Peter Kay's Car Share finale: the verdict from fans and critics

Tuesday, 29th May 2018, 10:43 am
Updated Tuesday, 29th May 2018, 11:22 am

*Warning: spoilers for the finale of Car Share*

Will they? Won't they? It's been the only question for fans of Peter Kay's Car Share since series two rounded off the story in ambiguous fashion.

Following the unscripted episode earlier this month, the BBC sitcom set on the ring roads of Greater Manchester came to a conclusion last night with a crowd-pleasing if ever-so-slightly-open answer to that question.

In this last commute for the car sharing couple, John (Peter Kay) has recorded a song for Kayleigh (Sian Gibson) as a means of apology for not expressing his feelings last time round after she had declared her love.

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The song comes complete with a fantasy sequence where Kay appears alongside Take That in their moody, rain-soaked video for 'Want You Back'.

John's musical gesture seems to have the desired effect, and after a moment of roadside drama involving a hedgehog and a flying car door, they sit side-by-side on the back seat of the bus, holding hands as the credits roll.

So was this a case of pandering to the fans who craved a happy ending (although this episode was already in the can, despite the fan petition), or a truly satisfying finale to the much-loved comedy?

The majority of Car Share fans seemed happy with how it ended

It is such innocent TV. Beautifully simplistic and just ...... beautiful . 😃ðŸ‘#CarShare

— Eamonn Holmes (@EamonnHolmes) May 28, 2018

Still laughing about the car door in #CarShare pic.twitter.com/2uywrLJt2E

— Mo Kanjilal Williams (@Mo_Kanjilal) May 28, 2018

I wonder how many people just spontaneously combusted with laughter - like me - as the car door flew offWonderful, joyous comedy #CarShare

— Adam Blackmore (@AdamBlackmore) May 28, 2018

Bloody lovely #carshare

— sara cox (@sarajcox) May 28, 2018

So glad John and Kayleigh got the happy ending they deserved. That's the ending we all wanted to see. A fitting finale to a brilliant series. Peter Kay and Sian Gibson are genius #CarShare 🚗

— Dan Clifford (@DanCliffordCTFC) May 28, 2018

That 30 seconds with the car crashes was brilliant 😂 proper belly laughed #CarShare

— Michael Lavelle (@mikelavelle93) May 28, 2018

Take a bow Peter Kay.Brilliant.Take that ....#carshare pic.twitter.com/j49su6gBO3

— Karl Cunliffe (@KDCunliffe) May 28, 2018

The critics' verdict

Most of the reviews of last night's finale have been positive.

While questioning the need for a further episode after series two, Stuart Heritage writes in his review for The i that "you'd need to have a heart of stone not to feel anything when John took Kayleigh's hand on the bus".

In his take for The Guardian, Mark Lawson goes further, arguing that Car Share stands as "one of the highest achievements of 21st century TV comedy".

Writing for Chortle, Steve Bennett does point out that one visual gag was in poor taste, following a transphobic joke in the improvised episode:

"This time Kay could be courting criticism for a joke about disabled people. At a bus stop, Kayleigh passes a poster for a new Channel 4 reality show with the sort of mash-up title Kay enjoys: My Big Fat Undateable Bake Off. But its slogan? Fancy A Raspberry Ripple."

As ever, the visual gags were peppered throughout the episode, from 'Jean Claude Van Man' to a 'Lost Boys' missing poster

Spat my wine out laughing at this bit of #carshare #peterkay pic.twitter.com/mAYDwbdfiF

— CuriousðŸ‡Clare (@clare_curious) May 28, 2018

'Secret Nuclear Bunker' 😂 #CarShare pic.twitter.com/MEcO8EkOJd

— Elliot Gonzalez (@elliot_gonzalez) May 28, 2018

Liked the view of OT in #CarShare tonight. Hope nobody starts a petition #ManCity #Champions pic.twitter.com/Bfxsj63PG6

— Kevin Cummins (@KCMANC) May 28, 2018

The best gags were the visual ones #CarShare pic.twitter.com/ftFXgjQUFS

— leo hughes (@leohughes66) May 28, 2018

Am afraid I fell off the sofa when I saw this one.😀#carshare pic.twitter.com/br4EcqdxKW

— Karl Cunliffe (@KDCunliffe) May 28, 2018

Blink and you miss them 😀#CarShare pic.twitter.com/KQfo1mUs4k

— Charlie Dye (@charliedye1963) May 28, 2018

I'm going to miss all the hidden details in #CarShare pic.twitter.com/LRpBvVhCJo

— ANASTAZIA 👑 (@__Anastazia__) May 28, 2018

Not everyone was satisfied:

Underwhelmed with #CarShare finale. Too much time spent on wedding invite and scrabbling for change to pay for teas etc and thus the ending seemed rushed.

— Joanna D (@weirenbigog) May 28, 2018

I'm so glad John & Kayleigh ended up together but that was still a disappointing ending👎 #CarShare

— Sophie Jones🧡 (@sophsjonesy) May 28, 2018

Car share was a bit naff.

— Paul (@Ginner_B) May 28, 2018

Although the show's writer was happy with the response to the finale:

Glad to have given a chunk of the country a happy finish #carshare

— Paul Coleman (@PColemanchester) May 28, 2018

And the ending also led to calls for a Christmas special:

#CarShare with a the happy ending! Loved it. But.... @Sianygibby and @peterkay_co_uk you've left it open for a Christmas special with the wedding on the 28th!!!! Pleeeeeeeeease! 🎄🚗🎄

— Marc Atkins (@marcatkins74) May 28, 2018

Peter Kay's Car Share is available to watch on the iPlayer