"In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is a sign of perfection." - Curnonsky

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Riches: Dead Calm

Here I am, with the next to last episode of the season, and I found it just a little strange. Perhaps I was reading too much into the fact that there is only one more episode to go. But this didn't feel like an episode setting me up for a big conclusion/cliff hanger. I'm left thinking there are a whole lot of irons in that fire that need to be dealt. While it wasn't what I expected, there were some very interesting developments in Eden Falls.

Let's start the day at the office, and head home later. I was happy to see things moving forward with Hugh's mayoral campaign, and I love the slogan. Out with the old, and in with the Hugh. That's top notch local politics. Wayne's solution to get the signatures was even simpler than I imagined. I got where he was going with the list of voters from the church he asked Aubrey for, but I thought I would be treated to an example of Wayne winning over another crowd. There just wasn't enough time, I suppose.

There were bigger fish to fry at the office as it was time to pick a contractor for Bayou Hills. Again, I was surprised as Hugh eschewed Doug's choice, Riley, and went with his man Wilkins. The explanation, "Wilkins is a stiff, but he's my stiff." was perfect Hugh reasoning. Of course, the real story was with Riley, and Dale. I finally get a peek at the game Dale is running. It's bigger than Dale. It's bigger than Riley. It's Quinn.

The Irish accent was a clear tip to where that was headed, but I was still surprised when Dale was waiting in the bar. I was looking for Traveler involvement in the bid, but not that Traveler involvement. It's the fork in the road that has been looming for Wayne and Dale all season. And didn't I know that Wayne was going to come out on top in this battle? That last scene at the Rich house explained it all so well. Dale was in way over his head. Enough that he pleaded with Wayne to help him. But he's still too stubborn to actually come clean. As to who is in the truck waiting to visit punishment on Dale, I'm going with Riley and his merry band of thugs. Whether this will be the end of Dale though... I tend to think not. He doesn't have the stuff to lead or take control, but he does have the resilience to keep coming back.

Stopping by the school before I get back to the house I find a very strange part of the episode. I'm all for some development for Didi and Sam, but is now the time for it? There's only one more episode to go. Sam finding someone that accepts him without questioning is a story with some legs. But those are probably legs that would be better stretched in season three. And the same could be said of this new Didi story. I'm curious about her and the security guard with grand ideals about how I should treat everyone. There little scene in the chapel was intriguing, but also just felt somewhat out of place as I lead up to what is serving as the season finale.

Cael's story, on the other hand, does feel like it fits in here. I just can't decide which way this is going. It certainly seems like it's all a setup, and the future is not looking bright for him. With Wayne set to make a big score, Cael's value as bargaining chip is enormous. However, Quinn has just enough of an aura of being reformed that he could actually have other plans for Cael. Granted, it is a slim chance, but one that still has possibilities.

And that brings me to casa Rich, where the real action was this week. It all played out beautifully right from that first conversation between Landry and Dahlia. Once again I see that on her own, and off the cuff, Dahlia is not the greatest con. Landry didn't have to write anything in his notebook because he wasn't buying a bit of it.

I loved the starts and stops of the conversation that I knew was coming all night. Dahlia asks about the P.I., and Hugh interrupts Wayne. She asks about the money, setting the trap, and you could feel the tension, what would Wayne do? I wasn't shocked when he lied about it. Wayne is one-tracked on Bayou Hills to his own detriment, but again I was put on hold. And I saw the interruption yet again when they were about to have it out and Jim's party showed up.

Finally, the showdown I had been waiting for, and that same tension was there. How far would Wayne carry the lie? I was glad that he finally came clean, and then riveted as he kept trying to justify Pete's death. It is all coming together now, what integrating themselves into the buffer life has done to them. All of the worries from the beginning of the show are coming back. As Dahlia put it, "Cael's right. We've lost our souls." It's a huge wedge between Wayne and Dahlia, but at the same time, they've come so far with it that they are stuck together. I find myself being more and more sympathetic with Dahlia's case as it all develops, as crazy as that case is.

There were a couple of misfires, but I thought the revelations and story between Wayne and Dahlia really made the episode. It all does leave me wondering just what is going to happen. One episode just doesn't seem like enough time. Bayou Hills, the election, Dale, Devereaux, Landry, Quinn, Cael... There is a lot of story to rap up. I suspect I'll be left hanging where some of that is concerned. Either way, it does set up to be a very interesting finale.

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