Before we discuss last night’s de facto series finale, I wanted to note that, yes, ABC skipped two episodes. Rather than continue in sequence and save the final two episodes for a random Saturday night, they simply skipped them altogether creating a situation where viewers were surely wondering if they had developed amnesia. At least, I know that’s how I felt when the weekly recap included scenes of Billy possibly being tortured (how did he explain that one to Becca?) and Molly revealing to her family the senator beat her. The part where Dan broke up with Molly didn’t merit a clip, so that scene was left entirely up to our imaginations to fill in the gaping hole.
If I sound frustrated, it’s because I am. Perhaps, the network felt it would be preferable for those who stuck with Killer Women to see the finale rather than to be left wondering how the series would end, but given the cliffhanger ending, I don’t see how it offered much more in the way of closure to skip ahead. ABC originally promoted Killer Women with the tagline, “Eight Weeks, Eight Killers,” but upon viewing, it became clear the series was intended to be ongoing. Given the rise of the limited series’ popularity, as viewers we are caught between the networks’ desire to embrace short-run series and their own hesitance to let go of the idea that every series needs to run for at least 10 seasons. The latter option is more lucrative, which is why we end up with series like Killer Women and TNT’s recently cancelled Mob City ending on cliffhangers just in case a limited order is bumped up to a multi-season deal. This half-measure means when we do invest our time in a short-run series, the possibility of an annoying open end is high unless the network carves in stone that the series is a one and done.
All that being said, “Daughter of the Alamo” offered resolution to one major plotline: Molly revealed her husband was an abuser, and after Dan dug up the names of two of the Senator’s old girlfriends, he agreed to sign the divorce papers. The real victory was in Molly being able to reveal to her family the pain she has been in all these years. The Senator not only hurt her physically, but psychologically, leaving her unable to fully open up to anyone because of her feelings of shame. There was triumph in seeing her take the stand and publicly reveal what a monster her husband is, and to finally be set free.
In its short run, Killer Women consistently tackled issues of gender expectations with care. It wasn’t groundbreaking, but in between the shoot-outs and the hokey lines (see everything that came out of the old school ranger Colt’s mouth in “Daughter of the Alamo”), there was depth in the emotional beats of the story. With a bit of fine-tuning, I feel like Killer Women could have been a decent pinch-hitter for ABC. The romance between Molly and Dan was richly drawn, Molly’s family life was a sweet counterpart to the darker parts of the story and with Billy becoming involved with the DEA in order to clear his name, the series had set up worthy new obstacles for a season two that will never be.
The final case involved a woman played by Erin Karpluk of Being Erica fame killing a man in order to preserve her perfect, happy life and to keep the past from destroying it. She mostly took back seat to Molly and Colt, a retired ranger who is what we southerners call a “good ole boy,” which is a pseudo nice way of saying they’re kind of racist and misogynistic, but so old no one knows what to do about it aside from privately apologize for their behavior in public and explain that their faculties are slipping. Seeing Molly run point with a member of the old guard and eventually winning him over was a decent goodbye to this world, given how much flack she has taken for being a woman and a ranger.
All of the other plots were left hanging though. I am assuming Dan broke up with Molly post the Billy incident, so that he could use Billy as a CI without lying to Molly and her family. The Billy situation only became more dire by the end of this week’s episode when his continued involvement with the cartel in order to clear his name resulted in Lulu getting kidnapped. As to what happens next, we will never know. Still, despite the frustration and the bumpy run, I enjoyed what I got to see of Killer Women, and I have very much enjoyed discussing it each week. Feel free to rage away about the cliffhanger and episode skipping in the comments. I will meet you there.
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