Although the season started a bit slow, it picked up eventually, and In The Dark Season 2 Episode 10 came out swinging, hard.
It's the longest four hours EVER, and the gang hasn't begun to get from beneath the mess they've created.
It's only gotten a kajillion times worse. Finally, we found out what happened in those four hours between Max getting out and Ben's death, and I can admit I didn't see any of it coming.
It turns out Dark Felix was a red herring, and that part works since they weren't the most consistent with showcasing it. And he didn't kill Ben; no one did, Ben died the way you'd expect from someone who has devoted most of his life to getting high. He overdosed.
What continues to be surreal is how these characters get themselves into some seriously batsh!t insane, life-threatening situations.
Often, it's a result of them ending up in the wrong place, with the worse people, and life keeps dealing them crappy cards. But much of their shenanigans are due to their own stupidity.
Murphy's decision to betray Nia this early in their tenuous relationship was one of the dumbest choices she made. It still seems as though she had better odds letting the feds bring Nia down, then putting herself and her friends in the crosshairs of another psychopathic drug dealer.
Nia: Now let me see if I'm understanding you correctly. You went behind my back and trying to funnel all my drugs to Josiah. And then you gave my entire shipment to this junkie lying dead on the floor?
Murphy: Nia, I can explain!
Better the devil you know and all of that. And Nia, for all of her ways, had a fondness for Murphy. Wouldn't it have been better to play the long game?
Oh, but they're in it this time. Now, it's four o'clock in the morning; they have two dead bodies (one may be on the way if they have to take out Vincent), NO drugs, and Josiah after them.
We haven't even gotten to the police element of this.
And at the risk of getting too "political," the timing of this series and these installments are adding an extra something to the experience while watching them.
Dean is EVERYTHING you'd find in a "bad apple" police officer, and the longer he carries on with his grotesque actions, the more difficult it is to watch.
But he's wrapped up in a package of average Joe, seemingly wholesome, suburban single, hetero-cis white (did I cover them all?) dad. It's that image that keeps people from seeing him for who and what he is.
It's also what makes Max's choice to go through with the wire so frustrating. It doesn't mean shit if Dean got everything down in writing when Dean has repeatedly done whatever the hell he wants and gets away with it.
Gene: What if I don't see them doing anything illegal? How can I just pull them over?
Dean: Make something up. Broken taillight. They ran a stop sign. Just go!
Murphy recorded his confession of killing an unarmed black teenager in cold blood, and as art imitates life, it didn't do anything; it didn't matter.
But Dean's actions all season have shown that he's not noble in his attempts. He's not motivated by good when he's pursuing things.
If he believed he was making amends for his actions and on the right path, he was lying to himself.
It was evident when taking down Nia became about him enacting some retribution against Murphy, a woman of whom he had a romantic relationship.
Nia: What do you want?
Dean: I think it's more about what you want?
Everyone has questioned or urged him to drop the Murphy angle in his efforts to bring Nia down, but his dogged pursuit of Murphy never let up.
Every chance he got, it was some chance to hurt Murphy even though he knew better than anyone that she was probably Nia's unwilling asset/victim.
He's spent the season going after Murphy because of her wanting him to pay for killing her best friend. And he has hidden behind pursuing Nia to do that -- use his power and authority to harass, control, and terrorize his former lover.
When faced with his termination -- something he was long overdue to get, he went right back to Nia. If it was always about taking down the bad woman, he wouldn't have gone to her the same day.
And if it wasn't about deep-seated violence, if you will, against Murphy, he wouldn't have ratted her out to Nia KNOWING that it would result in her death.
He orchestrated Murphy's death sentence as punishment for her not wanting to work with him or allow him to control her. And for good measure, he sacrificed his partner too.
Gene's positive words about Dean were stomach-churning when you knew they weren't the truth, and Dean treated him like crap their entire partnership.
Dean didn't earn nor deserve Gene's loyalty and devotion. Gene, for the most part, is a good guy and officer. But then, how disturbing is it that Dean's influence could make an ethical cop like Gene make troubling choices?
On his own, Gene wouldn't break someone's taillights to justify pulling them over and illegally searching their car. Dean was the one who told him that if they didn't do anything illegal, "make something up," and that's a legacy he left with Gene.
Of course, that's assuming Gene lives, since, after that heartfelt conversation on Gene's end, Dean didn't bat an eye when he gave Nia the go-ahead to take Gene out too if necessary.
Nia: Wait, are there going to be any cops there?
Dean: Only my partner, but he's working rogue.
Nia: Can my guys take him?
And bloody hell does it give you something to think about when Dean perseveres at the expense of all the women, people of color, and low-income individuals he's exploited, killed, or sacrificed. From Tyson to Jules, to Murphy, to Darnell and Max, to Gene.
Sure, some of them are criminals, but that's the thing here, so is he. I do wonder how long they can go without giving Dean any sort of comeuppance.
Dean losing his job didn't cut it when he went right into stealing files to share with Nia. In what universe would his captain leave him alone after knowing how relentless Dean is?
But it's going to be interesting how things play out now that Dean is unemployed and still can't pay for Chloe's fancy school with either his job or his old position as a Nia asset.
How will he react when he finds out that Nia is dead? Where will it leave him then?
The irony of him siccing Nia after Murphy and one of Murphy's friends taking Nia out instead isn't lost. And neither is the irony of Jess working so hard to save Nia not too long ago and now she's the one who killed her.
The cast has been killing it (pardon the pun) all season long, but again, Brooke Markham has stolen much of the season.
It was no way Jess could stay gone for too long. She couldn't leave her friends -- her family, hanging like that, and her and Murphy's codependency is never going to go away.
Maybe she found out the truth about Sterling. I expect flashbacks explaining how she got to that bar so early in the morning. She must have figured some things out and jumped right into helping her friends.
I wonder if she knows where Ben hid the drugs? I look forward to seeing how Jess got there, and boy did she come through!
Murphy was a dead woman without her. And while we're giving out the kudos, I have to tip a hat to Nicki Micheaux who is an underrated gem.
Nia did have a soft spot for Murphy, so the betrayal had to suck. And the wildest thing about how this played out is that, if not for our love for Murphy as a protagonist, on paper, she had that ass-whooping coming.
She didn't leave Nia with many choices after that stunt she pulled, and it was such a poorly executed plan to begin with that it was painful to watch unfold.
I'm going to kill that Bitch!Nia
She was too magnanimous as a drug lord, and she let too many things slide. She was due for a violent crackdown. It was brutal, but it was also necessary to see that side of Nia come out before she died for the fear surrounding her to be believable.
Max, in all of his "felon bae" glory, isn't any better cut out for this as the others. His deal with Dean was questionable, and he had to know Murphy better than that.
She wasn't going to leave Felix hanging. How screwed up would that be? They both make stupid decisions for each other at the expense of everyone else.
Not only did him wearing a wire suck, but I was angry that Murphy didn't go off more. The second she realized that Dean was listening, she should have reamed him out for all the despicable things that he did. At the very least, she would have to suspect that he was listening with another officer.
Wouldn't it have been awesome if she described everything he's done from working with Nia to killing Tyson? What would Gene have done then? Could Dean have explained it away?
Call him out, Murphy! #ExposeDean.
Max: Oh my god.
Murphy: Yeah, as you can see, we're a little busy cleaning up the mess you got us in.
Max: There's a cop outside.
It was shocking to find out that so many people were at the bar the night Ben died. It's a group affair, and I'm already looking forward to the team together, with Max added into it.
All we're missing is Darnell.
On the list of stupid decisions they made, letting Ben, an opportunistic addict, drive off alone with all of the heroin is high up on the list.
Felix argued that if they split up and one of them went with Ben, then they would've sent another cop car to follow them, but one of them could have sneaked into Ben's car.
Did Gene even see Ben leave? He couldn't have if Ben had all that heroin piled up on the seat. So whenever they loaded the drugs, Felix could've snuck into the passenger side, and that would have left one of them with eyes on the drugs and the drug addict.
Gene would have assumed Felix was still in Guiding Hope, and if he did call backup, it would be to sit there to make sure Felix didn't leave.
Trusting an addict with drugs was like giving a truckload of candy to a sugar-obsessed kid.
What you guys gave me is a lot. Like millions of millions of dollars, so I don't think three grand is going to cut it for me.Ben
And Ben's addiction clouded his judgment. If he saw all of those drugs, then he's a fool for thinking he would've gotten bribe money out of a big, scary drug lord instead of a bullet to the head.
He should've taken his 3k and left. Ben overdosed, because of course he did, and the worse part is his death means nothing. He was an annoying character in life, and now he's a nuisance posthumously.
Where are the drugs? And how much easier could all this have been if Chelsea kept her brother on a leash? Where is she anyway?
How has she not known that he's been high out of his mind forever now and blackmailing people?
Maybe they can spin it that they killed Nia, and that will curry them favor with Josiah, but he's still going to want the drugs. And he'll probably want them to work for him too.
It never felt as though he planned on letting them go anyway. But now Nia is dead, and Josiah is after them. The cops are still closing in, and Dean is a wild card.
Oh, and Murphy admitted that Josh is not just some random guy she slept with, which means she has feelings. Awkward.
We still have three episodes left!
Over to you, In the Dark Fanatics. I need to hear your theories, thoughts, and so much more below!
You can watch In The Dark online here via TV Fanatic!
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.