On the Season 3 finale of SURVIVOR’S REMORSE, parents take center stage. M-Chuck grapples with the disturbing circumstances of her birth, Cassie meets Bao’s family in China, and Reggie’s father arrives in town.
Although it is the culmination of the season, this episode was mostly about setting the stage for Season 4. Other than M-Chuck’s quest to find her father and Cassie’s growing relationship with Bao, there haven’t really been many arcs that spanned the entire season, so there’s really nothing to wrap up. Instead, the main point seems to be to show that these characters may be moving up in the world, but they’re still carrying a lot of baggage.
At her final therapy session, M-Chuck reveals the shocking truth about Cassie’s rape and her conception. She still wants to know who her father is, though now her focus is revenge. For that purpose she enlists Jimmy Flaherty, whom she claims as her one and only friend. Jimmy dissuades her from the more violent aspects of her plan, but validates her conflicted state of mind. On a lighter note, this week’s empty sports-related location is a luxury box at Cam’s basketball arena, which provides a quiet setting for a heart to heart chat as well as some practical illustrations of Jimmy’s perspective (much like the entitled fans who leave gum under the seat, people suck). The bonding between Jimmy and M-Chuck started out as a mentor/mentee situation, then blossomed to friendship, but for anyone thinking it may go further, Jimmy’s reveal puts that to rest. He has another woman on his mind, she just doesn’t know it yet.
Over in China, Cassie meets Bao’s wealthy parents for the first time. Comedy ensues as his non-English speaking parents lob a tirade of insults at the couple, disapproving of Cassie’s ethnicity, which Bao translates into various niceties in order to protect Cassie’s feelings.
In Atlanta, Missie grows concerned over Reggie’s non-relationship with his father. Reggie is reluctant but finally sets up a time to reconnect. First though comes a minor crisis, as Cam breaks down in tears after losing a playoff game to the Celtics. The sequence feels a little sporadic, in fact much of the episode does, as we hop from day to day, just hitting the highlights. For example, Reggie’s arc consists of several scenes of late night boxing, a talk with Missie, and then abruptly he is sitting down to a forced dinner with his father. Cam’s frustration over the basketball game is really grief over his aborted son, a thread that was only introduced a week ago and still feels rather rushed. In reality, the only two plot lines that work really well here are the ones that we’ve seen before: Cassie’s and M’Chuck’s.
Though Reggie agrees to hear Trent’s story about his newly-reformed life, he makes it abundantly clear that forgiveness is not an option. The scene is incredibly moving and powerful, serving up more proof that this show should start classifying itself as a dramedy, if it hasn’t already. In fact, it is hard to point to any humor in this episode, like most of the season it takes a decidedly dark turn.
One bright spot is Jimmy, who works up the courage to ask sports report Isa Catalano out on a first date. She agrees, but only with a pricey contract that says Jimmy will compensate her when the relationship inevitably ruins her career. It’s nice to see them together, but this is only the second time this season, so like most developments it feels rushed.
Alison aka the love of Cam’s life was another character left in the dust after the premiere. Though she shows up whenever a love triangle is needed, she doesn’t seem to be aware of Cam’s turmoil about his past. Cam’s unresolved father issues lead him to seek out his own father, in prison.
For the past three years, this series has flown under the radar, despite a stellar cast, fantastic writing, and (usually) plenty of laughs to go around. Some may chalk it up to bias against the network, but I think one of the major things that limits Survivor’s Remorse is that the central idea of the show changes from year to year.
In the pilot episode, Cam’s childhood friend tried to blackmail him with some less-than-PC memorabilia. The past was a thing to be avoided, paid off, ignored. Now, Cam has come full circle, acknowledging his heritage and seeking, presumably, a relationship with his father. In true Calloway fashion, M-Chuck also confronts her past, traveling to Boston to hunt down the men who raped Cassie. If appearances/multiple mentions of the topic are to be believed, identity will be a key focus of next season. It’s fairly clear by now that basketball was just the bait; Survivor’s Remorse has become a show about what happens when you try to escape your past – you realize that you can’t.
Season 3, Episode 10 (S03E10)
Survivor’s Remorse airs Sundays at 10PM on Starz
Heather 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