"Paul Levinson's It's Real Life is a page-turning exploration into that multiverse known as rock and roll. But it is much more than a marvelous adventure narrated by a master storyteller...it is also an exquisite meditation on the very nature of alternate history." -- Jack Dann, The Fiction Writer's Guide to Alternate History

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Hightown Season 2 Finale: Brilliant End-Up, Looking for 3

You know, I've been noticing over the years that the penultimate, aka next to last, episode in a television season is often better than the finale.  Last week's episode of Hightown was superb, powerful, hard to surpass.  And I've just seen the finale.  And, you know what?  It's even better than last week's episode.  There may be a pattern of finales not being as good as the penultimates, but in Hightown Season 2, this ain't it.

So ... where to start.  My wife who watched the whole season said right away that Charmayne should've been given more of an armed escort on her trip to Boston.  I had a feeling that she wouldn't get there as soon as I saw her in the car with Jackie and Leslie.  It's not because they are women.  It's because Charmayne needed more coverage, given her importance.  And as soon as Leslie told Charmayne the car wasn't stopping for anything, I had feeling she would escape.

Jackie is brilliant in her instincts, but unseasoned.  Her emotions, including empathy, are always close to the surface.  So her response to Leslie was predictable -- as was Leslie turning on her the day after.

On to Frankie and Osito.  It was good to see what happened to Frankie in prison.  He deserved it.  But is he dead?  I'll once again cite one of my principles in reviewing: if you don't see someone's head cut off or riddled with bullets there's always a chance that the recipient survived.  We'll just have to wait for Season 3, and at this point, Hightown has yet to be renewed.  I think Starz would be crazy not to renew this superb series, which got better and better, from Season 1 to 2, and as Season 2 progressed.

In a third season, we'd get to see Osito in charge.  I've been saying through both seasons that Atkins Estimond's character is one of the most memorable in this series, in which there are many.  Monica Raymond as Jackie was also outstanding, a lot more vivid than she was in Chicago Fire.  James Badge Dale as Ray and Riley Voelkel as Renee were also especially excellent.

Speaking of which -- I'm glad to see them together.  But, given that Renee's shooting of Jorge was accidental, I'm wondering why she can't just tell Ray exactly what happened?  I guess that reluctance, and several other things, shows there's still not 100% trust just between them.

Dohn Norwood as Alan also deserves a shout-out for that incandescent scene in which he lets Ray know exactly how he feels about that "lateral" move to "bodies" aka homicide.  That call from Boston will give him some strong material to get his spot back in Season 3.

So bring it on, and I'll be back here with weekly reviews.

See also Hightown 2.1: Switching Ups and Downs ... Hightown 2.2: Some of My Favorite Things ... Hightown 2.3: Dinners and Almost Dinners ... Hightown 2.4: Approaching Midseason Predictions ... Hightown 2.5: Bullets and Love ... Hightown 2.6: True Love and Deception ... Hightown 2.7: Getting Down to Business ... Hightown 2.8: The Devil His Due and Therapy for the Soul ... Hightown 2.9: Heroes and More Seasons

And see also Hightown 1.1: Top-Notch Saltwater and Characters ... Hightown 1.2: Sludge and Sun ... Hightown 1.3: Dirty Laundry ... Hightown 1.4: Banging on the Hood ... Hightown 1.5-6: Turning Point and the Real True ... Hightown 1.7: Two Things ... Hightown 1.8: Up and Down and Up

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