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July 31, 2015

Dirt: In Lieu of Flowers (season finale)

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Apr 13th 2008 11:02PM

Will McCormack (Leo) and Courteney Cox (Lucy) in the season two finale of 'Dirt.'
(S02E07) "Death. I get it. It's guaranteed. I understand that. But why does it seem that everybody is so oblivious to the fact that they're swimming in deep water until they drown?" - Lucy

That's a really unfortunate quote. And to be dropped in the middle of the season (and potential series) finale? Ouch. Dirt really could be so much better and unfortunately, it just isn't. The problem is, I'm not so sure the writers, producers, and execs at FX realize it. Think about it. This was supposed to a normal 13 episode season. In my opinion, only one out of the seven episodes that got made was worth my time. At that rate, the second half of the season wouldn't have been much better. But no one stepped in and nothing changed. You would think, that after the mediocrity of the first couple of episodes, things would have started to look up. They never did.

With that being said, perhaps it's better that the strike cut production short. As a finale, this wasn't the worst episode and it wasn't the best. But, it was a logical ending that wrapped up some loose ends. Not all, but some. Had the season gone on, who knows what sort of train wreck the actual finale would have been. If FX is smart, Dirt is done.

Let's break it down:

  • Brent Barrow is dead - Lucy's number one nemesis at DirtNow croaked at the end of last week's episode, when a drugged up Brent parked his new car in the garage and then fell asleep without killing the engine. With Brent gone, and Lucy's understanding with the magazine's new owner, Adam, her position as editor-in-chief is secure. So there's no room for conflict there. (After landing a role on 24, I imagine Jeffrey Nordling asked to be written out of the show.)
  • Lucy's family troubles have hit a stalemate - In a Kayne-esque twist, Lucy's mother died during a botched plastic surgery operation. If you recall, Lucy and her mother didn't get along so well in season one. With her passing, Lucy no longer has to worry about any judgmental maternal presence. Plus, Leo is back! Not so fast. The fact that he killed Julia Mallory wasn't addressed once. To top it off, he now seems to get along great with his sister. Poor choices on both accounts. I'm willing forgive the new "best buds" dynamic between the siblings. But c'mon -- he killed a major season one character when he ran her over. You can't ignore that. Well you can, but you shouldn't.
  • Farber and Willa are history - You knew it was coming. She stabbed him in the back, dug through his phone, and ran a story that got him in trouble with a friend. He has morals and she doesn't. Based on Brent's sex tape, we know Willa has no problem "playing" Lucy and this was definitely a Lucy move. I'm not so sure that them getting back together is the payoff though. I think the break-up was. The business is cut-throat, there will always be casualties, and we move on. Not much else to say.
  • Don is better - Half the fun of season one was seeing what crazy shit Don would do next because of his illness. Talking cats, words floating through the air, and his zany episode re-caps. Now that he's on medication, he's normal. He's developed values, stands up for himself, and took an interest in his brother's life. He knows what's right and wrong, understands feelings, and puts the interests of other people (like Sharlee) before Lucy's. Plus, Lucy admitted that she's glad Don is now well enough to stand up to her. So what else is there to tell?
  • Lucy and Holt are happy together - This one is simple. Half the tension of this show surrounded their awkward courtship. Now they're an item and Lucy is willing to go public with it at Holt's request. Besides the expected backlash ("I can't believe he'd date that tabloid bitch!"), this just became a non-story.

If the show does go on, it won't be because of the characters. It'll be because there's an endless supply of celebrity hijinks to play with. Everyday there are new stories to tweak. This episode had a take on Kirstie Alley and child stars who are in the closet. We know these stories. The reason season one was so good is the celeb spoofs were secondary to the superb main plot, most of which has now been resolved. So unless there's something else we don't know about Lucy, Don, and the DirtNow gang, I'm not so sure I want US Weekly and InTouch just regurgitated to me.

If Dirt gets renewed for a third season, will you be tuning in?
Yes448 (89.2%)
No54 (10.8%)

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