By far the best episode of the season. Hands down, no questions asked. No other episode this season comes close. However, I hated the ending. I saw it coming, but just didn’t like it. Almost everything else in this episode is fantastic. We as an audience finally get some plot movement. It only took until one of the last two episodes for things to start advancing. It’s one of the downfalls of this season, the extremely slow movement of the story. We could have gotten pieces of this story along the way to keep us, or at least me, engaged. Instead this episode was jammed packed with content, and it was entertaining television
The performances this week where stellar across the board. No one had a bad night. Frank is finally coming around. I was extremely happy with Vince Vaughn this week. He still had a couple of quirky lines. This week I felt he delivered his lines more eloquently than he has in the past. At the start of the episode he delivered this gem: “In the midst of being ganged banged by forces unseen, I figured I drill a new orifice and go ahead and fuck myself for a change.” I liked this line in the context of the scene and for the character. In almost every other episode these types of lines felt forced out of Vaughn, and unnatural. This one was splendid. The card playing while delivering the line was a little weird, but I’ll take the small gains. The rest of the episode we see Frank figuring things out, and taking steps to give the big middle finger to everyone who has screwed him. As much as I have disliked this character, it was still satisfying to watch him start to take control of his situation. Frank’s killing of his top man to get information was a tad dramatic and over the top, but I still enjoyed the scene. While Frank is starting to dig himself out of his hole, our detectives are down a deep well.
Ani, Ray, and poor Paul. They get the information which could save them, only to find themselves boxed in at every turn. They know who killed Caspar and why, but they can’t do anything about it. Ani and Ray are both framed for murder. Ani I guess technically isn’t framed since she committed the crime. Ray is getting framed for the DA’s (I think she is a DA) murder. This forces Ani and Ray to stay together in a hotel room, which leads to a sex scene. I really didn’t need them to sleep together. There was no point. It would have been better for them to just share their moment, and comfort each other, in a nonsexual manner. While they are held up in the hotel room getting it on, they have to rely on Paul to get them out of the mess they find themselves in.
Paul however from the start of the episode has his own issues. Paul is getting blackmailed for homosexual pictures. Cliché, yes, but it works for this episode. I thought Taylor Kitsch, who has been another weak link this season, did a phenomenal job in this episode. I felt his stress and tension building throughout the episode until the climatic finish. The tunnel fight was outstanding. It was well shot, and the tension built from the scene was brilliant. The entire sequence of him being lead down to the tunnels and then confronting the chief was great. Then the fight was the cherry on top. I however didn’t like the ending.
The ending is another example of lazy storytelling. It’s too damn convenient for the other crooked cop to be waiting at that particular exit. The chief just got done saying there where tunnels all over the city, how would he know to wait at that particular exit for that tunnel? The chief was knocked out, and the rest of the team of guys where dead. I get killing off Paul, it makes for a great final episode. Just do it in a more believable way. Have Paul get back to his car, and for the detective be there waiting for him. Boom, plot hole solved. I get the killing was for effect, but this would have been just as effective.
The only other problem from tonight was just the sheer amount of information being thrown at us. Since there has been little to no plot advancement until this point, we got a ton of names and places thrown at us in a short amount of time. I had to rewind(ha yes I said rewind, go-back on the DVR) a few times just to make sure I was catching everything. It was a ton to take in, and better pacing at the front end of the season would have fixed this problem. There should have been tidbits of information spread-out through the season so tonight wouldn’t have been so rushed.
Even with the pacing issue, and shock affect death, this episode pays off. We finally get our detectives on the right track. They are in an extremely tight spot to start next week, which should make for an entertaining finally. Frank character also showed signs of life, and I want to see him get away with sticking it to the people who screwed him. After the first six episodes I didn’t think I would care if he lives or dies. I still could care less if he has a baby or adopts one though. We finally are getting something out of this season, and it’s about time. I’m glad I stuck around for this episode. I still don’t think I would recommend this season to friends who haven’t started watching yet. Maybe the finally will change my mind.
What are your thoughts? Did you like Paul’s death? Too much information tonight? Glad things are advancing? Comment and let me know. Share if you like, I’d appreciate it (hate asking, but hell I’m not above asking for some plugs)
My Rating: Good addition to the series.