It’s the season finale of FEED THE BEAST, but at the outset if feels like just another day at Thirio. Without adequate build up in the past nine episodes, we end the half-baked season with an overstuffed climax, like a five course meal crammed into an appetizer.
Starting with a long, gratuitous shot of a dead Giordano hanging from the warehouse rafters is the best way to say you’re new in this game of gangsters. After holding long enough to convince us that Feed the Beast is an intense show, really it is, the action refocuses to the family drama we all know and love. TJ is feeling guilty about Rie’s death, but not guilty about bringing a gun to school. Tommy is angry at Dion for trying to co-parent; their dynamic is sure to come to a head at TJ’s upcoming art show. Meanwhile, Pilar is feeling ignored because, well, she IS being ignored.
Dion visits all his frenemies, mainly Aidan and Uncle Stavros, in an effort to get the 200K loan he needs to pay Patrick. Aidan doesn’t want to help and Stavros can’t, or at least he won’t, because he’s planning a dangerous but lucrative heist for real criminals, not hard up nephews. Stavros’ main excuse to Dion applies to Feed the Beast as a whole: “You’re a chef, not a gangster.”
We also see the return of Ziggy Woichik, who spiced up the last episode by driving Patrick into a morass of insecurity. Ziggy is a demanding father, but surely there’s a better way to express his prejudice than by having him say, “It’s as if you are compensating for some defect of character.” On that note, isn’t the troubled gay antagonist stereotype a little stale by now?
Let’s talk about the lack of information flow in this part of NYC. For reasons that ring of plot contrivance, Marisa doesn’t tell Dion that Giordano is her father until after he’s murdered. Aidan hides the fact that TJ’s blood sample could lead to a cure for his disease. For all his knowledge of the inner workings of Thirio, Patrick doesn’t know that Pilar is the manager until he sees her in the parking lot.
Patrick finally does “the thing” and spills all of Dion’s dirt to Tommy, like a gleeful child starting a fight between two best friends. In the style of the show, where food and eating analogies are more disturbing than the actual violence, Patrick uses a glass of wine to make a thinly-veiled threat against TJ. That puts Daddy 1 and Daddy 2 on the warpath – Tommy offers Patrick a share of Thirio in exchange for Dion’s debt while Dion convinces Stavros to let him in on the high stakes job – armed robbery at a poker game.
Naturally, it all falls apart (like a cake baked without any eggs, dare I say?). Patrick rejects the equity in Thirio and Dion is horrified to recognize Patrick as one of the poker players at the robbery. More importantly, Patrick recognizes him.
If there’s one thing that goes off without a hitch, it’s TJ’s art show. Throughout the series, TJ has used art to express his hidden pain and patch together his memories of Rie’s accident. Now we see that he’s created a flipbook of that fateful incident, all leading to the climactic moment where he remembers, and speaks to Tommy for the first time in months. “Mom’s accident, it wasn’t my fault, and it wasn’t an accident.” Before we can wonder what all of this means, Tommy, TJ and Dion are engulfed in a giant explosion inside Thirio – with Patrick’s fingerprints all over it. Now that’s a show confident about getting a season 2, but the question is, does it really deserve one?
Season 1, Episode 10 (S01E10)
Feed the Beast airs Tuesdays at 10PM on AMC
Heather makes things for TV by day and writes by night (also sometimes by day). She is a fan of all stories that reflect life, but it doesn’t hurt if they’re set on another planet or in another time.
Heather West | Contributor