Tuesday, September 16, 2014

REVIEW: 'Finding Carter' - Lori Stalks Carter, Max Pushes Taylor Away & A Trap Goes Awry in 'One Hour Photo'

MTV's Finding Carter - Episode 1.12 "One Hour Photo"

Carter uncovers secrets that could unsettle her family while Max and Taylor's relationship may come to a breaking point.

"One Hour Photo" didn't infuriate me as much as the last few episodes of Finding Carter have. That's largely because the hour is about what I've wanted the series to be about all along - why did Lori kidnap Carter in the first place? The problem is that the finale is just so damn boring! Where is the urgency? It's literally the show just playing the same trick that it always has with Lori popping up at the most "surprising" moments. After a season of moments like that, it's not fresh anymore. Moreover we still have no clue what is motivating her! The family (slowly) realizes that she had been stalking them for three years before kidnapping Carter. And that only makes her appear more crazy than ever before. And yet, she is just a construct. That's suppose to be the point. She's mysterious and aloof. How those qualities shape Carter's current mindset is suppose to be the emotional spine of the series. And yet, it's simply not satisfying in the least. We also learn that Lori and David maybe had a relationship as well but the show would rather just tease that then concretely say anything. But that photo could just as easily allude to Lori stalking David for much longer than anyone could have imagined. When Carter confronts him about it, the show cuts to a commercial and then returns as if it never needs to resolve that scene first! It's so frustrating.

So while it has been very rewarding lately for Carter to be referring to Elizabeth as her mom (despite all the awkward situations that have forced that into occurring), I don't especially care anymore. The finale ends with Lori kidnapping Carter against her will. That whole twist was immediately apparent the second Carter and Elizabeth were chatting out in the open in the exact place Lori was suppose to meet Elizabeth. What? They couldn't have gone over the game plan before getting to the site? That is just horrible and lazy detective work. They were just asking for this plan to go awry. Did no one have that thought that maybe Lori was already there scoping out the place. Meeting face-to-face with Elizabeth would be a huge risk for her! And no one is willing to think what she might be doing in this exact scenario? That's just horrible and solely building to the "shocking" cliffhanger which plays more like a plot point to end the season than any kind of satisfying emotional upheaval.

And then, there's Max and Taylor who are basically off on their own little show. He's awake now but unable to cope with everything that has happened to him. And quite frankly, he's in the right for telling Taylor to leave and go live her life. She should not be responsible for healing him. He needs to get better on his own so he'll be able to one day be the guy for her again. It's a situation that honestly worked so much better on last season's finale of Parenthood. Max here just goes about it in all the wrong way. He's angry and depressed and unable to articulate his thoughts in the most palatable way possible. It's also lackluster because I had no one idea what the show was doing with this story until its concluding scene. It was largely just comfortable letting its best character be a jerk for the first two thirds of the finale. In what universe is that okay? The end result is a finale that simply doesn't have any redeeming qualities to it at all. It's just so lackluster and boring.

Some more thoughts:
  • "One Hour Photo" was written by Terri Minsky and directed by Peter Lauer.
  • To Carter, it was okay when she was being raised by her kidnapper but once she learns Lori was also their stalker it crosses a line? It's suppose to tell us about the evolution of Carter over the course of the season. And yet, the circumstances surrounding that event have never been the chief focus for the show. So it comes across awkwardly.
  • All Grant does is get a D in science and eat a TV dinner and all the ice cream. Okay then?
  • There's a passing reference to Crash - aka the story the season was primarily focused on for some reason. And then nothing comes from it. That means it will probably rear its ugly head again next season. Ugh!
  • After a very promising pilot, Finding Carter really took a nosedive this season. It has been renewed for a second season. And since I stuck with it to the very end, I suppose I'll see the first episode back to see if any course correcting is done. If not, I really don't wanna waste anymore of my time on Finding Carter.