The bad guy was defeated. Rust and Marty ended up heroes. So were we satisfied?
Esther: Nic Pizzolatto gave us an ending to the tale of Rust and Marty, plain and simple. They almost miraculously survived their encounter with Errol Childress, whose evil ways were revealed to the world, and ended up with something resembling a friendship. It’s was almost heartwarming, don’t you think, David?
David: It was rather heartwarming, and more than a little surprising. I certainly expected the show to pull off some final twist, but I didn’t expect that twist to be that Rust survives and perhaps accepts that there’s a little bit of hope to the world. In the end it seems obvious: the show could have pursued a darker, more straightforward path, where Rust and Marty essentially go on a vengeance mission and wipe everyone out, including themselves. But this show has never been particularly concerned with adhering to formula. In its first episode, it struck a lot of reviewers as a gussied-up The Killing, but by the third, we all realized it was playing in a different sandbox.
Esther: Definitely. The show ultimately rebuked the idea that it was in any way a police procedural, by ending on Rust and Marty’s bond, rather than some revelation about the killings. Ultimately, we knew all we were going to know about who was perpetrating these crimes going into this finale. In part, I think I should be happy that the show transcended genre in that way, but I also can’t help but feel that Rust and Marty’s heart to heart was a little easy.
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