While Brave-ish Heart is the concluding episode for the mid-series two part story, it also functions as a good indication for how the series could progress in the future as well as giving us a clear indication of what the show's primary goals are going to be. This was the episode where a number of plot threads were tied up and some more were left hanging to be explored in the final episodes of the first season.
What we really see from the word go, is how the show isn't afraid to throw itself head first into its ongoing storylines and meeting its own story arc and shows us what is going to be important as the series brings itself to its conclusion. With April having been sharing her heart with the series villain, Corakinus, King of The Shadow Kin, I would have thought that that was going to be how the series came to its conclusion, I wasn't expecting for the show to deal with it this early on. April has now confronted the baddie and almost won, we can now expect for the rest of the series to explore Corakinus's revenge plot. This episode also allows Sophie Hopkins as April to really prove her worth as for me, she had been the weak link out of the group in the previous episodes. The scenes between April and Ram are some of the best in the episode with Ram discussing his religion and how people can be prejudiced about it. It is a sweet little moment, a moment, that continues to prove why the series has been so strong on subjects like religion and sexuality. However, these scenes can get a little annoying as they were obvious attempts to shoehorn some teenage discussions into the proceedings, even if they didn't really sit well with what else was going on at the time.
But Brave-ish Heart can be a bit of an uneven beast at times, even if they are positive but unusual, unexpected and bewildering at times. We now have two out of the three parent characters involved in the action and confronting aliens, it is good that any time that could have been wasted on the kids trying to hide the parents from the alien problems, has now gone. But these scenes can sometimes look a little comical rather than serious. Ram's dad looks really frightened when he heads to the world of the Shadow Kin while April's dad quickly overcomes his fears and finds his fatherly protective instincts and a moment which lead to one of the best emotional beats the show has ever produced. It was a little surprising that April still sent her father away at the end of the episode, though not unexpected since we have discovered what he had tried to do to her and her mother. But there was a feeling that he hadn't been banished permanently this time.
While all this is going on for April and Ram, back on Earth, Charlie, Mateusz, Ms. Emes and Miss Quill are battling it out over how the cabinet of souls would be used. Miss Quill wants Charlie to use the cabinet to kill all the Shadow Kin while Ms. Emes wants him to use it to destroy the flower petals that have invaded. And poor Mateusz ends being used as a pawn in the showdown between Miss Quill and Ms. Emes. The scenes surrounding the cabinet of souls was allowed to develop long enough into a number of emotional and deception-laden moments, many of which help this episode to stand out against the ones which have come before it.
In the end though, the plot points surrounding the story are a little too obvious, I'd worked out what was going on between April and her mum concerning their connection of hearts. But it is to remember that Patrick Ness is only using these science fiction elements as a way of exploring the lives of the teenagers. While the plot could be a little uneven during this episode, it was the performances, ambition and intelligence that drove this story forward. And those aren't bad things whatsoever...