Is it just me, or have the post-hiatus episodes as a whole been underwhelming? This far from spectacular season finale is no exception.
This was the finale, so I think it’s better to talk about the season rather than this specific episode. After all, episode 15 was a strange beast. The first half had an almost Cameron Crow-esque feel to it (minus the indie songs and the overbearing whiteness), while the second half felt extremely rushed given that it was wrapping up not a case-of-the-week, but the goshdarn Hapstall murder case. This is mostly going to be complaining about S2’s issues, so be warned and also don’t go away thinking I didn’t enjoy it -I just hate it when things don’t hit the mark.
The problem with S2 is that we were given Annalise’s shooting and the Hapstall case as the main plotlines leading up to the pre-hiatus finale. The Hapstall case was no match for our interest in Annalise. By the time we became sort of invested, the show went off the air for more than two months. When it came back it never picked up in intensity as far as the murders were concerned, to the point that the writers seemed to have completely abandoned that thread and haphazardly tried to tie it up for the finale.
The end result was both emotionally and logistically flawed. We still don’t know for certain that Caleb is guilty -which is unsatisfying to say the least- and implying he is doesn’t make his death and probable murder as harrowing as it could have been. On top of that, the DA’s office has proven to be incompetent, but surely Annalise’s handling of the Hapstall case this episode leaves her exposed concerning the night of her shooting.
The flashback scenes post hiatus also have an unpolished feel about them, almost as if the backstory was thought up for the beginning of the season and was then abandoned, only to be shoved back in, in a less than successful way. A prime example of this is Annalise’s heated argument with Eve in the flashback. It would have had far more emotional impact if placed just before the scene in one of the earlier episode in the season, where Annalise admits to her that she broke off their relationship because she was scared. Those were words Eve had been waiting to hear for years… “Christophe” affecting Wes the way it did, would also have been more dramatic if the flashback scenes had only alluded to Wes and Rose, revealing them to us as the name escapes Annalise’s lips.
The reveal about the truck wasn’t as surprising as Frank’s hand in it. However, it’s strange that a man powerful enough to arrange a hit on Annalise in the way that he did, was also trying to keep his blond son out of jail for murdering someone who would have hurt their company and should have been dealt with… professionally. I find it hilarious and poetically just that Wes’ biological father dies right after he is reminded of Annalise Keating. It’s almost as if Frank, the assassin Frank hired, Eve and her shotgun, or Eve’s friend Wloverine, was waiting for that exact moment to kill.
Last gripe: for a show that has time and again prioritized Annalise and Wes’ nebulous relationship over most everything else, they sure failed to give us a definitive standing on the current state of it.
See you all in April for Game of Thrones or next year for Season 3!