So, the theories at a2ashes were right all along. Gene was the Ghost!Cop, who died in 1953. And he was some kind of psychopomp - I think I saw an interview calling him an angel. Keats was the Devil (or at least working for him - the Official Site has him sending reports to "Nick"). They were all in a copper's purgatory, and all of them - even Alex - were already dead.
Ashes to Ashes: In which the whacked out theories actually turn out to be canon.
But God, the reveals still packed a whallop. I started crying at the death videos - especially Shaz's, as she watched her own death to the sound of Wonderwall - and at the end when they said goodbye and went into the pub. Poor Shaz. Poor Ray. Poor Chris. And Poor, poor Alex, realising that she had already died and could never go home to Molly.
Heh, heaven is a pub. And Nelson is God - or Saint Peter, maybe.
Didn't cry at the reveal that the buried cop was Gene, but gosh I wanted to give him a hug. While I've found him highly, highly entertaining, I never really bought into the cult of Gene Hunt - but that revelation, and the way he just sort of gave up there, such a woobie moment for him.
I can see why some people are upset that he didn't get to move on, too - but I think he will, some day, and be with the others again. And the fact he chose to stay behind to fight Keats and all he stood for, and to guide yet more lost coppers, that was very heroic. It ends with the same line he gave to Sam Tyler, five seasons ago - but this time, he knows the truth.
I really need to give the episode another look through. And possibly the series - and Life On Mars - at some point, to see how well stuff is set up. I do recall DEAD on the Whiteboard back in series one, I wonder what else there is.
Looking through all the responses and stuff over at a2ashes, I think I like this quote the best: "Keats chair-dancing to Wham while
I'm looking forward to what the fanvidders do with this (these?) now. Normally I'd be on the lookout for fic - and I definitely still am - but Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes wouldn't be the same without the music.