1 June 2017 | wsulek
Started very well, then simply exhausted itself.
I binge-watched this from beginning to end (s02 e13). I was fascinated at the beginning, learning the story of this particular "movement". The entire first season developed well, was entertaining, suspenseful, and I looked forward to each new episode. Things were revealed and the actors portrayed the characters well. It was a pleasure to see Aaron Paul again; this even seemed like an adult version of Jesse Pinkman. His Eddie has a mysterious past and some of his emotional reactions reminded me of his former character. It was believable and things were moving along well.
Then came season 2. As it progressed, problems with the story and actors emerged. Cal was the worst, and I thought his portrayal unraveled when I noticed that he reacted the same way to every situation. A scene opens, Cal sees or learns something, and we see panic and a brain moving almost out of control. Even when he states a fact he seems to lie. I don't understand how these people could trust & follow him. All his head and eye movements screamed DECEPTION, in every scene and situation. It would have been more authentic if the actor had added some variety to his character; even just a wee bit of development would have been applauded. But man, he could have seamlessly stepped from the pilot episode to the season 2 finale in the same workday. You could wind him up like a toy robot and there he would go, head jerking about, eyes avoiding & searching, stammering, etc. It got real old.
Ditto for Eddie. At first, I understood his character and how he played him. Season 2, though, it seemed that he had the same facial reactions in just about every situation. Good news, bad news, nice conversation, threatening conversion, and we got the same thing. Opens his mouth a little, rolls his tongue into his lower cheek, turns his head, looks down, looks up, then utters some disappointing line. Episode after episode of this. You could turn it into a drinking game. Will he look up or down after sticking his tongue in his cheek and turning his head?
After interesting developments in season one, season two started telling us circular stories. All the main characters went through some stressing event or situation; they changed, the story turned, then somehow they're right back in their original "configuration". Sarah was the worst. Her motivations & feelings would change almost from scene to scene. She trusts Eddie, she hates him. She trusts Cal, she can't believe what he did, trusts him again, turns to Eddie, back to Cal, etc. Some scenes I couldn't understand why she was frowning instead of smiling. I'm not spoiling anything here. It gets difficult to follow because it appears that the characters, their motivations, their subsequent actions, are almost random. Did the script writers draw all these things blindly out of a bowl? I had to consult a TV script service to make sense of certain scenes. Why, why, why? Hawks feelings toward Eddie lack logic and are on a merry-go-round. You never know what you'll get.
Lastly, if this is a movement based on truth, transparency, and The Light, why are people cussing so profusely? Are they members of a faith movement or drunks in a pool hall? There are so many lies among these people you'd think they were double-agents involved in counter- espionage. Why would any "believer" fall for their numb explanations of odd events? And it didn't get better. When the loopy lunacy mercifully ended with episode 13, I was relieved. Not because anything plot-wise was resolved or satisfied, but because I need at least a year's break before considering watching a subsequent episode.