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This week's TV

I’m in two minds about the H50 finale. On the one hand, yes, it was good. On the other, they’d obviously intended to build things up to this big, dramatic ending, but when the show has been off more weeks than it’s been on, it’s pretty damned impossible to build up to anything. Also, with only forty-two minutes to tell us a story, why do they constantly feel the need to bog everything down with talk of Danny’s wretched family? I could not care less about his wife and daughter. Given how little Kono and Chin ever have to do – and they’re supposedly series regulars – why do they insist on giving valuable screen time over to some tedious will-they-won’t-they with the ex, and infuriating scenes with The Daughter Who Cannot Act? Especially since we now apparently have another series regular, which means even less for Chin and Kono to do than previously. In Kono’s case that already means that she might just as well not be there.

Elsewhere though, it was good to see some storylines being tied up. Bringing the ransom money back into play was good, although the wrapping up of Chin’s corruption story bothers me. Revealing that the whole “Chin might be a thief” plot was actually a cover up for a family member who had never even been mentioned before, let alone seen, was always one hell of a damp squib. Throwing it all aside like it never even happened is just plain weird. I’d like to think that he’s being played by somebody; but since he’s Chin, which means he’s never allowed more than five minutes screen time per episode, it’s hard to believe that. Nice to get the Governor unmasked as a traitor, though. It had to be somebody high up, and if they’d brought in yet another person who had never been mentioned before, it would have been stretching their welcome to the limit.

Then there’s The Mentalist, which wound up the Red John storyline (apparently) by revealing that Red John was really Josh Lyman. Of all the people I’ve suspected over the years of being Red John, the White House Chief of Staff was pretty low on the list. Actually he wasn’t even on the list. Still, it was nice to see him, even with some slightly odd red hair dye. Turns out that Josh makes a surprisingly good serial killer, all bookish charm and disarming courtesy. I still want him running the White House, though. Obviously.

And then Jane shot him, which was both a surprise and completely unsurprising, since it’s what he’s been saying all along that he would do, and he’s often showed that he has the detachment that would allow him to do it. In the end Red John seemed surprisingly toothless, after three years of endless games and labyrinths. It feels rather anticlimactic, but then I suppose it could never feel anything else. Now we have a new spin for season four, with no Red John, apparently. I doubt it will make any difference to Jane, who will still have his shadow hanging over his shoulder just as much as he did before. Interesting to see where the shooting plot will lead, though. It was quite clearly done in cold blood, and in front of more than a few witnesses.

So that's that for both of those series, then. No more TV from over the Atlantic for a while. White Collar is back in a few weeks though, and then True Blood a few weeks after that. Ought to fill the looming Doctor Who gap quite nicely. :)

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