A decent conclusion, but it cannot save this rather poor series
"Freunde für's Leben", meaning "Friends for Life" in English, didn't live down the flaws "Braunschlag"'s previous episodes had at all, but it least served as a decent conclusion to the 8-episode TV series. Bringing up delicate secrets I've already forgotten had been mentioned in earlier episodes, the final 45 minutes strain the characters' relationships to each other yet again, but in the end, most - or at least some of them - get a fulfilling - or at least not as bad as I'd expected - ending.
Nicholas Ofczarek, whose character Richard was one of the characters confronted with an uncomfortable truth, did his best performance of the series in this episode and was entertaining to watch doing some rather vandalistic acts around the small town and some of his on-screen partners were better than usual as well. All in all though, I'm not going to overstate this: "Freunde für's Leben" isn't the series's best episode and isn't very good either. It's just that writer-director David Schalko's idea to complete the plot is actually pretty acceptable and almost had me overlook the facts that there isn't anything funny in this episodes and that good directorial or writing choices are just as rare. Having Austria's most important news programme and its actual anchormen and -women talk about some things that have happened in the fictional series isn't anything new if you're not a total newbie to Austrian film and TV work and the not-good but not-really-bad finale is just as clichéd.
Thus, "Braunschlag"'s ultimate episode can be rated in the same sense as the on-screen ending, as its less than mediocre, but not garbage considering some of the other stuff that has happened over the course of the series. The montage at the end, showing the fates, if you will, of all the characters is nice to see and has some well-made moments in it, yet overall, "Freunde für's Leben" cannot save this rather poor series.
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