Chernobyl Creator Breaks Silence On The Season Finale’s ‘Hidden Meaning’

HBO’s harrowing miniseries came to an end

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With HBO’s Chernobyl being just as jaw-dropping and terrifying as you’d imagine it would be, the devastating drama just came to an end. Charting the horrific events of 1986’s Chernobyl nuclear disaster, the immediate aftermath, and the cleanup, the miniseries has rightly earned its place as the highest-rated TV series of all time.

Chernobyl rounded off with its fifth episode on June 3 (USA)/June 4 (UK) and left fans suitably stunned. However, it turns out there was a hidden meaning in “Vichnaya Pamyat”. Warning, Chernobyl spoilers ahead.

Demanding that the world know the truth about what really happened that fateful night, Jared Harris’ Valery Legasov, Stellan Skarsgård’s Boris Shcherbina, and Emily Watson’s Ulana Khomyuk decided they would come clean to the world.

Those who listened carefully might’ve noticed how the line “the cost of lies” appeared in the very first and last scenes of the show. Explaining the decision, creator Craig Mazin said he based the entire series around this motif.

Speaking to Slate, Mazin said: “Well, we are experiencing something now that I used to think was mostly just a phenomenon in a place like the Soviet Union, which is a disconnection from truth.

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“And the emergence of a cult of personality. And a distrust and debasement of experts who don’t go along with whatever the official narrative is.

“It’s so upsetting, and we don’t know quite how to handle it. What I want people to consider is that no matter what it is we want to believe, and no matter what story it is we want to jam the world into, the truth is the truth. If you organise your life around some political party’s list of things you should believe, or an individual that you think is going to come and save you, you are disconnecting yourself from truth. And there is a price to pay.

“We live on a planet that is under threat, and scientists are warning us, just as they did in the ’70s regarding RBMK reactors in the Soviet Union. Governments are choosing to listen or not listen, and people are choosing to listen or not listen. But the truth, the globe, the thermometer, doesn’t care. And the RBMK didn’t care either.

“It didn’t matter what they wanted to do that night. It didn’t matter that the fatal flaw of the RBMK reactor was a state secret. The reactor didn’t care. And that’s the problem we struggle with. We are attempting to make ourselves superior to fact and we are not.”

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I mean that’s all pretty deep. I thought he was just mirroring the opening in the finale. But thanks Craig, cheers for clearing that up.

Elsewhere, Mazin revealed that a ‘horrifying’ scene was actually cut from the show. Speaking to EW, he said: “Episode 4 is a tough one.

“The scenes with the liquidators and the dogs was really hard for a lot of people to watch, and that story actually got worse [in real life]. And it was a first-person story – I was not making it up.

“This is an account that somebody told in Svetlana Alexievich’s book Voices from Chernobyl. We shot it, but it was just too much.”

No matter what did and didn’t make the final cut, there’s no escaping the fact that Chernobyl is one of the most moving things I’ve ever seen.

[Featured Image: HBO]

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