Lennie James on Save Me Too ending: ‘I don’t think Nelly made the right choice’
James is the writer/creator behind the hit Sky series, but doesn't agree with the choice his character made in series two's finale. **CONTAINS SPOILERS**
Sky Atlantic's Save Me Too took viewers on a rollercoaster of emotional highs and lows – not least the final episode, which ended with a surprise twist.
Having been reunited with Jody (Indeyarna Donaldson-Holness), Nelly (Lennie James) gave up a life of freedom and the chance to get to know his estranged daughter in order to protect Grace (Olive Gray), who – like Jody – had been sold into a sex trafficking ring.
Grace had lashed out and murdered paedophile Gideon Charles (Adrian Edmondson), but Nelly took the blame for the crime, offering a false confession to the police to protect his new ward.
Speaking to RadioTimes.com to promote the release of Save Me Too and the Save Me 1 & 2 box set on DVD and digital, Lennie James – also writer and creator of the series – revealed that he thinks Nelly actually made the wrong choice in protecting Grace but effectively turning his back on Jody.
"I don’t think he made the right choice," James said. "But I think the reason why he did is as much to do with how he feels about himself and the journey that he’s gone on. This was always in part a redemption story, [and] your redemption isn’t always your reward, sometimes your redemption is a realisation of the damage that you’ve done."
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James suggested that Nelly's choice was motivated as much by his desire to punish himself as to protect Grace, having previously failed to bring another of Grace's abusers, Paul (Stephen McCole), to justice.
"He was going to pull off this great stunt of saving both Grace and Jody, and he realises he’s not kind of capable of that and I think that’s what he means when he says that line, that, 'Gideon got what he deserved, maybe I should too’, and I think he thinks this is what he’s worth," the award-winning writer explained.
"He kind of says, ‘I thought I could get away with anything because I found my kid, I thought I could f**king do anything and I can’t because I’m still just me’. And that is a sobering thought for Nelly, that after all of this journey, what he’s realised isn’t that he’s somebody different but that he’s the same person – and you know, there's that old adage that wherever you go, you’ll find yourself...
"Nelly finds himself and in that moment he thinks, ‘I think I’m worth the sacrifice’, and certainly thinks that Grace is worth the sacrifice. And he does take a responsibility for the events that have happened to her. But I myself don’t think he necessarily has made the right choice."
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James went on to suggest that Nelly's actions were actually "a bit of a cop out" since he's "slightly relinquishing responsibility" for Jody, who was returned home safe but deeply traumatised by her experiences.
"Nelly isn’t getting to the end of the road, and isn’t fulfilling his promise which was to get Jody back," he said. "I think when he sets out he thinks he’s getting Jody back for Claire [her mother, played by Suranne Jones], but ultimately the more emotionally mature Nelly would realise that he’s getting her back for him."
There’s no official word yet on the future of the series, Sky previously revealed that between 17th March and 5th April, Save Me Too had become its most downloaded show with more than 3.1 million views.
The first six-part series aired between 28th February and 4th April 2018, with news of a recommission arriving on the 23rd March, between broadcast of the fourth and fifth episodes, but there’s been no sign of an early renewal for season three.
With those kinds of figures, we suspect it’s only a matter of time before a Save Me season 3 is announced and we find out what's next for Nelly...
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