Clarkson, Hammond and May reunited for a lockdown-prompted trip to the Scottish Highlands for The Grand Tour: Lochdown.
The former Top Gear presenters came together for this highly-anticipated episode, which viewers have been waiting for for seven months now. It was filmed in Scotland during lockdown, as the trio could not get to Russia as they had initially planned. The episode is now streaming on Amazon Prime.
But viewers have taken to Twitter in droves to express their confusion at the end of the ‘Lochdown’ episode. So, what did the ending mean? Well, the audience is split, but we’ve done some digging to find out what happened with the Top Gear trio.
How did The Grand Tour: Lochdown end?
In the final episode, May, Hammond and Clarkson arrive at ‘Hammondville’, an American-style commune created by the show’s producer Andy Wilman.
When Clarkson arrives in Hammondville, he soon realises that the town is not as American as he initially thought. Joined by May and Hammond in a sports bar, the trio realise that everything surrounding them is from China – the food and drink on offer, the language, the sports being broadcast.
Clarkson asks for a Budweiser yet receives a Tsingtao. He then dreams of eating surf and turf but is presented with a menu listing only Chinese food.
Clarkson comments: “You know this place has only been open a week and already every single thing in here is Chinese.”
“And on that terrible disappointment it’s time to end. We will be back, we don’t know where, we don’t know when but we will and we will see you then,” Clarkson concludes.
Lochdown’s ending explained
The ending of The Grand Tour: Lochdown appears to be a comment how China is overtaking the United States in global business. The two countries have been at the forefront of trade for years, but it looks as if China is slowly taking the lead.
Grand Tour presenter James May has touched on the show’s propensity to push buttons. May said: “I don’t think anybody would watch The Grand Tour because of our gender, colour or religious inclinations. The fact that we are a bit of an anachronism in the modern world is part of what makes it work.”
“We’re not in charge of education policy or the arms race or anything important,” May continued.
Social commentary most definitely has a place in television production, but some have been rubbed up the wrong way by the Lochdown episode’s focus on China.
Twitter split on the ending’s meaning
After watching The Grand Tour: Lochdown, viewers took to Twitter to discuss the episode’s ending. With the three hosts remaining shtum about their intention, viewers are discussing their own interpretations.
One viewer speculates that it is about how most American goods are now produced in China. The volume of imports from China increased in 2020 in big consumer categories like toys, games and sporting goods (up 4%) and non-wool/cotton apparel (up 40%).
One confused viewer tweeted: “I’m confused, was the part at the end just making humour of the fact that everything is now made in China?”
Another speculated that the ending was in relation to Covid-19, which was first identified in Wuhan, China. This interpretation is cemented by one Twitter user who allegedly spotted a change made in editing, which removed a Wuhan flag from the sports bar.