Episode Air Date: September 9th, 16th 2014
Reviewed by: Jonathan Andre
Finding Carter (The Long Goodbye, One Hour Photo)
Starring: Kathryn Prescott, Cynthia Watros, Anna Jacoby-Heron, Alexis Denisof, Zac Pullam, Milena Govich
Shall I be the first person to say that cliffhanger endings are especially the worst- especially if Finding Carter wasn’t renewed? Even though it was (the ending didn’t really matter- the show is back next year), the ending of episode 12, the season 1 finale, would probably have been one of the worst series endings ever (that’s if the show was cancelled). Frankly, even as a season finale, the last episode wasn’t really that great. Nevertheless, despite my reservations after One Hour Photo (the episode title should’ve given away to us what the plotline of the last episode was about), Finding Carter is still a great show. With an ending like what I’m sure everyone has seen- if they’re reading this review- then season 2 will be all the more great to be excited about.
Let me start to say- Finding Carter is by far the best new summer drama show to premiere on American TV this year (in my opinion, but then again, considering that I love a lot of teen dramas, I may be still dead wrong considering my bias and my enjoyment of family/procedural/mystery dramas). With such a strong acting presence from actors like Kathryn Prescott (Carter Stevens), Alex Saxon (Max), Milena Govich (Lori Stevens) and Caleb Rumeir (Crash), the show has managed to tell us a story about what happens to a normal teenager when their world they have known for a while turns on its head. Creating a television show dealing with the subject of kidnappings is a delicate subject- the execution can be great or horribly wrong, depending on acting and script writing. Thankfully, Finding Carter has excelled in both, and the last two episodes are a testament to the actors and how well they made us feel the drama present in each of the 40 minutes, even though I did mention that as a whole, the finale left me wanting a bit.
If you’ve read the reviews up to this point, and watched the episodes, then you’d know what happened in the show. If not, then stop reading now- spoilers ahead. Stopped reading? Continuing to read because you can’t resist spoilers? Good, now we got that out of the way- how messed up was Crash when he shot Max? Fleeing the scene didn’t help, but I guess if you’re running from the authorities your whole life, then the reaction Crash gave was to be expected. Caleb Rumier gave a great performance a few episodes back, and in the penultimate episode of the season, we see a confused individual who doesn’t want to travel back to prison, maybe because prison reminds him of the sentence he had when he was accused of killing his brother when they were younger- even though he was not responsible. While it may be touch and go as to whether Crash the character will be in Season 2, what we’ve witnessed is one of the top acting performances of anyone on the show- even if the character can be a little idiotic, crazy and manic at times.
Fast forward a few episodes to the finale- we see Max and Taylor break up in the worst way possible- in hospital. Max can’t get over the fact that he was shot and with Alex Saxon at his best, Max declares he’s moving back to live with his parents. With Alex and Caleb uncertain to return in Season 2, let’s just hope more interesting storylines and characters fill the void these two actors will create if they were to leave. Both are quality actors, and it will be a shame if Finding Carter lost them prior to Season 2. Nevertheless, what will be a big part of the next season is Lori Stevens- considering the fact that…BIG SPOILER ALERT- she kidnapped Carter again at the end of the episode, this time against her will. With Carter realising that Lori is in fact her kidnapper, through a series of stalker-ish photos Lori sent to Carter of Elizabeth and David prior to them meeting ‘Lori Stevens’, she decides to help her family take her down. But with Carter being kidnapped at the end- we’re left to wonder. Does Carter really believe Lori is the kidnapper? Is she in on it with Lori? Is there a connection between Lori and David?
While I don’t divulge every plotline that is within the last few episodes (even though I have made some big spoilers known), I will say this- Finding Carter is must-see TV, even to the point when if the show was during the fall schedule, its priority may usurp some of the other regular time-slotted shows (e.g.: if Finding Carter, on a Tuesday, was ‘competing’ with Person of Interest, I’d watch Finding Carter first). As I’ve mentioned in the past, each episode that passes makes me much more excited for the next one. Has the show survived at 10pm on Tuesdays during its run? Absolutely! Will it thrive in season 2? I guess it depends on the characters and storyline moving ahead, and Finding Carter is as interesting a show as I’ve seen ever since Once Upon a Time, Arrow and Orphan Black which premiered in 2011, ’12, and ’13 respectively.
Has Finding Carter impressed you this season? What do you think about the predicament Carter is in at the end of the episode? Do you think Lori will tell Carter about why she kidnapped her in season 2? Let us know in the comments.
RIYL: Parenthood, The Fosters, Switched at Birth, One Tree Hill
Rating: 4.5/5 (based on 12 episodes)
Finding Carter airs every Tuesday at 10/9c on MTV.