Season two of BLUNT TALK has finally concluded with its tenth episode, “Is This All Because I Didn’t Call You,” and if you were expecting a sharp and witty episode that would tie up the season while giving interest for the future of the show, you will be disappointed. This season ends with a resounding whimper and not much hope that the show will be renewed for a third season. I really hated this episode, which to me epitomized all the worst elements the show has given to us this year.
To refresh everyone’s memories, last week ended with a “To Be Continued” card after leaving Walter and Harry at the mercy of Margaret Rudolph pointing a pistol at them. I’m sure the writers are self aware enough to know how corny that was, but what it said to me was they were waving the white flag to originality and going all in on some sort homage to bad TV farce. That strategy continues straight into this episode, which begins with a chase scene so pitifully and cheaply done I was sure they were going to end it with a joke calling attention to that fact. Watching Patrick Stewart and Adrian Scarborough awkwardly plow through the scene is embarrassing and at no point did I laugh or believe that anyone else could. The music, the direction, the acting, really everything falls flat here.
The more curious choice though is going from that mess to Martin in the next scene, and focusing again on Rosalie’s pregnancy and his impending fatherhood. In a particularly odd moment, Martin speaks to her stomach as if he expects a conversation with his baby. It’s unclear if he has no sense of how pregnancy works and babies develop, but it seems to be played straight which makes Martin the dumbest person working in journalism, and possibly anywhere. Contrasting his storyline with the wackier adventure plot of the preceding scene only highlights its strangeness and unimportance.
After our big chase when everyone has reconvened at the UBS offices, we’re treated to the limp scenario that Walter has to sneak in a broadcast because the President of the network is in bed with the Rudolphs. This lets everyone get on the same page and sort of levels the different characters’ storylines and centers them around Walter again. The whole thing feels like a panic move, like the writers didn’t know what to do with all the narrative they’ve built up over the season and just decided to wipe the slate clean. It’s had no direction and has been consistently grabbing at the closest thing for a joke, without thinking about the bigger picture. Take for example making Bob Shelly’s new lover now, as if his homosexuality completely isn’t part of his character now. They needed him to help close up this episode and the season, so they threw out him being gay and just paired him up with Shelly. It’s not that the character can’t be bi of course, but the show has never set that up, so what we’re left with is a very sloppy use of character that gets retrofitted to the plot.
Jammed into this situation is the re-introduction of Teddy, who now seems dementia free for some unexplained reason. I’m not sure why he’s back now or what he adds at this point, besides a set up for some Cornelia sex jokes. I’ve said multiple times their story was one of the best from season one, but any tenderness or emotional gravity has completely been wiped away. All it did here was serve to slow down the pacing and energy building towards the ridiculous and unearned climax of Walter bringing down the Rudolphs and his boss the owner of UBS. (By the way I don’t think I’ve ever commented how clunky a name UBS is for a network. Does anyone ever believe for moment that the public might actually be going to UBS for their most important news?)
The save for this episode would’ve been to wrap up the LA drought storyline within the first few minutes, and then pivoted to go all in towards the team and what conflicts they have in their personal and professional lives. That’s when the show has been at its best and its funniest. The action drama only mildly worked in so far as it was tied to Walter’s personal feelings to Cornelia and him dealing with lost love. It’s been downhill ever since the moment she was detached from that storyline. I think everyone involved in this would be happy to put it out of its misery and put their talents towards material that deserves it more. It’s fitting that the episode ends on Walter singing, as I imagine this is the show’s literal swan song and this will be the last we see of “Blunt Talk.”
Season 2, Episode 10 (S02E10)
Blunt Talk airs Sunday at 830PM on Starz
Greg Brecher | Contributor