For me, X Company really got gripping and enthralling in season 2 once the Fabers became a bigger part of the mix, and this season has been pretty damn stellar in terms of drama and the moral quandaries in which our heroes have been placed.
The latter part of this third season's McGuffin, Operation Marigold, was not that important except that it provides the motivation for our team. They aren't ending World War 2, so it can't be as huge as the Dieppe landings or assassinating a major Nazi figure - not if the show is to remain believable. So the WHY is not that important. What matters is Neil is in prison and the team's mission to kill the scientist behind Marigold is in danger of failure because of him, but even more so, because Faber is wavering. This leads to a tense finale where Aurora, Faber and Schmidt come (sort of) clean with each other at the barrel of a gun! I especially liked the call back to episode 1, where Aurora dons a yellow dress (great with Evelyne Brochu's colouring!) for her mission at Nazi HQ. Aurora has been just a phenomenal character throughout the run of this series. I only started watching X Company after becoming a fan of Evelyne Brochu's work on Orphan Black. Yet I really fell in love with Aurora. She has been thrust into perilous situations time and again, has been torn by the things she as had to do, yet she is strong and resolute throughout. I loved that at the end of the episode, when we see briefly where the characters end up, Aurora is back out in the field in Belgium undercover. Brochu has been fantastic at portraying Aurora's choices and their consequences. I was glad we had a nice little resolution to her friendship with Sabine, and how Sabine was altered. And while the Aurora/Alfred fans enjoyed the liaison between them last week, this finale showed her endgame was not to settle down with a man, but to keep fighting for the cause. A true hero. In terms of characters, Franz Faber comes a close second on my list of favourites. We saw him go through so many changes of heart in this episode alone. During the series we have seen him act incredibly brutally, shooting people without qualm, torturing Alfred and more. Perhaps it isn't a good thing to sympathize with a Nazi, but we feel at heart, he has good in him. At the opening of this episode, he and his family are in danger of being exposed so he decides to hold back and is prepared to sacrifice the team. Faber owes nothing to them and despite not supporting the gradually revealed atrocities being committed by the Nazis, he isn't willing to die for no reason. Therefore the climax of the episode (where Aurora reminds him of his Downs son Ulli and why fighting with them is the right thing to do) is pretty heart breaking and powerful. Faber's sacrifice makes sense in that of all the characters - with the exception of Sabine's father Schmidt - he is the one with most blood on his hands left. He is not going to start working openly as a resistance fighter and it is unlikely he would escape a war crimes trial with the people he has killed. Quite honestly, I was a bit surprised Aurora, Alfred, Neil and Krystina all survived. Surprised but pleased. Too many series finales feel they need big sacrifices to end a show, however, having lost 4 original team members over the 3 seasons, there has been a fair death toll that no more deaths was pleasing.
As a series finale this one was very satisfying, although I would argue better dramatic episodes have come before it. These last 2 episodes have been directed by series creator Stephanie Morgenstern, and while I applaud her step behind the cameras - there aren't enough women directors and she has been at the heart of the show - I think visually they were not as striking and beautiful as some. However, emotionally and performance-wise, they were as good as the show at its best.
I'm sorry to say goodbye to Aurora, Alfred and Neil. I think there are many more stories that could have been told by the show. Still, this particular chapter and particularly the compelling stories with the Fabers were probably done. I hope in years to come other fans around the world will find this show and enjoy the exciting and involving stories of a fascinating time in history.