[NOTE: This is Part 1 of a 2-part finale recap. Part 2 will be along ASAP.]
I’m still too mad at NBC (not to mention too sleep-deprived) to be ready to sit down and watch the finale. But as entertaining as it might be to write a recap WITHOUT having seen the finale, you probably wouldn’t appreciate the subtle humor as much. I’ll give it a shot though:
Mark gets himself into a tight spot. Kat gets him out of it. She’s jealous of Janet. They hug.
Moira writes on her wall and cries. McNair comforts her. Someone makes an obvious statement.
Liam and Joe and Erika finally all fight it out over Janet. Mark shows up in town and joins the fight. Janet pouts.
Bill does something stupid. Charlie makes fun of him. Someone dies and Number One brings them back to life. (Thanks guys for catching that Patchy is our old friend the night manager! Slipped right by me. Either the poor lighting or because he looks more badass now with the patch and the scar.)
Close enough for NBC? Let’s watch and see how I did. The scene opens on a closeup of Janet’s lips. Liam watches Janet sleep while fake Titanic Irish whistly music plays. Joe walks by, sees McSmarmy being McPervy, and jacks him up against the wall. Joe’s still in love with Janet too, even though he has amnesia and doesn’t remember falling for her before.
That Janet Cooper mojo is some powerful stuff.
Joe and Liam have a brief pissing match about which one is least devoted to The Program and most devoted to Janet. McSmarmy gets called on the carpet by Number One and has to forfeit. A part of her understands his obsession, she says. Oh, I understand too. I can barely resist, myself.
Must. Not. Caress. Screen.
Well, like Number One said last episode, she WAS going to flush the whole town and him along with it, BUT she’s decided to give them one more chance. The catch is, she’s not telling him what he has to do to get it right. Ha. Hey, something about the pacing seems weird so far. Like we started in the middle of the hour. Are we sure there aren’t any more lost episodes out there?
Also: lamest secret global organization logo ever.
Moira’s just headed down to the lobby when she realizes the elevator doesn’t work. The rest of the gang wander down there only to find that the furniture is all gone. Since there’s nowhere to sit, they all decide to take a walk outside. Hey, the traffic lights stopped blinking.
They were wasting a lot of electricity anyway.
Janet and Liam are loitering out in front of the Chinese place, which also seems to be missing all its furniture. Everything’s gone, except for the 6 gurneys and body bags neatly laid out in the bank vault. This does not sit well with Crazy Eyes, who starts screaming hysterically that she’s not dying again, NOT EVER, DID YOU HEAR ME, YOU BASTARDS?!!! On top of that, Joe decides now would be a good time to let them all know that only one of the Townies makes it out of Level 1 alive. Seems like he might’ve mentioned that sooner, ya think?
So let me get this straight. The way to beat Level 1 is to kill everyone else in the hotel before they kill you? Joe’s done Level 1 several times now. How many contestants has he eliminated? And I take it Liam got bonus points for killing off all his fellow Hotelguests at once, so he got promoted to management. Speaking of McSmarmy, he tells Janet not to worry because the bookies are picking her to win, but if she wants he’ll help her escape. She says she’s not leaving without the others. “That’s why you’ll survive,” he says. She’ll be the last person standing because she won’t kill anyone? Impeccable logic, that.
Janet goes to Joe for a second opinion. He gives her the same line Liam gave her last week about free will and manipulation, as the camera spins circles around the conversation. This particular advance in cinematography was brought to you by That ‘70s Show. Thanks for that! Joe tells her to go with Liam, and to hell with the rest of them.
Out in the real world, Mark consults a forensics expert about the one remaining thumb.
Moonlighting from CSI:Scooby Doo.
Investigator Shaggy tracked down the owner of that particular thumb–and he’s still alive. THEORYGASM: The Program makes people think they’ve killed each other off, using, say, really good drugs. Then the winners move on to the next round, while the losers all come back to life and get crappy jobs watching the screens or wearing the blue coats. It’s like Big Brother meets Survivor meets The Apprentice. Art imitates reality TV. Nice.
Back in McSmarmy’s office in the hotel, Number One is ready to “start the exit sequence”. Whatever the hell that means, it’s probably not good. Liam begs for his nice easy desk job back, but is denied.
Patchy, having gotten similar treatment from Liam a couple of episodes back, is clearly enjoying this.
So McSmarmy bails on the boss, runs out and tells the Townies he’s blowing this pop stand and taking them all with him. Because he loves Janet so much. That’s a lot of relationship baggage to inherit. Out at the end of the road, Liam hits a secret button hidden in the Marlboro Man’s cufflink. This turns off the sonic fence and McSmarmy crosses over, telling them all to stay back.
Clearly, Bill is not a very good listener.
Number One is horrified by this turn of events and clicks her mouse once. Some very wacky editing ensues. Seriously, it looks like an R-rated movie showing after midnight on USA. Blood splatters everywhere. “OMG, his head exploded!” Not an obvious statement since it happened off camera, and I wasn’t sure what happened until they told me. No drinking please.
You’ve got some, uh, smarmy on you.
So I guess whatever Liam was supposed to do, he didn’t do it, huh? Wonder if we’ll ever find out what it was. The gang cleans up, regroups and heads to Liam’s former HOH room to check out the spy screens. They’re watching Erika walk around town looking for camera blind spots. I figured Joe knew them all already?
Kat and Mark head down the coast to San Diego to track down the owner of their thumb. He’s a doctor in a cancer research institute. Used to work with Doctors Without Borders, but got ambushed down in South America and “next thing I know I’m here in San Diego lying in this bed.”
Obvious statement! Now you can drink.
He doesn’t remember doing time in Crazy Town or losing his thumb. Or so he says. All he knows is he was a big-shot surgeon but now he gets to do cancer research and change the world. Yeah, The Program owns this guy. No one ever leaves, remember. It’s like Fight Club.
Back in town, McSmarmy’s body is gone. Pretty sure this guy, at least, is actually dead. Kinda hard to fake an exploding head. They decide to use the buddy system for safety. McNair refuses to buddy up with Moira so he doesn’t have to face losing someone else he cares about. Charlie offers to look after her, which makes Bill jealous. LOL. Do they realize they don’t have to split up two by two? Bill can just stick with the two of them. Still, I’m kinda digging this return to the early-season paranoia.
Meanwhile, at Deke’s Cybercafe…
Deke is a classic geek name, right?
Kat thinks the doctor’s story sounds fishy and checks up on the donations to his nonprofit. Sure enough, on the list is a place called the Mansfield Institute, which also happens to be the new owners of the San Francisco Register. Well, it’s not up to, say James Bond cloak-and-dagger standards of shenanigans, but they gave it a good try.
Erika and Janet are still using the HOH spy screens to watch the others and get their showmance on.
Too bad they’ll never be able to unsee this.
Bright Eyes: “We learned a lot about each other in the vault, didn’t we?”
Crazy Eyes: “You don’t know how much I wish you wanted to learn more.”
Like where my favorite prison tattoo is.
Janet stops her just before things get interesting. Hey, just because the love rectangle is back down to a triangle doesn’t mean she’s going to make it easy on anyone. Before it gets any more awkward, they see Bill getting his clock cleaned by a Mysterious Assailant.
Everyone assumes Bill’s dead, but his body is gone. Charlie strolls in late and everyone looks at him like he did it. Suddenly Charlie goes postal and attacks Janet.
Always good to see her get smacked around a bit.
Charlie retires to his bed…
Where he practices some traditional Eskimo meditation.
So next stop on Markat’s Conspiracy Quest is the Mansfield Institute out in Iowa. They take the tour and learn exactly nothing from a robotic guide who basically reads the brochure to them. So they start grilling the poor chick about The Program.
And Mark even becomes an honorary Townie by yelling at the familiar security camera.
Before long security breaks up the fun. To no one’s surprise, Number One and Patchy are watching. “Impressive. No one’s ever gotten this close before.”
Not that impressive. I’ve broken harder secrets on the back of Cap’n Crunch boxes.
Meanwhile in Crazy Town, Hotelguests are dropping like flies. Charlie and Erika get into it and Charlie folds like. Erika gives him CPR. Do they learn that in prison? Also, sympathy from the same woman who spiked Joe’s drink with antifreeze? Times have changed. Moira finds needle marks on his hand. Did someone shoot him up with a fake-death drug, or maybe some kind of bloodlust juice that makes you rage out? Something ain’t right.
Seems the food’s disappeared from Crazy Town along with all the furniture. The only digestibles left in town are a bottle of whiskey and like half a can of vienna sausages. Dinner of champions. Erika gets schnockered and goes over to the Chinese place to listen to Moira playing piano. Nice of the Smurfs to leave the piano behind when they took all the furniture. Ever notice how that blaxploitation accent of Erika’s comes and goes a lot?
Hark, verily I will get thee, sucka.
Erika notices that Charlie’s body’s gone, and now it’s Moira’s turn to freak out. She smashes Erika to a pulp with the door because she thinks Erika killed Charlie. Um, what? Moira runs back to the hotel with McNair in hot pursuit. She’s not hiding out in her room…
Which is sporting some new flair.
Moira runs out to the balcony, where McNair tries to talk her down off the ledge.
“I’ll protect you!”
“That’s what my father used to say.”
So now there’s a girl fight and Janet strangles Moira. Well, that’s sort of ironic, I guess. People are dying way too easily around here today. It’s like in Highlander when the immortal dudes’ heads would just fall right off in a stiff breeze. Sooooo now after all these random acts of violence, it’s down to Joe and Janet. Didn’t take them long, huh? Sirens and lights flash outside like maybe Janet just offed the 1 millionth participant in The Program.
WTF is that Star Trek contraption in the street?
Back inside the vault, all the body bags are gone but one. I bet Joe’s about to shoot himself for Janet or something lame like that.
Or is there something in the booze?
Joe says The Program is in his blood and he couldn’t help but play to win. She collapses. He zips her up in the body bag and carries her out to the van, where Number One is waiting to congratulate him.
And by “congratulate” I mean “electrocute”.
Meanwhile in the back of the van… no one’s dead! In a long series of Usual Suspects-style flashbacks, we find out they planned this whole thing all along by faking their deaths where they knew the cameras wouldn’t catch them. Good thing no one who moved the “bodies” thought to check for a pulse, I guess. The driver should hear or feel them all getting out of their body bags in the back, but there’s got to be a plot hole or two somewhere, right?
This is why you don’t drive with headphones.
So speaking of plot holes, when exactly did they come up with this plan and how did they keep it secret from the cameras? Was it all McSmarmy’s idea? Sigh.
Anyway, we could discuss more now but I’m calling it. End of Part 1! On to Part 2! Catch you in a couple more days, but first… sleep.