasov gives Shcherbina a pep talk, specifically about Shcherbina himself being important, about how not just anyone could have done Shcherbina's job. "They hear me, but they listen to you." I found it mystifying they broke the courtroom scene for that beat, but I went with it because, hey, resolving their friendship is something I wanted to see. 

    But when Legasov stood in that courtroom again it dawned on me what Khomyuk had told him, that this is a room full of scientists who will listen to another scientist. We are reminded again how those in power listen to Shcherbina, when he tells the judge to let Legasov finish. And then it's as if Legasov understands the pep talk he just gave his friend. For scientists, Legasov is a Shcherbina. They will hear others, but they will listen to him.

    I write things, and I revise them, and I tweak them, and I feel something is missing and I grasp at what could fill that void. And often you take the easy, obvious thing that no one will complain about. A lesser and still effective way of doing the courtroom scene might have been Legasov learning that he can be a Shcherbina too, if he just tries. For example it might have been Legasov that demands the judge let him finish. But no — no, we can still get our moment of change and resolution with the characters retaining their distinctiveness and integrity, and that's exactly what we got. I am astounded at the brilliance of Craig Mazin, who is drawing in beautiful cursive what most of us are scratching in print.

    Sure, I've seen people give pep talks which then apply to themselves, but I haven't seen it done with so many elements, with such uncompromising characterization, and in such a difficult scenario to make compelling.

    As for the mouse, what do you think that means? I doubt I have the interpretation that Craig Mazin intended, unless he's a big Disney fan! But as a big Disney fan, I looked at what to my eyes was a Soviet copy of Micky Mouse, and with the themes of the individual effecting great change swirling around my brain, I am reminded of Walt Disney's quote about the building of his empire: "I hope we never lose sight of one thing — that it was all started by a mouse."
    gguenotDrKenShumGiovanniMarcihisdudeness915rkcrawfDoubleA_RonawookieeSanguinePenguinand 2 others.
  • Sky news in the U.K. have an interview with two of the miners.
  • JaimieT said:
    JaimieT said:
    1. The courtroom scene stands among the best bits of writing I've ever seen. There were a few somewhat subtle things that made it compelling, and maybe I'll write something up later. I've written enough fiction to be amazed that someone ever thought of one tweak in particular.

    . A lesser and still effective way of doing the courtroom scene might have been Legasov learning that he can be a Shcherbina too, if he just tries. For example it might have been Legasov that demands the judge let him finish. But no — no, we can still get our moment of change and resolution with the characters retaining their distinctiveness and integrity, and that's exactly what we got. I am astounded at the brilliance of Craig Mazin, who is drawing in beautiful cursive what most of us are scratching in print.


    They sort of mention it in the podcast, but due to it being a "show trial", lead prosecutor (Roose Bolton) actually has more authority than the judges and could have shut down (and would have) Legasov even if the judges wanted to hear more. It seems like Shcherbina was one of the ranking members in the room and was able to allow Legasov to continue. 

    JaimieT said:
    JaimieT said:
    1. The courtroom scene stands among the best bits of writing I've ever seen. There were a few somewhat subtle things that made it compelling, and maybe I'll write something up later. I've written enough fiction to be amazed that someone ever thought of one tweak in particular.

    Apologies if any of this is said in the podcast. I'm savoring the podcast, going slow.

    First of all, the less somewhat subtle thing. That is, presenting the Chernobyl disaster as a balancing act gone wrong. Maybe that's exactly how it works, but nothing I've read on Chernobyl presented it in that way, so either great work hunting down that explanation or great work inventing it and framing it in those terms, because it works perfectly explaining one of the main themes in the show, as delivered by Legasov: "Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth. Soon or later, that debt is paid." At Chernobyl, they could have paid that red tile debt by adding more blue tiles to the board. Instead the debt was paid by an explosion. When pressure builds, you either get rid of that pressure or things explode. The same for lies. And the Soviet Union exploded.


    Podcast spoiler:



    They said that the courtroom scene was mostly dramatic license and instead of saying "it exploded because of a certain chain of events that is too complicated for a layman to understand" they wanted to explain it in as much detail to the audience as possible. The placards were creative licensing, but minute by minute and the balancing explanation was completely accurate given their research and speaking with other nuclear physicists/plant operators (according to the showrunner). He said that was essentially how it was explained to him and he thought it was perfect to use on the audience. I'm not sure about adding the blue placard/ tile material to restabilize since it seemed like a lot of the blue tiles were natural byproducts of the fission process and needed to occur naturally.


    Drummerguy91
  • HunkuleseHunkulese Québec, Canada
    I'm not sure I buy the official story on Dyatlov. It seems way too convenient that they were able to lay 95% of the blame on him. I think there's a strong possibility that he was scapegoated to take as much blame away from the state as possible and I think there are were a couple of hints suggesting the possibility in the episode as well. He was one of the most competent men at the plant yet had no problem breaking every safety rule there was because of the hint of a promotion? I don't really buy it. They even say that he knew full well the test results wouldn't be useful. The testimony against him comes from a lot of dead people and could have been easily manipulated by the State. His punishment was also way, way too lenient.

    One thing I didn't really understand was when questioned about why the rods were tipped with graphite, Legasov responds that it was cheaper. Cheaper than what? Was he just referring to the fact that it would have been expensive to retrofit all the rods after they'd discovered the issue or could the rods have been built in a different way? The graphite had to have a purpose when they were originally designed, no?
    BroRad33
  • Getting the before the explosion story in this episode makes me want watch the first episode again now I know those people. Then I'll just watch the whole thing again. Rinse, repeat...
    rkcrawf
  • redlancerredlancer Seattle
    Hunkulese said:

    One thing I didn't really understand was when questioned about why the rods were tipped with graphite, Legasov responds that it was cheaper. Cheaper than what? Was he just referring to the fact that it would have been expensive to retrofit all the rods after they'd discovered the issue or could the rods have been built in a different way? The graphite had to have a purpose when they were originally designed, no?

    I was a little confused by that too. Seems that everybody (the scientist and engineers) would obviously know the rods are tipped with graphite.

    I think it just came down to that nobody knew that graphite could react the way it did to the massively out-of-spec reactor situation. This is what was said in the redacted report and why the author of the paper was fired for 'just knowing it'. The State just wanted it to be an operator error so they could blame the one or two people. I think by inferring that the design itself was flawed it makes the Soviets look bad/dumb and that was to be avoided at all costs. 

    But I agree, by labeling it as a cheaper solution it does cloud the issue. He could have just said something along the lines of that's how we always did it, nobody bothered to test it, and when they did the results were buried.


  • CapeGabe said:
    Getting the before the explosion story in this episode makes me want watch the first episode again now I know those people. Then I'll just watch the whole thing again. Rinse, repeat...
    It's very similar to the circular fission process that they were describing. 
    CapeGabe
  • Posted elsewhere, but this is an excellent re-inactment of what precisely went wrong, including the inherent design flaw (and is subtitled!)



    SanguinePenguin
  • A truly incredible finale , couldn't stand Boris in the beginning , but damn it he was a great character . Truly amazing series in general 
  • redlancerredlancer Seattle
    I remember last week the boys were wondering if the show could keep up the intensity for an hour of what would essentially be dry courtroom drama. They had also mentioned on the first episode that it would have been nice to see the run-up to the reactor explosion instead of starting with that right off the bat.

    Combining the two for  for the finale made an hour of television even better than the previous 4 outstanding episodes. Hats off to all involved.


    cdrive
  • I just watched it last night and haven't gotten to the HBO podcast yet but damn what a show.  It's already been said multiple times and said much better than I can say but what an amazing show.  I knew very little about Chernobyl which is also why I find the show so fascinating and absolutely devastating.  I don't think I've ever felt the emotions watching a show as I did watching Chernobyl and I applaud Craig Mazin for being as transparent as he has been regarding what of this show was fictionalized and what came from hard truths uncovered by the endless amount of research he and other did.  This is hands down the most powerful show out there and I hope HBO doesn't overdo recreating it (quanitity over quality) but I would love to see similar docu-dramas regarding other big events in our worlds past.  I highly doubt they'll ever top what Mazin did with Chernobyl but I would be in on whatever they put out next if it followed a similar blueprint to this. 

    Can't wait to listen to the guys coverage of this and @cdrive I'd be willing to bet this has quite the buzz at the baldies BUT do you give actor award to Mahershala Ali from True Detective or Jared Harris from Chernobyl?  Personally I have to give the nod to Mahershala Ali but it's a tough decision.  They both put down amazing performances.   
    SanguinePenguinBhorten1
  • redlancerredlancer Seattle
    Heard @Jim on today's podcast mention that he would have like to have seen some of the sarcophagus construction in the show, but maybe it wasn't dramatic enough to be included.  

    It actually was just as riveting as the rest of the disaster. The first one the Soviets made as a quick fix was just that, and was likely to fall into the reactor sooner than later. A 'real' one was constructed some years later as an engineering marvel. If you look up NOVA - Building Chernobyl's MegaTomb it goes through it and how hard/dangerous it was. Has some cool footage from remote cameras of the inside of the reactor chamber showing the utter carnage and molten everything. Found one version on youtube but didn't look very official. Pretty easy to watch if you have a PBS station in your streaming services.

    awookiee
  • cdrive said:
    Chernobyl
    Season Finale
    “Vichnaya Pamyat”

    cdrive said:
    Chernobyl
    Season Finale
    “Vichnaya Pamyat”

    I'm glad you invoked Dunning- Kruger. It's what I've been calling your podcast. You guys are the perfect example.
  • Globalcop said:
    cdrive said:
    Chernobyl
    Season Finale
    “Vichnaya Pamyat”

    cdrive said:
    Chernobyl
    Season Finale
    “Vichnaya Pamyat”

    I'm glad you invoked Dunning- Kruger. It's what I've been calling your podcast. You guys are the perfect example.
    @cdrive has a podcast?
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