Good lord, that was terrible.
There are truly no words that can describe just how dreadful and boring this 2-hour season finale was, mostly because the lazy and horribly inconsistent writing continued to weigh down this show even in its final moments.
The show has been trying to be plot-driven rather than character-driven in its first 10 episodes, but it doesn’t work because the dialogue is still attempting to focus on the characters. Alice immediately finding out that Margot is Ben’s partner in crime and not an actual, real therapist feels oddly rushed into the first hour, but advancing plot like that is excusable especially in a season finale. However, it becomes apparent that the writers have absolutely no idea what they’re doing when it doesn’t take more than a line from a supporting character (Nia Vardalos) for Margot to realize that she’s been made. So many things are justifiable if it means getting to a satisfying climax, but plot contrivances are most certainly not.
The fact that the finale is two hours long surely does the show no favor as its flaws become more obvious when the big moments keep getting dragged out. The addition of Margot and Rhys’ mother is not as intriguing as it’s supposed to be because this character has been built up to be completely menacing and intimidating, but is instead quite comical and ridiculous. Most of the events leading up to the wedding are quite ridiculous, to be frank, with Rhys and Ben pretending to be a gay couple to convince Zachary Knighton (Happy Endings) and Sally Pressman (Army Wives) to tie the knot in order to get invited and scam another supposedly scary yet multi-millionaire mother. Even the show’s biggest strengths in the past couple of episodes, relying on the lighthearted banter between the bad guys, falls short of expectation.
The writers still don’t have a handle on their characters, and they continue to push them into doing things that are wildly inconsistent with what we know. Rhys and Alice suddenly being in cahoots with each other, trying to build the Alice/Ben happily-ever-after fairytale, becomes a glaring issue as the finale comes to a finish because it’s not what we’ve come to expect at all from Rhys. I kept waiting to see him turn on them again or someone to bite the dust in the closing seconds, but the show disappointed once again.
The cliffhanger, sadly, also falls flat. I appreciate that the season somehow comes full circle with Ben finally admitting that he’s a con-man and taking the blame for Alice (which is more than what he should do), but a cliffhanger like that is supposed to feel emotional or even slightly heartbreaking. However, the writing never gave me a reason to really care about Ben or his odd relationship with Alice, so it leaves me with zero excitement to watch a truly undeserved second season.
Bits & Scams
– Maybe these character inconsistencies were meant to come off as shocking betrayals, but I couldn’t understand why Reggie would turn on Ben like that. What a shame.
– There were no boring cases of the week in either of these two episodes and that still didn’t help the show’s quality.
– The best scene of the finale was when Alice, Margot and Val finally come face to face, each woman with a gun pointed at the other one’s head (well, except for Val’s head). Sadly, that lasted for a total of five seconds.
– The couple were ridiculously dumb and naïve; their scenes were cringe-inducing.
– Dao is still as incompetent and terrible as firstly introduced. What a bland character.
– Rhys accessorizing Alice at the start of the second hour was kind of intense, if also a bit creepy.
– I can’t figure out Alice’s facial expressions anymore. Can she stop smiling at all or does the script force her to do this?
– Kidnapping Alice ended on such a whimper, it was absolutely hysterical to watch.
– I can’t believe the writers managed to include a scene where Sophie gets to sing. Oh lord.
Val: This bitch is going down.
Rhys: We’re to kidnap them? Hold them hostage? You want them dead?
Ben: Please say no to all of that.
Margot (holds a gun to Alice’s head): I’m afraid our time is up.
Val (holds a gun to Margot’s head): You should be afraid.
Margot: Is [Alice] here? Is she watching us? We’ve been spending time together, Alice and I. You did a great job convincing her that I was the one who targeted her firm. That I’m the one to blame for everything. Well done. She has no idea who you are. Or that you’ll betray her again. Because you will, because that’s who you are. That’s what you’re really in love with… the con itself, the challenge of making someone believe in you. When the truth is, you don’t really exist. You are no one. You are nothing. And she will come to find that out just as I have.
A contrived, messy finale to a horribly inconsistent first season. It’s hard to see a reason to come back for this next year.