There are three things certain in life: death, taxes and being completely shocked by the ending of The 12 Days of Christine.
The correct definition of, what we experience – a life review, is as follows: a phenomenon widely reported as occurring during near-death experiences, in which a person rapidly sees much or the totality of their life history.
This instalment of Inside No.9 provides a close-up reflection of the life of Christine (Sheridan Smith) as it slowly drips away across 12 life-defining days.
From the moment the episode starts we are invited into Christine’s life. Experiencing everything from the introduction of her latest male friend, Adam (Tom Riley), as they bundle through the door of No.9 after a fancy-dress party, to the emotional rollercoaster set to follow.
We carry on to travel throughout her life, sat by her side as she visits her mum on Mother’s Day, has a sense of concern about her own motherhood, celebrates Halloween, gives birth to baby Jack (Joel Little and Dexter Little) and divorce before finally, she begins to realise that she is reliving her memories.
Rather than occupying their acting roles, Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith starve us of humour as they retire to create a production masterclass, drowning us with chilling moments – and gut-wrenching emotional sections, from start to finish.
The egg scene, where Christine, alone in her flat, has raw eggs pelted against her walls and floor, almost leaves us with our own insides splattered on the floor as the build-up of tension blossoms into a crescendo, giving horror writers as respected as Stephen King a run for their money.
A re-watch is certainly necessary in order to notice the subtle hints laid out by the formidable producing duo.
From the blue-tinted lights as Smith and Riley come storming through the doors to the toy police car she rolls to one side; as materialised through Smith’s preparation for an Easter egg hunt, Pemberton and Shearsmith are laying the markers for the final revelation. Upon that re-watch, you will have realised how in your face the repetition of Andre Bocelli and Sarah Brightman’s Time To Say Goodbye is.
With Inside No.9 we have become so accustomed to expecting a plot twist yet with this we are left with a dramatic side swipe that few noticed as building.