by Billie Doux
What a frustrating episode.
Essentially, Daniel just won his freedom, and it should have been an occasion to celebrate, a moment of triumph. But instead, everyone was mad at him because of the circumstances, and Daniel was subdued and sad.
The family celebratory dinner went particularly flat. Amantha and Jared were upset and didn't attend. Janet got Teddy's favorite take out, not Daniel's, and Teddy showed up with a huge chip on his shoulder. And of course, Daniel didn't get to finish fixing his mother's kitchen, the great big metaphor for making things normal again with his family, because Ted Senior threw him out. In fact, Daniel and Tawney were both in the same place emotionally, because they each had to leave their only home. It's so sad that they couldn't go somewhere and be together.
Teddy will never be satisfied until Daniel has relocated to Katmandu or jumped into a live volcano. Teddy has even decided that Daniel telling Tawney the truth about the coffee grounds attack was a selfish move on Daniel's part, and that if he ever discovers that the two of them are together, he'll press charges, anyway. Unsurprisingly, Teddy also isn't interested in marriage counseling. I am really, truly hoping that Tawney doesn't go back to him this time, even though she clearly has nowhere to go. This is a marriage that needs to be over.
There are always characters going through doors or looking through windows in this series, but it was constant this time. Pretty obvious symbolism for an episode where our lead character was finally freed from the threat of prison, and Daniel and Tawney left home. The most dramatic door and window framing shots were in the fantasy flashback, where Daniel was outside of the lethal injection room watching himself being executed. That particular fantasy sequence had to be about how victimized Daniel felt, about how dying might have been easier than dealing with all of this trouble, conflict and anger.
The merry-go-round was pretty obvious symbolism, too, and Jon Stern was ready to get off and leave town. When he and Amantha met at the bar on the county line, he actually asked her if she'd initially slept with him so that he'd represent Daniel. Sad, like everything else in this episode; I hope she didn't, but she probably did. Jon was also wondering if Daniel actually didn't know if he'd killed Hanna or not, and I was disappointed with Jon. It seems obvious to me as a viewer that Daniel knows he didn't kill Hanna, but that he feels responsible for what happened to her. But what do I know?
Maybe we are finally going to find out, since George's body has been found. (It only took two seasons.) It seemed like Sheriff Carl and Ms. Person were talking around what they thought might have happened to George. Please tell me they're going to compare George's DNA to what was found on Hanna's body. Not to mention Trey's DNA on that business card.
Was this the end of Daniel's enemy, Senator Foulkes? He started out by laying the entire plea deal at Ms. Person's door so that he could protect himself politically, but in that final scene at the end, Foulkes had a stroke. Wow, was that unexpected. Michael O'Neill (Foulkes) did such a terrific job in that scene that for a moment, I really thought he was teasing Marcy the waitress by mangling his words for some inexplicable reason of his own.
It's almost funny that Foulkes stroked out right after acknowledging that things were finally over with Marcy, and that his last words were "All good things must... dwarp he do mush nawl." I hope this is the last time Foulkes will be able to make trouble for Daniel. He's certainly done enough harm.
Bits and pieces:
-- The candy machine scene was hilarious. Poor Teddy can't even get himself a Twix bar because it got hung up on the little ridges. Sheriff Carl whacked the candy machine, something you're not supposed to do. Which reminded me of what he did with Teddy's confidence.
-- Daniel moved in with Amantha, but she said she wouldn't be his keeper. Too bad, because he needs one.
-- Amantha might be going into management at Thrifty Town in order to keep her job.
-- Senator Foulkes told Ms. Person that in Daniel's original trial, the judge disallowed testimony about Hanna's promiscuity. You'd think that might be relevant.
-- Daniel was trying to read in the park. He said he'd never been able to read under the sky.
-- Tawney was attempting to reconnect with someone called "Miss Kathy" while staying with her church friend Beth (Ann Mahoney, who also also plays Olivia on The Walking Dead).
-- In this episode's water imagery, divers were searching the river where George's body was found and came up with everything but a gun. Ugh. Every time there's a scene with divers searching a crime scene, I think, who'd want that job?
Person: "Who was Christopher, Senator?"
Thank you, Ms. Person. Who is Christopher, indeed? Was he the one that killed Hanna? We still don't know why George killed himself.
Foulkes: "Life is always perilous. That's what gives it its spice."
Jon: "The one thing I know is he needs help. He's got one month before he has to leave."
Amantha: "What are you now, his banishment coach?"
Jon: "He still has to live his life."
Amantha: "So do we all. Hoorah."
Flashback Daniel: "It's just a game that has to play out. Over and over and over."
Let's hope the third season ends more hopefully than it began,
Billie Doux loves quality television and spends way too much time writing about it.