Original Air Date
June 3, 2019
Valery Legasov, Boris Shcherbina and Ulana Khomyuk risk their lives and reputations to expose the truth about Chernobyl. Finale.
Judge Milan Kadnikov
Visual Effects Compositor
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Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth. Sooner or later, that debt is paid.
— Valery Legasov
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I usually hate trials in series. They are usually completely stalling the story and are uninteresting at best.
This episode's main part is a trial. But the big difference with many others is that we actually get to learn the truth during the trial. It is not simply a gimmick put here to create a morale.
What I really enjoyed and did not expect was that the episode actually tells the part of the accident that we haven't seen. The 12 hours before it all went hell.
And this is brilliant because by telling the story this way, we now have spent more than four hours with the story and have all the elements to be able to process the final ones. The ones that really matter.
If we would have heard it in the beginning, things would not have been the same. This was simply the perfect way to tell the story.
While my focus when watching the mini-series is on nuclear-powered energy, the central aspect is about lies. And the bigger the lies, the bigger the explosion. As Valery Legasov explains at one point during the final episode, "Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth. Sooner or later, that debt is paid."
Not only we face the utter incompetence of some members of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. But we then come to the even more important conclusion. The AZ-5 button that was supposed to shut down the reactor was also based on a lie, causing the reactor to turn into a nuclear mega-bomb.
This is the main morale of the story. That lies can only lead to despair. And that it takes courage to tell the truth. While this may sound simple, once any man or woman is put into a situation of group, with personal interests, things become much more difficult. Suddenly, you think about your own place in the game. And you start playing the game, even though you may despise it. It takes courage. And many men women had to die to fix the lies of just a few. That is the legacy of Chernobyl.
The second morale I see, is that in any system, failure will happen. This is inevitable. This is Murphy's law. Planes and cars will crash, boats will sink, and yes, nuclear reactors will explode. And while Chernobyl may have been the first, it is not the last. We all remember Fukushima. Fukushima will not be the last. As long as mankind will be as stupid as it is, it will continue to play with the tools of the gods. And the only consequence will be death.
Back to the mini-series, I really enjoyed it. It was mastered from beginning to finish and it was a perfect example of what television can be about.
I give it 8 out of 10. Superb.
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