After an up and down freshman season, “Rush
” ends its first season with an episode primarily dedicated to the fallout from last week’s Eve and JP confrontation and Rush’s struggles in turning his life around to prove his worth to Sarah.
A few side plots with Max and Marika insert some small doses of dark humor while almost everyone else is drowning in personal crises. As a final episode to a short season, enough loose ends are tied up to satisfy viewers if the show doesn’t return for a second season, while still leaving some outcomes to the imagination.
Rush’s focus to getting clean, committing to Sarah, and returning to a more stable place of employment is admirable, but as he runs around the city it becomes increasingly clear that having all of his ducks in a row is just not possible. His father blocking a possible position at the hospital for Will with his power as a board member is the least of his problems, but it is emotionally hurtful to him almost more than anything else, and Tom Ellis’ face translates the pain in the betrayal well.
The show makes sure enough distractions are packed into the show so the shock of JP shooting Rush and the latter summarily returning the attempted murder favor comes as much of a surprise during the final act as possible. JP was one of the most one-dimensional characters on the show and in a perfect world Rush killing him would allow Eve and Manny to find another level as characters. Instead puts Manny back into jail and Eve remains stuck as the directionless friend with a dark past.
In the end, Rush not coming to grips with his actions and his opportunity to go straight played as if it could come from any “dark drama” on television. As this first season progressed, there was a definitive effort made to find shades of gray in these characters and develop the motivations for every action good or bad but the efforts were almost completely undone by the paint-by-numbers complications.
Between the delivery of the news that he was going to be a father with another woman, his return to cocaine, and the timing of the cops pulling in to the hanger, the coincidences overwhelmed what was meant to be an emotional break from Sarah. It would not be difficult for the writers to lean into those complications and have Rush balance a pregnancy, Sarah, and legal troubles all at once but instead they settle in to a predictable pattern.
In her parting words, Sarah whispers “you’re a coward” which is true. But in the grand scheme of things it may be the show itself that is cowardly in its decisions. The predictable nature of almost every development in the finale bogged down the promising growth of the previous 9 episodes, and one can only hope they decide to go in a more bold and exciting direction if picked up for Season 2.
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