Rarely am I at a loss for words, but Rabbit Hole Season 1 Episode 8 wrapped things up so entirely that this is one of those exceptional times.
If you’re like me, you probably lament the possibility of a show being canceled without answers.
Without a renewal, this Paramount+ series offered a closed case (probably) and didn’t leave viewers hanging on for dear life if a renewal never comes.
In this case, I’m not sure if that was good or not.
Can this really be all there is to say about how precious data is to those who need it but even more to those who shouldn’t have it?
If you were to ask series creators Glenn Ficarra and John Requa — and I did — the answer is, well, yeah.
The interview will be live on the site just an hour after the review, so you can see for yourselves how it all plays out. But in real life, the threat of our data being used and manipulated for myriad reasons will continue.
Just this week, Facebook settled for what seems like a paltry $725 million for selling our data to Cambridge Analytica, a (former) political consulting firm, to target voters in the 2016 election — as if there weren’t enough issues with that election, and probably every election to come.
If only it were so easy to take out one guy and free our very souls from data pirates.
“Ace in the Hole” revealed that John Weir had the upper hand for a lot longer than any of us realized, including his team and his father, who was taken for a little ride in the finale.
Admittedly, part of the joy in watching Rabbit Hole is knowing that we most likely have absolutely no idea what’s really going on.
From the opening scene of a woman kidnapped while shopping, the case was being made that she was Madi’s wife who had not gone home with their daughter’s favorite food.
That was kicked up a notch when Madi got a strange email but tempered when she failed to bring up to John after detaining him for questioning anything regarding her wife.
Of course, that could have been because her wife was being held for ransom using some of the data that was tearing lives apart before our eyes, but it was much more than that, we later discovered.
There were certain parts of the action that were a little too far-fetched, and I’m not talking about Liv taking down an army of men with ease, either. Hailey and Homm rolled up to the door of the FBI office just seconds before John emerged after taking an unexpected detour that surely should have thrown them off schedule.
Everything’s a lie. My, my marriage. My death. Even me being alive. It’s all made up. I don’t know what’s real. I killed someone.
It was a much-needed detour to give Homm the boost he needed to convince a nation of what had befallen them with the data act, but it wasn’t part of the plan that he’d bolt from a moving car to see the people rallying in his honor.
The entire plan was set in motion to get Homm to the news studio to share what he’d learned by looking through the data they’d gotten from the briefcase. Data, again.
It’s hard to see why John needed to be detained and Madi to go rogue to set everything in motion, though. What did that accomplish?
For us, it was a wild ride, wondering what would happen next, but for the plan, I don’t know. Madi was on board from the moment she got the email. Wasn’t there another way for her to be further involved without detaining John?
Once they got safely to the studio, Crowley’s men tried to scuttle the plan by acting as the Department of Justice, so Madi and Rasche were in the right place to stop it.
When the old-fashioned route didn’t shut ’em down, Crowley began threatening people with their darkest secrets culled from data now readily available to him, thanks to Arda Analytics being one of the chosen few to access it.
Even Kyle the Intern was on hand to put a last resort in motion, which would have meant a bullet to Homm’s head, possibly on live TV. But Kyle is a true capitalist. He goes where the money says to go, and when he heard Crowley take one instead, it was a quick smile and goodbye for him.
My biggest question is, did Rabbit Hole really tease Crowley for seven episodes only to reveal him and snuff him out in the finale? Really??
Ben: What the blue bloody fuck was that?!
John: Yeah, sorry about that.
Ben: I suppose you kept me in the dark because you felt up to now you couldn’t trust me, yes?
John: No, I was playing the narrative to the bitter end, just like you taught me. Besides, you’ve got him now. He’s all yours.
Ben: [receives a gun from badass] John, that’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever done for me.
John: Well, that’s kind of sad, Dad. But you’re welcome.
In the end, the Crowley we think Ben ended was a feeble old man in ill health. He couldn’t do much other than manipulate data and people because he was physically incapable of much else.
But the look on Ben’s face, when he took the earbud and heard what was on the other end suggests that either there is someone even bigger than Crowley pulling the world-domination strings, or Crowley wasn’t the guy he’d just had the pleasure to kill.
If I was a betting woman, and why the hell not, right, I’d say that if the show is renewed, there’s a chance that wasn’t Crowley dead on the floor, but if it isn’t renewed, well, we can feel comfort in believing it was.
My interview with Ficarra and Requa finds them considering other avenues they could explore in further seasons, and I have no doubt they’ll make whatever big bad there is part of a wonderful adventure for John and his new team.
Ben and John have healed their rift, Hailey is the real deal for John, Homm found a new calling being heroic, and Madi, well, she’ll never give up her white whale.
John: My father used to try and tell me that the people who you cared about most will be your greatest weakness. If someone was coming after you, they’d be the way in.
Crowley: You should have listened to your father.
John: Now, that’s not the first time I ever heard that. Now you’ve got ’em, and there’s nothing I can do about it. You’ve been waiting for this for a long time, and I’m in no position to beg or ask, but I would be really grateful if you would consider letting my ex-wife go. She’s not a part of this.
Crowley: I’m not letting her go. She obviously still means something to you, and that’s the point.
John: She doesn’t know anything.
Crowley: What is your play here? Wasting time? For what, exactly? It’s over.
John: My wife left me because she was kidnapped by one of my competitors. They threatened to kill her if I didn’t do everything that they asked. They even sent me part of her finger to make their point.
Ben: The fuck’s he saying? What’s he on about?
John: So I had to hire a pro to get her back. A real badass. And it worked, but she never talked to me again.
Crowley: None of this matters.
John: You may be right about that. You see, ’cause the woman you’ve got isn’t my ex-wife. She’s the person I sent in to get her, so good luck with that, motherfucker.
Not to mention we never knew the ace in the hole was Liv, the faux wife who would make pretty much anyone feel safe in her company. That little smirk she was wearing the whole time was priceless.
Would you be up for another season? I’d sure like to see where they want to take us next.
This was a lot of fun, and there should be plenty of other messed up stuff in this world to parlay into entertaining, if frightening, scenarios.
Let me know in the comments below what you thought of the season and would like to see more of in a potential second.
You’ve been a quiet lot, so let’s go out with a bang!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She’s a member of the Critic’s Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.