Saturday, February 16, 2013

666 Park Avenue: Sins of the Fathers (1.11)

If The Comfort of Death represented the speedy efficiency that cancellation brings, then Sins of the Fathers is where things start to get a little muddled. In an effort to bring things to a close in time for the series finale, it's not too surprising that the writers are forced to cut corners and make previously ambiguous characters turn specifically in one direction, but the stuff this week with Sasha struggled to make any logical sense. With Victor Shaw seemingly out of the picture, Sasha is adrift on her own quest, but it's a quest that is hard to define. Does she simply want revenge? If so, why pursue it through a third party priest? It's naturally confused as an episode.

Sasha's bitter. All the riches and security she grew up with turned out to be funded by Satanic hooey, and she's understandably pissed. So she fakes her death, hooks up with Victor Shaw and sets about bringing the Dorans to their knees. Only she uses a local Catholic priest to do the dirty work for her. That falls through, and Gavin confronts her just as she's about to kill Olivia. There's some crying, and Gavin basically asks her to journey into the downward spiral staircase thingy to experience a better life, and Sasha leaves. Yeah.

It's a difficult story, one that seems to rely on coincidence more than anything that makes sense from a character standpoint. In the end, everybody looks a little confused. Vanessa Williams is strangely casual about her long-lost daughter holding a huge knife up to her face, while Tessa Thompson is clearly struggling to define Sasha's fourth-act choice, walking down the staircase despite the reasoning behind it being unclear.

The rest of the episode stumbles into strange areas involving religious guilt and how faith can manifest in odd ways. Father Douglas is haunted by demons to such an extent that he's willing to kill a man to get them off his back. Henry confesses to Jane his knowledge of the political scandal that got leaked before he started his city council campaign, leading to a brief fight and ultimately a cute marriage proposal. But it's a story that feels tossed together in a hurry, the show unsure of what it's trying to say.

Finally, Window is still all ragey about Wife totes destroying her legs all those years back, so sets up a scheme to expose her affair with Writer, sending Wife on a journey of drunken pill-popping and nights alone with the old cult guy from last week and the Drake's newest resident. Being the most linear story this week also makes it the most fun, which is surprising considering how long it took for Writer Window Wife to start up all-together.

So 666 Park Avenue is still driving towards that ending, but sacrificing a bunch of internal logic in the process. It's inevitable considering the circumstances. C

Guest stars
Tessa Thompson (Laurel Harris/Sasha Doran); Richard Short (Harlan Moore/Patrick Corey); Remy Auberjonois (Father Douglas)
Writers David Wilcox, Adria Lang Director Omar Madha

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