Sunday, March 8, 2020

REVIEW: 'Dare Me' - Colette Pushes Addy Away While Beth Continues Her Own Investigation in 'Shock and Awe'

USA's Dare Me - Episode 1.10 "Shock and Awe"

Addy and Colette feel the heat while Beth's digging begins to pay off, leading to revelations.

In 2019, the television industry aired 532 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the season finale of USA's Dare Me.

"Shock and Awe" was written by Megan Abbott & Gina Fattore and directed by Jamie Travis

Matt isn't shocked to learn that his wife was at Will's apartment the night that he died. That is the huge revelation from this finale. It's not some grand explanation as to what happened to Will. It's not some epic explosion that dramatically shifts the way these characters view each other. Instead, it comes from the personal moments of exposure that highlights just how abusive this environment has been for a long time. There are certainly elements of truth to Colette and Beth's friendships with Addy. However, they both may be fundamentally using her in order to fill the emotional vacuum of their lives that comes from such amoral actions. There is no revelation about when Colette was open with her husband about her affair with Will. That moment never occurs onscreen. Instead, he is just as determined to find the missing bracelet as Colette is. He understands the risk that now puts them in. There was already the fear that came from the police coming to their home and making accusations about what they have done. There is forever the concern that cameras record every single action a person does. Beth has long professed that people need to take pictures in order to prove that it actually happened. The details of the marine party may continue to be fuzzy. However, she has the pictures showing the damage done to her neck and tongue. That proves that something horrifying did in fact happen. That has always been the case. She was broken down for a moment. She found a way to keep moving forward with the certainty and clarity that came from using this to her advantage. She isn't interested in going to the police and sharing her stories about the criminal elements in her life. Instead, she may be nothing more than a voyeur eager to peer into the lives of others to see how they have been consumed by the erratic nature of the world. Addy's mother has done her best to protect her. And yet, she doesn't even meet Colette until this episode. That too showcases just how aloof teenagers can be from their parents. Addy has this entire relationship with her coach that her mother is in the dark about. As such, the officer is more than willing to instinctively trust what Colette has to say about the marine recruiters. That may point the police in the direction of finding a viable suspect. Kurtz fits that mold perfectly. There is the surveillance footage of the fight he and Will got in. Will was certain that Kurtz assaulted Beth. He chose to react through violence. All of this could come across as retaliation because Kurtz had means and motives to kill his sergeant. That narrative may not be true given what he confesses to Beth. She wants that information not to help the police bring justice to Will in death. Instead, she does it all out of her need to show love for Addy. This is her way of protecting her. It comes across as her betraying the very nature of the bond she shares with Colette. The coach may do that well enough on her. She isn't there to provide comfort. That's what Addy needs now more than anything else. She has daunting questions because she is scared of what could happen. Her mother discovers the bag of items removed from the crime scene. That's precarious and proves that Addy has always been withholding. This season presented her as a lifeline for Colette. She needed this friendship badly. That hasn't been true at all. In fact, Will and Beth were right in their assessment that she simply uses people and throws them away when she's done. She may not have expected this reaction after everything has gone awry. She has to carefully manage Addy. That's a job that is simply too all-consuming for her to remain engaged with it in the long run. She leaves Addy in the dark all alone with no answers to her questions. Colette and Matt act in a panic with this revelation. Meanwhile, Addy no longer has any support system. She can now view both Beth and Colette as emotionally manipulating her in order to assert their own dominance in the world. This could provide salvation for Addy's relationship with her mother. That's a bond that she could rely on. She has just been so reluctant to do so throughout the season. That may not change any time soon. That is devastating. These characters yearn for a sense of camaraderie and respect. However, the world has already tainted them and made their ambitions toxic. Their dreams of escape are plagued by the people in charge who have their own corrosive agendas. They are more than willing to hurt those beneath them just in order to provide a sense of stability in their own lives. That is incredibly abusive. The season ends with no resolution in that regard. It's just personal devastation that everyone will have to navigate moving forward should they find a way to cope with all the uncertainty.