They nailed it. Each character’s plot line ended up where it should have.
Let’s start with the deaths. Did Tanya deserve to die? Not really, who does? But she really didn’t deserve to live. That’s harsh but she was a narcissist through and through and never made the slightest attempt to change. Even the last thing she said to someone, after she shot them, was whether her husband had had an affair? No concern at all about her assistant, Portia, who was in mortal danger at the moment because of her. He survives only because Jack lets her go.
She even comments, knowing she’s in a bad place, how bad all her assistants have been. Everything was about her, even her own death because Tanya’s death was at her own hands. She could have gone down the steps in the back that the one survivor ran to and jumped off. What she did was typical of many of her decisions—not thought through.
How about the couples?
Ethan and Harper: An interesting arc that ended well. They’re dealing with their new-found wealth and not so newfound dearth of passion in their relationship. Both are brought alive by their interactions with . . .
Meghan and Cameron: This is the irritating couple you see whose public display of affection is either real or posed. Theirs’s felt somewhere in between. They had what I would call a transactional relationship. There is no doubt there was passion between the two of them but underneath that simmers hate, which isn’t that far from passion. The fact the children weren’t his? That look on his face in the last episode where she calls him to the phone to facetime them? Priceless, before he puts that smile on his face. The look on her face for a moment when Ethan tells her he suspects Cameron and Harper. Both portend danger for the future. On the bright side, they helped Ethan and Harper grow closer. Their basic philosophy of living for the moment has its positives but can be devastating long term.
The three generations of Bert, Dominic and Albie? F. Murray Abraham was excellent as the old man who has regrets but lives with them. It’s too late for him to change. Michael Imperioli does a great job showing a man who accepts his faults and his regrets and makes a decision to change. How long it will last, we know not. But to frame it as a karmic debt when he pays out the 50k was great. His son, probably the nicest character of all of them, also learned, and immediately accepted he got played. There is hope for both of them.
As there is for Portia, as she slowly realizes how dire indeed her situation had been. I liked them exchanging numbers at the end.
The escorts? They both got what they wanted. The pimp angle was bogus from the start. Perhaps not even necessary. Mia was perhaps my favorite character. She took the world as it is and was willing to do what she needed, and have fun with it, to get what she wanted. Lucia was a bit more cutthroat but you can’t begrudge her that she earned what she worked for.
The fact Valentina, the hotel manager brought Rocco back, even after being rebuffed, twice, was heart-warming. And gave Mia the singing job was also great. A true change.
Mike White has now scripted and directed two great seasons. Season Two was different than one in that it didn’t focus as much on the differences between the hotel staff and the guests and the privilege of money. He even admits the focus was different. Two was more about sex and the various aspects it presents. In fact, money turned out to be a very negative for the person who had the most.
And it gets to be different, despite some reviews I’ve read. I’m sure season 3 will focus on something new.