Saturday, November 7, 2020

REVIEW: 'Manhunt: Deadly Games' - Richard Jewell Finally Moves On While Eric Rudolph is Captured in 'Open Season'

Spectrum's Manhunt: Deadly Games - Episode 2.10 "Open Season"

Starving and bereft of allies, Eric is finally captured. But as his day in court - and Richard's exoneration - approaches, he has another dangerous secret in store for law enforcement.

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 Spectrum's Manhunt: Deadly Games.

"Open Season" was written by Allison Moore and directed by Michael Dinner

Every person has a perception of who they are going to be in life. They know what they want and they know how others can perceive them. Richard Jewell wanted to help people. He did exactly that. He became famous because people wanted to condemn him for his hero complex. But he truly was a public servant who wanted to do right by others in this world. When he hears the news about Kathy Scruggs dying from a drug overdose, he mourns her loss. He sees her as yet another fixture who got caught up in the madness of this entire story. He has sympathy for her because he understands that she must have had a hard life. That helps put things in perspective in his mind. He has no anger towards her. Sure, he is baffled whenever someone isn't as inherently decent as he is. But he still provides a service to people even when people still think of him as a bomber. That has never been his story. It's tragic that some people see him that way. Eric Rudolph confesses to all of the bombings. He takes credit for them. He gains infamy as well. He delights in that. His psychology was always about his personal gratification. He needed to be the one to watch people die knowing that he was directly responsible. He knew how to manipulate events to his benefit. He perceived himself as a genius. Someone who was capable of accomplishing things that no one could have fathomed previously. He targeted the Olympic games because the police talked about how incredible their security measures were. It's not some simple quest for vengeance. It was destruction just to prove a personal point. He takes pride in that. He can no longer feign innocence to his mother. She can no longer go on believing he was a victim of the media. He is responsible for all of this chaos and destruction. He revels in that fame. He wants people to know that he did all of this. Early in this finale, he is a desperate man. He is struggling to evade capture. He is forced to go dumpster driving just in order to eat. His capture is so simplistic. A rookie officer just happens to get lucky. That comes after so many hours of hard work were spent canvassing the woods. Big John's family is even targeted by him. Hannah has to shoot to kill in order to protect what is hers. It's terrifying. It's a massive intrusion that threatens to upend everything that these characters have wanted. Rudolph believes he finds something new. Being propped up as the most famous criminal in the country is intoxicating to him. He believes that he can even avoid being sentenced if he takes his case to a jury. He believes a lonely woman being in the jury is all he needs to avoid punishment because of his natural charisma and attractiveness. He is mistaken in that regard. And yet, he still has the mental prowess to avoid the death penalty. That is the punishment that so many people want for him. It may not serve any actual justice. Bobi notes just how minor all of this seems as it plays out in a courtroom. It's anticlimactic. That's how the justice system can work sometimes. The government has to make a deal with Rudolph to save more lives. It infuriates Embry. It also puts things into perspective for him and Brennan. Embry acknowledges that he can no longer let his personal feelings dictate his actions on the job. He has to leave now. He has a future where he and his wife don't have to accept that he will die at some point from a bomb exploding. That is freeing while offering something they never would have expected previously. Similarly, Brennan always believed he would be an FBI agent. He defies the bureau and walks away. He isn't a part of the final manhunt. And yet, he feels proud in what he did. He stands by every single action. The future is uncertain. But that is freeing in a way too. Those who need punishment receive it. The world moves on. Jewell finds peace in finally becoming a police officer. His life is still cut short way too early. People still aren't entirely held responsible for the torment they put him through. And yet, this telling of his story provides depth that highlights his heroism while still acknowledging all of the brilliant minds in law enforcement that have evolved over the years as these threats grow more dangerous. Rudolph's life is defined by these actions. The rest of the ensemble is allowed to have full and rewarding lives elsewhere. That is a blessing found at the end of this saga.